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Re: Affective measures in the social sciences produce more ideologic agitprop...
by Nemonemini
19 September 2002 23:34 UTC
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In a message dated 9/19/2002 5:51:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time, malexan@net-link.net writes:

Everyone keeps talking about complex systems, and models,but if you present one for history, it suddenly seems mystical, which it isn't.  It's just a model!

Mike writes:
I've read a bit of your website.  As far as I can tell the eonic effect is something like this: around 3000 BC some important stuff happens, then around 600 BC some more important stuff happens and then around 1800 AD some more important stuff happens.  Hence, there is a 2400 year cycle of important stuff.

Again, let me say  I find these reactions invaluable. This work is harder that a course  in calculus, but has to survive on email blurbs against superhostile critics. It takes a minimum month, better six.
The eonic model is tough to analyze, easy to see. I start tearing my hair after a while because I recall the problems I had in constructing it, and the number of distinct concepts needed  and needed all at once to understand it.
You description is amusing, and about right, but the problem is that what you have summarized is pretty remarkable when you consider all the pieces. The question of 2400 years is stated twice or so in six hundred pages, and left as is. I have no explanation, nor make any direct use of it. The model is like that. There is a wrapper. But the greater detail is behind the wrapper. The 2400 years is a way to scare off New Agers. I have a post on that from one such, annoyed, 'don't you mean 2100 years?' Nope. So that's the purpose of that. Set it aside for a moment, keeping in mind that if my thinking is right, that is a remarkable fact.

To get back to my first sentence. I know the problem you are having. You might look at the terminology, where it distinguishes 'eonic determination' and 'free action'.
Keep in mind this in not a deterministic system. These successive phases don't determine what happens, but they do associate with sudden relative fast advance.
We understand this at once if we look at economies, but applied to history it gets confusing.

An economic boom shows 'boom determination' (whatever that is) but this does not change the element of 'free action', i.e. the free agentry of the agents doing commerce.  Acme widget company is filled with people who do widgets before during and after the boom, and/or they have founded the company before during or after that boom. Note your Indus example.

Before, during, after the boom, their free action is part of their potential action. But if we look at the boom, something changed overall in that free activity. Note the statement 'the boom caused acceleration' may be meaningful but can get in trouble. It's obvious, yet.... Free activity is a constant, and isn't really an object of 'acceleraton', although the metaphor is about right. Note that people before the boom can prosper, and after the boom, can prosper, and during the boom can bust. But the concept of the boom remains.
This is why the example of the Indus confuses you. People can found civilizations at any time, once they have the knowledge. So starting civilizations as an incident can occur at any time (probably but not necessarily after the first has diffused the information) in the middle between the main eonic sequence which therefore stands out for other reasons. The point is clearer in the Greek example at the second phase. Anybody can found a civilization, but they can't manage what the Greeks did,. They can barely remember. Science is born then actually dies out! Although it barely survives ticking over in the Islamic and other worlds. But it isn't til the next period that we recover the original level.

The Judaic period is another good example,although the spiritual red herring confuses us. People who came later couldn't do anything but look backward and ask, what the blazes happened in the era of the Prophets? They were all looking backward to that time of phasing.
Note the difference between this especially seminal period, and the fact that religions arise in the middle later. The two, if you think about it, are quite different things, as indeed the early Christians sensed. They thought the phase period canonical, miraculous. They were right for the wrong reason. We see it is part of this more general double discrete-continuous system.
This is the sense of the general distinction of eonic determination and free action. It can seem tricky. But you use the equivalent all the time in considering economies.
The 'dynamic' of an economy does not determine your behavior, but there is a clear 'economic determination', that is distinct from your 'free economic action'.

I should note that this example is economic. The eonic effect is not a large economic phenomenon. The economic interpretation of history just doesn't hack it. It has thrown people off the scent.

You might check out the pate on Eonic Terminology, http://eonix.8m.com/enx_theory2.htm. The whole set of concepts all work together, I fear, and don't work very well in pieces.

I hate to say that. I am frustrated. People don't easily grasp the pieces together. It takes a bit of time, and that people can't spare since a Darwin critic is loco, or the celebs are nixing it.

I need to devise a short course to put it together for a slow introduction. Six hundred pages wasn't really enough.

Questions like those on Indus are excellent. These are my real challegne, and show you actually clicked on the site.
Most people attack me viciously for the one paragraph 'abstract', and threaten me because I won't summarize the model in a few sentences.

I think however it is beginning to dawn on people that despite all their smart sciences they have a Darwin problem, and that social science is going nowhere. It is always for the same few reasons, well analyzed in the nineteenth century.
So too bad. Takes time.

Try to amplify on your three turning point summary. Expand on it and the mystery of the eonic effect will begin to stand out.

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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