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Thread: Objections to Generational Dynamics - Page 29







Post#701 at 05-05-2005 03:14 AM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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05-05-2005, 03:14 AM #701
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John,

Though I would very much like you to stop evading my points and questions, I am becoming quite resigned to the possibility that it will never happen, for whatever reason.

So in light of this likelihood outcome, I would just say that I will continue to peruse your GD for Historians. Also, I would like to say that my posts to you as late are more edgy than I now wish they had been. I was both frustrated at what I perceive as your evasion of (or obliviousness to) my points or counterpoints, and offended by what I perceive as your arrogance and condescension.

Even if my perceptions are correct (which they may not be) I wish I had kept in better control of my emotions. I apologize for being unnecessarily nasty. I admire you (which adds to my frustrations, BTW) as a professional-type of person and I was acting unprofessionally towards you.

Again, I hope you answer me, and not just in the way you have so far, but if it can't happen, so be it. Like I said, I will read GDfH and continue to hit your blog every few days (as I have been doing).

Peace.
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#702 at 05-05-2005 01:45 PM by jeffw [at Orange County, CA--dob 1961 joined Jul 2001 #posts 417]
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Quote Originally Posted by Peter Gibbons
John,

Though I would very much like you to stop evading my points and questions, I am becoming quite resigned to the possibility that it will never happen, for whatever reason.

So in light of this likelihood outcome, I would just say that I will continue to peruse your GD for Historians. Also, I would like to say that my posts to you as late are more edgy than I now wish they had been. I was both frustrated at what I perceive as your evasion of (or obliviousness to) my points or counterpoints, and offended by what I perceive as your arrogance and condescension.

Even if my perceptions are correct (which they may not be) I wish I had kept in better control of my emotions. I apologize for being unnecessarily nasty. I admire you (which adds to my frustrations, BTW) as a professional-type of person and I was acting unprofessionally towards you.
Actually, over the last year or so I don't believe that John Xenakis has acted very professionally. He asks for input on his ideas but gets very defensive over any criticism. Instead of looking honestly at what might be wrong with his theory, he seems to spend all his intellectual might at knocking holes in the criticisms. And, yes, his attitude reeks of arrogance and condenscension.

On the other hand, he's a lot more interesting than some other contributors to this board.
Jeff '61







Post#703 at 05-05-2005 11:27 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Timelines

Response to:
http://fourthturning.com/forums/view...=128903#128903


Dear catfishncod,

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> >>> John X wrote: * (*) I don't see how the Korea War could
> possibly have been a crisis war for Korea, any more than it was
> for us. The Korean and Japanese crisis periods both ended in 1945,
> and the Korean War was a 1T war.

> I don't see why it can't have been a slightly longer Crisis. There
> was little fighting in Korea during WWII as it was Japanese
> territory for the whole war; the Korean War looked like unfinished
> 4T business (locally) to me. Of course it was 1T for the Great
> Powers that were doing most of the fighting... all but China,
> which as I said was at the 4T/1T cusp right at that moment.
The reason I don't believe that the Korean War could be a crisis war
for Korea is not that the crisis couldn't have been a little longer.
It's because the Koreans appear to have fought the war with as little
energy as we did. If there had been a Korean version of the "Tet
offensive," for example, I might be persuaded otherwise, but I'm not
aware of anything like that by the Koreans. If that had been a
crisis war, I don't think it would have ended with an armistice.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> This is not as clear-cut as you make it out to be.

> Lebanon is clearly 1T; the Kurds are 1T but I'm not so sure about
> Turkey itself-- like Russia, its last 4T extended into the late
> '20s, early '30s. Arabia seems to be going more slowly, it is
> clearly still 4T. The Balkans are 1T.

> The Iraq occupation is a great example. The Kurds are 1T because
> their crisis war was the PKK conflict, which they are now sick of.
> The Shia have just gone 1T; their crisis period started with the
> Iraq/Iran War (which they bore the brunt of) and included the
> First Gulf War, the failed '91 uprising, suffering under
> sanctions, and ended with the '03 invasion. The Sunnis did not
> suffer much in the I/I war; their 4T began with sanctions, and
> they are willing to act genocidally while the Shia are not. Hence,
> the Sunnis car bomb the Shia, who are not slaughtering Sunnis in
> return even though it is within their power to do so.

> The Iraqi Sunnis are making common cause with the Saudis in this
> regard because they are in the same place in their cycles; both
> entered the 4T with the First Gulf War in '91. Note that this
> means that al-Qaeda will probably lose some of its support
> somewhere in the 2010-2015 timeframe, as Arabia goes 1T. The Saudi
> civil war must be resolved in this time frame or else drag on for
> a half-saeculum (with attendant nasty consequences).
I agree with most of this, but I'm confused about how you could
suggest that the Sunnis entered 4T in 91. Are you saying that you
believe that the Iran/Iraq war was a crisis war for the Shi'ites, but
not the Sunnis? I don't see how that's possible. What's your
reasoning?

As for Turkey, I've thought that the Turkey-PKK was was 4T for both
Kurds and Turkey, but I must say that I've been getting more and more
uncertain about it over time, especially since it seems that Turkey
is being pulled into the Caucasus situation. Perhaps you're right -
the war was 3T for Turkey and 4T for the Kurds.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> You're getting dates scrambled. The Ukraine purge was in the
> 1930's. The Ukrainian Orange Revolution looks 4Tish; there are
> hidden currents going on such as the "suicide" of a number of
> former regime allies. Some of the crisis war is happening in
> Chechnya; that could get worse but I'm not sure about that. The
> Russian situation is being defused somewhat by the massive exodus
> of youth from Russia -- large numbers of people are simply giving
> up on Russia and going to other lands (and other saeculae).

> Whether the weakness of Russia results in the Muslims breaking out
> and heading north into the Volga valley remains to be seen. I
> wouldn't count it out... nor would I count out nukes being used by
> Russia on Russian territory. Very little of the nuclear restraint
> machinery is geared toward preventing such an action.
I agree with the 1930s - what I wrote was a typo. However, at the
very least, I see both Georgia and Ukraine as becoming increasingly
unstable. The provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia both want to
secede from Georgia and join Russia, and that's not going to happen
without a war, and a war will become a crisis war. Also, the split
between east and west Ukraine will not be resolved without a war, in
my opinion.

Putin has a steely determination to get what he wants. I'm not going
to agree with your prediction that he'll use nuclear weapons on
Russian soil, but I won't be surprised if he does.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The death rate is not the point. England and America were not
> invaded in WWII; France was but there was no genocidal effort
> being directed at France. Germany was acting genocidally towards
> Russians. I don't dispute that WWII started as a non-crisis war
> for Russia --it clearly tried hard to avoid it -- but it had some
> of the effects of a crisis war on the generations that experienced
> it. An Artist generation had to stand up and prevent genocide, not
> a typical Artist action; a Prophet generation had to be raised
> under wartime conditions, also not a typical action. The Great
> Patriotic War is emblazoned in the Russian consciousness just as
> heavily as the Revolution and the Civil War are, because the
> existence of the nation of Russia was at stake.

> My point is that the nascent Prophets are not going to act quite
> as Prophetish because of the WWII experience; they will act more
> Artistish. Vladimir Putin ('52 cohort) is a great example; by
> timing he should be a Prophet, but he acts Artist in many ways,
> from being a dutiful KGB apprachatik to being a "good manager"
> type. This trickles down; the Nomads are going to act more
> Prophetish, the Heros more Nomadish, and so forth. Thus, the
> cycles are going to be delayed as a result of WWII; the memory of
> genocidal war hangs on just a bit longer.

> Russia will be joining the WWII cycle before too much longer. It
> may align this cycle; we'll see.
Well, I'm not sure that bombing raids can't count as being invaded,
but OK.

I'm willing to concede that WW II may have had something of the
effect that you describe; perhaps the Chechen war would have spiraled
out of control if the Bolshevik Revolution Prophet generation hadn't
had to fight in WW II. But I'm not willing to go too much farther
than that. For example, I don't see that the population starved by
the siege of Leningrad would have changed from Prophets to Heroes or
Artists. They would have remained Prophets, in my opinion, but with
a bit more caution than Prophets typically are.

Actually, Putin is an early Nomad by timing. Let me repeat an
analysis I've posted before.

Shamil Basayev is the Chechen terrorist who's responsible for the
death of hundreds, almost half children, at the school in Beslan,
North Ossetia in Russia a few weeks ago.

In doing an analysis and reading news stories at the time, I came
across this paragraph:

> Born in Chechnya in 1965, Basayev was raised by a generation that
> had just returned to the region after being exiled by Stalin to
> Kazakhstan and Siberia.
Now, that exile took place in 1944. So although Russia's previous
crisis war was WW I and the civil war ending in 1928, Chechnya's
previous crisis war was presumably this massive exile.

That makes Basayev an early Nomad: 1965 = 1944 + 21.

