The Joy of Being Late, and Inadequate

For reasons beyond my ken, many folks are upset when they find they have been working on an area, and think their discovery is new or somehow special, and then discover that someone else was digging there first. Even more upset if that prior art is superior to theirs. They seem to feel cheated out of some specialness, or expected lauding by others.

My best guess is that my reaction is different because I do not look to others for my “validation”. I am who and what I am, nothing more, nothing less, and what someone else thinks of it (good or bad) doesn’t change any of it. Or me. Or my opinion of me and my failings. Or successes. As someone once said to some prod of minor critique “I am a finished person”.

So my reaction is different from that. I find it a joyous moment. I get a little adrenalin and endorphin rush. Why?

Well, first off, it means I’m not alone. Someone else is on the same path with me. I’m much more likely to have been correct in what I thought I saw and was hunting. I like thinking myself correct as much as the next guy. Here is a common traveler, a fellow seeker, perhaps even someone interesting to share a bit of mindshare with.

Second, and in many ways more important, they always have looked at some different parts, and if I’m really lucky, have done a lot more in depth work on much of it. It can save me literally decades of work “digging here” on a given point. To find that someone else saw the same thing, and did a giant “Dig Here!” for a decade, means I just got a decade of lifetime “for free” to use on other things. That is a Very Precious Gift. I like gifts. So when my efforts have been woefully inadequate compared to theirs, that’s just all the bigger the gift is to me. What’s not to like?

Maybe it’s just that I don’t really give a damn about “recognition” or “glory”. I care about understanding and knowing truths. This shows up in all sorts of ways.

Like despising the use of Personal Names for units (rampant in the S.I. world). Why? A functional unit tells you a fundamental truth. A person-name is a black box. If I say it runs at 20 Cyles Per Second (CPS) you know something. If I say “20 Hz”, all you know is that you need to look up Hz and find out it is cycles/second… A waste of time. We hide a lot of very useful clues about how physics works in stupid Human Names for units. If stated as fundamental units and then their derived form as functional units, often the solution to a problem is obvious since all you need to do is “cancel out the units”.

Foo happens for 10 cycles. The rate is 20 cycles / second. How many seconds?

10 cycles /20 cycles / second = 10 / 20 seconds = 1/2 second.


10 cycles / 20 Hz.

No clue in that… This is rampant in S.I. units of the world. Part of why I still like to use the older functional units of the American / British systems. (Though even they have some Name Units in them that ought to be purged).

But I digress…

Cycles of Time and Civilization

I’ve had a few postings about the fall of civilizations on Bond Events, and even thought there was a 1/2 Bond Event detectable at about 750 years.

Can the Egyptian Kings tell us something of interest about our future?

I think they can.

I’d even go so far as to assert that they can tell us of an important cycle of weather. A 750 year cycle of “1/2 Bond Event” duration. This has very important implications for us, now, with our sleepy sun.

There are two separate lines of evidence for a 1470 to 1500 year cycle of weather. During the ice age glacials, the cycles are called by one name, during the Holocene interglacial, by another. This is because each was discovered by different means and by different folks. But it is the same cycle and it has been present for hundreds of thousands of years. It would be folly to think “this time is different”.

So on and off I’ve looked up collapsed civilizations, mapped them onto the Bond Event and 1/2 Bond Event timing, and made a posting. Yet To Do was a more complete search of history. A look at what all the details were, the minor empires and petty kings. Was there a rise / fall pattern in all those OTHER parts of history I’d ignored? I wasn’t getting to it very fast. It would take years to learn all the needed history. So mostly I’d just ‘hunt and peck’ and post a bit from time to time. Inadequate, but useful.

