Hysteresis is the dependence of a system not just on its current environment but also on its past.
Stephen observes, "Students who aren't taught Bayesian methods almost never make the effort to learn enough to teach it when they go on to become professors." This is exactly the situation we see with English grammar: Students who aren't taught modern grammatical theory almost never make the effort to learn enough to teach it when they go on to become teachers.
Having a name for something doesn't really change much, but it's fun to know nonetheless.
I first learned that word in physics. Something about electro magnets. If you run the current one way, then reverse the current, the polarity of the magnet has some sort of memory.
Then it reappeared in the economics of unemployment. A temporary shock causes unemployment to go up. But even after the shock goes away, it takes a long time, maybe forever, for unemployment to fall back to the original equilibrium.
There's a number of different words we use to describe roughly the same thing. Hysterisis, path-dependence, history-dependent, QWERTY equilibrium.
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