So I took a look at some other people of this type:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - Jordan - 1966 - 1949 + 17
Osama bin Laden - Saudi Arabia - 1957 = 1932 + 25

Putin - Russia 1952 = 1928 + 24
Hitler Germany - 1889 = 1870 + 19
Stalin Russia - 1879 = 1856 + 23
Trotsky Russia - 1879 = 1856 + 23

Mao is a mid to late Nomad:

Mao 1893 = 1862 + 31

Other crisis era leaders were also early Nomads:

Lincoln 1809 = 1783 + 26
FDR 1882 = 1865 + 17
Saddam Hussein - Iraq - 1937 = 1921 + 16

This analysis appears to indicate that early Nomads are the most
likely to become world leaders - the best and the worst.

With regard to Russia's war cycle, my expectation is that you're
absolutely right that Russia will join the WW II cycle, but I see it
as a situation where the two timelines are merging into a single
timeline for the "clash of civilizations" world war, humanity's last
world war before the Singularity and the end of humanity.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Yes, but in the previous cases the institution of the Czar and the
> Russian nobility were not in danger of being overthrown. Neither
> Sweden nor Napoleon had it in their power to wipe Russia out
> (although they did intend to remove its Great Power status).
> Hitler came closer than anyone else to wiping Russia out
> completely.

> The mismatch between the Russian/Ottoman cycle and the Western
> cycle (tracable in part, I suspect, to the Mongol invasions and
> the Byzantine Empire, who set the tone for the Russian and Ottoman
> areas in the Middle Ages), combined with the tendency for the West
> to throw crisis wars at Russia during non-crisis periods, explains
> a good bit of Russian paranoia IMHO.
Well, I'm not so sure that Hitler ever could have "wiped Russia out,"
any more than Napoleon could have. If Russia's army had stood and
fought Napoleon to prevent him from entering Moscow, then Russia
might have been "wiped out" in the sense you mean, but in either
Hitler's or Napoleon's case, the country could not have been held for
long.

I've posted this diagram before, but here's my diagram for the two
timelines:



Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The only really clear counterexamples would be a place in the 2T
> or early in the 3T. A late 3T and 4T can be attributed to the WWII
> cycle; a late 4T and 1T to the WWI cycle. That's why I'm looking
> at Iran -- it seems to be still early in the 3T there, if 3T it
> is. It all depends on whether the revolution there was a 4T or 2T
> event. I'd like your opinion on that.
I don't see how Iran can be anything but 2T, following the Iran/Iraq
war.

My findings are that there is a fairly wide variation in time between
crisis wars. The following is the analysis of over 100 crisis wars,
and the number of years from the end of one crisis war to the
beginning of the next:

Code:
                     Fraction
            # years  of total
            -------  --------
              0- 40      0%
             41- 49     11%
             50- 59     33%
             60- 69     25%
             70- 79     16%
             80- 89      4%
             90- 99      6%
            100-117      5%
So even countries in the WW I timeline are still within range today.
However, Russia is taking longer than usual, perhaps for the reason
you've given.

Another major region that I believe is on neither timeline is the
southern part of Africa with the crisis wars being: The Mfecane - The
Crushing (1817-28 ), South African War / Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902 ),
and the Angola war in the 1960s.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#704 at 05-05-2005 11:33 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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05-05-2005, 11:33 PM #704
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Dear Sean,

I'm very relieved to see your message. I completely melted down
online about a year after I first started out online in the mid-1980s,
because I was going through a divorce and my life was falling apart.
I hope that whatever you're going through isn't as bad.

I really think we can get past this issue about not answering every
point you make. I really don't think anything sinister is going on
here. Take a look at some of the discussions I had with Mike
Alexander. I think you'll see that both of us had to ask the same
questions 5 or 10 times on some occasions to get an answer. it's
just the nature of online communications. If i don't answer your
question, then ask it again. If it's a really important point, then
put it into a posting all by itself so it stands out.

Also please give me a chance. This evening I'm posting answers to
several of your questions, and it's taking several hours to write my
postings. These messages are hard work and they're very
time-consuming, taking time that I don't really have. i'm not
complaining about that, since I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it,
but I just can't get to everything all at once. I actually take
pride in taking on all comers and answering their questions, so if I
miss something, please just keep asking, and please give me some
time.

----

With regard to the "Puritan flip": My description of what happened is
taken entirely from the 1978 book, Revivals, Awakenings, and
Reform
by William McLoughlin. McLoughlin makes it clear that the
Puritan Awakening takes place in England before 1610, and also
describes what happened when the Puritans reached the colonies.
McLoughlin's book is considered by everyone to be the highest
authority on the subject, so I believe that my discussion in my book,
in Chapter 10, "Strauss and Howe's Fourth Turning Model," is the
correct one. The phrase "Puritan flip" is my own, but the description
of what happened is by McLoughlin.

----

With regard to "massive public shifts of opinion," not just any shift
is important. We don't care if the public taste shifts from apple
juice to orange juice, or vice-versa. The shifts have to do with the
subjects that S&H identified for a crisis period -- nationalism,
sacrificing individual rights to preserve the nation or its way of
life, gender roles, fault lines, for example.

On my web site I've identified these shifts as happening around the
world. America with its Patriot Act, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, etc.
Fault lines with Muslims are growing in Europe and the Caucasus, and
other fault lines are growing in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.
These are all important short-term trends that indicate a crisis era
and an approaching crisis war.

----

With regard to a coming war between China and Japan, I'll try to
summarize the reasoning.

It's based on the Generational Dynamics Forecasting Methodology,
described in my book, Chapter 4, "Chaos Theory and Generational
Forecasting." (For anyone else reading this, my book, Generational
Dynamics for Historians
, can be read online on my web site.)

In summary, the methodology involves merging short-term and long-term
forecasting results. Long-term forecasting gives you the
destination with near 100% certainty, but doesn't tell how you'll get
there, or how long it will take.

Short-term forecasting forecasts what might happen in the near
future, but with a far from certain probability, often no better than
50-50.

The fundamental concept behind the Generational Dynamics Forecasting
Methodology is to merge short-term and long-term forecasting results
so that you get a consolidated forecast that provides specific,
short-term results with high probability.

Here's how it applies to Japan and China:

When WW II ended in 1945, if you had known about Generational
Dynamics, you might have said to yourself, "Japan and America are
both going to have crisis wars again, most likely some time between
1995 and 2025. My best guess is that they'll be fighting each other
again, but that part is only a guess."

In 1955, you would know that the next crisis war wasn't going to be
between America and Japan, but you might have guessed between America
and Russia or China.

By 1990, as the crisis window approaches, you would be pretty certain
that it wasn't going to be with Russia or China. That was when
people were beginning to talk about a "clash of civilizations" with
the Muslim world. But it was still too early to predict exact
scenarios.

Today, in 2005, we can look at China and Japan. We know that both
countries are going to have crisis wars (long-term forecasting), we
can see that both countries are becoming increasingly nationalistic
(short-term forecasting), and that the level of popular hostility
between the two countries is palpably increasing on an almost daily
basis (short-term forecasting). Putting these together, we can
forecast a war between China and Japan. I would estimate the
probability to be around 90-95%. That's not 100%, but it's pretty
close.

The reasons that terms like "attractor" and "fractals" appears in my
book is because those are terms from Chaos Theory. My background is
in Mathematical Logic, and I've combined Generational Dynamics with
Chaos Theory and created an abstract mathematic model for "the way
the world works" through history. The millions of political events
that occur every day are all random, but the generational cycles form
a "cyclic attractor" within the chotic system, and the model is a
fractal when viewed in the right way. This makes history a
cross-disciplinary subject in history and math. This is valuable for
the study of history because it establishes historical patterns for
the first time, and it's important for the study of mathematics
because it's a large, complex "real-life" social model of complex
chaotic systems. A mathematician with an interest in history could
write his Ph.D. dissertation on Generational Dynamics because there's
so much work left to be done.

Chapters 5 and 6 incorporate macroeconomic theory into the abstract
model, and show how the same long-term and short-term forecasting
tools can be used to make certain kinds of financial predictions.

In chapter 7, The Singularity, I came up with a very interesting
proof that, under certain reasonable assumptions, the evolution of
any intelligent species must follow the Generational Dynamics model.
Darwin developed a theory for the evolution of individuals, but
Darwin's work provides little guidance for the evolution of groups,
and there's nothing, as far as I know, on the evolution of
intelligent groups. Much to my own astonishment, Generational
Dynamics fills that gap, so that now it's multi-disciplinary subject
involving history, mathematics, macroeconomics and evolution.

I find this to be a fascinating development because it tells us that
if there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, then they must
have evolved pretty much the way we did, and they must have reached
the Singularity in pretty much the same way we're going to. It's
mind-boggling.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#705 at 05-05-2005 11:35 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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05-05-2005, 11:35 PM #705
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Dear Jeff,

Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
> Actually, over the last year or so I don't believe that John
> Xenakis has acted very professionally. He asks for input on his
> ideas but gets very defensive over any criticism. Instead of
> looking honestly at what might be wrong with his theory, he seems
> to spend all his intellectual might at knocking holes in the
> criticisms. And, yes, his attitude reeks of arrogance and
> condenscension.

