“Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience” — Otto von Bismarck
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His interpretation is that “fools” stubbornly insist on learning solely from their personal errors and setbacks, whereas he believes it is smarter and more efficient to learn vicariously from the successes and failures of those who have come before.
Bismarck seems to be suggesting that history and observing the experiences of others provide valuable opportunities to learn that can help avoid pitfalls and expedite progress.
The overall message conveys Bismarck’s view that it is prudent and advantageous to build upon prior knowledge rather than needing to relearn what has already been established through the trials of others.