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Why the social dynamics viewpoint to the Strauss-Howe generational theory is wrong
#1
Let me be clear here: I do believe that the generational traits and the turnings are real. But I do not believe that the social dynamics model can explain them. Generations do not "realize" things and then change behavior just because something has happened. Generations do not raise other generations in a way that they "see" the world in some predetermined fashion. Generations do not form traits because the world is in one way or another. It is impossible for a 80 year cycle with 20 year generations to hold a coherent form through five centuries if it was relying on social dynamics.

This is why I have proposed and shown a large amount of validated evidence that the cycle and the generations are formed through hormone levels, and this has been observed in other cyclical animal populations too: https://jannemiettinen.fi/FourthTurning/

I believe that the reason why Strauss & Howe (and apparently almost everyone else on this forum but me) believe in the social dynamics model is because the theory of mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

Theory of mind is innate to humans, and it makes humans think that they know what others think and then rationalize that their actions are due to this knowledge. I have a mild asperger syndrome, and individuals with asperger syndrome often have a different kind of theory of mind, and I for one can't force myself to believe in my intuition as much as facts and scientific evidence. I can't predict what "the masses" think, but I can observe what they do. Hormone levels modulate human behavior in ways the Strauss-Howe generational cycle describes: parenting intensity, group/social coherence, sexual behavior, etc.

So I would challenge anyone to explain to me how they think they can understand how people react to societal events and how this would change the behavior of the masses for good. And then tell how they themselves fit into this equation of realizing things and thus changing their own behavior for good.
Generational hormone theory: https://jannemiettinen.fi/FourthTurning/
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#2
(03-21-2020, 04:54 AM)Ldr Wrote: Let me be clear here: I do believe that the generational traits and the turnings are real. But I do not believe that the social dynamics model can explain them. Generations do not "realize" things and then change behavior just because something has happened. Generations do not raise other generations in a way that they "see" the world in some predetermined fashion. Generations do not form traits because the world is in one way or another. It is impossible for a 80 year cycle with 20 year generations to hold a coherent form through five centuries if it was relying on social dynamics.

You seem determined to misunderstand the dynamics of the S&H theory.  Generations are simply aggregations of individuals who shared some common history. For example, if you had been alive when JFK was assassinated, you would have shared that profound imprint with everyone else alive at the time.  If you were young, the impact would have different than it would for someone older -- and vice versa.  That's the generational impact.  It's not an overlay on everyone; just an overlay on life experience.  That each generation will have a bent in a certain direction is what S&H meant by "history creating generations and generations creating history".  There is no unanimity. The impact is on the aggregate. There will always be variation within every generation, but each generation will still have a "flavor" based on the most dominant characteristic implanted.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#3
David is right: If someone wasn't realistically old enough to remember 9/11, they don't recall the "freedom" that prevailed before it happened. Their first frame of reference is the Patriot Act, the color-coded terror alert system, and so on (and if they're from Staten Island, they can never remember a time when people could bring their cars aboard the Staten Island Ferry).

And if 1996 is the Millennial/Homelander (or as I like to call them, the Activist Generation) boundary, then so is 1958 the Boomer/Xer boundary (the only thing I can recall about the JFK assassination is that I got yanked from kindergarten and sent home early).
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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#4
I do understand Strauss & Howe's claims about the social dynamics, but I don't believe the generations are the way they are because of historical events. I believe the generations are the way they are because of their biological properties.

Even though historical events you both describe have happened, it does not mean that people would change their behavior accordingly. Human behavior is notoriously difficult to change through outside influence. But hormonal changes change behavior, immediately (and permanently if the changes to hormone secretion are permanent, like in puberty, when having your first child, and in menopause/andropause).

My hypothesis says that historical events are catalyzed by the generational traits, but the historical events do not mold the behavior of generations in any meaningful way compared to the generational hormone levels. This is why the social dynamics model of the Strauss-Howe generational theory is the wrong way to explain the generations. And it's the very same thing with animal cycles: for a century biologists and others have tried to explain the animal cycles by using environmental variables (such as predators and food supply), but NONE have succeeded. But my model of generational hormone levels explains both the animal cycles AND the Strauss-Howe generational cycle. It's a win win, and no professor in biology and neurobiology so far has been able to prove me wrong on this.