> On the other hand, he's a lot more interesting than some other
> contributors to this board.
Oh, great. It's the "Attack of the Nomads, Part Deux." It sounds
like a bad science fiction movie.

In order to understand why my responses might appear defensive, let's
do an analysis of the different ways that I might respond to
something I disagree with. So let's assume that someone says
something that I disagree with, and let's look at the different ways
that I could respond to it:
  • (*) I could use the PANDERING APPROACH: "Ohhhhhh, Jeff,
    you're so insighful! When I read your words, I feel like you can see
    into my soul. Please write some more so I can understand things even
    better!"
  • (*) Or I could go in the opposite direction and use the
    CONFRONTATIONAL APPROACH: "You're confusing arrogance and
    condescension with someone who simply disagrees with you."
  • (*) Or I could go even farther in that direction and use the
    OFFENSIVE APPROACH: "You're full of crap, and you sound like a
    stupid little twerp with an IQ of 80."
  • (*) Or I could use the SANDWICH TECHNIQUE: "I really think
    that you're a great writer, and that you have a great way of
    expressing yourself. Of course, you're full of crap, and you sound
    like a stupid little twerp with an IQ of 80, but I really like the
    clear, brilliant way that you express yourself."
  • (*) Or I could try something quite different, the POP
    PSYCHOLOGY APPROACH
    : "I'm sorry that I remind you of your father
    and you need to transfer you feelings about him to me, and you need to
    act out your anger about him in your postings to me."
  • (*) If I've answered the argument before, or if I think that the
    it's just a really dumb personal attack, then I might decide to
    ignore it and have NO RESPONSE AT ALL: ""
  • (*) Finally, I might use a DEFENSIVE RESPONSE: "In order to
    understand why my responses might appear defensive, let's do an
    analysis of the different ways that I might respond to something I
    disagree with...."


So, those are the different kinds of responses I could give when
someone says something that I disagree with. My selection would be
one of the last two choices, which is why I don't always respond, and
why my responses sometimes seem defensive when I do.

I hope that helps, or at least that it's interesting!!

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#706 at 05-06-2005 08:05 AM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,501]
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05-06-2005, 08:05 AM #706
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
With regard to the "Puritan flip": My description of what happened is taken entirely from the 1978 book, Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform by William McLoughlin. McLoughlin makes it clear that the Puritan Awakening takes place in England before 1610, and also describes what happened when the Puritans reached the colonies.
What you say doesn't jive with what this guy says.

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/...ws/carlin.html

McLoughlin identified five ?awakenings? (or religious revitalization movements) in American history. The first was the Puritan awakening, which began in England in 1610 and lasted till 1640. The settlements of New England and, at least in part, Virginia were aspects of that movement. The second was the famous ?Great Awakening? (1730?1760) associated with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Third, in McLoughlin?s telling, was what is more commonly known as the ?Second Great Awakening? (1800?1830). (The numbering becomes a little confusing at this point, since most historians have not, with McLoughlin, counted the early Puritan movement as an ?awakening.? They start counting with Edwards and Whitefield, while McLoughlin starts counting with Plymouth Rock.)







Post#707 at 05-06-2005 05:39 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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05-06-2005, 05:39 PM #707
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Dear Mike,

Quote Originally Posted by Mike Alexander '59
Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
With regard to the "Puritan flip": My description of what happened is taken entirely from the 1978 book, Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform by William McLoughlin. McLoughlin makes it clear that the Puritan Awakening takes place in England before 1610, and also describes what happened when the Puritans reached the colonies.
What you say doesn't jive with what this guy says.

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/...ws/carlin.html

McLoughlin identified five ?awakenings? (or religious revitalization movements) in American history. The first was the Puritan awakening, which began in England in 1610 and lasted till 1640. The settlements of New England and, at least in part, Virginia were aspects of that movement. The second was the famous ?Great Awakening? (1730?1760) associated with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Third, in McLoughlin?s telling, was what is more commonly known as the ?Second Great Awakening? (1800?1830). (The numbering becomes a little confusing at this point, since most historians have not, with McLoughlin, counted the early Puritan movement as an ?awakening.? They start counting with Edwards and Whitefield, while McLoughlin starts counting with Plymouth Rock.)

Sorry for the typo. Thanks for finding it. I meant that the Puritan
Awakening STARTED before 1610. McLoughlin identifies the 1604
ascendancy of James VI to the throne as the start of the Puritan
opposition to the Anglican Church, which is why I use that as the
start date of the Puritan Awakening. Puritan beliefs and values began
to gain a wider hearing among the gentry and middle class after 1610.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#708 at 05-07-2005 07:13 PM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
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05-07-2005, 07:13 PM #708
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
Response to:
http://fourthturning.com/forums/view...=128903#128903

Dear catfishncod,

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> >>> John X wrote: * (*) I don't see how the Korea War could
> possibly have been a crisis war for Korea, any more than it was
> for us. The Korean and Japanese crisis periods both ended in 1945,
> and the Korean War was a 1T war.

> I don't see why it can't have been a slightly longer Crisis. There
> was little fighting in Korea during WWII as it was Japanese
> territory for the whole war; the Korean War looked like unfinished
> 4T business (locally) to me. Of course it was 1T for the Great
> Powers that were doing most of the fighting... all but China,
> which as I said was at the 4T/1T cusp right at that moment.
The reason I don't believe that the Korean War could be a crisis war
for Korea is not that the crisis couldn't have been a little longer.
It's because the Koreans appear to have fought the war with as little
energy as we did. If there had been a Korean version of the "Tet
offensive," for example, I might be persuaded otherwise, but I'm not
aware of anything like that by the Koreans. If that had been a
crisis war, I don't think it would have ended with an armistice.
The Great Powers had an armistice, not the Koreans. However, a detailed critique of the Korean War as a 4T vs 1T event requires detailed descriptions not only of the Korean emotional response to the Korean War, 1950-53, but also their experience as a Japanese colony 1905-1945, data I do not have at my fingertips. I advance an alternative hypothesis here but I have insufficient data -- if you have better data please advance them.

As to the Great Powers, it was a 1T war for the Soviets, Americans, and Japanese. The Chinese walked in with a 4T attitude (throwing a million men into the conflict without a care as to casualty numbers) but were definitely 1T by the time it was over... to them the Korean War was about securing the Revolution, ensuring that the 1T could not be disrupted by outside intervention the way the Russian Revolution was.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> This is not as clear-cut as you make it out to be.

> Lebanon is clearly 1T; the Kurds are 1T but I'm not so sure about
> Turkey itself-- like Russia, its last 4T extended into the late
> '20s, early '30s. Arabia seems to be going more slowly, it is
> clearly still 4T. The Balkans are 1T.

> The Iraq occupation is a great example. The Kurds are 1T because
> their crisis war was the PKK conflict, which they are now sick of.
> The Shia have just gone 1T; their crisis period started with the
> Iraq/Iran War (which they bore the brunt of) and included the
> First Gulf War, the failed '91 uprising, suffering under
> sanctions, and ended with the '03 invasion. The Sunnis did not
> suffer much in the I/I war; their 4T began with sanctions, and
> they are willing to act genocidally while the Shia are not. Hence,
> the Sunnis car bomb the Shia, who are not slaughtering Sunnis in
> return even though it is within their power to do so.

> The Iraqi Sunnis are making common cause with the Saudis in this
> regard because they are in the same place in their cycles; both
> entered the 4T with the First Gulf War in '91. Note that this
> means that al-Qaeda will probably lose some of its support
> somewhere in the 2010-2015 timeframe, as Arabia goes 1T. The Saudi
> civil war must be resolved in this time frame or else drag on for
> a half-saeculum (with attendant nasty consequences).
I agree with most of this, but I'm confused about how you could
suggest that the Sunnis entered 4T in 91. Are you saying that you
believe that the Iran/Iraq war was a crisis war for the Shi'ites, but
not the Sunnis? I don't see how that's possible. What's your
reasoning?
The Sunnis, and I refer specifically to the pampered upper-class Sunnis allied and/or related to Saddam Hussein, lived in a different Iraq than the Shi'ites, Kurds, and lower-class Sunnis. They were seperated geographically, but also more importantly they were seperated socially. The I/I war was not a crisis war for them because the basic issues of Iraqi Sunni society were not settled by it... Saddam would not be proceeding to invade Kuwait (and contemplating Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well) with support from his fellow Sunnis if this were a crisis war. He wasn't done at all... The Sunnis were actually apprehensive about starting the I/I war but felt fine about invading Kuwait, which is why the I/I war seems 3T and the Gulf Wars 4T from the Sunni perspective.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
As for Turkey, I've thought that the Turkey-PKK was was 4T for both
Kurds and Turkey, but I must say that I've been getting more and more
uncertain about it over time, especially since it seems that Turkey
is being pulled into the Caucasus situation. Perhaps you're right -
the war was 3T for Turkey and 4T for the Kurds.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> You're getting dates scrambled. The Ukraine purge was in the
> 1930's. The Ukrainian Orange Revolution looks 4Tish; there are
> hidden currents going on such as the "suicide" of a number of
> former regime allies. Some of the crisis war is happening in
> Chechnya; that could get worse but I'm not sure about that. The
> Russian situation is being defused somewhat by the massive exodus
> of youth from Russia -- large numbers of people are simply giving
> up on Russia and going to other lands (and other saeculae).

