Re: "The Fourth Turning" - A Must Read

Peter C. McCluskey (
Sun, 9 Mar 1997 23:14:35 -0800 (Robin Hanson) writes:
>They give crucial insights into the next thirty years, crucial to
>determining whether extropian-types will become scapegoats and
>lightning rods in a new age of repression, or will become a core of
>a new culture of freedom and possibilities.

While Strauss & Howe are worth reading, their predictions do not
appear to be specific enough (at least in Generations) to be clearly
IMPORTANT, and I doubt they can produce more specific predictions
without being wrong on a majority of predictions.

Here is part of an email that I sent to Robin a year ago on this

I have been excited in the past by cyclical theories of history in
the past, and that excitement has always produced frustration about
the difficulty of producing accurate forecasts from those theories.
For instance, Klingberg's theory looked quite impressive in the 70s
when I read it. It did a good job of predicting when the public's
mood would turn against the Vietnam war (1968-1969), and could have
predicted the declining support for NASA and international airline
traffic if it had been phrased a bit more broadly. I was eager to
profit from this theory in 1989 by buying military stocks or Pan Am,
but found no confirmation of the theory at that time.

Generations' descriptions of economic cycles (p. 355) is inconsistent
with Kondratieff wave analysis, and appears to be much less supported
by the evidence than Kondratieff's theory. I wonder how many other
claims in Generations would look suspiscious if I checked them out

Peter McCluskey |                        | "Don't blame me. I voted | | for Kodos." - Homer Simpson |     |