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Thread: Objections to Generational Dynamics - Page 111







Post#2751 at 04-26-2008 11:55 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> If you honestly think that's true, you're beyond reason.
I'm always happy to be educated by someone like you who not only
aren't beyond reason, but haven't even reached reason.

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> If you can't vote, how do you exert yourself politically?
You can demonstrate, you can riot, you can rebel, you can argue, you
can publish, you can occupy, you can run away. You can form a mob.
You can even strap sticks of dynamite to your body and blow yourself
up.

The really funny thing is that you've got it completely backwards.
Most young people don't even bother to vote. I'd be willing to bet
that the overwhelming majority of those kids who brought down the
Johnson and Nixon administrations had never cast a single vote.

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> The fact is that in medieval societies, the fighting was done
> almost entirely by older men who had built up years of skill, and
> it was only in the 19th century that militaries began to rely on
> sheer numbers rather than skilled fighters. The fact is that in
> medieval societies, cultural achievements like paintings and
> musical numbers were created by and for those older men, and it
> wasn't until the 19th century that culture was mass marketed so
> that everyone could have their say.
Gawrsh. You have a wonderful mastery of facts. I must have
hallucinated Beethoven and Joan of Arc.

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> Strauss and Howe said that how people behaved mattered. That was
> their explanation for the Civil War Saeculum.
How people behaved mattered!! Oooooooooooh that's soooo deep. Could I
write that down?

If you want to claim something about S&H, please provide specific
quotes with page numbers.

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> A country with a peaceful character doesn't have war-like 4Ts.
Again, total utter nonsense. But very romantic.

Thank you for this opportunity to be exposed to such a wonderful
source of facts and a marvelous paragon of reason. It's been so
illuminating.

Sincerely,

John

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







Post#2752 at 04-26-2008 11:59 PM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post

Again, total utter nonsense. But very romantic.

Thank you for this opportunity to be exposed to such a wonderful
source of facts and a marvelous paragon of reason. It's been so
illuminating.
Making more friends, John? Good to see things haven't changed.
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#2753 at 04-27-2008 12:35 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Dear Matt,

Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
> When I considered the French Revolution Crisis, I couldn't help
> but wonder why the Crisis continued after the Reign of Terror.

> But still, what happened in the Napoleonic Wars? An entire
> population mobilized behind their emperor and conquered of all
> across Europe like drunken lunatics, before going way too far and
> having their army destroyed. When defeat was certain, and they
> were against armies 5 times their size and greater, they fought
> on, all the way until Paris.

> The World War Two comparison is uncanny.
You raise some good questions. I would assume that although the Reign
of Terror was the crisis climax for France, it was not for the rest of
Europe. Other countries would still be on slightly different
timelines, and Napoleon led those armies during their own crisis
periods.

Another factor was that Europe was economically devastated after the
collapse of the French monarchy. Possibly the only major way to earn
money was to join Napoleon's army, and so he never had any difficulty
raising an army. He apparently had a hypnotic power over people,
which was why they had to banish him to an island by himself after he
was defeated.

Obviously, all of this stuff needs a great deal more study.

Sincerely,

John

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







Post#2754 at 04-27-2008 01:00 AM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post

Again, total utter nonsense. But very romantic.
Show me the last time Switzerland went to war in the last hundred years.

But oh wait, I thought 4Ts had to have war!

So what does that mean? Switzerland's citizens are superpeople who live two hundred years? Or does it mean that Switzerland isn't really a nation?

If you want to claim something about S&H, please provide specific
quotes with page numbers.
I don't own the book. Too poor, sorry.

Gawrsh. You have a wonderful mastery of facts. I must have
hallucinated Beethoven and Joan of Arc.
Outliers. Just because a few people can defy odds and influence history doesn't mean that the average person will come of age at the same time, which is how generational dynamics works: it's the fact that millions of people who were raised under generalized mindset are generally starting to reach an age of political power.

Some kids might come of age when they're 17. Others might not until they're 26. What the average age of "coming of age" is, is entirely dependent on the culture. Before they come of age, they will act, as a whole, like children, and be influenced by events rather than attempting to influence them.

You can demonstrate, you can riot, you can rebel, you can argue, you
can publish, you can occupy, you can run away. You can form a mob.
You can even strap sticks of dynamite to your body and blow yourself
up.
All of these things are possible, but they don't typically happen en masse until the children have reached an age of social majority, which is variable and dependent on the world around them.

A kid can't get access to a strap of dynamite unless he's got some older friends to get it to him. A kid can't leave the house if the law has a curfew for those under the age of majority. There are plenty of ways for society to constrict those who are not believed to be of an "adult" age, not the least of which is instilling them with a perception that they are children until reaching a certain age.

To deny the social factors involved in kids reaching maturity is an affront to actual science, like developmental psychology.

If you're the super-intelligent, diligent researcher that you've made yourself out to be, then you should know this, because it's covered in introductory college courses on sociology and psychology.

And since you, in backing your so called "facts" resort only to pointing me towards "your research" then maybe I should just point you to wikipedia, because my facts are well-documented science.

The really funny thing is that you've got it completely backwards.
Most young people don't even bother to vote. I'd be willing to bet
that the overwhelming majority of those kids who brought down the
Johnson and Nixon administrations had never cast a single vote.
I'll correct myself a little bit here.