> Whether the weakness of Russia results in the Muslims breaking out
> and heading north into the Volga valley remains to be seen. I
> wouldn't count it out... nor would I count out nukes being used by
> Russia on Russian territory. Very little of the nuclear restraint
> machinery is geared toward preventing such an action.
I agree with the 1930s - what I wrote was a typo. However, at the
very least, I see both Georgia and Ukraine as becoming increasingly
unstable. The provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia both want to
secede from Georgia and join Russia, and that's not going to happen
without a war, and a war will become a crisis war. Also, the split
between east and west Ukraine will not be resolved without a war, in
my opinion.
Agreed on the Caucasus but not the Ukraine -- not unless it becomes the fracture point of an EU vs Russia war, which is not entirely impossible. I can see an EU crusade to complete Russian democratization -- it might give the EU a frontier and a future, which it needs, and also unite the EU against internal fracture, which again it needs. If Belarus and Ukraine bother the EU as much as they do, how much more will a Russia acting like a military dictatorship scare them? Central Europe will not allow Russia to dominate them again, and they will call on both Western Europe and America to defend them. Russia knows this, of course, which is why they are paranoid on that very point. Every so often, a paranoid is actually right.... I put this war at only 20-30% probability (based on SWAG) but it's less crazy than some things which have already come to pass.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Putin has a steely determination to get what he wants. I'm not going
to agree with your prediction that he'll use nuclear weapons on
Russian soil, but I won't be surprised if he does.
It would take a rather specific set of circumstances but I can see it happening. Everyone would condemn it, of course, but as long as it is an internal Russian affair I can't see people taking active steps to constrain Russia.

Of course there is no guarantee it would remain internally Russian.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The death rate is not the point. England and America were not
> invaded in WWII; France was but there was no genocidal effort
> being directed at France. Germany was acting genocidally towards
> Russians. I don't dispute that WWII started as a non-crisis war
> for Russia --it clearly tried hard to avoid it -- but it had some
> of the effects of a crisis war on the generations that experienced
> it. An Artist generation had to stand up and prevent genocide, not
> a typical Artist action; a Prophet generation had to be raised
> under wartime conditions, also not a typical action. The Great
> Patriotic War is emblazoned in the Russian consciousness just as
> heavily as the Revolution and the Civil War are, because the
> existence of the nation of Russia was at stake.

> My point is that the nascent Prophets are not going to act quite
> as Prophetish because of the WWII experience; they will act more
> Artistish. Vladimir Putin ('52 cohort) is a great example; by
> timing he should be a Prophet, but he acts Artist in many ways,
> from being a dutiful KGB apprachatik to being a "good manager"
> type. This trickles down; the Nomads are going to act more
> Prophetish, the Heros more Nomadish, and so forth. Thus, the
> cycles are going to be delayed as a result of WWII; the memory of
> genocidal war hangs on just a bit longer.

> Russia will be joining the WWII cycle before too much longer. It
> may align this cycle; we'll see.
Well, I'm not sure that bombing raids can't count as being invaded,
but OK.

I'm willing to concede that WW II may have had something of the
effect that you describe; perhaps the Chechen war would have spiraled
out of control if the Bolshevik Revolution Prophet generation hadn't
had to fight in WW II. But I'm not willing to go too much farther
than that. For example, I don't see that the population starved by
the siege of Leningrad would have changed from Prophets to Heroes or
Artists. They would have remained Prophets, in my opinion, but with
a bit more caution than Prophets typically are.
We are arguing over degree rather than principle here. I see the generations as overlapping probability distributions in time; Turnings are simply 'tipping-point' changes in social variables that occur when the influence of one generational constellation exceeds that of another. My point is that the tipping points of Turnings will shift in time due to the different character of the generations, hence shifting the entire timeline for the next generation by a period of years -- how many years I can't say.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Actually, Putin is an early Nomad by timing. Let me repeat an
analysis I've posted before.

Shamil Basayev is the Chechen terrorist who's responsible for the
death of hundreds, almost half children, at the school in Beslan,
North Ossetia in Russia a few weeks ago.

In doing an analysis and reading news stories at the time, I came
across this paragraph:

> Born in Chechnya in 1965, Basayev was raised by a generation that
> had just returned to the region after being exiled by Stalin to
> Kazakhstan and Siberia.
Now, that exile took place in 1944. So although Russia's previous
crisis war was WW I and the civil war ending in 1928, Chechnya's
previous crisis war was presumably this massive exile.

That makes Basayev an early Nomad: 1965 = 1944 + 21.

So I took a look at some other people of this type:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - Jordan - 1966 - 1949 + 17
Osama bin Laden - Saudi Arabia - 1957 = 1932 + 25

Putin - Russia 1952 = 1928 + 24
Hitler Germany - 1889 = 1870 + 19
Stalin Russia - 1879 = 1856 + 23
Trotsky Russia - 1879 = 1856 + 23

Mao is a mid to late Nomad:

Mao 1893 = 1862 + 31

Other crisis era leaders were also early Nomads:

Lincoln 1809 = 1783 + 26
FDR 1882 = 1865 + 17
Saddam Hussein - Iraq - 1937 = 1921 + 16

This analysis appears to indicate that early Nomads are the most
likely to become world leaders - the best and the worst.
This analysis appears correct, and dovetails nicely with my observation that GC's tend to be pragmatic in sharp contrasts to the ruling Prophet paradigm. I would amend your observation slightly to describe GC's as Prophet/Nomad cuspers: idealistic enough to have vision, pragmatic enough to cut through the bull, and potential ruthlessness coming from the combination of powerful convictions and poor upbringing.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
With regard to Russia's war cycle, my expectation is that you're
absolutely right that Russia will join the WW II cycle, but I see it
as a situation where the two timelines are merging into a single
timeline for the "clash of civilizations" world war, humanity's last
world war before the Singularity and the end of humanity.
I have a number of strong disagreements concerning your depiction of the Singularity but I will not list them all here, as it is tangential to the current discussion. I will only point out in passing that no exponential growth process lasts forever in this universe, and that there are rate-determining steps in each of the processes leading to the Singularity that are often overlooked and are near to exhaustion. I don't believe in (1) machine dominance of the Singularity (machine dominance depends upon machines not only achieving superhuman capabilities but doing so at an exponential rate greater than human capabilities), (2) its exponential character (growth of complexity will soon be reduced to polynomial levels), or (3) the assumption that humanity becomes irrelevant with the Singularity (we will be quite different but human nature, including the Turnings, will not be destroyed).

That said, I believe an event with passing similarity to the postulated Singularity will likely be an element of the 2100 or 2180 Crises.

This short story comes closer to my idea of the Singularity but still does not include an aspect I believe to be key, that of meta-consciousness at a level above that of the individual. Please note that the story concerns the advent of a new Awakening in post-Singularity society.

Matters concerning the Singularity would best be shunted to a new thread, as the Vinge hypothesis is not central to GD.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Yes, but in the previous cases the institution of the Czar and the
> Russian nobility were not in danger of being overthrown. Neither
> Sweden nor Napoleon had it in their power to wipe Russia out
> (although they did intend to remove its Great Power status).
> Hitler came closer than anyone else to wiping Russia out
> completely.

> The mismatch between the Russian/Ottoman cycle and the Western
> cycle (tracable in part, I suspect, to the Mongol invasions and
> the Byzantine Empire, who set the tone for the Russian and Ottoman
> areas in the Middle Ages), combined with the tendency for the West
> to throw crisis wars at Russia during non-crisis periods, explains
> a good bit of Russian paranoia IMHO.
Well, I'm not so sure that Hitler ever could have "wiped Russia out,"
any more than Napoleon could have. If Russia's army had stood and
fought Napoleon to prevent him from entering Moscow, then Russia
might have been "wiped out" in the sense you mean, but in either
Hitler's or Napoleon's case, the country could not have been held for
long.
The Mongols didn't actually stay in Russia very long either.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
I've posted this diagram before, but here's my diagram for the two
timelines:
Seen it. Nice work but papers over a lot of detail.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The only really clear counterexamples would be a place in the 2T
> or early in the 3T. A late 3T and 4T can be attributed to the WWII
> cycle; a late 4T and 1T to the WWI cycle. That's why I'm looking
> at Iran -- it seems to be still early in the 3T there, if 3T it
> is. It all depends on whether the revolution there was a 4T or 2T
> event. I'd like your opinion on that.
I don't see how Iran can be anything but 2T, following the Iran/Iraq
war.
I would be better inclined to believe you if you could produce the previous crisis wars of Iran -- not the Ottomans, Iran. Iran has never considered itself part of any empire headquartered west of the Zagros no matter what the religions on either side of the mountains were.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
My findings are that there is a fairly wide variation in time between
crisis wars. The following is the analysis of over 100 crisis wars,
and the number of years from the end of one crisis war to the
beginning of the next:

Code:
                     Fraction
            # years  of total
            -------  --------
              0- 40      0%
             41- 49     11%
             50- 59     33%
             60- 69     25%
             70- 79     16%
             80- 89      4%
             90- 99      6%
            100-117      5%
Do you have the original data set and analysis for this? It would aid your claims immensely if you published it as an appendix.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
So even countries in the WW I timeline are still within range today.
However, Russia is taking longer than usual, perhaps for the reason
you've given.