I strongly believe that this is finally the true solution to the the Strauss-Howe generational theory. The cycle is real, that we agree on, but Strauss & Howe just got the explanation for it wrong. It's not the history that generates the generations, it's the generations that create the history. You have to start from the very bottom, that being human biology.
Generational hormone theory: https://jannemiettinen.fi/FourthTurning/
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#5
(06-04-2020, 10:19 AM)Ldr Wrote: I do understand Strauss & Howe's claims about the social dynamics, but I don't believe the generations are the way they are because of historical events. I believe the generations are the way they are because of their biological properties.

Even though historical events you both describe have happened, it does not mean that people would change their behavior accordingly. Human behavior is notoriously difficult to change through outside influence. But hormonal changes change behavior, immediately (and permanently if the changes to hormone secretion are permanent, like in puberty, when having your first child, and in menopause/andropause).

My hypothesis says that historical events are catalyzed by the generational traits, but the historical events do not mold the behavior of generations in any meaningful way compared to the generational hormone levels. This is why the social dynamics model of the Strauss-Howe generational theory is the wrong way to explain the generations. And it's the very same thing with animal cycles: for a century biologists and others have tried to explain the animal cycles by using environmental variables (such as predators and food supply), but NONE have succeeded. But my model of generational hormone levels explains both the animal cycles AND the Strauss-Howe generational cycle. It's a win win, and no professor in biology and neurobiology so far has been able to prove me wrong on this.

I strongly believe that this is finally the true solution to the the Strauss-Howe generational theory. The cycle is real, that we agree on, but Strauss & Howe just got the explanation for it wrong. It's not the history that generates the generations, it's the generations that create the history. You have to start from the very bottom, that being human biology.

OK, but then, let's just agree to disagree, and move on.  I'm a nature/nurture guy.  Yes, nature has a commanding influence, but not in all things.  Social systems occupy one area where this seems less likely.  More to the point, there is an emerging field of study that indicates that genetic material is subject to change and even interchange due to the environment. Environment is both physical and social.

I'm not discounting you theory out of hand, but I'm not a subscriber either.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#6
(03-21-2020, 04:54 AM)Ldr Wrote: Let me be clear here: I do believe that the generational traits and the turnings are real. But I do not believe that the social dynamics model can explain them. Generations do not "realize" things and then change behavior just because something has happened. Generations do not raise other generations in a way that they "see" the world in some predetermined fashion. Generations do not form traits because the world is in one way or another. It is impossible for a 80 year cycle with 20 year generations to hold a coherent form through five centuries if it was relying on social dynamics.

It looks like a positive-feedback loop. History makes men, but those men themselves make history. To be sure, class realities, family life, and such characteristics as raw intelligence and aptitude matter greatly. So it is impossible to imagine someone like Sir Winston Churchill arising from the peasantry or the proletariat, being trained to be an engineer or chartered accountant, or of course being a dullard. Churchill had most of the advantages of life except for having a father who was an overpowering and consistent influence. But this said, the time in which he was born was itself environment. Had he been born 25 years earlier he might have succumbed to the same temptations as his father and died rather young. Had he been born 25 years later he might have been cannon fodder in what was then called the Great War, a war that would have stripped practically any young man who had not fully entered adulthood of any grandiose ideas. (Note well that the European generation contemporary to America's Lost Generation churned out the bulk of European fascists -- Mussolini, Hitler, Quisling, Franco, Salazar, Laval, Doriot, Darnand, Mussert, Szalasi, Goering, Himmler, Streicher, Ribbentrop, Freisler, Pavelic, Tiso) and no small number of "Red Fascists", as J Edgar Hoover called Commies who were either Stalinist functionaries (Beria, Yezhov, Kaganovich, Vishinsky) under Stalin or such stooges as Kuusinen, Ulbricht, Bierut, Gottwald, Rakosi, Gheorgiu-Dej, Chervenkov). The best of the European "Lost" were what I describe as the "Mature Reactive", the sort who makes no pretensions to great philosophic merit, show more pragmatism than principle, and who by the time they fully achieve power have seen the folly of using power to seek revenge. In America that implies Washington, John Adams, Grant, Cleveland, Truman, Eisenhower... and Obama. Elsewhere one often sees the canny generals who administer warfare well. Washington, Grant, and Eisenhower of course. But see also DeGaulle, Montgomery, Zhukov, Tedder, Patton, and Bradley on the Allied side. The least thuggish of Hitler's generals was Erwin Rommel.. and just look at what his 'lack' of criminality did for him. 

