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Generational Dynamics World View
** 09-Apr-2021 World View: Ireland generational era

(04-09-2021, 09:07 AM)Tim Randal Walker Wrote: > I seem to recall someone mentioning that Ireland is in a 2T. Is
> that correct?

Ireland's last generational crisis war was the Irish War of
Independence (1919-1921). Thus it would seem that Ireland should be
deep into a Fifth Turning -- like Mexico, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi
Arabia and Russia.

However, WW II was extremely devastating, and caused a full or partial
"First Turning reset" in many countries, and that's true of Ireland.
"The Troubles" was not a war, but 2nd-3rd Turning generational
conflict, with street riots complicated by the combination of conflict
between the generations and the ethnic conflict between Gaelics and
British. So Ireland's generational era is tied into the generational
timeline of the UK and the EU, and has characteristics of a Fourth
Turning and Fifth Turning.
Reply
** 09-Apr-2021 World View: We're shocked!! China puts Americas, Brits, etc., on a watchlist

Politicians and reporters are expressing shock and surprise to learn
that, of all things, the Chinese are collecting personal information
on anyone who visits China, and storing it in their database.
Ohmigod, how horrible! How could those nice Chinese be doing
something so awful?

Actually, as regular readers know, I've been writing about China's
monster "social credit system" database for years. That database is
keeping track of every Chinese citizen. It collects data from online
transactions, from bus trips, from street surveillance cameras, and so
forth. Any interaction of the internet with a citizen generates a
record that's merged with information about that citizen in the social
credit system database. Based on that data, people will be evaluated
by algorithms that will determine whether they pose a threat to the
one-party state, or even whether they'll be allowed to a purchase
train ticket.

The particular focus has been on tracking Uighurs in East Turkestan
(Xinjiang Province). Using this database, the Chinese can quickly
round up Uighurs for "re-education camps," where they're beaten,
tortured, raped, sterilized, and enslaved.

So now Australian activists have obtained a leaked database,
apparently a part of the social credit system database, and it's
discovered that any Westerner who visits China -- tourists,
executives, wives, children -- all go into the same database. And
this discovery is producing shock waves.

This is hardly a surprise. The Chinese regularly hack into private
and government databases in countries around the world, as well as
personal iPhones, and collect data on every person, so that they can
collect military and commercial intelligence to use in preparation for
the coming war.

However, this new development is suddenly scaring a lot of idiots who
thought the nice people in China's military would never do something
so awful. This issue is gathering steam, and may come to a head in
the next few months.

Of particular concern is the 2022 Olympics in China. If China has its
way, then thousands of people from around the world will visit China,
and China will collect a vast trove of personal information about
them. This realization may affect whether the West decides to boycott
China's Olympics. The first shot may already have been fired last
week when the North Koreans said that they would boycott the upcoming
Olympics in Japan in a couple of months.

NOTA BENE: If you DO visit China, for any reason,
understand that your phone will be confiscated long enough to steal
data and plant a spy malware program. THEREFORE: If you MUST visit
China, then leave your phone at home and get a burner phone. Take
that with you to China, and then throw it out (or disinfect it) when
you return home.

---- Sources:

-- China keeping a top-secret watchlist of US travelers — from celebs
to everyday folks
https://nypost.com/2021/04/07/china-keep...travelers/
(NY Post, 7-Apr-2021)

-- Australians flagged in Shanghai security files which shed light on
China's surveillance state and monitoring of Uyghurs
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-01/s.../100040896
(Australian Broadcasting, 1-Apr-2021)

-- Exclusive: British citizens routinely being placed on Chinese
police watchlist
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03...watchlist/
(Telegraph, London, 31-Mar-2021)

----------- Related article:

** 27-Jan-19 World View -- George Soros speech at Davos marks significant global shift against China
** http://www.generationaldynamics.com/pg/x...tm#e190127
Reply
*** 11-Apr-21 World View -- Myanmar ethnic groups in Shan State launch coordinated attack on Burmese military

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Myanmar ethnic groups in Shan State launch coordinated attack on Burmese military
  • Repeating the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingyas
  • War with the Karen ethnic group on the Myanmar / Thailand border
  • Peaceful protests continue in cities across Myanmar, heading for catastrophe

****
**** Myanmar ethnic groups in Shan State launch coordinated attack on Burmese military
****


[Image: g210410b.jpg]
Burmese soldiers in Shan State after an attack by ethnic groups in 2019 (AFP)

An alliance of ethnic armies in Myanmar / Burma on Saturday attacked a
military police station in Shan State, killing at least 10 policemen.
The attackers were from an alliance that includes the Arakan Army, the
Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic
Alliance Army. Normally, these ethnic groups oppose each other, and
occasionally fight each other, but this is the first time that they've
allied, in the face of the army coup, which makes this very
significant.

As we've been expecting, the Myanmar / Burma military crackdown on
peaceful civilian protesters, following the coup that replaced the
democratically elected government with a dictatorial military junta,
is rapidly turning into a full scale civil war, involving multiple
ethnic groups.

This situation is growing into a repeat of Burma's last generational
crisis war, an extremely bloody civil war (1948-1958) following
independence, and involving multiple ethnic groups, along with
intervention by the Chinese.

This attack on the police station outpost in Shan State seems to me to
have special significance, in view of the genocide and ethnic
cleansing of the ethnic Rohingyas in previous years.

****
**** Repeating the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingyas
****


Starting in 2011, Buddhists began attacking Muslim Rohingyas in
villages across Burma, particularly the 1.1 million ethnic Rohingyas
in Rakhine State. Mobs of Buddhists attacked Muslims, conducting
atrocities including torture and rape, killing hundreds and forcing
hundreds of thousands to leave their homes to flee from the attacks.
In some cases, the Buddhists burned down entire Rohingya villages to
the ground.