Another major region that I believe is on neither timeline is the
southern part of Africa with the crisis wars being: The Mfecane - The
Crushing (1817-28 ), South African War / Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902 ),
and the Angola war in the 1960s.
Interesting -- I'll have to take a look at that cycle, although a 1899-1960's cycle sounds a bit short. OTOH the Angola war went nearly forty years in total so maybe it balances out.

Another item for which I have seen insufficient data are your separation and re-integration of the English and American cycles. Could you post an analysis detailing how your cycles for both the UK and the USA differ from Strauss and Howe's? I like your idea of the "Puritan flip" but I'm having a hard time keeping three different saecular models for the same events in my head simultaneously.
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"







Post#709 at 05-07-2005 08:17 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
---
05-07-2005, 08:17 PM #709
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Re: Timelines

Dear catfishncod,

I'll respond to your comments within a few days, but here are two
pointers to information:

Thread on the Singularity, with lengthy debates, including the points
you raise here:

** Eschatology - The End of the Human Race by 2100?
http://fourthturning.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=909

The data on crisis wars can be found in chapters 8 and 9 in my new
book, Generational Dynamics for Historians.

Chapter 10 details the English and colonial timelines.

This book can be read FOR FREE online on my web site.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#710 at 05-12-2005 06:09 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
---
05-12-2005, 06:09 PM #710
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Re: Timelines

Dear catfishncod,

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The Great Powers had an armistice, not the Koreans. However, a
> detailed critique of the Korean War as a 4T vs 1T event requires
> detailed descriptions not only of the Korean emotional response to
> the Korean War, 1950-53, but also their experience as a Japanese
> colony 1905-1945, data I do not have at my fingertips. I advance
> an alternative hypothesis here but I have insufficient data -- if
> you have better data please advance them.

> As to the Great Powers, it was a 1T war for the Soviets,
> Americans, and Japanese. The Chinese walked in with a 4T attitude
> (throwing a million men into the conflict without a care as to
> casualty numbers) but were definitely 1T by the time it was
> over... to them the Korean War was about securing the Revolution,
> ensuring that the 1T could not be disrupted by outside
> intervention the way the Russian Revolution was.
I don't have any more explicit data, though it would be interesting
to get some. All I can say is that I've evaluated dozens of these
things, and the Korean War doesn't "read" like a crisis war for
either side. As just one example, if it had been a crisis war for
the Koreans then they would never have agreed to an armistice, no
matter what the great powers wanted.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The Sunnis, and I refer specifically to the pampered upper-class
> Sunnis allied and/or related to Saddam Hussein, lived in a
> different Iraq than the Shi'ites, Kurds, and lower-class Sunnis.
> They were seperated geographically, but also more importantly they
> were seperated socially. The I/I war was not a crisis war for them
> because the basic issues of Iraqi Sunni society were not settled
> by it... Saddam would not be proceeding to invade Kuwait (and
> contemplating Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well) with support from
> his fellow Sunnis if this were a crisis war. He wasn't done at
> all... The Sunnis were actually apprehensive about starting the
> I/I war but felt fine about invading Kuwait, which is why the I/I
> war seems 3T and the Gulf Wars 4T from the Sunni perspective.
This kind of separation between Sunnis and Shi'ites is not possible
in something like the Iran/Iraq war.

I went along with this concept as at remotely possible in the case of
the Turkey/PKK Kurd war because of the Kurdish community spilling
over into Iraq. It might have been possible that it was a 3T war for
Turkey fighting on the border of the 4T Iran/Iraq war, just as the
Mexican Revolution was fought on the American border. But even that
is unlikely.

In the case of the Iran/Iraq war, there is simply no possibility that
there was that kind of split between the Sunnis and Shi'ites. The
fact that one group is upper class doesn't mean that they aren't
terrorized by a crisis war taking place within their country.

However, just to be safe, I asked a Persian friend of mine about it.
He grew up in Iran, and left before the Shah was expelled. I asked
him if there was any possible way to look at the Iran/Iraq war as a
war not involving the Sunnis. He's normally fairly placid, but at
this question he became quite strident. He explained quite angrily
how Saddam ordered his elite Sunni guards to strike just to gain a
port for their oil. He said that the Iran/Iraq war involved ALL of
Iraq, not just the Shi'ites. He also said that Americans tend to
overemphasize the distinction between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Agreed on the Caucasus but not the Ukraine -- not unless it
> becomes the fracture point of an EU vs Russia war, which is not
> entirely impossible. I can see an EU crusade to complete Russian
> democratization -- it might give the EU a frontier and a future,
> which it needs, and also unite the EU against internal fracture,
> which again it needs. If Belarus and Ukraine bother the EU as much
> as they do, how much more will a Russia acting like a military
> dictatorship scare them? Central Europe will not allow Russia to
> dominate them again, and they will call on both Western Europe and
> America to defend them. Russia knows this, of course, which is why
> they are paranoid on that very point. Every so often, a paranoid
> is actually right.... I put this war at only 20-30% probability
> (based on SWAG) but it's less crazy than some things which have
> already come to pass.
This isn't the right way to look at the situation. Ukraine is headed
for a crisis war with 100% certainty, following the crisis war of the
1930s. So the question then becomes: Who will be the belligerents?

It was quite clear from the election last year that there's a vast
fault line difference between the Ukrainians in the West and the
ethnic Russian (and Russian speaking) people in the east. So unless
something happens to make that fault line go away, then there will be
a crisis war between east and west Ukraine.

You can't ask a question about Russia "scaring" them. You have to
ask, "When they're forced to choose sides, which side will they
pick?"

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> It would take a rather specific set of circumstances but I can see
> it happening. Everyone would condemn it, of course, but as long as
> it is an internal Russian affair I can't see people taking active
> steps to constrain Russia.

> Of course there is no guarantee it would remain internally
> Russian.
No specific set of circumstances is required. The civil war between
Trotsky and Stalin will be re-fought, and it will spread to the
entire region.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> We are arguing over degree rather than principle here. I see the
> generations as overlapping probability distributions in time;
> Turnings are simply 'tipping-point' changes in social variables
> that occur when the influence of one generational constellation
> exceeds that of another. My point is that the tipping points of
> Turnings will shift in time due to the different character of the
> generations, hence shifting the entire timeline for the next
> generation by a period of years -- how many years I can't say.
I agree, but there's a lot of murkiness to this. Sean (Peter
Gibbons) and I have just had a lengthy discussion over whether 9/11
caused America to enter a 4T. There were some other discussions in
this thread last year on what factors might affect turnings, such as
whether the society had children leaving home as teens versus their
mid 20s. It would be interesting to nail this issue down, but
I've never seen a sufficiently precise approach to it.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> This analysis appears correct, and dovetails nicely with my
> observation that GC's tend to be pragmatic in sharp contrasts to
> the ruling Prophet paradigm. I would amend your observation
> slightly to describe GC's as Prophet/Nomad cuspers: idealistic
> enough to have vision, pragmatic enough to cut through the bull,
> and potential ruthlessness coming from the combination of powerful
> convictions and poor upbringing.
Sounds reasonable.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> I have a number of strong disagreements concerning your depiction
> of the Singularity ...
I responded to this here:

http://fourthturning.com/forums/view...=129906#129906

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> I would be better inclined to believe you if you could produce the
> previous crisis wars of Iran -- not the Ottomans, Iran. Iran has
> never considered itself part of any empire headquartered west of
> the Zagros no matter what the religions on either side of the
> mountains were.
During my series of discussions with my Persian friend, I was able to
verify that I had an error in my new book, and the last crisis war for
Iran was the Constitutional Revolution, 1906-09. (There was an error
in my book, where I had put WW I as the crisis war.) The following
page describes this war:
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/c...revolution.php

This web site has a good history of Iran.
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/historic_periods.php

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Do you have the original data set and analysis for this? It would
> aid your claims immensely if you published it as an appendix.
The data on crisis wars can be found in chapters 8 and 9 in my new
book, Generational Dynamics for Historians. The book can be
read on my web site.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Interesting -- I'll have to take a look at that cycle, although a
> 1899-1960's cycle sounds a bit short. OTOH the Angola war went
> nearly forty years in total so maybe it balances out.
When you do this kind of analysis, keep in mind that a crisis war
almost never lasts more than 10-15 years, and many are much shorter.
A war that goes on for 40 years cannot be a crisis war for the whole
period. Look for some sort of explosive climax occurring at some
point. If the war continues after that point, then it's a 1T war.