Born forty years later than Churchill? He might have been one of Britain's Few who saved  Britain from ending under the Nazi heel. At the extreme Churchill may have decided that Hitler would never take complete control of western Europe and thus he exemplifies a man making history as few did -- but he too was a product of his time.         


Quote:This is why I have proposed and shown a large amount of validated evidence that the cycle and the generations are formed through hormone levels, and this has been observed in other cyclical animal populations too: https://jannemiettinen.fi/FourthTurning/


There may be some physical link. But few animals have quite the same pattern of maturing at similar ages and having social structures like ours. As an example, dogs -- our near-equals in the food chain and fitting neatly into human families because wolf packs have much the same structure as human families -- live far shorter than a human generation. Horses live about as long as a human generation if lucky, and they are fairly social. The closest animal to us in having the same pattern of maturity and life-span as well as raw intelligence and social bonds is the elephant. Elephants are obviously long-lived enough to have a generational cycle (the most convincing Disney animation when Walt Disney really ran Disney is Dumbo because its anthropomorphism stretches things less than is so with a deer [Bambi] or dogs [Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians] because the elephant herd actually has generational roles. This said, elephants do not have political structures such as cities and states; it is impossible to imagine giant tribes of elephants in a place similar in size to Tanzania having apocalyptic war with elephants in a place similar in size to Mozambique.            


Quote:I believe that the reason why Strauss & Howe (and apparently almost everyone else on this forum but me) believe in the social dynamics model is because the theory of mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

OK, that might take some time to read and incorporate; needless to say, the human mind makes us what we are. 


Quote:Theory of mind is innate to humans, and it makes humans think that they know what others think and then rationalize that their actions are due to this knowledge. I have a mild asperger syndrome, and individuals with asperger syndrome often have a different kind of theory of mind, and I for one can't force myself to believe in my intuition as much as facts and scientific evidence. I can't predict what "the masses" think, but I can observe what they do. Hormone levels modulate human behavior in ways the Strauss-Howe generational cycle describes: parenting intensity, group/social coherence, sexual behavior, etc.


OK, a fairly-intelligent creature -- let us say a bear or a parrot -- might have a powerful mind, but what is possible for either is limited by being a bear or a parrot. Even an elephant is unable to set up towns, schools, or businesses. The closest living relative to us, the chimpanzee, has become the 'lion of the canopy' while we have become more a strange hybrid between wolves and elephants. 

As someone with Asperger's syndrome I have had all sorts of difficulty in life from having facial expressions not fitting my statements (which is typical for a liar) and finding it difficult to express love. A hint: if I were to write song lyrics they might express not so much that I want love as that I need to love. As for understanding what "the masses" think, most who study such do so for understanding something suitable for one aspect of business (such as marketing goods and services to people) or administering an organization (whether a mine or an army). In almost all cases such an effort is limited to a few aspects of human existence. Advertising executives, store owners, military commanders, clergy, medical professionals, and college professors  may be expert on some aspects of human behavior, but certainly not of everything.       

Quote:So I would challenge anyone to explain to me how they think they can understand how people react to societal events and how this would change the behavior of the masses for good. And then tell how they themselves fit into this equation of realizing things and thus changing their own behavior for good.

Only a fool would claim to have an all-encompassing reality that pretends to explain everything. The best that most of us can ever hope for is to master that part of knowledge of human behavior most relevant to our areas of professional competence or expertise. Sigmund Freud understood psychology about as well as Albert Einstein understood physics, but if they ever had any correspondence it was not by Freud about general relativity and if by Einstein it was not about the complexities of psychology. I can imagine them meeting at the same performance of the Vienna Philharmonic and appreciating it... but neither would have tried to top Mozart as a composer.
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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