Daily Archives:March 7th, 2005

Those who forget…

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

So said the American philosopher George Santayana about 100 years ago. But hang on – did he? Actually, this is one of those oft-misquoted sayings – a Google search will turn up several versions, in particular using “…are doomed to repeat it”.

In The Life of Reason (1905-1906), the actual quote is:

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

which is an interesting but subtle difference; the ‘forget’ version implies a careless abandon whereas ‘not to remember’ implies, perhaps, an unfortunate mistake. Of course, he may not have intended any such distinction and he may also have used several versions himself, but it does prompt me to write my own little homage to Santayana:

Those who forget the quote are condemned to reword it!

Against My Better Judgement…

The dangers of buying a PC from WalMart

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser