Aug 21 2009

Xunantunich and the Large Hadron Collider Support Maslow Window Forecasts

Grandiose structures with cosmic aspirations have a lot in common, regardless of when they were constructed, according to the New York Times (8/9/09; James Glanz). Built around 1500 years ago, Xunantunich, the sacred Mayan pyramid, was the product of a lofty, cosmically sophisticated society that mysteriously disappeared.

Xunantunich and its modern cousin, the Large Hadron Collider, point tantalizingly toward the spectacular 2015 Maslow Window. Click xunantunich.jpg

According to Dr. Richard Leventhal, an anthropologist with the University of Pennsylvania and an authority on Xunantunich,

All of these multigenerational projects are based upon a strong and ongoing belief system in how the world works.

As long as that world view remains in tact, the project continues and is updated by each generation, but if it falters, “all bets are off.” This mirrors the views of 1960s sociologist Fred Polak who cited 2000 years of evidence supporting the importance of a positive vision of the future to the viability of a civilization.

With the Mayans we are apparently seeing evidence of a civilization-level collapse, but Xunantunich itself also speaks of the enduring power of the cosmos to motivate humans toward large, state-of-the-art engineering projects — supporting a major theme and expectation of as we approach the 2015 Maslow Window.

Glanz, himself “a former physicist,” seems to flirt with an anti-technology bias by suggesting that Xunantunich and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) “have something in common: overreach.” However, Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg counters, “I don’t see it in quite those apocalyptic terms.”

And of course Weinberg is right. In reality, despite it’s current technical snags, LHC is becoming a stunning Macro-Engineering Project (MEP) that fits the patterns of MEPs for the last 200 years and points to even bigger things during the 2015 Maslow Window.

Our technical definition of an MEP requires more than just state-of-the-art technology and a large price tag: it must also inspire and excite a large international audience, like the Saturn V Moon rocket of the 1960s did and the Panama Canal still does. As I noted before, in the case of the Superconducting Super Collider, this demand for global interest was one of the nails in its coffin, because major particle accelerators are buried underground and thus hard for the public to see and fall in love with. However, it appears that as we approach the 2015 Maslow Window, the LHC is overcoming this limitation based on its pop culture references — e.g., searching for the “God Particle,” and speculations about small LHC-produced black holes that might gobble up the Earth — and its long wave timing.

Construction of LHC was approved in 1995, near the trough of the 56 year energy cycle, so the project benefitted from the generally upward trend of the long wave until recently. However, cost overruns, budget cuts, and engineering difficulties have driven the cost up to $ 9 B and delayed the opening date to September 10, 2008. Over the last 200 years, this is typical of MEPs that originate far from Maslow Windows.

Rather than comparing LHC to Xunantunich, it is much more interesting to compare it to analogous MEPs of the last 200 years, especially if we want a glimpse of the 2015 Maslow Window.

Each Maslow Window of the last 200 years — except for the first one, the Lewis & Clark Maslow Window — features one primary MEP and one or more secondary ones. For example, the Peary/Panama Maslow Window (1903-13) features the Panama Canal as its primary MEP, and the Titanic ship as a secondary MEP.

In the context of the last 200 years, the timing, technological complexity, and cost of LHC suggest it is a secondary MEP associated with a much larger primary MEP that will appear during the 2015 Maslow Window. LHC appears to be analogous to the Mackinac Bridge (connecting the peninusulas of Michigan), a secondary MEP of the 1950s that preceded the primary MEP — the Apollo/Saturn V transportation infrastructure — of the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window.

I have previously estimated the cost of the 2015 Maslow Window’s primary MEP as between $ 1T and 3T, based on a simple extrapolation of 20th Century MEP costs into the 21st century. (This assumes rapid economic growth characteristic of Maslow Windows as we exit our current major recession in a few years and reignite the “greatest global boom ever” that was interrupted by the Panic of 2008.)

Using simple ratios between the costs of primary and secondary MEPs for each Maslow Window, and assuming that LHC is a secondary MEP of the 2015 Maslow Window, allows another interesting estimate of the cost of the primary MEP after 2015.

Here are the primary MEP to secondary MEP cost ratios for the last 3 Maslow Windows:

Dr. Livingstone/Suez Maslow Window:
Suez Canal cost/Great Eastern ship cost = 50

Peary/Panama Maslow Window:
Panama Canal cost/Titanic ship cost = 50

Apollo Moon Program Maslow Window:
Apollo Moon cost/Mackinac Bridge cost= 200

If we multiply the cost of LHC by these factors we estimate the cost of the primary MEP during the 2015 Maslow Window.

The primary to secondary MEP cost ratios of the 19th and early 20th century Windows suggest a 2015 Window primary MEP cost of $ 0.5 T.

And the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window ratio suggests about $ 2 T.

This cost range — $ 0.5 to 2 T — is close to the earlier range ($ 1T to 3T) that I obtained from simple extrapolation of primary MEP costs.

One could argue that the most modern (e.g., 1960s) cost ratio might be more characteristic of the 21st Century, which would favor 2015 MEP costs of between $ 1T to 3T, like my previous estimates.

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  1. [...] like the Saturn V Moon rocket of the 1960s did and the Panama … The rest is here:  21st Century Waves » Xunantunich and the Large Hadron Collider … Share and [...]

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