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Breaking point: America approaching a period of disintegration
#41
(11-01-2016, 09:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: The Flynn effect appears to have reversed starting with birth cohorts around 1980 or a little before.  I know of papers showing reversal in at least Denmark, Germany, Finland, and the UK, and no papers showing it continuing.  The fact that it can reverse convinces me that it's real.  I suspect the timing matching that of the end of the 20th century height increases is not coincidental, either.

In my opinion, the Flynn effect reversal is most likely due to changes in nutrition - first improved nutrition, but since 1980, poorer nutrition.  More junk food may be a reason for the recent decline, as pbrower2a suggests, and perhaps government recommendations that emphasize carbohydrates over the fats needed for brain development also contributed.

It is true that the welfare system promotes carbohydrates over fats. I'm guessing that chips, cookies, and sugary drinks are toward the low end in the demographics of consumption.

You might notice that poor whites are losing ground to minorities in economic achievement. In Kentucky, much of the purchases of food stamps go to 24-packs of sodas that eventually get exchanged for stuff not eligible for food stamps (like alcohol and tobacco). Someone obviously has been drinking those sodas.  But let us also remember that poor white people have been losing respect for formal education, which cannot be good for fostering gains in educational achievement.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#42
It's not just the welfare system, though. Lots more upscale whites are vegetarian than used to be the case, and those that aren't, still eat a lot less meat - and fat - than they used to.
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#43
(11-01-2016, 09:30 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It's not just the welfare system, though.  Lots more upscale whites are vegetarian than used to be the case, and those that aren't, still eat a lot less meat - and fat - than they used to.

It is possible to live well on a vegetarian diet. But no junk food. Dairy and perhaps eggs are a good idea.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#44
(10-15-2016, 03:27 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I have gone over most of the book.  Much of it is the same as the manuscript I read.  Is anyone going to get this book and read it?  If so I would be most interested in discussing it.

I've started reading it, but with limited reading time I'm not likely to finiish it soon.

I think even the first chapter makes it clear that the cycles he is looking at are not Strauss/Howe generational cycles.  I'm also skeptical of what seems to be a rather synthetic measure of "political instability".  That said, the secondary cycle on the French graph looks timed appropriately for a generational cycle, and it may also appear on the Chinese graph.  The 50 year secondary cycle on the Roman graph could be due to the alternation between dominant and recessive generations, though it could also be an artifact of alignment with dates.
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#45
In chapter 2 of Ages of Discord Turchin introduces the political stress indicator or psi. I simplified his equations, making psi a function on inequality alone.  Using my measure of inequality I get the figure below for psi over time. As you can see psi serves as a secular crisis indicator showing the connection between the secular cycle and the saeculum.

[Image: Political-stress-fig.gif]
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#46
(11-01-2016, 10:58 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(11-01-2016, 09:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: The Flynn effect appears to have reversed starting with birth cohorts around 1980 or a little before.  I know of papers showing reversal in at least Denmark, Germany, Finland, and the UK, and no papers showing it continuing.  The fact that it can reverse convinces me that it's real.  I suspect the timing matching that of the end of the 20th century height increases is not coincidental, either.

In my opinion, the Flynn effect reversal is most likely due to changes in nutrition - first improved nutrition, but since 1980, poorer nutrition.  More junk food may be a reason for the recent decline, as pbrower2a suggests, and perhaps government recommendations that emphasize carbohydrates over the fats needed for brain development also contributed.

None of the above. It's due to "browning."

People from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East - are short. The tall Northern European genes are being bred out.

There is little evidence for average height differences between different popuations due to genetics. Almost all of the difference is environmental. largely nutritional. For example in the nineteenth century Americans were the tallest nation while the Dutch were diminutive.  Today the Dutch are the tallest.