However, the most horrific Buddhist violence against the Rohingyas
began after August 25, 2017, when Rohingya insurgents carried out a
series of coordinated attacks against 30 Burma police outposts and an
army base. Using knives, some guns and homemade explosives they
killed at least a dozen Burmese security force members.

The army responded with a sweep of violence against Rohingyas, causing
thousands of them to flee their villages and head for the Bangladesh
border, where they hoped to cross and reach a refugee camp. The
Burmese army shot them as they were fleeing, including women and
children, killing dozens. The attack on the police posts was the
beginning of mass genocide and ethnic cleansing.

This is a standard pattern used by genocidal autocrats. I've
described how this works in detail in "12-Jan-21 World View -- America and the standard Genocide Playbook"
. Autocratic regimes use an isolated terrorist
incident as an excuse to conduct a massive overreaction against an
entire group. In America, the Democrats are using the January 6
incident to declare that all 74 million Trump supporters are racists,
white supremacists and terrorists, and are using that as an excuse for
massive censorship and extrajucicial arrests.

So in Myanmar, we now have a situation similar to the one on August
25, 2017, when Rohingyas attacked police outposts. Saturday's attack
by ethnic groups -- the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation
Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army -- could
well bring about a repeat of what happened to the Rohingyas.
We should know within the next few days.

The unifying of different ethnic groups is being described as highly
significant by analysts. Over the decades, since the last crisis war,
the Burmese military has been able to deal with the different ethnic
groups separately, and after the February 1 coup, the military
negotiated with each one to keep them out of the fighting. But now
it's clear that has failed, and we can expect all out war with the
ethnic groups.

These groups are on the border with China, and there are many
people of Chinese ancestry living in Shan State. So this may be
the trigger that leads to intervention by the Chinese, although
the Chinese will not intervene unless events force them to.

****
**** War with the Karen ethnic group on the Myanmar / Thailand border
****


As a separate issue, Burmese regime fighter jets have been dropping
bombs on ethnic Karens in territory controlled by the Karen National
Union (KNU), as we reported last week. The Karens are the largest
ethnic group in Burma. The bombing began on March 27 and has
continued almost every day. It was triggered by an attack by the KNU
on a military barracks outpost, killing 20.

Some 10,000 Karens have fled across the border into Thailand to escape
the violence. This is not new. In the 1990s, a war between the
preceding Burmese military junta and the Karens led to some 100,000
refugees in camps along the border between the two countries. This has
caused a political problem for the Thai government, which is also led
by a military junta that overthrew a democratically elected government
in 2014. (See the following: "23-May-14 World View -- Thailand's army seizes power in major victory for 'yellow shirt' elites"
)

Thailand's last generational crisis war (the Cambodian Killing Fields
war) climaxed in 1979, so Thailand is in a generational Unraveling
era, with little chance of a new ethnic civil war at this time.
(Burma, of course, is well into a generational Crisis era.)
Therefore, Thailand's coup did not lead to civil war, but Burma's coup
is doing so.

So the thousands of refugees pouring into Thailand present a problem
for the Thai military junta, who basically are aligned with the
Burmese military junta. So even though Thai prime minister Prayuth
Chan-o-cha has assured that "human rights will be respected," the
result is that many of the Karen civilians fleeing violence by
crossing the border into Thailand are being pushed back into Myanmar
by the Thai police.

There are also refugees pouring into India and China.

****
**** Peaceful protests continue in cities across Myanmar, heading for catastrophe
****


There were peaceful protests in multiple cities across Myanmar on
Saturday, with large marches in Yangon and Mandalay.

This despite the fact that on Friday, 80 peaceful protesters were
killed by the army in random gunfire in the city of Bago, near Yangon.
The army had thought that escalating violence would cause the protests
to fizzle out, as they did in 2007, during Burma's generational
Unraveling era. But they're not going to fizzle out now.

News reports from Myanmar these days are just filled with more details
about the army slaughtering innocent unarmed civiians. Analysts say
that the solution is for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution,
which is hilariously laughable. Others say that the Association of
Southeast Nations (ASEAN) should hold a meeting, which is also
laughable. I heard one analyst say that the United States has to
intervene militarily to stop the carnage. That guy must have been
hopped up on some of the drugs currently pouring into the USA through
the open southern border.

Both Russia and China are supplying weapons to the Burmese junta, and
neither country would be willing to take any step to end the carnage.

So the bottom line is this: I cannot think of a scenario, nor have I
read or heard of a scenario, that will stop the violence in Myanmar /
Burma from escalating into a full-scale multi-ethnic civil war in the
next few days, weeks and months. Like a Greek tragedy, the characters
in this play are heading unstoppably into catastrophe. After that,
the only question is whether it will spread to other countries, and
whether it will be the trigger that leads to a new world war.

Sources:

Related articles:



KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Myanmar, Burma,
Min Aung Hlaing, Thailand, Prayuth Chan-o-cha, China, Russia,
Karen ethnic group, Karen National Union, KNU,
Shan State, Arakan Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army,
Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army
Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Rohingyas, Rakhine State,
Bago, Yangon, Mandalay,
Association of Southeast Nations, ASEAN, Greek Tragedy

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com
Forum: http://www.gdxforum.com/forum
Subscribe to World View: http://generationaldynamics.com/subscribe
Reply
** 11-Apr-2021 World View: China's Uighur problem

Guest Wrote:> The Turks cut the water supply to the Chinese embassy on
> Saturday. Anger over the mass rape and genocide in East Turkestan
> is the reason.

John Wrote:> ***** Turkey Cuts Water Supply To Chinese Embassy After China Attacks
> Ankara Mayor Over Uyghur Comments
> https://swarajyamag.com/insta/turkey-cut...r-comments

> ***** Turkey cuts off water supply to Chinese embassy as tempers boil over
> https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/142...ter-row-vn

DaKardii Wrote:> Keep in mind that this is a feud between the CCP and the municipal
> government of Ankara. Erdogan had nothing to do with this.

