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i need to read dawkins. "the selfish gene" is good?

i just finished a book by Strauss and Howe called "The Fourth Turning", which is a very interesting theory about generational time, and historical cycles relative to generations.

the central thesis is that time flows in cycles, each cycle is called a "turning", and lasts around 20-25 years, and the turnings are tied to generational demographics. turnings have a demonstrated progression (a cultural political/economic 'high' - followed by a social 'awakening' - followed by a social 'unraveling' - and ending in major political 'crisis') that occur within the context of the saeculum, which is a four turning, larger historical cycle of 80-100 years.

the book discusses the previous five saeculae in anglo-american history, from the war of the roses/victory of the stuarts to the present day. in their context of history, we are coming to the end of a third turning (an unraveling) and preparing to enter another fourth turning, which is a period of crisis.

it is interesting, and others, military historians, toynbee for example, have noticed this, that there is this clocklike precision to major political crisis in anglo american history on a 80-100 year period.

war of the roses
wars of reformation -spanish armada
glorious revolution - cromwell - scottish/irish subjugations
american revolution - 1770's 1780's
american civil war & emancipation - 1860's
great depression/WW II - 1930's, 1940's
??? 2010s, 2020s?

this is not to neglect the devestation caused by WWI, the boer war, the spanish-american war, the mexican -american war, the napoleonic wars, etc, but none of these wars changed the political landscape within anglo-america the way that the aforementioned did.

cyclical time has general appeal to me, but i think that the markets demonstrate a clear tendency towards aperiodic cycles, and even the elliot wave theorists acknowledge that cycles can on occasion "invert" and do the opposite of what might be expected, based on the long run "pattern".

here's to hoping for a cycle inversion in the fourth turning that provides us not with crisis, but unexpected unprecedented peace and economic prosperity.

tr
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