Today, by an odd series of links, I ended up discovering that “Someone had beaten me to it”. Not only had they found this cycle of Civilization a couple of decades before me, but that had gone through ALL of history with a fairly fine comb and had much better detail on how the cycle ran inside of that 1400 years. They, too, found a half cycle at 700 years, but noticed that the nature of Empire was different then. Something I’d dimly seen, but not recognized how repeatable and meaningful it was. I’d just thought “well, it’s only 1/2 warm then, so the’re only 1/2 as good, maybe” and left it at that. This historian looks at the essential nature of the empires then, and how they look back more than forward. Even a bit of speculation about capital stock effects.

I most enjoyed that he had filled in all the bits I’d jumped over. Parts of time that were “fuzzy” to me are now clearly documented and clearly “fit the pattern”.

So my only “add” at this point might be that I’ve connected it to the 1470 ish year “weather cycle” and the subharmonic of 750 ish years inside that. If that can help them see new patterns, all the better.

So what was this series of things?

Well, it started with… investigating de Vries Events (that looked dodgy to me lacking a sunspot anchor), then to Jupiter and phi and Tallblokes site and one think lead to another. That put me on Malaga Bay site with some complaints about de Vries and some rampant speculation about a 1350 year cycle (that he seems to have christened “Lawler Events” in honor of J. H. L. Lawler of Nexial stuff below?) That lead to a citation of this work, which lead to this link:,45,_10.htm

The first is 700 or 1400 year cycle of rise and fall of empires, of whole civilizations.

Secondly is the 45 year cycle of innovation, and of great and minor wars.

Finally there is a 10 year cycle of U. S. economy, for the last two centuries.



J. H. L. LAWLER Aug 1990 700 YEAR CYCLES

There is a pattern of the rise an fall of empires, of whole civilizations, which happens with approximately a 700-year repeat cycle. The cycles alternate with monolithic empires* followed by fragmentary empires. There is a complete collapse of civilization each 1400 years, so this could be called a 1400-year cycle. But all major empires rise and collapse every 700 years in synchronism. Thus I prefer to focus on the 700-year cycle as the main repeat element. This has been documented for more than 150 major empires and this pattern has been documented for more smaller cultures which probably should not be called empires, with no major exceptions. The 700-year pattern can also be subdivided into ten phases, or smaller trends. The number ten is arbitrary, and simply one convenient subdivision. With this pattern we can predict trends, which will last for most of one person’s lifetime.

So this has been around since 1990, but as ‘history’, not ‘climate’, so I’d not found it. Until now.

There’s many other pages at that site, and it will take a while to dig through them all, but that is still far far less time than it would take to “do it all myself”, and for that I’m very thankful.

This looks like a scan of a hand drawn paper graph from 1990 or so… perhaps “someday” I’ll put it onto a computer graphic ;-)

Nexial 700 year cycle

Nexial 700 year cycle

There’s a LOT more at the other end of the link. The author even reaches back in time to some extent to before history and finds a lengthening of cycles on the other side of the Younger Dryas event. IMHO this just reflects that in an Ice Age Glacial, things are pretty much always brutal and cold. That, and the inevitable loss of resolution in data in the distant past tends to erase things with short periods like 700 years. You might find it in an ice core, but not in pottery in the ground. Just not enough resolution in “stuff in the dirt” that far back. “Sample time” tends to be thousands of years between different finds as little is preserved and found.

This link:

has much more specific detail on the 700 year cycle. (The other covers shorter 45 and 10 year cycles more).



After analyzing more than 150 major Civilizations of the world; from pre history at about 9000 BC in the early Paleolithic, and even before that, to the present; It has been discovered that all of them follow a similar pattern of cyclic rise and fall. These cycles have a 700 year period for each cyclic pattern. The cycles can be subdivided into ten sequential phases which follow one another with remarkably little variation in pattern in each of these cycles.