> Meanwhile, it's likely that Erdogan will side with the CCP on this
> matter, for pragmatic reasons. Although he too has voiced concerns
> about the situation in Xinjiang, his ideological leanings indicate
> that he is more concerned about building a pan-Islamic alliance
> than a pan-Turkic one. And because of the inevitable alliance
> between China and the (Sunni) Muslim world, more likely than not
> Erdogan will embrace the CCP as a necessary evil when push comes
> to shove.

This is interesting because you've described the issue from Turkey's
point of view, while from China's point of view, this is part of a
growing political disaster.

Consider the following: Erdogan has nothing to do with this, as you
say, even though the Chinese Communists are arresting, beating,
torturing, sterilizing, raping, and enslaving millions of Muslim
Turkic people -- the Uighurs -- Erdogan's people. How is that
possible?

But this crisis erupted despite Erdogan's desires, and because the
Chinese Communists cannot tolerate even a mention of the Uighur
enslavement.

So several minor Turkish politicians criticized China's Uighur policy.
Instead of simply ignoring these "nobody" politicians, the infuriated
Communists in Ankara's Chinese embassy had a hysterical response:

Quote: "The Chinese side resolutely opposes and strongly
condemns any challenge by any person or power to China’s
sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Chinese side reserves the right to a justified
response."

What the hell was the Chinese embassy talking about? So no "person or
power" is permitted to criticize any of China's policies? Are you
kidding me? So the embassy responded with what many people thought
was a threat, and this infuriated a lot of Turkish people, leading to
the shutdown of the Embassy's water supply.

So here's the problem for the Chinese Communist government:
  • Everybody in the world knows that China is committing crimes
    against humanity against the Uighurs, just as the Nazis did against
    the Jews.

  • But the Chinese cannot tolerate anyone even saying so, and they're
    willing to use threats, bribery, extortion and boycotts to force
    governments to keep quiet about the subject.

  • But that can't stop individuals, like the Turkish politicians,
    from speaking out, and the Chinese cannot tolerate even that. Hence
    the threat from the Ankara embassy.

So this puts the Chinese Communists into an impossible situation,
since they can threaten, extort and bribe individual governments,
but they can't do the same to every person in the world who
might speak out.

There's another angle to this: censorship. Are the diplomats
in the Ankara embassy even aware of China's enslavement of
the Uighurs?

In America, most Democrats are totally ignorant of many things that
have been going on, because they depend solely on mainstream media
that reports only what the Democrats want people to know. Last year,
individual Democrats were totally ignorant of the antifa-blm violence
in multiple cities, the Hunter Biden laptop, and the massive voter
fraud in the election. This year, they're totally ignorant of the
massive humanitarian catastrophe on the southern border, where young
people are being packed together in "pods," where Covid is spreading
without control, and where rape and sexual assault are common. Both
sides of all of these issues were reported continually on Fox News,
but unless a Democrat watches Fox News, he's aware of only the narrow
censored version of the news that the mainstream media provide.

So I'm speculating that the same thing is true for the Chinese
diplomats in the Ankara embassy. Do they ever read/watch the BBC? I
assume not, since the BBC is banned in China, and the BBC's Beijing
correspondent John Sudworth was recently forced to flee with his
family to Taiwan for their safety. So it's doubtful that the Chinese
diplomats are aware of China's Uighur policy, and they probably only
read the "Chinese mainstream media," which means state-sponsored media
like People's Daily.

So the Chinese Communists are making the same kinds of hysterical
statements about the BBC as the American Democrats are saying about
Fox News. The Chinese Communists hate the BBC for the same reason
that the Democrats hate Fox News -- for telling the truth about news
they want censored.

So that might partially explain the hysterical response by the Ankara
embassy. These people have no clue what's going on in China, just as
most Democrats have no clue what's going on in America, and so when
the Turkish politicians complained about China's Uighur policy, they
may have thought that the Turkish politicians really were lying.

In America, the Chinese face a similar problem. Many Republicans are
talking about China's horrific Uighur policy, but this is censored by
the mainstream media that Democrats read. So you have this bizarre
situation where Major League Baseball is condemning Georgia for a law
they haven't even read, but they're perfectly comfortable being in bed
with the Chinese Communists killing democracy in Hong Kong and
enslaving millions of Uighurs.

If we look at trends, the Uighur issue has been getting more prominent
all the time. I've been writing about it for years, but the public
worldwide didn't care. Now it's becoming increasingly discussed in
America, and in the UK and Australia it's become a major political
issue. I beieve that it will be a major political issue in America
before long, like the UK and Australia, especially as the Beijing
Olympics approaches.
Reply
*** 13-Apr-21 World View -- Investing in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Investing in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts
  • Automated processing on IBM mainframes in the 1960s
  • Intentional sabotage in automated processing
  • Sabotage and fraud in DeFi and Smart Contracts
  • Due diligence in DeFi and Smart Contract investments

****
**** Investing in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts
****


[Image: g210412b.jpg]
How Smart Contracts Work (Deccan Herald)

I've been asked about investing in the crypto-currency (Bitcoin)
related technologies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart
Contracts, which use the same internet-based blockchain technology as
Bitcoin.

For over a decade, crypto currencies have been the highly stylish,
fashionable rock star finance technology, but lately they've been
losing their glamor and lustre as compared to a newer technology,
"decentralized finance" (DeFi) and "smart contracts."

It was just a few years ago that people were saying that the world was
just a stone's throw away from having a universal currency (Bitcoin)
that was independent of any nation. Last week, I read one analyst
saying, "We are a stone’s throw away from the global financial
industry running on a common software infrastructure." Well, that
stone would have to land something like 20-30 or more years in the
future, and if humans haven't figured out how to do it by then, then
perhaps our computer overlords will do it for us.