It's not just voting.

It's when people reach an age of majority. This is both a legal and cultural point, and it varies from country to country. It's the point when they are socially accepted as an adult, as being more or less an autonomous being from their parents.

If a culture were to have someone completely dependent on their parents until age 25, how do you propose that person would create political and cultural change that wasn't related to the whims of their parents?

They couldn't. You have no explanation, other than some pseudointellectual bunk numbers that are completely arbitrary and without scientific merit.







Post#2755 at 04-27-2008 01:18 AM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
To deny the social factors involved in kids reaching maturity is an affront to actual science, like developmental psychology.

If you're the super-intelligent, diligent researcher that you've made yourself out to be, then you should know this, because it's covered in introductory college courses on sociology and psychology.

And since you, in backing your so called "facts" resort only to pointing me towards "your research" then maybe I should just point you to wikipedia, because my facts are well-documented science.
It's called being a "crank".

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
Show me the last time Switzerland went to war in the last hundred years.

But oh wait, I thought 4Ts had to have war!

So what does that mean? Switzerland's citizens are superpeople who live two hundred years? Or does it mean that Switzerland isn't really a nation?
Careful. He'll call you a "hater". If you really keep it up, you'll be a "stalker".

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
They couldn't. You have no explanation, other than some pseudointellectual bunk numbers that are completely arbitrary and without scientific merit.
Translation: "Generational Dynamics" is whatever John says it is. That is why it is my wont to call it "Xenakis Dynamics".
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#2756 at 04-27-2008 01:27 AM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Can I ask what exactly qualifies Xenakis to be authoring theories on social science?

All I can glean from his website is that he's a computer engineer.

Which uh, isn't exactly the type of thinking that can be applied to an unexact science like history.







Post#2757 at 04-27-2008 01:44 AM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
Can I ask what exactly qualifies Xenakis to be authoring theories on social science?
Actually, sometimes the best new ideas can come from people outside of a field. I submit that "qualification" is not the issue.

The issue is that his "improvement" upon S&H is no such thing, and that he is not open to any serious, fundamental criticism. He tends to do best with those willing to be acolytes.
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#2758 at 04-27-2008 01:49 AM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
Actually, sometimes the best new ideas can come from people outside of a field. I submit that "qualification" is not the issue.

The issue is that his "improvement" upon S&H is no such thing, and that he is not open to any serious, fundamental criticism. He tends to do best with those willing to be acolytes.
It's not about whether or not one can criticize or come up with new ideas, it's about whether one can push one's ideas as if they were totally factual, and label disagreement as "absurd" without specific scientific studies.

I don't need to do research to disprove what hasn't been shown by qualified researchers.







Post#2759 at 04-27-2008 01:51 AM by Zarathustra [at Where the Northwest meets the Southwest joined Mar 2003 #posts 9,198]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
I don't need to do research to disprove what hasn't been shown by qualified researchers.
Agreed.

BTW, what do you think of my post a few back this evening about phase length?
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#2760 at 04-27-2008 02:59 AM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
Regardless of how young people once were in regards to family development, military utility, and economic occupation, it was common for a man to not be considered a full, autonomous adult in agrarian societies until he was 25 or 30. With the advent of industrial social changes, the most important of which I argue is the greater emphasis placed on the nuclear family, this age threshold has dropped several years over the past centuries. I see it now around 20. Somewhere in there, certainly between 17 and 22, a boy or girl becomes a man or woman in the eyes of society. This is largely because their is no longer a family patriarch 20 to 30 years older living in the same village or even the same household hogging up authority. We "become or own man (or woman)" earlier than we used to.
I put emphasis on the bold part because I think that's a really important aspect to point out: the fact that youth come of age at an earlier date isn't the only factor, it's also how the household unit operates. The arrival at may elderhood is directly linked to the age of majority.

There is a lot more to all of this than that. Accelerated physiogenic and ontogenic development (growing up faster physically, sexually, socially, and perhaps cognitively) also factors into this. Furthermore, the accelerated pace of overall change is involved. But I believe the aformentioned accelerated social autonomy plays the largest role.

This explains how 10-to-11 decade-long saeculums transformed into 8-ish decade long ones; and likewise why average generational length contracted as well. This, coupled with the extension of life span, also explains the recent development of lingering elders. This could end up resulting in the creation of a relevent fifth phase (80-99) that would change the character of each phase and maybe even their relationship to each other. The effects on the saecular cycle could be profound. We will see.
I'm not sure about the fifth phase. I've been doing some reading into developmental psychology for classes lately, mainly Erikson's Theory, and I think there may be some kind of link involved in the arrival of elderhood, and Erikson's 8th stage of psychology, where 'generativity' is completed. At around age 60, individuals stop focusing on their role in raising the next generation, and start developing wisdom. And I'd think that's the sort of wisdom that has prophets guiding us towards a moral mission during a crisis, the kind of wisdom that has artists trying to keep us out of a crisis during the unraveling, and so on.

Erikson's wife, however, pointed out a 9th stage, based on what she saw Erikson going through in his last years, and that was a complete loss of generativity: which would mean the individual no longer seeks to have influence.