The 700 year cycle; however, alternates between two types: “M” and “F” civilizations. Every other cycle is a “Monolithic” or “M” civilization. These “M” cycles are always relatively well known and accomplish great monumental things. The alternative cycles, between the “M” cycles, are called “Fragmentary” or “F” civilizations and are a repeating lesser shadow of the prior “M” empires. The Fragmentary civilizations frequently are not well known, even obscure, and their history is often very tedious and fragmented into minor petty kings and dynasties. Their history is frequently so fragmented into complex and petty interactions that it is difficult to understand. Thus the term fragmentary of “F” is applied to describe them.

As an example of this alternating pattern, the written history of Egypt started circa 3500 BC with a “Fragmentary” cycle which is the “Archaic period” beginning with the First Dynasty. The First Dynasty started with the unification of Egypt by King Narmer from two lesser kingdoms (Upper and Lower Egypt) into one nation. Prior to that we have only a very fragmented list of several rulers of the two separate kingdoms of upper and lower Egypt. This “archaic period” includes the Second Dynasty but ends clearly with the construction of the “Step Pyramid” of king Zoser or Thoser in the Third Dynasty by his Vizier Imhotep. Imhotep not only constructed the first major dressed stone work in history, and founded the engineering basis for all other pyramids, he wrote the world’s first major medical text(later worshiped as the god of medicine), and set hieroglyphics into the formal pattern that lasted more than 3000 years. He was perhaps the first real certifiable genius in history.

The “Old Kingdom” including the 4th, 5th, and 6th dynasties followed the Archaic period circa 2800-2300 BC. This is the “M” or monolithic cycle including the major pyramid construction with the three best-known “Great Pyramids” at Giza in the 4th dynasty. This high point is followed by a first interregnum where we do not have a complete king list, let alone a coherent history of that time. The anarchy started ca. 2300 BC and lasted about 200 years.

and a whole lot more…

The site has an eclectic mix of things from Engineering to Economics to History to… Gee, wonder why I like that ;-)

From their index page, this example (bold mine):


Historical analysis of assumptions, the “basis” of society, particularly hidden assumption, what works, what does NOT work, and why; consequences of selected actions, and how to avoid certain disastrous fallacies. Government is opposed to Freedom, but freedom is required for progress, thus the optimal government is the least government. Redistribution of wealth in all forms is theft, and always destructive of the society in direct proportion to the loss of incentive (two ways: loss by those from whom stolen, and by those who receive the stolen values – doubly destructive)/ collectivism thus never works. Government consumes value that should be capital, thus halting production of wealth. Key word indicators of those with intent to destroy freedoms, “for the children”, “entitlement”, “social contract”, “common good” and so on – Responsibility exists, if at all, only in individual people. Societies have no social responsibility outside of that exhibited by individuals within the society. The society is the sum of individual actions, no more no less.

Interesting what a study of history can teach a person… “what works, and what does NOT work”…

So I had this echo of Nexialism rattling around in my brain. VERY familiar, but I didn’t have a full handle on it. From their top page, this joggled it free:


This was first proposed by AE Van Vogt in 1950 in his book Destination Universe (AKA Voyage of the Space Beagle). The actual development has taken a course somewhat dissimilar to the fiction. Nexialism is applied generalization, from the word Nexus – connection – putting together of facts, techniques and methods that have been separated into isolated specialties, back into a unified whole. The invasion of chemistry via DNA into biology and overwhelming promise of Genetic Engineering is probably the best current example of this process. The electronic invasion of Mechanical engineering with car ignition systems that last 100,000 miles is another such example.

Mankind carved nature and “natural Science” into specialties so that one person could excel in that one small area. But with special techniques, people can learn to handle MANY specialties, – in fact virtually every area of science and humanities to the limits of man’s knowledge. Leonardo Da Vinca was claimed to have been “the last universal man” but that need not be true. While a genius will always be more adept than an average man, Nexialism techniques can help produce many more geniuses, teaching people to “learn to learn” and thus It benefits anyone and everyone.