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Another item for which I have seen insufficient data are your
> separation and re-integration of the English and American cycles.
> Could you post an analysis detailing how your cycles for both the
> UK and the USA differ from Strauss and Howe's? I like your idea of
> the "Puritan flip" but I'm having a hard time keeping three
> different saecular models for the same events in my head
> simultaneously.
This information is given in Chapter 10 of my book.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#711 at 05-14-2005 11:48 AM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
---
05-14-2005, 11:48 AM #711
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
Dear catfishncod,
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> The Sunnis, and I refer specifically to the pampered upper-class
> Sunnis allied and/or related to Saddam Hussein, lived in a
> different Iraq than the Shi'ites, Kurds, and lower-class Sunnis.
> They were seperated geographically, but also more importantly they
> were seperated socially. The I/I war was not a crisis war for them
> because the basic issues of Iraqi Sunni society were not settled
> by it... Saddam would not be proceeding to invade Kuwait (and
> contemplating Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well) with support from
> his fellow Sunnis if this were a crisis war. He wasn't done at
> all... The Sunnis were actually apprehensive about starting the
> I/I war but felt fine about invading Kuwait, which is why the I/I
> war seems 3T and the Gulf Wars 4T from the Sunni perspective.
This kind of separation between Sunnis and Shi'ites is not possible
in something like the Iran/Iraq war.

I went along with this concept as at remotely possible in the case of
the Turkey/PKK Kurd war because of the Kurdish community spilling
over into Iraq. It might have been possible that it was a 3T war for
Turkey fighting on the border of the 4T Iran/Iraq war, just as the
Mexican Revolution was fought on the American border. But even that
is unlikely.

In the case of the Iran/Iraq war, there is simply no possibility that
there was that kind of split between the Sunnis and Shi'ites. The
fact that one group is upper class doesn't mean that they aren't
terrorized by a crisis war taking place within their country.

However, just to be safe, I asked a Persian friend of mine about it.
He grew up in Iran, and left before the Shah was expelled. I asked
him if there was any possible way to look at the Iran/Iraq war as a
war not involving the Sunnis. He's normally fairly placid, but at
this question he became quite strident. He explained quite angrily
how Saddam ordered his elite Sunni guards to strike just to gain a
port for their oil. He said that the Iran/Iraq war involved ALL of
Iraq, not just the Shi'ites. He also said that Americans tend to
overemphasize the distinction between Sunnis and Shi'ites.
Recent events appear to be supporting your version... in the recent series of battles in western Anbar province, local Sunnis were ready and willing to give intelligence to Western forces. Local commanders surrendered in Mosul, and Sunni politicians are doing more negotiating. The seperation between Sunni and Shi'ite is therefore much, much less than I claimed above -- the delay in the Sunni population is only two years, not the ten or so claimed above. The Sunnis just took a tad more time to go 1T, that's all.

My point came from the fact that the Sunnis were still acting 4T in late '03 and early '04 when the Shi'ites had clearly gone 1T. My theory was trying to explain that, along with the Sunni/al-Qaeda/Saudi alliance (which the Sunnis appear to be pulling out of).

...

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Ukraine is headed for a crisis war with 100% certainty, following the crisis war of the 1930s. So the question then becomes: Who will be the belligerents?

It was quite clear from the election last year that there's a vast
fault line difference between the Ukrainians in the West and the
ethnic Russian (and Russian speaking) people in the east. So unless
something happens to make that fault line go away, then there will be
a crisis war between east and west Ukraine.
The fault line between North and South was quite clear in the United States even before the Revolution; Franklin and others knew it as the biggest obstacle in uniting the colonies. That fault line did not cause a war between the colonies THAT cycle, but NEXT cycle. If the colonies had split on the question of independence from England, there could have been a war on that fault line; but it was deferred a full cycle instead.

Likewise, the correct political moves by Yuschenko and his colleagues could cause ALL of Ukraine to take EU membership, in which case Ukraine's crisis war will be whatever conflicts the EU takes on, of which there are IMNSHO four: internal strife over Muslim immigration, internal strife over EU organization, war with the Arabs, war with Russia (combinations are possible, of course).

Given the correct set of circumstances, West Ukraine will join the EU and East Ukraine will be annexed by Russia. But Ukraine cannot have an isolated civil war -- it's a border march between Brussels and Moscow and the outcome will be so interesting to both parties that they can't help but get involved.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
You can't ask a question about Russia "scaring" them. You have to
ask, "When they're forced to choose sides, which side will they
pick?"
And my point is that you must first ask, "Which sides will they have to choose from?" There are circumstances in which both West and East Ukraine will pick the same side.

There are fires now smoldering along the ENTIRE EU/Russian border and beyond, with the sole exception of Finland. The Baltic states are in turmoil over what to do with their ethnic Russian minorities (left behind by the collapse of the USSR). Kalinigrad has become a point of Russian pride, for some odd reason. Belarus is a hellhole and everyone -- US, EU, Ukraine, Georgia -- has decided to target it for the next in the Rainbow Revolutions. West and East Ukraine have issues, as you noted. Moldova is a poor-ass place and its Trans-Dneiper province is scary. Both sides of the Caucasus are half an inch from exploding. Uzbekistan already is, and other 'stans may follow.

The USSR caused a lot of places to align onto their cycle; those places are all now ready to burn. How their neighbors react will determine the character of the Turning in various places.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> It would take a rather specific set of circumstances but I can see
> it happening. Everyone would condemn it, of course, but as long as
> it is an internal Russian affair I can't see people taking active
> steps to constrain Russia.

> Of course there is no guarantee it would remain internally
> Russian.
No specific set of circumstances is required. The civil war between
Trotsky and Stalin will be re-fought, and it will spread to the
entire region.
Insufficient argument. By that argument the South should have risen again, Spain ought to be ready to tear itself apart instead of having a tiny little Basque problem, Italian regional wars should have been a part of WWII...

External wars can override internal wars. Therefore the Russian civil war need not be repeated if Russia gets into a war with someone else. The three candidates are the EU, the Arabs, and China. The Arabs seem most likely, given the Chechen Wars.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> We are arguing over degree rather than principle here. I see the
> generations as overlapping probability distributions in time;
> Turnings are simply 'tipping-point' changes in social variables
> that occur when the influence of one generational constellation
> exceeds that of another. My point is that the tipping points of
> Turnings will shift in time due to the different character of the
> generations, hence shifting the entire timeline for the next
> generation by a period of years -- how many years I can't say.
I agree, but there's a lot of murkiness to this. Sean (Peter
Gibbons) and I have just had a lengthy discussion over whether 9/11
caused America to enter a 4T. There were some other discussions in
this thread last year on what factors might affect turnings, such as
whether the society had children leaving home as teens versus their
mid 20s. It would be interesting to nail this issue down, but
I've never seen a sufficiently precise approach to it.
Nor I. There are hidden variables in the system that are resisting analysis -- we see output variables such as crime rates, economic factors, war intensities, etc. but not all the internal variables are clear. A time-dependent Bayesian analysis, coupled with a massively parallel four-phase finite state model (one for each Turning), might be able to describe the system postulated.... this requires some thought. Let me get back to you on that.

Quote Originally Posted by Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> I would be better inclined to believe you if you could produce the
> previous crisis wars of Iran -- not the Ottomans, Iran. Iran has
> never considered itself part of any empire headquartered west of
> the Zagros no matter what the religions on either side of the
> mountains were.
During my series of discussions with my Persian friend, I was able to
verify that I had an error in my new book, and the last crisis war for
Iran was the Constitutional Revolution, 1906-09. (There was an error
in my book, where I had put WW I as the crisis war.) The following
page describes this war:
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/c...revolution.php

This web site has a good history of Iran.
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/historic_periods.php
Thanks! For these and other discussions, I'll get back after I have digested the data.
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"







Post#712 at 05-20-2005 12:44 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Re: Timelines

Dear catfishncod,

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Insufficient argument. By that argument the South should have
> risen again, Spain ought to be ready to tear itself apart instead
> of having a tiny little Basque problem, Italian regional wars
> should have been a part of WWII...

> External wars can override internal wars. Therefore the Russian
> civil war need not be repeated if Russia gets into a war with
> someone else. The three candidates are the EU, the Arabs, and
> China. The Arabs seem most likely, given the Chechen Wars.
You raise the right issues, and you ask the right questions. In
fact, you're one of the few people I've run into who consistently ask
the right questions. This leads me to be curious. How did you get
into this subject? Did you start by reading The Fourth Turning? Did
you start from my web site or my book? Or was it some other way? Are
you a mathematician, perhaps a logician?