What's happening now is that there's an explosion of financial
applications and services, normally provided by banks, brokers, and
other financial institution, that are now being provided on blockchain
platforms as "smart contracts." There are really an unlimited number
of possible apps and services -- insurance, lending, borrowing, asset
management, gaming, day trading, savings, payments, billing, and so
forth. Smart contracts are "self-executing," meaning that once a
particular smart contract is set up, any action that would normally be
taken by a human intermediary in a bank or financial institution would
now be executed automatically by the smart contract.

Another way of looking at it is to compare a smart contract to
workflow software that has been around since the 90s. The software is
set up with a set of workflow rules, and the appropriate conditions
specified by the rules are satisfied, then the workflow software sends
out e-mail messages to the appropriate people, telling them to take
the appropriate action.

DeFi applications are more powerful because typically they have
control of crypto assets, so when the right conditions are met, the
app does not send out an e-mail saying "buy a new car." Instead, it
automatically issues the paperwork to buy a new car.

There are several ways to invest in DeFi technology. You can set up a
financial relationship with someone else using a smart contract. Or
you could invest in companies that develop these apps or offer
services using this technology.

The following web site provides a pretty extensive list of companies
offering such apps and services at the current time: https://defipulse.com/defi-list/

****
**** Automated processing on IBM mainframes in the 1960s
****


Although Decentralized Finance and Smart Contracts are a brand-new,
shiny technology, there are problems and dangers that can be learned
from history. Let's look at some historical examples.

Back in the 1960s, accounting systems were developed for IBM mainframe
systems, and they were only a stone's throw from never needing human
accountants again, according to experts.

The transaction processing systems used magnetic tapes. A typical
processing run required three tapes -- an input tape of existing
account records, an input tape of new transaction records, and an
output tape of updated account records. The two input tapes are
pre-sorted by account number so that they can be processed
simultaneously in order of account. It's therefore possibe to update
the accounts with only one pass through the transaction tape, writing
the updated accounts to the output tape, which would be the existing
accounts input tape for the next day's run.

So let's take a look at some of the issues. The most obvious one is
that the mainframe might be down, so that the transaction processing
run could not take place. Another issue is that mag tapes are
somewhat fragile, and data could be lost.

Another possible problem is that the transaction processing software
could have a bug, since all software has bugs. So if the bug affects
several thousand accounts, then it's possible that a single run could
result in several thousand errors caused by the bug, and they wouldn't
be caught until much later.

That's when people started saying things like, "To err is human. To
really screw things up takes a computer."

****
**** Intentional sabotage in automated processing
****


Another problem was intentional sabotage. The mag tape transaction
processing that I described was subject to a very interesting form of
sabotage.

Some transactions involve division of two numbers, and result in an
amount with a fraction of a penny. The correct algorithm would round
to the nearest penny, and the resulting amount would be used in the
transaction. But one developer did something different. His software
contained secret code that deducted the fractional penny from the
amount, and credited it to his own account. Tens of thousands of
fractions of a penny adds up to real money. He made a lot of money
that way, but the consequences of what he had done were not discovered
until much later.

The thing that makes this kind of sabotage possible is that managers
don't understand what the programmers are doing. There was a similar
problem with the financial crisis of the 2000s. The Gen-X financial
engineers got their Masters Degrees in the 1990s, and applied those
skills to create fraudulent synthetic securities based on subprime
mortgages. Their managers in the financial institutions had no idea
how they worked, except that they made lots of money, and the result
was the financial crisis. In the late 2000s I was working on a
government system where the lead programmer was sabotaging the code
(my code, in particular). I complained repeatedly to my boss, but he
refused to believe me. Eventually, the lead programmer screwed around
with someone else's code, someone really important, and my manager
apologized to me. This shows that the consequences of sabotage are
not usually discovered until much later.

Another example was the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov. President
Obama launched Obamacare on the afternoon of Oct 1, 2013, and he had
no idea that the web site wasn't even working. When he announced the
launch, he had no idea a disaster had unfolded several hours earlier.
As I wrote in my 2015 article, massive fraud had occurred among all
the consuting firms, and they propagated lies all the way up the
chain. The entire White House had no idea of the disaster until it
was too late. (See: "Healthcare.gov -- The greatest software development disaster in history")

So there was massive fraud in the development of Obamacare, which no
one cares about since caring about Obamacare fraud is politically
censored. Similarly, with tens of millions of mail-in ballots sent
out last year there was massive fraud in the 2020 election that no one
cares about, since caring about fraud in the 2020 election is
politically censored.

The reason for mentioning all this is that the DeFi technology will be
a huge target for sabotage and fraud, and the people benefiting from
the fraud may want it censored. This concern is being politically
censored because the major beneficiaries -- Silicon Valley, the
Chinese, the Democrats, hedge funds -- don't want it discussed.

****
**** Sabotage and fraud in DeFi and Smart Contracts
****


Blockchain technology has this magical, mystical reputation as being
incorruptible -- open source, "tamper-proof data," transparency,
permissionless access, etc. Obamacare had the same magical, mystical
reputation, and the amount of fraud was massive. The mainstream media
didn't want to see it, because it was censored. The housing bubble of
the early-mid 2000s was obvious (I was writing about it, Alan
Greenspan was talking about it), but mainstream media didn't want to
see it until 2009, when millions of people had lost their homes or
went bankrupt. The mainstream media don't want to see the massive
voter fraud in the 2020 election.

So there's no doubt that as DeFi grows, there will be lots of bugs and
plenty of fraud, sabotage and corruption. This will be done at
technical levels, and managers won't even know that it's going on
until there are severe consequences and it's too late. In particular,
it's absolutely certain that China's military is already developing
tools to hack into DeFi applications, to control them.

