When I think of history being recorded, I think of a reporter asking questions, gathering information and reporting the facts. Much of written history then is witnessed through the senses. History is a collection of what actors saw, heard, smelled, or felt. In philosophy, what we know through the senses is labeled empiricism. Consider the following joke.
A man is worried that his wife is losing her hearing, so he consults a doctor. The doctor suggests that he try a simple at-home test on her. Stand behind her and ask her a question, first from twenty feet away, next from ten feet, and finally right behind her.
So the man goes home and sees his wife in the kitchen facing the stove. He says from the door, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
Ten feet behind her, he repeats, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
Still no answer.
Finally, right behind her he says, “What’s for dinner tonight?”
And his wife turns around and says, “For the third time—chicken!”
What happens when the senses fail the historian? You get distorted recorded history. How can one be sure that the history they are reading is recorded correctly? Instead of having a model based on history, the model should be built on human behavior that is predictable in the future.
Here’s another joke that serves to show that history can be biased.
Juan comes home early from work and finds the plumber he hired stuffing his wife’s diamond necklace into his pocket. The plumber says, “It’s not what you think. I saw some thieves casing the house and I was protecting the jewels. Who are you going to believe? Me or your senses?”
History relies on sense data. Business builds model to fit and predict behavior.