The tallest people in the Guinness Book of Records in 1973 was some African tribe (I can't remember which one).  They have been surpassed by the Dutch. Hunter-gathers tend to be healthier than agricultural or industrial populations. So as recentlly as forty years ago (assuming Guinness is right) hunter gathers still had pride of first place.  The Dutch have finally achieved the first recovery from the Neolithic and Industrial Revolutions. Americans unfortunately have been defeated by these revolutions.
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#47
(11-07-2016, 09:23 PM)Mikebert Wrote: In chapter 2 of Ages of Discord Turchin introduces the political stress indicator or psi. I simplified his equations, making psi a function on inequality alone.  Using my measure of inequality I get the figure below for psi over time. As you can see psi serves as a secular crisis indicator showing the connection between the secular cycle and the saeculum.

[Image: Political-stress-fig.gif]

Assuming that economic inequality becomes more severe (I expect Donald Trump to achieve one campaign promise, basically to cut down the status of the educated 'elites'), I can easily extrapolate the trend to a very high level before 2020. Political stress will then crash as it did in the 1780s, late 1860s, and the 1930s. But in what year? 2019? 2025?

And how does the fall in political distress manifest itself? A coup? Dissolution of the USA? Military defeat? Revolution?

Maybe we get a Constitutional Convention in which wise people get to determine what protections we Americans need. We might need to make big amendments to the Constitution. We might choose to go parliamentary. We might replace district-based representation with first-past-the-post voting with proportional representation. Maybe we ditch the Electoral College.

This will be especially so should the Republicans do Constitutional mischief, like gutting the Bill of Rights or establishing a "Bill of Rights for Corporate America"
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#48
Astrology at least gives me a good sense of the timing; i.e. "what year." Although I see 2019 as a year of recession, possibly enabling a Republican defeat of some kind, it looks like 2025 is the year when the crisis reaches its climax. Dissolution of the USA and Revolution seem the most likely of those 4 you mentioned. From an optimistic point of view, which says the Democrats come back, as the political winds shift periodically as they have before, the rebellion would be made by the right wing, and would be crushed by the liberal power pushing reforms the right-wing doesn't like. Then in 2028-29 we move into a 1T with the liberal consensus, but the drastic reforms enter a period of consolidation (much like the previous 1T that consolidated the New Deal and victory over fascism).

I haven't reached a prediction about exactly which reforms will be done. Logically, given the conservatism of Americans, the least drastic reforms are the most likely. Those already done in California would seem possible: ending gerrymandering for example. Some campaign financing reform returning. If the liberals do return to power sufficiently, tossing out the electoral college would seem a logical step for them, given how it screwed us and the nation over-- which will be quite clear, if Trump has ruined the GOP by then.

A more pessimistic view says the Trumpistas set the agenda for the future, and the people swallow it, which results in a failed Revolution and a crackdown leading to gilded age/banana republic.

Obviously, once a 4T goes full speed ahead, drastic changes are possible. The voting power of millennials will be key to how much change is made. I think a parliamentary system is overdue. It is the way democracies work in the world. Even the one the USA itself set up in its colony in Iraq in 2003 was parliamentary. And prop. rep. makes a lot of sense, and ranked choice voting. The current duopoly of political parties is unpopular, and might well change. "Political realignment" seems to happen like clockwork in both Awakenings and Crises.

But Trump is not a good indicator of realignment. He is just a big mistake, and should be looked upon as nothing more than that. Mistakes like that happen in 4Ts, when the nation is falling into chaos.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#49
(12-18-2016, 07:33 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Astrology at least gives me a good sense of the timing; i.e. "what year." Although I see 2019 as a year of recession, possibly enabling a Republican defeat of some kind, it looks like 2025 is the year when the crisis reaches its climax. Dissolution of the USA and Revolution seem the most likely of those 4 you mentioned. From an optimistic point of view, which says the Democrats come back, as the political winds shift periodically as they have before, the rebellion would be made by the right wing, and would be crushed by the liberal power pushing reforms the right-wing doesn't like. Then in 2028-29 we move into a 1T with the liberal consensus, but the drastic reforms enter a period of consolidation (much like the previous 1T that consolidated the New Deal and victory over fascism).

I haven't reached a prediction about exactly which reforms will be done. Logically, given the conservatism of Americans, the least drastic reforms are the most likely. Those already done in California would seem possible: ending gerrymandering for example. Some campaign financing reform returning. If the liberals do return to power sufficiently, tossing out the electoral college would seem a logical step for them, given how it screwed us and the nation over-- which will be quite clear, if Trump has ruined the GOP by then.