There's another issue that's analogous to the 1960s IBM mainframe
being unavailable, and this applies to all blockchain technologies:
There may be a crisis (flood, hurricane, Chinese sabotage, malware,
war), and the internet could become unavailable, or large numbers of
servers along the blockchain could be destroyed.

****
**** Due diligence in DeFi and Smart Contract investments
****


So you can invest in DeFi at any of several levels. You can invest in
companies developing core low-level technologies, or in companies
developing mid-level API platforms, or in companies developing the top
level apps that people and corporations actually use in their
business. Or, you could invest by using one of the apps for its
business relationships. The investment at any of these levels would
be subject to the same concerns that I've raised.

So how do you do due diligence on such an investment? I believe that
the biggest advantage of DeFi is also its biggest disadvantage and
biggest risk -- the "self-executing" feature of "smart contracts."

Here's the investopedia definition of Smart Contracts:

<QUOTE>A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the
terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly
written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained
therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain
network. The code controls the execution, and transactions are
trackable and irreversible.

Smart contracts permit trusted transactions and agreements to be
carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need
for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement
mechanism.<END QUOTE>


In other words, a "smart contract" is just a software program. It will
also certainly contain bugs -- because all software programs contain
bugs -- and it will be subjected to sabotage, malware and hacking.
And since the whole point of smart contracts is that they're
"self-executing," without human involvement, and since management
won't understand what's going on anyway, the bugs and sabotage won't
be detected until a disaster has occurred.

Perhaps a good solution is to require "human oversight" of any smart
contract. That is, if a self-executing smart contrast tells you "kill
your mother or pay a large fine" (and this isn't as far-fetched as it
might seem, given my experience with software developers in the last
20 years), then there has to be a way for a human being on each side
of the smart contract to review the self-executing action, and
override it under the right circumstances.

This means that every party to a "smart contract" should have, as a
backup, a printout or a pdf of a written contract that can be
referenced if the internet goes down, or if there's a failure in or
sabotage of the smart contract.

Unfortunately, this will only work at a small scale. DeFi
applications are going to become larger and more complex, with a
single app consisting of hundreds or thousands of interlocking smart
contracts, and these will really be a disaster waiting to happen. But
they're coming anyway. Watch for the buzzword: DAO (distributed
autonomous organization), an entire business which is just a
collection of smart contracts.

Sources:

Related Articles:



KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Decentralized Finance, Defi, Smart Contracts,
blockchain, crypto-currency, bitcoin,
Obamacare, Healthcare.gov, distributed autonomous organization, DAO

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com
Forum: http://www.gdxforum.com/forum
Subscribe to World View: http://generationaldynamics.com/subscribe
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** 13-Apr-2021 World View: US and Russia appear headed for confrontation over Ukraine

[Image: ukraine-crimea-russia-map-517795855.jpg]
  • Map of Ukraine (CBS News)


As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, Russian analyst Pavel
Felgenhauer said that the fields of Ukraine and Russia are currently
muddy because of melting snow, but by early May the fields will dry
out, and there's a lot of talk about war in the beginning of May.

Well, May is closer, and a number of actions seem to indicate that a
military confrontation is close. Whether these actions are real war
preparations or just "saber-rattling" for purposes of intimidation is
not yet known. Here are some of the actions:
  • Russia has been massing soldiers and equipment on the eastern
    Ukraine border and into Crimea. Some reports say that the Russians
    have also been moving Iskander short-range missiles.

  • Russia accused NATO of "threatening" actions, and by sending
    troops to its western borders to conduct exercises.

  • Both the US and Russia are reportedly deploying warships in the
    Black Sea, even though Russia warned the United States on Tuesday
    against sending warships to the Black Sea, urging American forces to
    stay away from the annexed Crimean peninsula "for their own
    good."

  • In a phone call between Biden and Putin on Tuesday, Biden
    reportedly demanded that Russia de-escalate.

According to one analyst, the Russian massing of soldiers on the
Ukraine border is so ostentatious that it means that Russia is only
wants to intimidate Ukraine, not invade at the present time. However,
Putin may be using it as a cover for a lesser objective, such as to
infiltrate more Russian soldiers and military equipment into eastern
Ukraine and Crimea.

---- Sources:

-- Moscow will be ready for a war against Ukraine ‘in a month,’
Felgenhauer says
http://euromaidanpress.com/2021/04/04/mo...auer-says/
(EuromaidenPress, Ukraine, 4-Apr-2021)

-- Is Russia going to war with Ukraine and other questions
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56720589
(BBC, 13-Apr-2021)

-- Russia warns U.S. to stay away for its "own good" as Ukraine
standoff intensifies
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-ukra...black-sea/
(CBS News, 13-Apr-2021)

-- Rumours of War: Another Russian Surprise in Ukraine?
https://icds.ee/en/rumours-of-war-anothe...n-ukraine/
(ICDS, Estonia, 30-Mar-2021)
Reply
*** 15-Apr-21 World View -- High farce and tragedy continue in Afghanistan, as Biden announces Sept 11 troop withdrawal

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • High farce and tragedy continue in Afghanistan, as Biden announces Sept 11 troop withdrawal
  • CNN: Biden guided by 'magical thinking' in Afghanistan
  • Generational Dynamics analysis of the war in Afghanistan

****
**** High farce and tragedy continue in Afghanistan, as Biden announces Sept 11 troop withdrawal
****


[Image: g210414b.jpg]
Girls in Afghanistan will no longer be in school if the US withdraws and the Taliban takes over (NY Times)

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that all American troops
would be withdrawn by September 11 of this year, the 20th anniversary
of the 9/11/2001 attacks, and that Nato troops would be withdrawn at
the same time. This would be farcical if it weren't so tragic.