Not to mention the fact that such a change in age-viability may also have an effect on the age of majority.

Therefore, if all societies experience such a shortening due to industrialization/modernization then we expect to see a transformation in saecular length, with possible resultant "hiccups" like our Civil War Anomaly, everywhere except perhaps sub-Saharan Africa and few smaller regions elsewhere. Such a transformation helps explain saecular pecularities in all the Western nations in the nineteenth century.
Right, we've seen a lot of short, but hugely transformational wars in the third world as well as in Russia throughout the 20th Century, and this can go a long way towards explaining why the 4T seems to be of such a variable length.

It may, perhaps, be that 4Ts are actually of typical, approximately 20 year length, but in most of recorded history, we've had to deal with lengthened saeculums or hiccups.







Post#2761 at 04-27-2008 12:37 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,010]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> Show me the last time Switzerland went to war in the last hundred
> years.

> But oh wait, I thought 4Ts had to have war!

> So what does that mean? Switzerland's citizens are superpeople who
> live two hundred years? Or does it mean that Switzerland isn't
> really a nation?
Matt and I have discussed these cases several times -- Switzerland,
Iceland, and Britain in the 1860s.


http://www.fourthturning.com/forum/showthread.php?p=201872&postcount=2362#post201872


Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> maybe I should just point you to wikipedia, because my facts are
> well-documented science.
Lotsa luck with that.

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> I'll correct myself a little bit here.
What does Wikipedia say?

Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
> If a culture were to have someone completely dependent on their
> parents until age 25, how do you propose that person would create
> political and cultural change that wasn't related to the whims of
> their parents?
Most of those of us who lived through the 1960s and 1970s would find
this question baffling.

All I can suggest is that you try to learn something about the 1960s.
At the very least, spend some time reading about the Summer of Love,
either on my web site or elsewhere. I think you'll find it extremely
enlightening, and it will effectively respond to most of what you're
saying.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/love/


** Boomers commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.
http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?xct=gd.e070612b#e070612b


The only thing I would add is this: Wait until you're a parent. Wait
until you're a "patriarch," and your teenage kids have views that
differ from yours. You will discover that you have to "pick your
battles," but except in a few such situations, the kids really make
all the decisions. Being a "patriarch" looks very powerful to you
today, but when you actually are one, you'll realize that being a
"patriarch" isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Sincerely,

John

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







Post#2762 at 04-27-2008 03:46 PM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
Matt and I have discussed these cases several times -- Switzerland,
Iceland, and Britain in the 1860s.


http://www.fourthturning.com/forum/showthread.php?p=201872&postcount=2362#post201872
You're explaining away the rigidity of your theory by coming up with a bunch of random exceptions.

What does Wikipedia say?
What does that have to do with anything that you quoted?

Work on reading comprehension, please.

Most of those of us who lived through the 1960s and 1970s would find
this question baffling.
You have no idea what you're talking about.

You grew up in an industrialized society where 17-18 was considered by most to be adulthood. That was the age you could fight, that was the age you finished schooling unless you were rich, that was the point of adulthood in western society.

How do you get around the fact that this point can *vary* across cultures? How do you get past the fact that different cultures have different definitions of adulthood?

And furthermore, what is so special about the number 17? There isn't. 17 just happens to be the end of adolescense for some people. It's not biologically significant, it is a meaningless number.

In order for that number to have meaning, it has to be given cultural meaning. And that is what the culture considers the age of majority.

All I can suggest is that you try to learn something about the 1960s.
At the very least, spend some time reading about the Summer of Love,
either on my web site or elsewhere. I think you'll find it extremely
enlightening, and it will effectively respond to most of what you're
saying.
The people who participated in the Summer of Love had reached an age of majority based on cultural norms.

17 year olds had liscenses to drive cars. They had been given, by society, the right to autonomy.

If the driving age was 21, could high school students have participated? No, they would have been stuck in the house. If the culture does not empower them with a degree of autonomy, they will not be able to rebel as a generation. And therefor, there won't be a turning until they do.

The only thing I would add is this: Wait until you're a parent. Wait
until you're a "patriarch," and your teenage kids have views that
differ from yours. You will discover that you have to "pick your
battles," but except in a few such situations, the kids really make
all the decisions. Being a "patriarch" looks very powerful to you
today, but when you actually are one, you'll realize that being a
"patriarch" isn't worth the paper it's written on.
lol

Yeah, in Western Society. You haven't proven anything except pulling an example from a time that matches your conclusion. In different cultures, the age when one could start to think about rebelling against their parents has been different. Kids can rebel against their parents today because we have given them the means of doing so, as well as the cultural perception that they can.

It doesn't answer anything, and anyone who knows anything about sociology knows that your postulations are weak and unscientific.







Post#2763 at 04-27-2008 03:50 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
Best start is here:
http://fourthturning.com/forum/showp...8&postcount=25

What about the other paragraphs I wrote?
Thanks!

My views on turning length are pretty much the same as Silifi's, Zara's, and Mike A.'s. I'll have to look over the list of crises when I have some time here today, it's not like I have anything else to do, we had a spring blizzard yesterday and so I am snowed in!
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#2764 at 04-27-2008 03:53 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
I think it was the fact that we shifted towards a society where people could exert political power by age 20 that created the shorter turnings, hence it occurred sometime during the 'high', which I would say occurred between 1790 and 1815.

