This weekend my wife and I had our first excursion weekend in four year...with only one child in tow. One topic which we discussed in our adult discussion time was how nothing new is really new. The reality is every "new" idea is really a permutation on an old idea. Most "new" ideas are actually as old as the pyramid. The difference is the new idea is written in English and using a computer instead of papyrus paper. This photo is just an example of the what I mean.
Photographer Scott Bourne loved to preach that no one did anything new in photography (See our discussion was not even new, it was just new to us). It was just someone found they liked a style they stumbled across and started claiming it was new for marketing. Meanwhile the photographer was ignorant of the technique of style's history in the photographic art world. For instance I could say of the photo above: "I really like the deep contrasty colors I put in this photo, it will be my new style for an album!" Someone like Scott or my friend Skip Cohen would then tell me..."Dude we called that style Velvia film and left it at that."
So history is good for something no matter what you do for a living. It will help you not be a fool in front of your elders, and prevent you from being pompous before your peers and youth.