How many times have we been here? The President announces a new
policy -- "surge" into Afghanistan, a "victory" in Afghanistan, or a
"peace with honor" in Afghanistan. I write an article explaining why
all of those are impossible, based on a Generational Dynamics
summarized later in this article. The new policy fails, exactly as I
predicted. But nobody every learns.

So last year, Donald Trump made a farcical agreement with the Taliban
that if the changed their behavior, then the US would withdraw its
troops by May 1 of this year. Trump's reason was that Americans are
tired of "endless wars." (A bit of irony: Biden's announcement was
described by the fawning mainstream media as "historic," but Trump's
similar announcement was not.)

So now Joe Biden is president, and he made a farcical announcement
that the troops will be removed by September 11 of this year -- the
20th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack. I always accuse the Biden
administration of having no clue what's going on in the world, but
this takes the cake. We can expect the Taliban to engineer a major
terrorist attack on September 11 to celebrate their victory over the
Americans, having achieved their objective of forcing the Americans to
withdraw.

In his speech, Biden said:

<QUOTE>"I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be
focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure
Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our
homeland again. We did that. We accomplished that objective.

I said, among — with others, we’d follow Osama bin Laden to the
gates of hell if need be. That’s exactly what we did, and we got
him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama’s
commitment to — into form. And that’s exactly what happened;
Osama bin Laden was gone.

That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to
bin Laden a decade ago, and we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a
decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in
Afghanistan are becoming increasingly unclear, even as the
terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved."<END QUOTE>


So Biden's argument is that America went into Afghanistan to
defeat al-Qaeda, but now that al-Qaeda has been defeated, there's
no need for American troops to remain.

There was one difference between the terms of the Trump and Biden
announcements. Trump's May 1 deadline was "condition based," meaning
that if the Taliban didn't behave, then Trump might extend the
deadline. This was explained by Biden's press spokesman,
Jen Psaki:

<QUOTE>"[Question: And could his deadline extend, or could he
change his mind if you do see the situation in Afghanistan just
decline?]

Psaki: Well, I will say that the president made this decision
after close consultations and a close discussion and taking into
account all the difficult factors I should say around that
decision. So no, he remains committed to the timeline that he
intends to set out in his speech. ...

[Question: I don’t think I’ve heard in the answers so far, what
the Taliban is supposed to think about this. I mean, if I was
them, I think I’d want to take the summer off and wait until
September 11th. And why go ahead and negotiate an agreement that
would limit them if the U.S. is going to leave anyway?]

Jen Psaki: Well, first I would say that we have an expectation
that the Taliban is going to abide by their commitments and that
they are not going to allow Afghanistan to become a pariah
state. That’s our view. That’s also in their interest, in our
view. ...

And his view is that, when you talk about a conditions-based
withdrawal, it punts it down the road, “We will never leave. What
conditions would we be required to leave? By how long? What does
that mean? What’s the additional cost?” These are all the factors
in his mind."<END QUOTE>


First off, the "expectation that the Taliban is going to abide by
their commitments" is totally delusional.

This answer illustrates the conundrum that Biden and Psaki did not
unravel.

On the one hand, if the withdrawal date is unconditional, then the
Taliban will have every reason to continue terrorist acts. In fact,
the Taliban have announced that they won't attend an Afghanistan peace
conference being hosted by Turkey. Why should they?

On the other hand, if the withdrawal date is conditional then, as
Psaki says, the date will just be kicked down the road again.

So the question is this: Will Biden go ahead with the withdrawal as
announced, and hand the Taliban a victory? Or will he be forced to
reconsider the withdrawal decision?

****
**** CNN: Biden guided by 'magical thinking' in Afghanistan
****


A number of analysts have ridiculed Biden's withdrawal announcement
and the delusions behind it. One of them is Peter Bergen, the
National Security Analysts for CNN, the network that fawns over Biden
so much they've turned into a sewer. So Peter Bergen's analysis
cannot readily be rejected as the opinnion of a "white supremacist,"
or whatever CNN calls anyone who disagrees with them.

According to Bergen:

<QUOTE>"President Biden's decision to announce a date for
pulling all US troops out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary
of 9/11 sets the stage for a predictable disaster. ...

There has to be some magical thinking going on for the Biden White
House to expect that there will be a different outcome in
Afghanistan [than in the President Obama's precipitous withdrawal
from Iraq].

Yes, al Qaeda is a mere shadow of what it was on 9/11. That's
because for the past two decades, the US and its allies have
prevented Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda and
allied groups.

It's a policy that has worked.

Now, that sound policy is being abandoned. Once the US leaves
Afghanistan, America's NATO allies, who have 7,000 soldiers on the
ground, will leave as well, since they rely on an American
security umbrella. President Biden confirmed this in his speech to
the nation Wednesday afternoon.

The pullout of US and NATO troops will likely enable the Taliban
to take over much of the country."<END QUOTE>


Bergen explains that the Taliban have remained in close contact with
al-Qaeda, and they've guaranteed that they "would honor their
historical ties" with al-Qaeda. Furthermore, ISIS retains a foothold
in Afghanistan.

As Bergen pointed out, the US and Nato have prevented Afghanistan from
becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda and allied groups. Once the allied
forces pull out, Afghanistan will once again become a safe haven for
both al-Qaeda and ISIS, just as Osama bin Laden used Afghanistan as a
safe haven to launch the original 9/11/2001 attacks.

It's not just Peter Bergen who is alarmed at the withdrawal decision.
The New York Times, who always fawningly slobber over Biden,
is worried for the girls of Afghanistan. According to the Times:

<QUOTE>"“I am so worried about my future. It seems so
murky. If the Taliban take over, I lose my identity,” said Wahida
Sadeqi, 17, an 11th grader at Pardis High School in Kabul. “It is
about my existence.” ...