The effect would basically be that starting with the hero generation, the length shortened from around 25 to around 20, the adaptives probably representing an inbetween stage.

And as for your research indicating awakening-style events during the 1810s, I do have a theory about that:

If the older generations were still of the long length (25 years), then the high might appear to continue on for what would be typical for those turnings: the liberty generation didn't lose power until 1815, and then there was a period just prior to the awakening where the eldest republican cohorts kept things running smoothly: like in the early 1960s, but a little longer because of the slightly increased generation length. This would explain the "Era of Good Feelings"

However, the prophets were still coming of age: those born in the 1790s and 1800s were transcendental cohorts. And they began to revolutionize culture, like your typical prophet generation does, while the liberty generation still held the reigns of power: so there's sort of a top-high, low-awakening thing going on, which can appear to be either one depending on the perspective. The material-oriented generations were keeping things in control politically, but the transcendentals and compromisers were making rumblings in cultural affairs.

The overall effect would be that the late-wave hero generation doesn't come into power until after the early prophets are old: and so the awakening fizzles out, it goes from 1969 to 1980, resulting in a late-wave prophet generation that doesn't come of age in that sort of revolutionary environment, which results, later on, in a truncated 4t.

It sounds kind of weird in words, but I'm sure I could show it better if I drew a diagram of what was happening.

As for your last question, given that turnings seemed to be about 100 years, probably 25 years would be the "coming of age" age.
Interesting hypothesis. Looks like I have another idea to check out here one of these days.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#2765 at 04-27-2008 05:17 PM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
You're explaining away the rigidity of your theory by coming up with a bunch of random exceptions.
FYI, I've always found Generational Dynamics to be less rigid than TFT. It has varying saeculum lengths that are not explained by shifting turning length, it postulates that some roles can change due to Crises occurring late or early (this needs more study), and more.

I think we're on the wrong track here. It's pointless to argue if one reaches the age of majority at 20 or 25 in some older societies, as anyone could pick out facts supporting their side. What's needed is the evidence to back it up, which can best be done by analysis of turning and saeculum length for the society in question.

So what societies are most likely to have year ~25 as the age of majority?
Last edited by Matt1989; 04-27-2008 at 05:30 PM.







Post#2766 at 04-27-2008 05:23 PM by Silifi [at Green Bay, Wisconsin joined Jun 2007 #posts 1,741]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
FYI, I've always found Generational Dynamics to be less rigid than TFT.
How so? Turning lengths can't change, so every time something doesn't fit, you have to generate a new turning, with brand new rules, in order to explain something that could much more easily be explained by slightly longer turning lengths.

It's much more rigid. T4T is pretty open and has variables in the right places so that we don't have to go into changing the basic framework of four turnings and four generations.







Post#2767 at 04-27-2008 06:14 PM by Cynic Hero '86 [at Upstate New York joined Jul 2006 #posts 1,285]
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The Crisis that is beginning cannot end until the late 2020's because a crisis begins when nomad cohorts enter midlife and heroes enter young adulthood. The Crisis ends when the nomads begin entering elderhood and artists begin replacing heroes in young adulthood in large numbers.

Another fact is that an 80 year cycle does exist. The civil war crisis ended in 1865. 80 years later marked the end of WW2. Thus 1945 = 1865.







Post#2768 at 04-27-2008 06:24 PM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Quote Originally Posted by Cynic Hero '86 View Post
The Crisis that is beginning cannot end until the late 2020's because a crisis begins when nomad cohorts enter midlife and heroes enter young adulthood. The Crisis ends when the nomads begin entering elderhood and artists begin replacing heroes in young adulthood in large numbers.

Another fact is that an 80 year cycle does exist. The civil war crisis ended in 1865. 80 years later marked the end of WW2. Thus 1945 = 1865.
And what happens, if during a Crisis, the situation escalates so quickly due to chance that a climax is forced within 5 years of the start? Isn't this a possibility????

This is why more data is needed. 6 saeculums and 24 turnings are enough to get the basics down. If you want more detail, study more saeculums from different cultures.







Post#2769 at 04-27-2008 07:50 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
And what happens, if during a Crisis, the situation escalates so quickly due to chance that a climax is forced within 5 years of the start? Isn't this a possibility????

This is why more data is needed. 6 saeculums and 24 turnings are enough to get the basics down. If you want more detail, study more saeculums from different cultures.
If anything, I would expect the situation to escalate rapidly with rapid recognition by opposing sides that consequences of a Crisis could be swift annihilation. The nukes, chemicals, and germs already exist, and initiating the use of any of those ensures that the other side will reciprocate. So if the conflict is PRC-USA... if Shanghai is nuked, then the area between Washington and Boston takes on the appearance, for a while, of Death Valley. Opposing sides might string out a war to prevent what is perceived to be a particularly nasty personal end; the Nazis had good cause for themselves to not capitulate once an Allied victory was certain (probably in 1943) even if capitulation was best for Germany -- at least to prevent huge casualties and destruction. The upper hierarchy of the Third Reich understood very well that whatever mercy would be administered upon a defeated Germany, the top Nazis themselves could expect none.

