Monday, August 06, 2012

Revolution Bubbles in History

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 lead to the bubble of Turchin's analysis. One gets boom-bust cycles in complex processes when there is positive feedback. Cheap money is a kind of positive feedback. There was an education bubble in the 1960's that led to the violence of the 1970's. I have been saying there is an education bubble now -- and Turchin predicts revolutionary violence in the U.S. of the same kind around 2020. Given that there is also a health care bubble, whose problems have been and will be exacerbated by Obamacare, though created by decades of third party payers, and given the fact that we are still trying to recover economically from the housing bubble, I suspect that 2020 will look far, far worse than did 1970.
Update: more on cliodynamics. HT: Peter Turchin

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