History as weather: A fractal theory of history for Ian Morris, Jared Diamond and CGP Grey

Longer read but delves into the nature, value, and pitfalls of history as an area of knowledge. Great connections to concepts of the idea of models in history and connections to natural sciences.

Critics of the social sciences argue that unlike the meteorologists who can build their larger weather models on solid physics, chemistry and geography, historians don’t actually have solid enough psychological models underlying their bigger sociological models. But that is to make the same error. Meteorological models can just about predict the weather tomorrow and the day after while sometimes making huge errors. Historical models are just as good. Equally, historical models can predict larger trends about as accurately as climatology. But we often treat them as if we thought it was possible to predict the weather a year from now.


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