Futurists enjoy taking out their crystal ball and projecting future innovations, but they are typically wrong. For example, George Orwell’s book, “1984,” which was published in 1949, did not come close with its projections. And in the 1960s, I recall a Walt Disney television show describing automobiles that required no driver and were guided by a magnet-like strip imbedded in the street’s or highway’s roadbed. Nice try.

In contrast, historians research the past to determine what lessons might be learned and applied today. For example, historians examine the judgments, policies and actions of past U.S. Presidents and international government leaders to assess what actions may best serve citizens today. The recent movie “Lincoln” is an example.

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