A more pessimistic view says the Trumpistas set the agenda for the future, and the people swallow it, which results in a failed Revolution and a crackdown leading to gilded age/banana republic.

Obviously, once a 4T goes full speed ahead, drastic changes are possible. The voting power of millennials will be key to how much change is made. I think a parliamentary system is overdue. It is the way democracies work in the world. Even the one the USA itself set up in its colony in Iraq in 2003 was parliamentary. And prop. rep. makes a lot of sense, and ranked choice voting. The current duopoly of political parties is unpopular, and might well change. "Political realignment" seems to happen like clockwork in both Awakenings and Crises.

But Trump is not a good indicator of realignment. He is just a big mistake, and should be looked upon as nothing more than that. Mistakes like that happen in 4Ts, when the nation is falling into chaos.

What will happen if the 4T ends early via something like another world war that Trump wins? What will happen then?
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#50
(12-18-2016, 08:06 PM)disasterzone Wrote:
(12-18-2016, 07:33 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: A more pessimistic view says the Trumpistas set the agenda for the future, and the people swallow it, which results in a failed Revolution and a crackdown leading to gilded age/banana republic.

Obviously, once a 4T goes full speed ahead, drastic changes are possible. The voting power of millennials will be key to how much change is made. I think a parliamentary system is overdue. It is the way democracies work in the world. Even the one the USA itself set up in its colony in Iraq in 2003 was parliamentary. And prop. rep. makes a lot of sense, and ranked choice voting. The current duopoly of political parties is unpopular, and might well change. "Political realignment" seems to happen like clockwork in both Awakenings and Crises.

But Trump is not a good indicator of realignment. He is just a big mistake, and should be looked upon as nothing more than that. Mistakes like that happen in 4Ts, when the nation is falling into chaos.

What will happen if the 4T ends early via something like another world war that Trump wins? What will happen then?

The Man in the High Castle, only with the Americans and the Russians as the evil victors.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#51
Quote:(Peter Turchin, 27 December 2016)


Cliodynamics is a new “transdisciplinary discipline” that treats history as just another science. Ten years ago I started applying its tools to the society I live in: the United States. What I discovered alarmed me.

My research showed that about 40 seemingly disparate (but, according to cliodynamics, related) social indicators experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of political turmoil. My model indicated that social instability and political violence would peak in the 2020s (see Political Instability May be a Contributor in the Coming Decade).
The presidential election which we have experienced, unfortunately, confirms this forecast. We seem to be well on track for the 2020s instability peak. And although the election is over, the deep structural forces that brought us the current political crisis have not gone away. If anything, the negative trends seem to be accelerating.

My model tracks a number of factors. Some reflect the developments that have been noticed and extensively discussed: growing income and wealth inequality, stagnating and even declining well-being of most Americans, growing political fragmentation and governmental dysfunction (see Return of the Oppressed). But most social scientists and political commentators tend to focus on a particular slice of the problem. It’s not broadly appreciated that these developments are all interconnected. Our society is a system in which different parts affect each other, often in unexpected ways.

Furthermore, there is another important development that has been missed by most commentators: the key role of “elite overproduction” in driving waves of political violence, both in historical societies and in our own (see Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays). As I wrote three years ago,
Quote:Increasing inequality leads not only to the growth of top fortunes; it also results in greater numbers of wealth-holders. The ‘1 percent’ becomes ‘2 percent.’ Or even more. … from 1983 to 2010 the number of American households worth at least $10 million grew to 350,000 from 66,000. Rich Americans tend to be more politically active than the rest of the population. … In technical terms, such a situation is known as ‘elite overproduction.’ … Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side. A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions.


This was written when Donald Trump was known only as a real estate mogul and reality show host; well before this presidential election characterized by an unprecedented collapse of social norms governing civilized discourse – “epic ugliness,” in the words of the New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

The victory of Donald Trump changes nothing in this equation.