For two decades, American leaders have pledged peace, prosperity,
democracy, the end of terrorism and rights for women. Few of those
promises have materialized in vast areas of Afghanistan, but now
even in the cities where real progress occurred, there is fear
that everything will be lost when the Americans leave. ...

Over two decades, the American mission evolved from hunting
terrorists to helping the government build the institutions of a
functioning government, dismantle the Taliban and empower
women. But the U.S. and Afghan militaries were never able to
effectively destroy the Taliban, allowing the insurgents to stage
a comeback. ...

Women would be most at risk under Taliban rule. When the group
controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, it banned women from
taking most jobs or receiving educations and practically made them
prisoners in their own homes."<END QUOTE>


Biden administration officials might be thinking to paraphrase Walter
Cronkite from 53 years ago, "If we've lost the NY Times, then we've
lost America."

The interesting thing about the NY Times article is that it
seems to reject the delusional Biden administration claim that
the Afghan democracy will continue. The article simply assumes
that the Taliban will take over, and will impose the same
dictatorial government they had in 2001, when they sponsored
Osama bin Laden's attack on America.

Analysts who favor continuing leaving a small number (3,500)
of American troops in Afghanistan point out that these can
prevent a resurgence of al-Qaeda and ISIS, and can also provide
a listening post and forward military base to counter
Chinese military activity in Central Asia.

****
**** Generational Dynamics analysis of the war in Afghanistan
****


I began writing about the impossibility of winning in Afghanistan
shortly after President Obama announced his plan to "surge" troops
into Afghanistan.

President Bush had used a successful "surge" counter-insurgency
strategy in Iraq in 2007, with the result that al-Qaeda was driven out
of Iraq, and the objectives were met. But al-Qaeda in Iraq were
mostly not Iraqis. They were jihadists that al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi had imported from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Iraqis
themselves, even the Sunnis, mostly hated al-Qaeda, as I described in
a lengthy analysis, "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq,".

But the Taliban could be defeated in a similar way in Afghanistan,
because the Taliban are radicalized ethnic Pashtuns, and most of the
population of Afghanistan are Pashtuns.

In an article earlier this year, I was able to extend this original
analysis, based on research that I had done for my book, "Vietnam,
Buddhism and the Vietnam War." In that book, I compared the
counter-insurgency strategies used by British in the Boer War
(1899-1902) and the Malay Emergency (1948-55), and how they contrasted
to similar counter-insurgency strategies used by the Americans in
Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. (See "18-Jan-21 World View -- Chaos grows in Afghanistan as American troops leave in hope of delusional peace plan"
)

But the extended analysis is based on the same reasoning: In Iraq,
the civilians and jihadists looked different and spoke differently.
In Afghanistan, the civilians and jihadists were the same Pashtun
people.

Let's face it, most politicians and journalists are ignorant and dumb.
They have no knowledge of Afghanistan's last generational crisis war,
an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96, that defines
Afghan society today. The war was a civil war, fought between the
Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of
Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are
radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters,
then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan
are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have
scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the
Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have
fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings,
dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side
performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they
have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill
each other.

So what is Biden going to do? If he goes ahead with the withdrawal,
then it's 100% certain that Afghanistan will collapse into chaos,
and it's likely that the Taliban will take control of the government,
and everything that America's sacrifices brought to Afghanistan
-- democracy, women's rights, relative peace -- will be lost
within a few months.

Sources:

Related Articles:



KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, Taliban,
CNN, Peter Bergen, Iraq, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Walter Cronkite,
Pashtuns, Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Northern Alliance,
Vietnam, Buddhism, Vietnam War

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
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John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com
Forum: http://www.gdxforum.com/forum
Subscribe to World View: http://generationaldynamics.com/subscribe
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*** 19-Apr-21 World View -- Britain sends warships to Black Sea amid Russia's military buildup around Ukraine

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Britain sends warships to Black Sea amid Russia's military buildup around Ukraine
  • Russia builds up its naval forces in Black Sea
  • Britain to send warships to Black Sea after US backs down
  • Russia continues military buildup on Ukraine's border
  • Major diplomatic row between Russia and Czech Republic

****
**** Britain sends warships to Black Sea amid Russia's military buildup around Ukraine
****


[Image: kerch2.gif]
Ukraine. In 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Donbas, and invaded and annexed Crimea. In 2018, Russia completed a bridge over the Kerch Strait, controlling access to the Sea of Azov.

Britain is reported to be sending two warships to the Black Sea, as
Russia continues its military buildup on the Ukraine border, and a
naval buildup in the Black Sea. Britain's announcement came when the
US backed out of plans to send ships to the Black Sea after being
warned by Russia to stay out.

Russia appears to be taking the next step in a plan that began with
its invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014, following a military buildup
on the border of Ukraine similar to the military buildup going on at
the current time. The invasion took place after Vladimir Putin
promised not to invade Ukraine.

During the course of that invasion, Russians in eastern Ukraine in
July 2014 shot down a passenger plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17,
with a Russian Buk 9M38 missile. The Russians claimed that the US
shot down the plane to embarrass Putin. Russia lied about not
invading Crimea, and then invaded Crimea. Putin lied about not
annexing Crimea, and then annexed Crimea.

In May 2015, Russia began constructing an 11.8 mile bridge across the
Kerch Strait (see map above), said to be the longest bridge in Europe.

Russia used the bridge to strangle commerce into Ukraine's seaports of
Mariupol and Berdyansk, resulting in substantial economic damage to
Ukraine. In November 2018, Russia completed the bridge, and opened
live fire for no reason on three Ukrainian vessels, wounding six
sailors, boarding and seizing the vessels. The sailors were
transferred indefinitely to a jail in Moscow.