Hint, any would-be war-gamers: save any atrocities and looting, if you are so disposed to them, until all possible enemies are defeated.

Almost anything is possible. A Crisis War could turn into a long stalemate as opposing sides refuse to call for the ultimate weapon or strategy to avoid some horrible decision. Unspoken ground rules (China versus US -- leave Russia and Japan out of it) might remain in force until a personality change following a coup or an election -- then things change abruptly.

Why would a side try to continue the struggle even if defeat stares them in the face, thus dragging a cataclysm to its end with even more destruction? That seems to be a significant part of Crisis Wars. Wars are not games of chess; after defeat in one game of chess, one can still play further games. War rarely offers another chance.

1. One side may know that the Other Side will offer no mercy despite its protestations to the contrary. Think of Britain late in 1940; British leadership already knew of atrocities in Poland and looting of the Low Countries and France, and expected much the same. The fighters of both Warsaw uprisings knew exactly what awaited them upon surrender.

2. One side may expect miracles such as new allies or opposition blunders because of the impatience or recklessness of the Enemy. Again think of Britain late in 1940: all that Hitler needed to do was to place a tight naval blockade around Britain and wait for malnutrition and starvation to sap military production and the ability to fight, finishing off Britain in 1942 or 1943 with an invasion that would face only weakened opposition. Of course, Hitler was reckless and impatient and played into Churchill's trap.

3. One side knows that in the event of defeat, its cherished way of life comes to an end. The Confederates knew well after the Emancipation Proclamation what would happen to the "peculiar institution" (slavery) that underpinned the prosperity that they would never know after a Union victory. Even after the Confederacy was severed after the link-up of Union forces at Vicksburg, the Confederacy kept fighting to protect the plantation economy that created class privilege. Think also of the White Armies in the Russian Civil War (although the prospect of annihilation was much a part of the prospect, too).

4. Leadership that knows that the opposing side will treat the people that it then controls with considerable leniency, that the leadership itself faces extermination. See the Japanese, Italian, and German leadership of World War II; the Allies (if you include Italian partisans) did exactly what they promised to do. Think also of the clique around Usama bin Laden.

5. One side might expect divine intervention. Think of the Jewish revolt against the Romans; think of the Huguenots and Hussites. God is not quite dead in the minds of the desperate.

6. One side fails to recognize the severity of the situation, like the French at Dien Bien Phu. (The French war against the Vietminh was not a Crisis War for France, but it was part of a Crisis for Vietnam).

7. One side lacks the imagination to see that a graceful exit is possible and fails to take advantage of it. Look at the Portuguese trying to hold onto Angola or the British trying to maintain control of the American Colonies after about 1778.

We may be in that situation in Iraq.







Post#2770 at 04-27-2008 10:49 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post

... the relative "rigidity" of TFT and
Generational Dynamics is a meaningless question anyway. TFT doesn't
even apply outside of the Anglo-American timeline, which alone makes
it extremely rigid.
It seems to apply reasonably well to Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Italy, and Austria -- all of which are on the same timeline. It applies reasonably well to Russia if one accepts that the Crimean War was an anomalously short Crisis for Russia and that the horrible, tumultuous early Soviet era from 1917 to 1945 was an unusually-long Time of Troubles. (That's Toynbee's term). For most Eurasian countries the Crisis of 1940 was two waves -- the Great Depression and World War II. For Russia it was three waves of Crisis, and its Crisis of 1917 continued for 28 years.

Question: Which of TFT or GD is more rigid when analyzing
China? Answer: That question is meaningless, since TFT doesn't
apply to China.
Wrong. China had the horrible Taiping Rebellion in 1861 almost 70 years before the Japanese occupation of Manchuria that led to the horrible Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945 and the civil war that led to the Communist takeover. Eighty years between Crises, roughly... it seems to fit T4T theory. Besides, the Boxer Rebellion looks much like an Awakening event and the overthrow of the Manchu Dynasty seems to have happened early in an Unraveling Era.

Question: Which of TFT or GD is more rigid when analyzing
Russia? Answer: That question is meaningless, since TFT doesn't
apply to Russia.
See above.

Question: Which of TFT or GD is more rigid when analyzing
Pakistan? Answer: That question is meaningless, since TFT
doesn't apply to Pakistan.
As part of British India? The Sepoy Rebellion of 1861 must have resonated throughout the Raj. Sure, World War II had more and harder impact upon the eastern part of the Raj; there were battles on Indian territory in World War II, and Bengal had a horrible famine in 1944... eighty years, roughly.

Question: Which of TFT or GD is more rigid when analyzing
African states? Answer: That question is meaningless, since TFT
doesn't apply to African states.
Except for Arab North Africa, Ethiopia, and South Africa, most of Africa has little written history, and that rather recent. It's hard to see saecula in much of Africa, which is no more a monolith than Asia.

Question: If TFT were extended to apply to other countries,
would it be more or less rigid than Generational Dynamics?
It might apply somewhat in antiquity... does anyone want to apply it to ancient civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Persia, Egypt, Judea, Nubia, Ethiopia, Carthage, Sind, China, Korea, Japan, Greece, and Rome? Or early-medieval Ireland, England, Byzantium, and Arabia? The Vikings (including the Rus) and Polynesians?

