Generation lengths

The Silent Generation, the Baby Boomer Generation, Generation-X, the Millennial Generation (or Generation-Y) and the Pivotal Generation (Generation Z)
jmm1184
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Generation lengths

Post by jmm1184 »

In generational dynamics, the generation types are distinct, but unlike Howe and strauss's theory, there are no lengths assigned to them. So my question is in what years surrounding the crisis are the different generations born.

Prophets have no memory of the crisis war, so I would expect their generation to begin 3-5 years before the crisis war, and artists remember it as children but did not fight in it/weren't adults, in which I would expect their generation to begin maybe 18-20 years before the crisis climax. Am I correct in assuming this? And what determines the boundaries of the nomad and hero generations?

John
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by John »

jmm1184 wrote: > In generational dynamics, the generation types are distinct, but
> unlike Howe and strauss's theory, there are no lengths assigned to
> them. So my question is in what years surrounding the crisis are
> the different generations born.

> Prophets have no memory of the crisis war, so I would expect their
> generation to begin 3-5 years before the crisis war, and artists
> remember it as children but did not fight in it/weren't adults, in
> which I would expect their generation to begin maybe 18-20 years
> before the crisis climax. Am I correct in assuming this? And what
> determines the boundaries of the nomad and hero
> generations?
Here's some general information that I've posted before:

There's a difference between a crisis era and a crisis war. A crisis
war can also start during the Unraveling era or during the Fifth
Turning that follows a Crisis Era, if no crisis war has occurred up to
that time.

Once a series of Regeneracy events trigger a new crisis war, it
gathers strength until there's a crisis war climax. America's three
crisis wars lasted 7 years, 5 years, and 4 years, respectively, so
that appears to be a typical time range. Institutional upheaval does
not count as crisis war.

A crisis war climax triggers the beginning of a new saeculum cycle.
The era time spans are pretty much fixed, since they depend on
generational changes, which are irreversible. In particular, they are
not event driven, as some claim. The Crisis Era begins at a certain
time, irrespective of events.

The timeline following a crisis war climax is roughly as follows:

climax + 0 years: Recovery Era
climax + 15 years: Awakening Era
climax + 36 years: Unraveling Era
climax + 58 years: Crisis Era
climax + 78 years: Fifth Turning

Those time spans are pretty much fixed since generational transitions
are fixed. The only transition that's caused by events is the
Regeneracy, which is the point where a non-crisis war turns into a
crisis war. Regeneracy events can trigger a new crisis war at any
time, but the probability that an event will trigger a new crisis war
is very small during the Recovery and Awakening eras, and then
increases as the eras flow, until the crisis era makes the probability
fairly high. Basically, the probability of an event triggering a new
crisis war is negatively correlated to the percentage of the
population that are in generations that survived the previous crisis
war. Thus, there are no sharp divisions between the eras, but gradual
changes that accumulate.

If an unexpected mass invasion occurs during an Awakening era, then
the country will fight (or not fight) with Awakening era behaviors.
But if the invasion is sufficiently brutal, then there'll be a "First
Turning reset," meaning that the country will return to a Recovery Era
following the war climax. This seems to occur most frequently when
mass migrations are forced on a population during an Awakening era.

Here's a table of inter-crisis periods that I posted over ten years
ago. It shows the number of years past the end of the previous crisis
war that the new crisis war starts.

.
> LENGTH OF INTER-CRISIS PERIOD
> Fraction
> # years of total Turning
> ------- -------- ------------------
> 0- 40 0% 1T, 2T
> 41- 49 11% first half of 3T
> 50- 59 33% second half of 3T
> 60- 69 25% first half of 4T
> 70- 79 16% second half of 4T
> 80- 89 4% fifth turning
> 90- 99 6%
> 100-117 5%


The standard Time Magazine definition of Gen-X starts them in birth
year 1963 or 1964.

But from the point of view of generational theory, what matters is
when a child is old enough to know what's going on, and is able to
adopt generational attitudes and behaviors, usually around five years
old. So in generational theory, the Boomers start from birth year
1942, and the Gen-Xers start from birth year 1959.

jmm1184
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by jmm1184 »

Thank you for the summary! One of the reasons I found Generational Dynamics so fascinating was because it explained a lot of the problems I saw in Strauss and Howe's Fourth Turning and Generations books. I was always a bit confused and skeptical about it since in several cases the awakenings did not occur until the prophets were in their 30s, and the cycle length struck me as a case of slight cherry-picking of events to make the timelines fit the model. GD however, makes much more sense in starting the awakening immediately when the prophets begin coming of age, and then allowing the regeneracy event to occur whenever it occurs, whether that's 50 years after the climax or 100.

However, some of my questions still remain unanswered. I understand why the Prophets begin in 1942, since that would be 3 years before the WWII climax, but why exactly does Generation X start in 1959? Do all Nomad Generations begin 14 years after the climax? I recall in earlier postings that Gen X begins in 1961, so is the generational boundary fixed or flexible? And lastly, what determines the Nomad-Hero boundary and the Hero-Artist boundary?