The point of reviewing this history is to set the framework for
Russia's latest actions, and to show that pretty much everything
Russia claims is garbage. The typical Russian playbook is to commit
some atrocity and then blame the United States or Nato, such as when
the Russians shot down the MH17 passenger plane.

In the current scene, Russian analysts are claiming that the military
buildup is because the United States wants Ukraine to join Nato,
and because Ukraine is planning to invade Russia. Over the years,
I've dealt with dozens of Russian trolls excusing Russia atrocities
with some of the most ridiculous excuses, and this is typical.

The problem is that we have absolutely no idea what the Russians
are planning.
  • The super-optimistic Pollyannaish view is that
    Putin is just trying to send a message to the west, and has no
    plans for military engagement.

  • A more cynical view is that Russia has no military plans,
    but intends to use the invasion threat to blackmail Ukraine, Nato
    and the West to gain some diplomatic advantage.

  • At the other end of the spectrum is the view that the Russians
    plan a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, possibly extending as far as
    Moldova and its pro-Russian breakaway Transnistria, which lies along
    Ukraine's southwest border.

  • The intermediate view is that the Russians are planning to attack
    and occupy the seaports at Mariupol and Berdyansk, and then continue
    to move west in order to create a land bridge between Russia and
    occupied Crimea, and take control of the entire Sea of Azov.

Whatever military action Russia is planning will probably take place
in early or mid-May, after the snows have melted and the fields have
dried and are able to hold tanks. We'll have to wait until then to
see which of these options Russia will pursue.

****
**** Russia builds up its naval forces in Black Sea
****


Coinciding with the huge build-up of over 100,000 Russian troops near
the border with Ukraine, Russia is bolstering its naval fleet in the
Black Sea.

Two Russian warships from Russia's Baltic fleet, accompanied by 15
smaller vessels, transited from the Mediterranean Sea through the
Bosphorus to the Black Sea on Saturday. The Bosphorus is the
waterway, controlled by Turkey, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with
the Black Sea.

This comes after Russia announced that Russia is sending 15 naval
vessels from its Caspian Sea Flotilla to the Black Sea. These vessels
must travel up the Volga River, through a canal built in 1952 with 13
locks, to the Don River, and then to the Sea of Azov and the Black
Sea.

So Russia's naval buildup is large and expensive, just like its
ground buildup.

****
**** Britain to send warships to Black Sea after US backs down
****


[Image: g210418b.jpg]
Map of Russian deployment around Ukraine (RFE/RL)

There are a number of news stories from multiple international sources
describing this situation, and they seem to boil down to the
following:

The US was planning to send two warships into the Black Sea, for a
long-scheduled routine mission. However, Russia warned the
United States on Tuesday (4/13) against sending the warships, "for
their own good." Russia's Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov
was quoted by Russian news agencies as follows:

<QUOTE>"There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be
doing near our shores. We warn the United States that it will be
better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea
coast. It will be for their own good."<END QUOTE>


Also on Tuesday, president Joe Biden phoned Russia's president
Vladimir Putin, after which the US backed down on the plans to send
warships to the Black Sea. US officials described the reason was to
avoid needlessly escalating the situation, and a desire not to provoke
Moscow during a delicate time.

However on Sunday, British media is reporting that a flotilla of ships
from the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean,
including a Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an
anti-submarine Type 23 frigate, will travel to the Black Sea in May.
The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and
Britain's NATO allies.

I heard one analyst make the following speculation about what
happened: Perhaps Biden fears a coordinated attack next month on
Ukraine by Russia simultaneously with a Chinese attack on Taiwan, and
so Biden did not want American warships to be trapped in the Black
Sea.

****
**** Russia continues military buildup on Ukraine's border
****


If major hostilities break out again in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine),
then the situation will have changed a lot since the last war in 2014,
since both Ukraine's and Russia's militaries are better prepared.

Ukraine has significantly boosted defense spending since 2014, has
U.S.-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles in its arsenal, and has troop
numbers of nearly 250,000 compared to 168,000 in 2013.

In recent weeks, Russia has unexpectedly boosted its troop presence
near the conflict zone in Ukraine. Analysis of open-source material
has identified tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, long-range
artillery, rocket launchers, and Iskander short-range ballistic
missile systems among the materiel that has been moved to the area
since mid-March. U.S. and NATO officials have called it the largest
military buildup in the region since Russia’s surprise occupation of
Crimea and the start of fighting in the Donbas, which has killed more
than 13,000 combatants and civilians since April 2014.

So what are Russia's plans? We probably won't know until early to
mid-May.

****
**** Major diplomatic row between Russia and Czech Republic
****


This is a (probably) unrelated story, but it's being described as a
major diplomatic development between Russia and Europe.

The Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats on Saturday. On
Sunday, Russia retaliated by announcing that 20 diplomats from the
Czech Republic will be expelled. At the time of the explosion, it was
assumed to be an accident, but through detective work, Czech officials
now says that it was Russian sabotage.

Czech Police have identified two suspects in connection with the blast
- Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepigov - who are also accused of
using the chemical nerve agent weapon Novichok to murder Sergei
Skripal, a former double Russian agent, and his daughter Yulia. The
murder took place in the UK in Salisbury in 2018.

Sources:

Related Sources:



KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ukraine, Russia, Donbas, Crimea,
Black Sea, Sea of Azov, Vladimir Putin, Kerch Strait,
Mariupol, Berdyansk, Moldova, Transnistria,
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17,
Turkey, Bosphorus, Baltic Fleet,
Caspian Sea, Volga River, Don River,
Sergei Ryabkov, Royal Navy,
Czech Republic, Alexander Mishkin, Anatoly Chepigov,
Novichok, Sergei Skripal, Yulia Skripal

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
E-mail: john@GenerationalDynamics.com
Web site: http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com
Forum: http://www.gdxforum.com/forum
Subscribe to World View: http://generationaldynamics.com/subscribe
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