12 Comments

Another great piece. This resonates with me on a number of levels, not least that over the decades I’ve associated with a number of Dragoons (as in Royal Canadian Dragoons, RCD, who “own” the Leopards), and in passing also my fair share of Leathernecks (US Marines) -- I’ll be forwarding this post to them. But more that your story of 427 Squadron mirrored my experience in the Navy where generally we recycle ships’ names precisely for the reasons you describe. “Perpetuation” is the term we use to carry on the fighting tradition of yesterday through the present and into the future. You’ve described it brilliantly.

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The RCN is currently in meetings to decide what the not yet built 15 Surface Combatants will be named. History and lineages will certainly take centre stage in these discussions.

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Should... but I’ve been around the buoy often enough to see these things go sideways lol. Best wishes for your coming swallowing of the anchor! I

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Thanks Richard!

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As always, great insight. Placing whatever innovation you’re involved with inside the sweep of a story from history is vital for buy-in and success.

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As someone who has seen several company mission and vision statements come and go, leaving a feeling of apathy in their wake, this article rings true. Tracing a through line from past to present can inspire people for the future much more than we realize!

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What a fantastic piece of writing. As someone who, apparently, is distantly related to Walter Pidgeon, I am a little off put by the reference but I know so little about him, I don’t really care. But as someone who appreciates and teaches history at a high school barely more than 10 years old I find this fascinating. When I moved to the school about 10 years ago, one of the things that attracted me was the chance to create ‘history’ and be part of new traditions. Great piece for thinking.

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This is a great article.

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I have no clue why so many American/multinational corporations are in the business of amnesiac products, but it seems like there is more profit to be made by planned obsolescence. Sometimes the privately owned businesses are a little more prideful about their history, having museums dedicated to their early history.

Apple is not one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZjbNWgsDt8 (although there is such a thing as having too many products, which is something they scaled back with when he returned in 1997)

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427 Squadron is kind of like the Winnipeg Jets.

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Dan, you write, "Human beings are not hardwired for abstractions. We are hardwired for stories." I'm sure that's true, but I would like to find hard evidence. The only example I know of that is not merely anecdotal is a 1985 study (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1989-25768-001) cited by Robert Shiller. Do you know where I could find other experimental evidence?

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You could have titled this piece: the impeccable use and disuse of history.

Great thoughts as ever.

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