Advocates of 'cliodynamics' say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure.Read at at Nature
Human cycles: History as science
(h/t Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism)
To Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the appearance of three peaks of political instability at roughly 50-year intervals is not a coincidence. For the past 15 years, Turchin has been taking the mathematical techniques that once allowed him to track predator–prey cycles in forest ecosystems, and applying them to human history. He has analysed historical records on economic activity, demographic trends and outbursts of violence in the United States, and has come to the conclusion that a new wave of internal strife is already on its way1. The peak should occur in about 2020, he says, and will probably be at least as high as the one in around 1970. “I hope it won't be as bad as 1870,” he adds.Sounds about right to me. And it is also in line with Ravi Batra and Strauss & Howe, although S & H see the historical cycle spanning ~80 years, i.e., four generations, rather than fifty years, i.e., two generations or the "father-son" cycle.