Re: The Fourth Turning

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 13:25:48 -0800 (PST)

> I really think you need to understand something at at least a basic
> level before you can reject it this strongly. Strauss & Howe do give
> a plausible causal influence story, they don't try to explain
> everything, they do address geographic variation, and whether
> something depresses you is no indication of whether it is true.
> Please either learn the basics here or say you don't know.

This is really too much. You described the book as "resonating" with
your own feelings, offering no epistemology by which it should be
properly judged, and then you criticize someone else for dismissing it
based on his feelings.

A few days ago, I spent about an hour reading their web stuff to
determine whther or not I should read the book, and I couldn't find
a single word that actually said anything. Every paragraph looked
exactly like astrological descriptions: vague, uncommitted, hedged,
inspecific--a cold read. There's not one single claim made to which
specific dates and specific results--even statisical ones--are tied.
There's just the right mix of disasterbation and hopefulness to make
it a bestseller and no real content to make it disprovable.

In short, I decided early on it would be pointless to waste valuable
time, money, and brain cells on it. This was not a matter of evaluating
its merits based on depression; it was not the case that I judged it by
its emotional effect; it was that I judged it by its flawed reasoning,
and my emotional reaction to that evaluation followed.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>