I read my copy of “Voyage of the Space Beagle” several times in the 1960s. I rarely read a work of fiction more than once… I have no idea where it has “got off to”, lost in the things abandoned as I went to college, most likely. It looks (from the above) like it may have been re-titled “Destination Universe”. IIRC, they had a skyscraper sized building with a huge number of vacuum tubes in it making a giant computer, in one of the stories… Got the impact of computing, not the impact of semiconductor electronics, but hey, can’t see ALL the future ;-)

So a “fellow traveler” who also read the book and also set out to “synthesize” as much knowledge as possible…

Well, now that I have a few years more free time, I think I’m going to make a cup of tea and read some more of those links ;-)

Maybe even get back to that whole de Vries (Suess Cycle) thing and see if it looks more solar or “something else” after all…

I’m also going to try working out just a bit better where our present state of affairs is on the chart of historical cycles:

Nexial Phases of Empires

Nexial Phases of Empires

I’m thinking maybe 7, (6 looks like the “new deal”) but as 9 is a recycle of 6, 7 but faster, maybe we’re a 9…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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12 Responses to The Joy of Being Late, and Inadequate

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm interesting

  2. omanuel says:

    The present state of affairs is:

    1. Just after realization the entire “house of cards” must fall or the US National Academy of Sciences will continue to control public policy and deceive the public:

    2. Just before a violent social revolution or the election of political tyrant.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    It just struck me how similar that pattern in the 10 steps is to the pattern in the theory of the Kondratieff wave theory.

    I guess the lesson is that humans tend to have a relatively short time horizons and a poor grasp of history. Hence they tend to repeat the same patterns over and over as history repeats (rhymes).
    The patterns are the same only the details change.

    Recent posts I have seen talking about millennials generally having favorable views of socialism because in their life time they have never seen the final stages of socialism and its descent into totalitarian dictatorships and the crushing of human initiative. They see socialism as being defined by the current soft socialist systems of Europe rather than the hard socialism tyrannies that their parents and grand parents knew. Like in the 1930’s when socialism and fascism were seen as good and progressive styles of governance, before the skeletons in the closet became visible to all who cared to look.

  4. Terry Jay says:

    Yep, 7 looks about right. If you date #2 to around 1770, all the cycles would have to be compressed. I doubt you can compress all the cycles and stay with the 700 year cycle, which seems more controlling than the sub cycles. So where would you put the starting point for 1 or 2? #2 seems like it would stand out the most.

  5. M Simon says:

    I wonder how Kondratieff cycles fit into this.

    Terry J – the cycles may not match so well given our better understanding of agriculture. We are not quite so dependent on agriculture/climate. OTOH we don’t quite yet have the political organization to keep us out of an ice age. We might have to cover the frozen North/South with carbon black. Or put mirrors into space. Maybe connect the Atlantic and Pacific with a big ditch across Panama. Or something else.

  6. M Simon says:

    I didn’t notice Larry Ledwick 18 March 2016 at 9:30 pm when I commented. Thanks Larry.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m leaning toward 8 as the Reagan Years and Obama as the start of 9… timing would be about right. That would put us about 40 years to terminal collapse, that also seems about right.

    It also has the Nixon to Carter years in 7 that also fits…

    3 I would place in the conquest of The New World, about 1400 to 1600, which would put 2 in the 1200 to 1300 A.D. range. Middle of the Holy Roman Empire. As this cycle ought to be a Fragmentary, after the collapse of the monolithic Roman Empire, that too sort of fits (Byzantium fits too).

    Sorta makes a fellow go hmmmmmm…..

    European recovery post Roman collapse, extended between continents via new tech, expansion of Empires into today, rough stagnation starts about W.WII as land is all taken, and now we’ve repeat cycled faster ala 9, with just doing step 10 left to go. Seems to fit.

    We certainly seem to have the “no reform”, piracy, terrorism, welfare and incipient collectivism of 9 in play now…

    Brexit sort of the start of European division back to nation states along with EU borders going back up. Trump wanting 45% tariffs would slow trade… Does look like process is moving toward number 10 items, or pushing that way. A 22 year frozen droughty famine would likely seal the deal….