When I first started studying this stuff, I was puzzled for a very
long time about why there was never an American Civil War II. You
talk about external wars overriding internal wars, and that's true,
but there was plenty of time for Civil War II to start before the
Pearl Harbor attack, so there must be some other reason.

Another example would be America and Japan. We obviously aren't
going to be enemies, though we enemies were in WW II.

We can come up with some reasonably hypotheses as to why two crisis
war enemies are not enemies in the next crisis war. Such a
hypothesis would include elements like forgiveness, accepting
forgiveness, admitting fault, winner helping the loser to recover, and
so forth.

But no matter how broad you make the hypothesis, there is no way that
it's going to describe Ukraine. What Stalin did in Ukraine was so
horrendous that I can't see any possibility of the fault line
healing.

I agree with you that Russia will be at war with the Muslims -- or I
should say that the Orthodox will be at war with the Muslims. The
war in the Balkans has already been refought.

And now the sound I hear in the distance is you exclaiming that both
sides of Ukraine are Orthodox. But there's still an ethnic fault
line, Russians versus Ukrainians. And there's still Vladimir Putin,
who is not going to allow Ukraine to escape from his grasp.

So I see this as one possible scenario: Russia aligns with India
versus Pakistan and China. All the old fault lines are refought
throughout Russia, with Orthodox vs Muslim being the major warring
identity groups. In all the confusion, Putin will try to take
control of Kiev, and trigger a civil war within Ukraine.

You say that some external enemy might invade Ukraine and force the
east and west to unite. Yes, that is a possibility, but even if
something like that happened, there would still be an accounting
between Ukrainians and Russians after the main war, just as Stalin's
purges occurred after the Russian civil war.

But one way or another, the Ukrainians are going to get their blood
vengeance against the Russians for what happened in the 1930s, in my
opinion.

Now I agree that this is not certain. The fact that there'll be a
crisis war is 100% certain, but the splitup of belligerent requires
short-term analysis which can only lead to probabilistic forecasts.

I wish I had the resources to conduct polls around the world. Just
have someone walk into a shopping mall in each country and ask people
a few questions about their attitudes toward other people. I believe
that with that kind of information I could predict what's going to
happen with great certainty.

Last December, during the election, the level of bitterness between
east and west Ukraine was very high. The occasional news story I see
does not indicate to me whether that bitterness has been growing or
lessening. If I knew what the "bitterness trend line" was, I would
be much more certain of what's going to happen. You seem to have a
great deal of knowledge about the region - do you have any insight as
to what's happening?

As for EU, what's your expectation about how Europe is going to split
up? I see England versus France at the very least.

Finally, one more follow-up. I spoke to a friend who grew up in
Turkey. He says that the Turkish people were very little affected by
the PKK war. This supports your view that the Turkey-PKK war was not
a crisis war for Turkey (and indicates that my book has an error).

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#713 at 05-20-2005 01:50 PM by jeffw [at Orange County, CA--dob 1961 joined Jul 2001 #posts 417]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
Dear catfishncod,

Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod
> Insufficient argument. By that argument the South should have
> risen again, Spain ought to be ready to tear itself apart instead
> of having a tiny little Basque problem, Italian regional wars
> should have been a part of WWII...

> External wars can override internal wars. Therefore the Russian
> civil war need not be repeated if Russia gets into a war with
> someone else. The three candidates are the EU, the Arabs, and
> China. The Arabs seem most likely, given the Chechen Wars.
You raise the right issues, and you ask the right questions. In
fact, you're one of the few people I've run into who consistently ask
the right questions. This leads me to be curious. How did you get
into this subject? Did you start by reading The Fourth Turning? Did
you start from my web site or my book? Or was it some other way? Are
you a mathematician, perhaps a logician?
Do still wonder why some people think that you're arrogant and condescending?
Jeff '61







Post#714 at 05-21-2005 01:26 AM by The Pervert [at A D&D Character sheet joined Jan 2002 #posts 1,169]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
Do still wonder why some people think that you're arrogant and condescending?
I see Jeff W. knows how to ask the right questions, too. :twisted:
Your local general nuisance
"I am not an alter ego. I am an unaltered id!"







Post#715 at 05-21-2005 09:20 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
Do still wonder why some people think that you're arrogant and condescending?
Ummmmmm, no I don't and never have.

John







Post#716 at 05-22-2005 03:12 PM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
Do still wonder why some people think that you're arrogant and condescending?
Ummmmmm, no I don't and never have.

John
Not unexpected.
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#717 at 05-22-2005 06:05 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Re: Timelines

To Pervert, Peter Gibbons, and Jeffw,

Hey guys, talking about me and my personality is endlessly
fascinating, but it's not the subject matter of this topic.

If you really need to talk about me, how about starting up another
topic, something like, "Why John Xenakis is arrogant and
condescending." Who knows? If anything interesting is discussed,
maybe I'll join in. Or maybe it'll morph into the whole subject of
online styles, which is an interesting subject.

Meanwhile, I assume that you didn't start reading the messages in
this thread because you were looking for someone's personality to
analyze. I assume that you were interested in the subject matter of
this thread. So I'd like respectfully to request that
you focus on Generational Dynamics in this thread, and on my wonderful
personality in another thread.

Sincerely,

John







Post#718 at 05-23-2005 12:59 AM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Respect works two ways.
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#719 at 05-23-2005 02:20 PM by jeffw [at Orange County, CA--dob 1961 joined Jul 2001 #posts 417]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
To Pervert, Peter Gibbons, and Jeffw,

Hey guys, talking about me and my personality is endlessly
fascinating, but it's not the subject matter of this topic.

If you really need to talk about me, how about starting up another
topic, something like, "Why John Xenakis is arrogant and
condescending." Who knows? If anything interesting is discussed,
maybe I'll join in. Or maybe it'll morph into the whole subject of
online styles, which is an interesting subject.

Meanwhile, I assume that you didn't start reading the messages in
this thread because you were looking for someone's personality to
analyze. I assume that you were interested in the subject matter of
this thread. So I'd like respectfully to request that
you focus on Generational Dynamics in this thread, and on my wonderful
personality in another thread.

Sincerely,

John
You know I'd just love to, but you just arrogantly blow off anyone who doesn't ask the "right" questions. So what's the point?
Jeff '61







Post#720 at 05-23-2005 04:05 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
To Pervert, Peter Gibbons, and Jeffw,

Hey guys, talking about me and my personality is endlessly
fascinating, but it's not the subject matter of this topic.

If you really need to talk about me, how about starting up another
topic, something like, "Why John Xenakis is arrogant and
condescending." Who knows? If anything interesting is discussed,
maybe I'll join in. Or maybe it'll morph into the whole subject of
online styles, which is an interesting subject.

Meanwhile, I assume that you didn't start reading the messages in
this thread because you were looking for someone's personality to
analyze. I assume that you were interested in the subject matter of
this thread. So I'd like respectfully to request that
you focus on Generational Dynamics in this thread, and on my wonderful
personality in another thread.

Sincerely,

John
You know I'd just love to, but you just arrogantly blow off anyone who doesn't ask the "right" questions. So what's the point?

Hey, bring it on, Jeff. The "right question" in that thread will
be quite different from the "right question" in this thread.

John







Post#721 at 05-23-2005 04:31 PM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
Quote Originally Posted by jeffw
Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis
To Pervert, Peter Gibbons, and Jeffw,

Hey guys, talking about me and my personality is endlessly
fascinating, but it's not the subject matter of this topic.

If you really need to talk about me, how about starting up another
topic, something like, "Why John Xenakis is arrogant and
condescending." Who knows? If anything interesting is discussed,
maybe I'll join in. Or maybe it'll morph into the whole subject of
online styles, which is an interesting subject.

Meanwhile, I assume that you didn't start reading the messages in
this thread because you were looking for someone's personality to
analyze. I assume that you were interested in the subject matter of
this thread. So I'd like respectfully to request that
you focus on Generational Dynamics in this thread, and on my wonderful
personality in another thread.

Sincerely,

John
You know I'd just love to, but you just arrogantly blow off anyone who doesn't ask the "right" questions. So what's the point?

Hey, bring it on, Jeff. The "right question" in that thread will
be quite different from the "right question" in this thread.

John
Translation: "I, John Xenakis, own this thread."
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#722 at 05-23-2005 05:29 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by Peter Gibbons
Translation: "I, John Xenakis, own this thread."
Well, in a sense, he does. He started this thread as a forum for critique of his book and ideas. :wink:
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#723 at 05-23-2005 10:16 PM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Re: Timelines

Quote Originally Posted by Bat Mitzvah Girl
Quote Originally Posted by Peter Gibbons
Translation: "I, John Xenakis, own this thread."
Well, in a sense, he does. He started this thread as a forum for critique of his book and ideas. :wink:
Well, yes and no.