It might be difficult with some of the sophisticated but non-literate peoples as the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas. But all in all, adequate data applied to such a society as Pharaonic Egypt might support or undermine the theory. Are there any Egyptologists out there? There's a long time and much history in ancient Egypt alone.

Answer: It would be equally rigid, since Generational Dynamics
IS the extension of TFT to other countries.
Physical geography, climatic factors (floods, droughts, and freezes), technology, personalities of leaders, and random noise (luck) still have their roles in history. History is not and can never be completely deterministic -- which explains why Karl Marx' oversimplified interpretation of history fails. But even at that the Glorious Revolution does not look like the American Revolution, which does not look like the the American Civil War, which does not look like the Depression and World War II. The current or coming 4T is unlikely to look like any of the prior Crisis Eras in America except that people will find similarities and use rhetorical flourishes recalling prior Crises.
Last edited by pbrower2a; 04-27-2008 at 10:49 PM. Reason: consolidation







Post#2771 at 04-28-2008 12:17 AM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
How can it be forced into a climax?

A Fourth Turning is a generational constellation. You have Prophets as Elders, Nomads in midlife, Heroes coming of age, and Artists being born. If the war lasts five years, has that changed? No. You still have idealistic Prophets on top. You still have Nomads in midlife, still Heroes coming of age, still Artists being born. The lineup is not changed by the war, so the fundamentals will still be that of a 4T, and the society will still seek to do things that they would do during a 4T. It doesn't just 'end' simply because a war was won.

That is why the 4T during the American Revolution lasted until 1789. Because even though the war was over, the lineup was the same, and they still needed to accomplish drastic reforms of institutions. That isn't apart of the "high" because the High doesn't involve institutional reformation. It involves stabilization.
The difference here is GD views the Crisis as an anchor, which changes the whole dynamic.

I'd like to see some 'facts' showing that all societies allow 17 year olds to engage in the same behaviors.

The fact is that it is a variable. If you're going to postulate that it is always 17, the burden of proof is on you, not me, because my postulation allows for you to be right at times and wrong at others.
How about we stop viewing this as an argument? We both want the truth, so let's work together.

Your postulation would mean that an analysis of a society would have consistent saeculum and mid-cycle length, possibly followed by a shortening. If it is inconsistent, then the hypothesis is flawed.

My postulation would mean that the saeculum and mid-cycle length have a high number of inconsistencies which ultimately outweigh any shifts. In order to indicate that it is flawed, it requires the study of multiple societies to show a pattern of consistency.

Societies that keep families together for longer periods of time, societies that have kids stay with their parents until marriage, all sorts of factors go into this.

To say that it is not a sociological variable is absurd. The fact that there is a discussion as to the particular period when people become adults basically varifies that it is a variable.

What Xenakis is proposing is that it is always the same, and that the turning length is somehow linked to a biological constant, which it isn't. The fact that we have turnings of varying lengths tends to suggest not that we have to add more turnings, just that generational length can vary based on how soon a generation is able to exert it's power.

How well it is able to exert itself is based on what cultural priveleges it is given at any particular age. Voting rights, legal autonomy, the age of conscription, all of these play a role in defining what an adult is in any particular society. If a child doesn't believe he is an adult because every cultural indicator suggests otherwise, he is unlikely, in the aggregate, to make change.
I'm not sure about the idea that there have been major changes to what is considered the age at which one first exerts influence within a society. This list, unless utterly incorrect, would assert that this hasn't been the case.

This is what I'm really dying to understand: why do you consider it more rational to edit the theory to have fifth and sixth turnings, than to edit turning length?

Having a variable turning length makes way more sense than having a variable amount of turnings. Having a variable amount of turnings creates a huge, huge change to the theory, to the point where it's nowhere near the same thing.

Turnings are there because there are four generations, and with those four generations, there are four ways for them to be lined up. PNHA, NHAP, HAPN, APNH. The generations are based on a system of two shifting dualities: collectivism vs individualism, and materialism vs idealism. A prophet can be described, very simply, as being individualist and idealist, as so on. There are only four ways to combine these traits, thus four generations.

To create a new turning, you need a new generational constellation. To create a new generational constellation, you need a new generation. To create a new generation, you a new combination of collectivism vs individualism, and materialism vs idealism, which doesn't exist, which means you have to create a new set of criteria for making generations.

In order to have more than four turnings, you have to fundamentally alter the theory beyond recognition. That's what Generational Dynamics does. It doesn't improve on T4T, it completely destroys it.
See above. GD uses a slightly different methodology, which focuses more heavily on the Crisis, thereby allowing for some changes. A new generation is in fact created, and if you feel like researching, the details are located in this thread.

If you'd like, join Odin and myself in verifying or disproving one of the two hypotheses. If we don't approach this with an open mind, we're not going to get anywhere.







