David K. Hurst, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Our knowledge of what does not work is often greater than our knowledge of what does work. In addition, as a forecast reaches farther into the future, it is easier to predict what won’t survive than to predict what will survive. And when it comes to perishable things (like people), the young can be expected to outlive the old. But with nonperishables (like ideas), the situation is reversed: The older they get, the longer they can be expected to persist. So, if we are seeking a lasting education, we should give more weight to the classics, because the ideas they contain have proven useful over many generations, as opposed to new ideas, which are more likely to fall by the wayside as time passes.

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