Yes, he started the thread and yes it is good manners to keep on topic (though diversions are the norm on this board :shock: ) but while he is in his rights to ask the moderator to curtail cussing, harrassment, etc . . .

. . . No, I do not think it's within his power to tell us we cannot criticize his imperious manner. The primary reason being that it gets severely in the way of discussing ideas, which is the point of discussion threads.
Americans have had enough of glitz and roar . . Foreboding has deepened, and spiritual currents have darkened . . .
THE FOURTH TURNING IS AT HAND.
See T4T, p. 253.







Post#724 at 06-12-2005 08:26 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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To all:

All messages related to my very numerous character and personality
defects and flaws should be confined to a new "Flame War" topic
started by Tim Walker for that purpose.
http://fourthturning.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1889

This topic, "Objections to Generational Dynamics," should be
reserved, as before, for theoretical discussions about the
Generational Dynamics theory and the generational paradigm in
general.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com







Post#725 at 07-09-2005 10:17 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Barron's article values Dow at 4500

To all:

I was startled to see that the July 11 issue of Barron's
contains an article saying that the Dow stocks, currently valued at
around 10,500, should be valued at 4,500. My own computations came
out to a DJIA value of 4,670 in early 2005, so my computations are
consistent with his.

The article essentially predicts a stock market crash, and it's
startling to see such an article in a mainstream publication.
Mainstream financial media have a policy of saying that stocks have
nowhere to go but up, and they avoid negative articles like the
plague. So this article is truly startling.

The article is called The 11% Solution with the teaser, "The
Dow has averaged an 11% return on equity over nearly 75 years.
Everything else earnings included is just noise." As soon as I
read that, I knew immediately that this article must be different,
because you can't do a 75 year ROE analysis without concluding that
we're headed for a crash. There's no other possibility.

Very briefly, Barth shows that in any 20 year period (1920-39,
1921-39, etc.) since 1920, the stock market is surprising constant
with respect to average earnings and growth. Therefore, this must be
true for the period 1995-2014. The past 11 years have seen an
enormous stock bubble which continues to this day, and so the next 9
years will have to compensate. Barth also has some pithy comments
about the current practices of many financial analysts. He must be a
man after my own heart.

The article also discusses the absurdity of current price/earnings
ratios, which I've discussed many times on my web site and in this
thread.

Sincerely,

John

John J. Xenakis
john@GenerationalDynamics.com
http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com


The 11% Solution


Forecasting broad market earnings
creates new problems for investors


By ADAM BARTH

Barron's Online
Monday, July 11, 2005
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY


ADAM BARTH oversees Hoboken, N.J.-based Barth Research, which focuses
on value-investment-oriented security analysis.

EVERY BUSINESS DAY, INVESTORS ARE BOMBARDED with new economic data,
macro and micro, all of which supposedly affect the value of U.S.
stocks. While some investors may dismiss macroeconomic information
such as quarterly gross domestic product, initial jobless claims and
factory orders as irrelevant in the making of portfolio decisions, few
probably would file this year's and next year's earnings estimates for
the Dow Industrials or Standard & Poor's 500 under a "More Useless
Information" heading.

But that's what they ought to do: Insights about individual firms are
valuable; fixation on broad measures of current or future earnings
isn't. Not because predicting corporate earnings is an impossible
task, but because future long-term macro-earnings can be predicted
with almost complete precision.

Examine the Dow's annual return on equity for each 20-year period
since 1920 (that is, 1920 through 1939, 1921 through 1940, and so on):
Average earnings as a function of book value barely varies in the
slightest, and has remained basically immune to inflation, wars,
massive changes in the tax code or any other external factor.

For the 34 consecutive 20-year stretches between 1934-1953 and
1967-1986, the return fell in an incredibly narrow range of 10.5% to
11.6% -- or an average of around 11%. Furthermore, the Dow's
book-value growth rate has remained near its 4.8% historical average
from 1920 to 2003 for every 20-year period on record.

A Simple Calculation

Finding the Dow's normalized earnings in any given year is as simple
as multiplying 11% by the Dow's book value at the time. These earnings
will grow at a little under 5% per year -- the Dow's steady and
predictable 20-year book-value expansion rate.

Although almost all analysts focus on the current or following year's
earnings forecast in valuing stock indexes such as the Dow, the
approach is primitive and misleading. While earnings gyrate from year
to year, the Dow's earnings over the coming 20 years or any 20 years
is virtually preordained.

The popular notion that the long-term earnings growth rate is highly
variable and affected by the daily news that speculators, economists
and the media slavishly focus on is a great red herring.

The portfolio strategy of "relative value" is based on this red
herring. The many purveyors of this strategy tout their "bargain"
investments in companies trading at price-earnings ratios in excess of
20 and well above any asset conversion or private-market value.

Where is the margin of safety for these investments? According to
these investment managers, it exists in how underpriced their
investments are, relative to the market. While these managers claim to
be "bottom-up" value investors, they actually have tied their fates to
that of the broader market.

A major reason for these managers' decision to shadow an index is the
belief that stocks' superior performance in the past proves that they
have been mistakenly undervalued, and should now command a richer
valuation. As a result, most money managers have rejected traditional
equity-valuation standards as overly demanding, and have replaced them
with newer measures.

A Peculiar Notion

The most popular and influential of these new approaches is the "Fed
model," which holds that U.S. stocks' earnings yield should equal that
of the federal government's 10-year bond.

This Fed model rests on the absurd proposition that corporations'
equity -- their most junior and risky obligation -- should be equated
with U.S. government debt. This approach is nonsensical, as it
completely ignores companies' priority of obligations and posits that
U.S. public corporations' equity cost of capital should be the same as
the risk-free rate. The Fed model pretends that the cardinal
risk-and-return principles of finance do not exist.

In the rush to create valuation models that justify current stock
prices, investors and economists have missed the clear evidence that
historical valuations are not only logical, but virtually necessary.

The 11% solution demonstrates why this is so. Of the Dow's 11% ROE, 5%
has consistently been retained -- thus allowing the Dow's 5%
earnings-growth rate. The remaining 6% has been free cash flow
available for distribution to shareholders in the form of dividends
and stock buybacks. As such, the Dow is a perpetuity that can be
easily valued by dividing its current free cash flow (6% of current
book value) by its expected rate of return minus its long-term growth
rate (9% minus 5%).

With the Dow's current book value a little under 3000, its normalized
free cash flow is roughly 180. Dividing 180 by an expected return of
9% minus free cash flow growth of 5% (.09 - .05) yields a valuation
for the Dow of 4500, less than half of its current market valuation.
To justify a Dow value of 10,500, one has to lower the future expected
investment return for the Dow to 6.7%.

From 1920 to 2003, Moody's Aaa corporate-bond yield averaged 5.9%.
Recently, Barron's Best Grade Index has shown a current yield of 5.24%
for top-grade corporate bonds. Assuming a forward rate of return of
6.7% for the Dow would imply an equity-risk premium of just 0.8% to
1.5%.

The preceding analysis will probably shock most investors.
Conventional wisdom is that the Dow's earnings are much higher, and
that its P/E ratio is much lower. Conventional wisdom, however, is
based on some bizarre assumptions and beliefs.

A normalized 20 P/E ratio for the Dow would imply a normalized 18%
return on equity (5% earnings yield x 3.6 book value multiple = 18%).
While the Dow averaged an 18% return on equity over the prior decade,
assuming a lasting return on equity anywhere near this figure is
absurd, given the historical record.

Although there have been many short periods in the past during which
the Dow Industrials' return on equity significantly exceeded 11% (such
as the 1920s, when it also averaged 18%), an elevated return on equity
has always come at the expense of future profits, and ROE has always
reverted near its 11% average over each 20-year period. While the
causes (excess credit creation, faulty accounting) may be contested,
the results are incontestable.

Putting history aside, basic logic alone dictates that a sustained 18%
ROE is impossible. A return of this magnitude would mean that American
business as a whole is capable of lasting, monopoly-type profits. The
truth is the exact opposite: Big Business' profit growth has
consistently trailed broad economic expansion, with nominal GDP growth
increasing at a 7% rate and Dow profit growth lagging behind, at near
5%, for nearly every 20-year period on record.

Small Margin of Safety

Current stock-market valuation levels have made the search for
equities that possess a margin of safety a generally difficult task,
and the job of professionally managing money even more difficult,
given the myriad pressures and incentives to remain fully invested.

In response to this challenge, many investors have turned to a
relative, rather than absolute, value approach.

The problem is that these investment approaches are radically
different, despite some seeming similarities. In choosing relative
value, investors subject themselves to the value of the broad market.

This is not a prudent choice, given the current valuation of large-cap
U.S. stocks and the limits to these companies' profitability and
growth, as demonstrated by the 11% solution.

Editorial Page Editor THOMAS G. DONLAN receives e-mail at
tg.donlan@barrons.com1.

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