Post#2772 at 04-28-2008 10:33 PM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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All theories must stand up to scrutiny. It is not enough to excoriate those who see flaws in a theory as "cranks" or "trolls". I know what cranks and trolls are -- like some fellow who on some now-defunct Forum spewed right-wing, Jew-bashing ideology in the claim that he did so on behalf of "Germans" and "German-Americans" Anyone left-wing had to be Jewish, as if there's anything wrong with Judaism. I played him along, letting him smear me with one after another antisemitic accusation until I finally got him into a trap in which he claimed to be protecting "Germans" against Jewish calumnies.

I nailed him with a statement that I am a German-American -- more German than anything else (that has since proved untrue; the "Germans" are largely Swiss and Dutch) -- and showed him that he was giving me the wrong sort of protection, as I had never been assailed for German ancestry from any Jew. Someone who spouts pro-Nazi ideology such as Holocaust denial deserves excoriation from all circles as a Nazi. (The only reason for the Nazis not herding Mennonites into the same gas chambers as the Jews was that there were no more of that pacifist sect left in Europe).

Maybe political science and historiography are not science in the same sense as particle physics -- but we can recognize science from pseudoscience.

Elements of scientific method

There are many ways of outlining the basic method shared by all fields of scientific inquiry. The following examples are typical classifications of the most important components of the method on which there is wide agreement in the scientific community and among philosophers of science. There are, however, disagreements about some aspects.

The following set of methodological elements and organization of procedures tends to be more characteristic of natural sciences than social sciences. In the social sciences mathematical and statistical methods of verification and hypotheses testing may be less stringent. Nonetheless the cycle of hypothesis, verification and formulation of new hypotheses will resemble the cycle described below.

The essential elements[9][10][11] of a scientific method[12] are iterations,[13][14] recursions,[15] interleavings, and orderings of the following:

* Characterizations (observations,[16] definitions, and measurements of the subject of inquiry)

* Hypotheses[17][18] (theoretical, hypothetical explanations of observations and measurements of the subject)[19]

* Predictions (reasoning including logical deduction[20] from the hypothesis or theory)

* Experiments[21] (tests of all of the above)

Each element of a scientific method is subject to peer review for possible mistakes. These activities do not describe all that scientists do (see below) but apply mostly to experimental sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry). The elements above are often taught in the educational system.[22]

Scientific method is not a recipe: it requires intelligence, imagination, and creativity.[23] It is also an ongoing cycle, constantly developing more useful, accurate and comprehensive models and methods. For example, when Einstein developed the Special and General Theories of Relativity, he did not in any way refute or discount Newton's Principia. On the contrary, if the astronomically large, the vanishingly small, and the extremely fast are reduced out from Einstein's theories all phenomena that Newton could not have observed Newton's equations remain. Einstein's theories are expansions and refinements of Newton's theories, and observations that increase our confidence in them also increase our confidence in Newton's approximations to them.

(from Wikipedia)

A linearized, pragmatic scheme of the four points above is sometimes offered as a guideline for proceeding:[24]

1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

The iterative cycle inherent in this step-by-step methodology goes from point 3 to 6 back to 3 again.

While this schema outlines a typical hypothesis/testing method, it should also be noted that a number of philosophers, historians and sociologists of science (perhaps most notably Paul Feyerabend) claim that such descriptions of scientific method have little relation to the ways science is actually practiced.

The "operational" model combines the concepts of factory-style processing, operational definition, and utility:

The essential elements of a scientific method are operations, observations, models, and a utility function for evaluating models.

* Operation - Some action done to the system being investigated

* Observation - What happens when the operation is done to the system

* Model - A fact, hypothesis, theory, or the phenomenon itself at a certain moment

* Utility Function - A measure of the usefulness of the model to explain, predict, and control, and of the cost of use of it. One of the elements of any scientific utility function is the refutability of the model. Another is its simplicity, on the Principle of Parsimony also known as Occam's Razor.
It's not acceptable to frame the issue in a tautology that allows the inquirer to get desired ends irrespective of the study. Thus such an answer to the question "Is astrology useful?" cannot be answered with "Of course some people find it useful and desirable!" Random chance might make some astrological predictions work. Astrologers generally don't rely upon double-blind tests, and they can ordinarily come up with after-the-fact explanations of why a horoscope failed.

Any innovative theory will create dissent. Some people love to hold onto comforting beliefs -- that, perhaps, history is (to use a Shakespeare phrase "a tale told by a madman, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing")... or little more than sudden eruptions of violence that break norms when the "right" or "wrong" personalities meet random chance. Toynbee's A Study of History, T4T, and Generational Dynamics all remain controversial in part because some refuse to accept any determinism in history -- even cycles of timing.

Toynbee saw the doomed civilization as the norm in human history, and in view of all prior civilizations known to humanity, he predicted that ours too would come to an end due to accretions of political vices.

Generational Dynamics seems to recognize the importance of demographic changes that precipitate catastrophic wars -- that bloody wars happen because the alternative is overpopulation and mass unemployment. War is the ultimate expression of culling out "surplus" populations, especially of troublesome youth. But what happens in an aging population as is now the norm in the industrialized societies? Such, I believe, suggests that there wont be any Blitzkrieg invasions of some European powers against others that become wars of millions of deaths.

