Tuesday, October 23, 2012


The journal Nature has a fascinating piece on cliodynamics -- computer analyses of patterns in history. What I find fascinating is that they end up with exactly the same analysis as I had on the revolution in Egypt. Each each case, we were looking at bubbles and the causes of bubbles. There is a bubble that resulted in the violence/unrest bubble. The bubble of my analysis seems to be the same as the bubble of Peter Turchin's analysis. One gets boom-bust cycles in complex processes when there is positive feedback. Cheap money is a kind of positive feedback. Third party payers, such as we see in health care with insurance, is another. And artificially low interest rates -- meaning, rates below what the market would create -- created the housing bubble that burst in 2008. There was an education bubble in the 1960's that led to the violence of the 1970's. I believe there is an education bubble now, as evidenced by the increasing prices and blooming number of bureaucrats -- and Turchin predicts revolutionary violence in the U.S. of the same kind around 2020. There are more aspects to cliodynamics than education bubble-created violence, and many more I am sure possible. One has to be careful, though, that one does not mistake the model for reality -- these are not accurate predictions, but pattern predictions. These are, nevertheless, very important.


  1. Was the prime radiant consulted for the long term consequences of this psychohistorical analysis?

  2. Obviously he didn't even obey the law that said you're not supposed to share the information with the general public.

    I will note that what he's doing is pattern predictions, which is reasonable -- Hayekian, in fact. It seems the patterns follow an ABCT education bubble pattern.