“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or maybe not. As the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik explains: “What history generally teaches is how hard it is for anyone to control it, including the people who think they’re making it.” If anything, history reminds us is to keep a current crisis in perspective, because things have been really bad before. By doing this, we can better avoid the notion that “each crisis is a historical crisis in need of urgent aggressive handling — even if all experience shows that aggressive handling of such situations has in the past, quite often made things worse.” (That sounds like an excellent excuse to take the rest of the day off.)

+ That said, has this August been the worst month ever?