I see T4T more encompassing -- of culture, child-rearing, economic behavior, educational patterns, sex roles, and politics (if freedom exists, that is). T4T suggests that a society with a depraved mass culture, anti-intellectualism, speculative bubbles, intensifying inequality, and government indulgent of the whims of the super-rich is about to have all of its then-fashionable but destructive values broken.

I'd like to believe that history isn't pure madness. T4T suggests that even a Crisis Era can have a wholesome ending -- but people as a whole must clean up their acts.







Post#2773 at 04-29-2008 12:17 AM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Quote Originally Posted by Silifi View Post
That's faulty logic. A theory is not supposed to be "disproven." I can hold the theory that there's an invisible unicorn running around, do you have to disprove that too?

In order for Generational Dynamics to be valid, it has to prove that it is valid. I don't see the proof for it. I don't see any reason why the methodology that Xenakis has used is of more value than the framework that S&H provided.
You won't get proof for it unless you apply it and it turns out to be right.

I've done some application, and it was satisfactory to me. So I stand by it. In order to make me change my mind, you'll have to discredit it or disprove it.

See, I don't see the Crisis as being a particularly important turning. They're all equally important, and each one is intimately related to the other.
I know what you think. I've read the books. It probably should be verified though. Personally, I don't think six saeculums for one society are enough to draw definite conclusions about thousands of saeculums. This is why I see further study as being extremely important.

My postulation doesn't mean that you need a consistent length: my point is that it doesn't.

The turning length is based on the size of the generation. The generation size is based on what a society has determined as the age of majority. The age of majority can be changed depending on how society feels about it: it has, however, been relatively consistent in history, spanning somewhere around 20 years.

So if something occurs in the society that changes the age of majority from 25 to 21, the turnings will shorten.

The postulation of Xenakis, if I'm not mistaken, was that turning lengths are a constant, and that variation in saeculuae length is due to an increased number of turnings. If you were to prove your theory, it would require overwhelming evidence that the age of majority is a constant across all cultures and time periods.
You're close enough. The variation is usually due to a delayed or unexpected Crisis. Through the Unraveling, an event triggering a Crisis becomes more and more likely, and this continues until the Crisis actually happens.

It's a little more complex than this -- I have found it necessary to distinguish between Fourth Turnings and Crises, with the former being used as the generational alignment (thus affecting societal mood), and the latter being used to specifically be defined as the time where Crisis events (catalyst, regeneracy) have occurred. My belief is that a nation can be jittery and 4T and crap due to a 4T generational alignment without being in an actual Crisis, due to the lack of a catalyst. It just occurred to me today that we're seeing this in many West European countries now. That's a Matt concept, I think.

(I elaborated on this somewhere in the map project thread).

I think what the problem we have here is a difference in interpretations:

You're of the impression that the war and the crisis go hand in hand. That war is the ultimate sign of a crisis period.

How can you be sure that each of the wars listed was a crisis war, and not simply a 2T or 3T war? World War I was fought with great veracity, but it wasn't a crisis war for most of the country's involved.
I can't. I didn't study 95% of these. I've only "gone back" for America, Egypt, and Turkey/Ottoman Empire. My agreement was partially intuitive. Since I agree with John's interpretation most of the time, I found it extremely difficult to fathom that I would find that almost all of them are wrong.

I think it's very hard to go around identifying turnings in a pre-Rennaissance period, because prior to that we don't have a full impression of how society was behaving.
There are ways. You pick up on little notes from the era, and eventually they come together to form a pattern. Using a saecular interpretation makes it easier than you'd think. Trust me, I had the same thoughts about under-developed Africa.

Let me ask you a hypothetical question: let's say we lived a couple centuries in the future, and let's say that WWII never happened: Britain decided not to fight Hitler when France was invaded, Europe became Fascist for awhile, and Hitler decided not to go into Eastern Europe.

Now for these countries, the 4T was in the 30s and 40s. But based on history, the only major war occurred in the 10s.

Based on what you're showing me, you would have considered WWI a crisis war. Even though the real fourth turning was the rise of fascism in Europe, which occurred a decade later.
I would never consider WWI a Crisis for West Europe. As anyone on here would say, it wasn't a fourth turning. I'd need more detail on what happened in WWII, since a political takeover alone probably wouldn't be enough to bring the Crisis to a close in my mind.

Of course, I'd note the anti-fascist activities in the 1960s and 70s.

But I can't see how a new generation would be created. Not without creating new dualities that define generations. But if you create such dualities, it would force the cycle to be longer, or at least that it would have to have a certain number of turnings.
The details can be found on this thread. I don't care enough to explain how it works when there are writings on it. If you're really interested, perform a search on this thread and Generational Dynamics. 5th turnings may be the best term.

Now, I would love to go a lot deeper, but unfortunately I've got a lot of classes right now so I can't devote myself to extensive research at this time. I will try to explain my interpretation more in depth and get some research to support it during the summer, however.
I have finals. This would be intended for the summer. Is Odin on board?
Last edited by Matt1989; 04-29-2008 at 12:21 AM.







Post#2774 at 04-29-2008 03:37 PM by Matt1989 [at joined Sep 2005 #posts 3,018]
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Post#2775 at 05-01-2008 10:22 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
Is Odin on board?
Probably not until the semester here is over in 2 weeks, I'm drowning in stuff I've been procrastinating on.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
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