Cyclical Forces

Intellectual Rocket Fuel

Gears in the Machine

Forces of Nature

Eavesdropping on Millionaires

New York and Changes

Intermission is over. Today we resume my series on the global cycle theories that, probably not by coincidence, all point to major change unfolding in the next few years. Finishing it may take some time since I keep finding new material.

(If you missed—or want to review—the previous installments, check out this X thread for brief summaries and links to the full letters.)

Before we start, let me (gently) push back on a criticism I keep hearing. Some readers say these cycle theories are just “curve fitting” attempts to impose predetermined conclusions on conveniently useful data. That is always a risk in any kind of analysis. Confirmation bias is a powerful force, and we all have to actively resist it.

Two points: First, the idea that human history has repeating patterns is just reality. We humans are a repeating pattern. We live our lives, usually reproducing more humans whose personalities we shape, and they go on to do the same thing, with slight differences. The same happens to groups of humans: families, villages, and nations. They evolve and change in a process that includes a lot of repetition. Maybe “cycle” isn’t the right word for this, perhaps it should be a pattern, but I think either describe the process.

For that matter, even without humans, nature itself has cycles: the sun, the moon, the seasons. Animals and insects have identifiable life cycles during which their population grows and shrinks. I think it’s quite plausible, even likely, that similar processes help mold human civilization in ways that would be obvious if we were on the outside looking in.

Second, the cycle/patterns I am describing are all based on different observations but come to the same general conclusions in terms of the fin de siècle—the end of the cycle or period—for entirely different reasons. Yes, they are using the lens of history, and that history is the same for all of them, but they see a different set of reasons for the periodicity in these cycles.