Thus Donald Trump is as much a symptom as a cause.



More:

Quote:Another visible sign of increasing intra-elite competition and political polarization is the fragmentation of political parties. The Republican Party is in the process of splitting up into three factions: Traditional Republicans, Tea Party Republicans, and Trump Populists. These divisions run so deep that many Republicans refused to endorse Trump, and some even voted for Clinton. Similar disintegrative forces have also been at work within the Democratic Party, with a major fault line dividing Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialists from the Establishment Democrats of Obama and Clinton.

So far in this analysis I have emphasized elite overproduction. There are two reasons for it. First, as I mentioned before, other factors are much better understood, and have been discussed, by social scientists and political commentators. Secondly, cliodynamic research on past societies demonstrates that elite overproduction is by far the most important of the three main historical drivers of social instability and political violence (see Secular Cycles for this analysis).


http://today.uconn.edu/2016/12/using-soc...he-future/
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#52
Program alert for PBS viewers: check your local TV listings.
 
Frontline on PBS is airing a two-part documentary TONIGHT: "The Divided States of America"

Days before the inauguration of the 45th American president, look back at events during the Obama presidency that have revealed deep divisions in our country and examine the America the next president will inherit. Part 1 of 2, continued on Wednesday, January 18th.

There's been some good "buzz" about this documentary, which goes to the heart of the endemic polarization of our body politic.  I wonder sometimes if the threshold of this polarization (far from its peak, in my opinion) has reached a level that poses systemic risk to our republic.
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#53
(10-05-2016, 08:09 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Snowdon is a traitor.

-- just now saw this. So how is shining a lite on the truth treason?
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#54
(01-17-2017, 08:28 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 07:35 PM)Marypoza Wrote:
(10-05-2016, 08:09 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Snowdon is a traitor.

-- just now saw this. So how is shining a lite on the truth treason?

How is leaking classified info treason?

Classified information on unconstitutional government programs?  Revealing that stuff was the highest form of patriotism.

Now Manning, he was a traitor, since the stuff he revealed was legitimate government action and his revelations endangered US soldiers, to boot.
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#55
(01-17-2017, 09:06 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 08:28 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 07:35 PM)Marypoza Wrote:
(10-05-2016, 08:09 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Snowdon is a traitor.

-- just now saw this. So how is shining a lite on the truth treason?

How is leaking classified info treason?

Classified information on unconstitutional government programs?  Revealing that stuff was the highest form of patriotism.

Now Manning, he was a traitor, since the stuff he revealed was legitimate government action and his revelations endangered US soldiers, to boot.

This is a common patter with Obozo, punish the whistle-blower and continue the unconstitutional program while protecting the criminal. Fast and Furious comes to mind.  It seems to me that the Manning case could be argued either way since some of what was revealed could be considered war-crimes.  The 2009 coup in Honduras and the 2007 massacre of civilians in Iraq are secrets that should not be kept, in my opinion.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#56
(01-17-2017, 12:40 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 12:14 PM)TeacherinExile Wrote: Program alert for PBS viewers: check your local TV listings.
 
Frontline on PBS is airing a two-part documentary TONIGHT: "The Divided States of America"

Days before the inauguration of the 45th American president, look back at events during the Obama presidency that have revealed deep divisions in our country and examine the America the next president will inherit. Part 1 of 2, continued on Wednesday, January 18th.

There's been some good "buzz" about this documentary, which goes to the heart of the endemic polarization of our body politic.  I wonder sometimes if the threshold of this polarization (far from its peak, in my opinion) has reached a level that poses systemic risk to our republic.

One of the reasons Red America got so pissed off during the Obama years were things like inheritors of the New Left touting the figurative burning of the Bill of Rights / deeming The Constitution an obsolete agrarian concept and Hillary Clinton declaring war on Heller and the NRA. I cannot think of a "better" way to poke a sharp stick into the hornet's nest of angry Red America than these sorts of things. A few posters here also embody this mentality - poke, poke, poke ....

