Learning Cycle Theory


— “What I’d love is a conversation dedicated to cycle theory and a brief overview of all the cycles concluding and converging in this window until 2030. Keep up the great work.” — KnowingDasEin

I can do a video on cycle theory, but working with cycles requires a great deal of knowledge. So while we can understand cycle theory, and predict cycles, it takes a great deal of general knowledge to predict what the cycle will produce – even if all our behavior is deterministic.

I do cover cycles a bit in ‘the book’ and in ‘the course’ but I can certanly do a video at some point:
(a) introducing cycle theory and explaining:
(b) ‘the learning and forgetting curve from the individual to the polity” and
(c) the “generational incentive cycle” all of which lead to the truism that strong men make good times.

And we can also address (c) the underlying problem that continues regardless of cycles, and that’s the accumulation of calcification in the form of corruption, rent seeking, and free riding, that consumes all avalilable capital, including adaptive capacity of the population, and dooms a civilization when it lacks capital and incentives and behavioral training to adapt to changes or shocks.

Cycle Theory, from simple to hard:

  • Wiki: Kondratiev and Kondratiev Cycles (cartoon).
  • Strauss and Howe – Generations by (intro)
  • Carrol Quigley the Evolution of Civilizations (general)
  • Peter Turchin: Secular Cycles; Complex Population Dynamics. (demographics)
  • Spengler: For Extra Credit – though as a continental he’s got the usual german pessimism. (cultural)
  • More Extra Credit: The Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle. (economics)

That’s it.

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