John
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by John »

When you're dealing with human populations, there's always the
possibility for some flexibility. The length of a human life is 80
years, but some live longer, some less. Maybe a huge earthquake
occurred during the Recovery era, and that makes a slight difference.
Maybe there's a slight difference if the last crisis war was an
internal civil war versus an external war. In my view, the only
really hard dates are the date of the Regeneracy and the date of the
crisis war climax. The boundary between Prophet and Nomad is
reasonably firm, but the boundaries between Nomad, Hero and Artist
could have some variability.

John
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by John »

Justin, you're into the Bible, so perhaps you can help me. I'm
looking for ancient mythical and/or historical examples of predictions
that would be similar to the current Generational Dynamics
predictions. Cassandra is one example. Does Ezekiel's prediction of
the destruction of Jerusalem qualify? Is it possible that Ezekiel had
an intuitive understanding of generational theory (which Solomon
apparently did, if we judge from Ecclesiastes) that would have allowed
Ezekiel to predict the destruction of Jerusalem without divine
intervention?

jmm1184
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:02 pm

Re: Generation lengths

Post by jmm1184 »

John wrote:Justin, you're into the Bible, so perhaps you can help me. I'm
looking for ancient mythical and/or historical examples of predictions
that would be similar to the current Generational Dynamics
predictions. Cassandra is one example. Does Ezekiel's prediction of
the destruction of Jerusalem qualify? Is it possible that Ezekiel had
an intuitive understanding of generational theory (which Solomon
apparently did, if we judge from Ecclesiastes) that would have allowed
Ezekiel to predict the destruction of Jerusalem without divine
intervention?
The beginning of Ezekiel indicates that his predictions were inspired by God, but I also wouldn't doubt that he had at least some knowledge of generational theory since he would have been familiar with Ecclesiastes. I haven't read Ezekiel in a while but I will do so and if I see something that would indicate he did have an in depth knowledge of generational cycles I will definitely let you know!

I have to say though, that Ezekiel and especially Jeremiah are definite parallels with Cassandra. Jeremiah especially, because God told him he would prophesy but would not be believed, just like Cassandra.

Regarding your earlier reply about Generational lengths, that makes sense, though (and forgive me for continuing to press you on this issue) I am still unclear as to how the boundary between prophet and nomad is fairly distinct and consistent. Wouldn't the boundary between artist and prophet also be distinct and consistent?

Nevertheless, that makes sense that boundaries would be flexible, and that's probably due to the difference in timing of changes in national mood, which is what Strauss and Howe used to gage the boundaries of Generations.

John
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by John »

jmm1184 wrote: > Regarding your earlier reply about Generational lengths, that
> makes sense, though (and forgive me for continuing to press you on
> this issue) I am still unclear as to how the boundary between
> prophet and nomad is fairly distinct and consistent. Wouldn't the
> boundary between artist and prophet also be distinct and
> consistent?
The boundary between artist and prophet is the the most inflexible of
all, because it occurs at the 3-4 years before the crisis war climax.
The boundary between prophet and nomad is also pretty inflexible,
since it occurs when the first postwar generation begins to come of
age and make their voices heard. There's really not much variation
possible in that.

jmm1184
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by jmm1184 »

So if I follow you, the Prophet Generation has the most predictable generational boundaries. Thus the Boomers range from 1942-1959, and Generation X would be from 1960 to around 1981? (the transition from awakening era to unraveling era).

Nathan G
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by Nathan G »

Shouldn't the crisis era always be in the fourth turning? That's basically what the entire premise of Strauss and Howe's theory was: a Crisis era every 80-100 years. I don't know why we assume crises are happening within 40-50 years, which are so close that most people who remember the previous crisis are still alive and in power.

John
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Re: Generation lengths

Post by John »

Nathan G wrote: > Shouldn't the crisis era always be in the fourth turning? That's
> basically what the entire premise of Strauss and Howe's theory
> was: a Crisis era every 80-100 years. I don't know why we assume
> crises are happening within 40-50 years, which are so close that
> most people who remember the previous crisis are still alive and
> in power.
There are two separate concepts: The "Crisis Era" and the "Crisis
War."

The Crisis Era (which is identical to the Fourth Turning) is purely
generational, and begins (according to my research) about 58 years
after the climax of the preceding crisis war.

The new crisis war might or might not coincide with the crisis era.
It could come early, in the case of an early invasion by someone else.
I once did an estimate that once the Crisis era begins, the
probability that a crisis war will begin in any given year is about
21%, increasing each year to about 25% (as I recall) in the tenth year
of the Crisis Era.

It's also possible that the crisis war wil not begin in the Fourth
Turning at all. In that case, the probability still continues to
increase each year, and the country enters a new unique Fifth Turning
era.

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