  8. Pouncer says:

    Hey Chief, did you see this about Irish / “Celtic” bones. More for the “red-headed sea people” files. And a big “dig here” , literally.

  9. Glenn999 says:

    When do you figure was #5, the Luxury, the Peak of Freedom??

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Yup! There was a link in “Tips” IIRC. I find it terribly funny that the “Origin of the Celts” is now shown to be “down the Pub!” quite literally ;-)

    Now if they can just find a layer just above the grave showing that site has been a pub of some sort for the last 2000 years… ;-)


    I’d guess it was about the peak of the British and French Empires. Maybe as late as The Roaring 20’s… A time when people could go anywhere in the world, pack a gun in America and Britain, and just about anything luxurious was yours for the buying. (Not so good for the subjugated peoples of The Empires, but that’s how an Empire works, and this thesis IS about Empires).

    That the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts could do just about anything they wanted in the economy may not be considered “good”, it certainly was “freedom” and they did have luxury…

    So from about 1700 to 1900 we had a fairly luxurious Empire structure with lots of liberty for the Elite (and in many ways a fair amount for us underlings… My Grandparents and Great Grandparents took over a continent over here…) Then in the Crash of ’29 we entered the stagnant ’30s to ’40s that I’d count as #6 marking the end of 5. By that metric, 5 would be about 1800-1900 and the 1700-1800 would be “conquest”, which does seem to fit. Post W.W.II to Reagan was the rise of Bureaucracy and growth of the Feds over here, Eurozone recovery into stagnation over there. Then the Regan / Maggy axis as “reform”, though I’m not sure what grand monuments we’ve made… (Star Wars and the Space Station? Olympic Villages?)

    One could make a case that the founding of the UN was a kind of new Global Empire, though a week one. In which case that would mark “8” a “New Central Power”.

    That we in the USA are about to do a rapid oscillation between Bush / Obama / Trump | Bernie sure does seem to match a 9…

    The other possible that fits the timeline would be that the One World Government folks are in fact the final stage of integrating the EU Empire with the North American Empire (NAFTA) and an attempt to rope in the ROW. And that THIS is the “5” (though it requires stretching the timeline a bit… having “conquest” last from 1600 to 1900 is a bit long…) and the final dictatorship is still to come. IMHO the USA put a bit of a Monkey Wrench in the timeline with W.W.II since it DID have the rise of dictatorships (Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, etc.) but we knocked it off kilter for a generation. Now the EU has arisen, Russia is renewed, and we’re back to the races. either in a “7” as we wait for “reform”, or as a “9” and that whole W.W.II / USSR / EU cycle was just that “faster version of 6 / 7 “…

    I can see both.

    But my best guess is that we’re in the 9 phase, and the fast cycle of Europe from end of the Empire era through W.W.II and the rebuild, rise / fall of USSR in 50 years, and now onto the EU was the run through a rapid 8 into 9 happening from about 1960 into now.

    Part of the problem, IMHO, is the slightly offset time lines in Eurasia vs North America… and that wars can now be global. But, IF my cold crash thesis is correct, we hit the wall globally in about 2030 to 2040 and we all hit it together. Then governments fall and chaos breaks out as folks get real grumpy when they are cold, tired, hungry, and dying. That’s the PWP time… (People With Pitchforks).

    I’m fairly certain that the Age Of Empires (European, Russian, and the USA) has ended what with the USA out of the Philippines, USSR disbanded, and British / French / Spanish Empires rolled up into the EU under the benevolent Germans…. which would argue for having passed through “8” already and the “reform” having passed. That “9” looks a whole lot like the modern EU, the USA Federal Government & especially Bernie & Hillary…

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  12. punmaster says:

    Foo happens for 10 cycles.
    I have often wondered about that. Thanks for clearing it up.

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