I've been doing some soul-searching since the election and I've come to the realization that while the New Left has had a lot of good ideas, in terms of practical political action they have been mostly toxic. They do activist sorts of things that do nothing but offend a lot of people in more conservative areas instead of changing their minds while at the same time often refusing to even vote, or if they do vote they vote for the Greens as a protest vote (this is why voter turnout on the Dem side is so inconsistent). A lot of these people would rather see the world burn than vote for the lesser evil. This has allowed the Far-Right wackos to pull the Overton Window further and further to the Right, because they vote and vote consistently.

Also, a good chunk of the New Left types, especially the ones who go on and on about "AmeriKKKan Imperialism" have gotten suckered in by RT and don't care when told that it is Russian state propaganda because they'll just dismiss legitimate news as "American corporate propaganda".

Maryposa here is an example of these types.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#57
Clearly, like many Midwesterners, Odin is a good Navy man.
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#58
(01-18-2017, 07:45 AM)Odin Wrote: I've been doing some soul-searching since the election and I've come to the realization that while the New Left has had a lot of good ideas, in terms of practical political action they have been mostly toxic. They do activist sorts of things that do nothing but offend a lot of people in more conservative areas instead of changing their minds while at the same time often refusing to even vote, or if they do vote they vote for the Greens as a protest vote (this is why voter turnout on the Dem side is so inconsistent). A lot of these people would rather see the world burn than vote for the lesser evil. This has allowed the Far-Right wackos to pull the Overton Window further and further to the Right, because they vote and vote consistently...

The atomization of the left is certainly an issue too.  Every small group, fully invested in the righteousness of its cause, can't be bothered to support any other groups or causes because ... well, just because.  I was listening to 1A on NPR a while ago, and a woman promoting the march in DC on Saturday noted how her own mother had been shocked that she considered herself to be a feminist ... because she's black.  That kind of thinking is pervasive on the left.  On the right, winning is the central focus -- perhaps the only focus.  Their principles seem to be squishy at best.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#59
(01-18-2017, 07:45 AM)Odin Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 12:40 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(01-17-2017, 12:14 PM)TeacherinExile Wrote: Program alert for PBS viewers: check your local TV listings.
 
Frontline on PBS is airing a two-part documentary TONIGHT: "The Divided States of America"

Days before the inauguration of the 45th American president, look back at events during the Obama presidency that have revealed deep divisions in our country and examine the America the next president will inherit. Part 1 of 2, continued on Wednesday, January 18th.

There's been some good "buzz" about this documentary, which goes to the heart of the endemic polarization of our body politic.  I wonder sometimes if the threshold of this polarization (far from its peak, in my opinion) has reached a level that poses systemic risk to our republic.

One of the reasons Red America got so pissed off during the Obama years were things like inheritors of the New Left touting the figurative burning of the Bill of Rights / deeming The Constitution an obsolete agrarian concept and Hillary Clinton declaring war on Heller and the NRA. I cannot think of a "better" way to poke a sharp stick into the hornet's nest of angry Red America than these sorts of things. A few posters here also embody this mentality - poke, poke, poke ....

I've been doing some soul-searching since the election and I've come to the realization that while the New Left has had a lot of good ideas, in terms of practical political action they have been mostly toxic. They do activist sorts of things that do nothing but offend a lot of people in more conservative areas instead of changing their minds while at the same time often refusing to even vote, or if they do vote they vote for the Greens as a protest vote (this is why voter turnout on the Dem side is so inconsistent). A lot of these people would rather see the world burn than vote for the lesser evil. This has allowed the Far-Right wackos to pull the Overton Window further and further to the Right, because they vote and vote consistently.

Also, a good chunk of the New Left types, especially the ones who go on and on about "AmeriKKKan Imperialism" have gotten suckered in by RT and don't care when told that it is Russian state propaganda because they'll just dismiss legitimate news as "American corporate propaganda".

Maryposa here is an example of these types.

-- huh? an example of what?
Heart  Bernie/Tulsi 2020    Heart
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#60
(01-18-2017, 11:12 AM)SomeGuy Wrote: Clearly, like many Midwesterners, Odin is a good Navy man.

Is there a joke here I'm not getting? Huh
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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