Archive for the 'Wave Guide 8: Non-Space MEPs' Category

May 19 2012

Tall Tales from the CTBUH Point to a New 1960s-Style Golden Age

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago is the world’s arbiter of all things tall. They keep endless, ballistic statistics on tall buildings of all kinds, and make official, industry-recognized decisions about whose building is The One.

The 20 tallest buildings completed in 2011 point to a new 1960s-style “Golden Age” that’s just around the corner.
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For example, last month the CTBUH announced that the new One World Trade Center tower in New YorK City (at Ground Zero) might not become the tallest in the Western Hemisphere after all because the 408 foot antenna atop the building would not be enclosed in an architectural spire; according to the CTBUH, spires count, but antennas sans spires don’t (Wall Street Journal, C. Bialik, 5/12/12).

Indeed, such erigible esoterica is of considerable significance as we at 21stCenturyWaves.com continue our development of a global ebullience index.

This is because — over the last 200+ years — large Macro-Engineering Projects (e.g., Panama Canal) and Great Explorations (e.g., discovery of the N and S poles) appear to be triggered by large economic booms, but are fundamentally driven by “ebullience” (e.g., “Panama fever”, “pole mania”) — a somewhat irrational, but highly positive view of the future.

For example, In the 1960s Apollo program and Peace Corps of John F. Kennedy it was the ebullient feeling that we could do almost anything; in the early 20th century it was Theodore Roosevelt’s Panama fever and (north & south) pole mania; in the mid-19th century it was manifest destiny of James Polk and the central Africa adventures of Dr. Livingstone, I presume; and about 200 years ago it began auspiciously with Jefferson, Napoleon, and Lewis & Clark.

Earlier this year at the University of Southern California an internationally recognized architect confided to me that erecting tall buildings is usually more about egos than profits.

The CTBUH executive director agrees and the early abullience shown by Saudi plans for the first kilometer supertower — that bests the current tallest Burj Khalifa in Dubai by 500+ feet — and other recent extraordinay endeavors suggest we are indeed headed for a new 1960s-style “golden age”.

For example, in their annual review (for 2011) of tall building trends, the CTBUH noted:
1) 2011 continues the trend since 2007 that each successive year has more 200 meter+ buildings completed than ever before; this record-setting pace is now expected to continue even through the current great recession.

Looking to the future, it is now foreseeable – indeed likely – that the recent trend of an annual increase in building completions will continue for the next several years, perhaps even through the end of the decade. This represents a change in recent predictions. It had been expected that skyscraper completions would drop off very sharply after 2011, as a result of the 2008 global financial crisis and the large number of projects put on hold. Now however, due in large part to the continuing high activity of skyscraper design and construction in China, as well as the development of several relatively new markets, this global dip is no longer expected.

2) Global shifts in the locations of the top 100 buildings are significant. For example, Asia (with 46) is edging toward 50% of the all top 100 towers, and the Middle East increased by three, while Europe dropped to only one building in the top 100.

3) While China remains a dynamic market for 200 m+ buildings, its production declined from 33% in 2010 to only 26% in 2011, which indicates the market is diversifying. For example, Panama — site of one of the most ebullient MEPs in the world today: the Panama Canal Expansion Project — is enjoying a 200 m+ spurt:

Before 2008, no 200 m+ buildings existed in all of Panama. Then, between 2008 and 2010, three buildings opened. In 2011, Panama City completed ten 200 m+ skyscrapers, more than any other city and more than double the number of completions in all of North America. With these completions, there are now 12 such buildings in Panama, perhaps signaling a new day for the tall building in this region.

The CTBUH Summary for 2011 concludes by forecasting a decade-long surge in tall buildings around the globe.

With over 300 projects above the 200-meter mark currently under construction internationally, the tall building community is set to continue to develop at an incredible pace. As new markets continue to discover and develop the tall building, it is quite possible that this pace will continue through the end of this decade. Without a doubt, the skylines of the world will see tremendous change by the year 2020.

The tall building community sees beyond current global economic difficulties to a more ebullient 1960s-style “golden age” that will sparkle into the 2020s. It’s called the 2015 Maslow Window and will also feature the new international Space Age.

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Aug 14 2011

Beyond the Recession: Planning the World’s First Kilometer-high Super Tower

With the recent announcement (Wall Street Journal, 8/3/11; S. Said) of their new super tower, the Saudis reenforce a key global trend that 21stCenturyWaves.com noticed a few years ago: The increasing momentum of “early ebullience.”

The planned Saudi kilometer-high super tower will become the world’s tallest building (and tallest man-made structure) and dwarf the Burj Khalifa in Dubai by 564 feet (20%).
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The lesson of the last 200 years is that widespread societal ebullience — usually triggered by a major economic boom (e.g., the 1960s JFK Boom) — is the fundamental driver of twice-per-century, transformative decades known as “Maslow Windows.”

Here at 21stCentuyWaves.com, ebullience is a technical term that indicates a very positive, somewhat irrational emotional state characterized by unusual confidence in the future.

In the 1960s Apollo program and Peace Corps of John F. Kennedy it was the ebullient feeling that we could do almost anything; … and about 200 years ago it began auspiciously with Jefferson, Napoleon, and Lewis & Clark.

The last Maslow Window featured the first man on the Moon, the Peace Corps, and the still-famous Camelot zeitgeist associated with JFK. The next one is anticipated by mid-decade, based on long-term indicators (multi-century GDP trajectories) and current global trends (e.g., the Panic of 2008 and great recession of 2008-).

Saudi Arabia’s planned super-tower is an impressive example of early ebullience because it looks beyond the recession to the completion of the world’s tallest building for a lot of money.

The planned tower will soar to 3,281 feet (1,000 meters) and will include a hotel, luxury condominiums and offices. It would dwarf the Burj Khalifa, which is 2,717 feet (828 meters), and would also be the world’s tallest man-made structure.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced the $ 1.23 B (USD) project that will be completed in 2016, shortly after the next Maslow Window is expected to open.

Is this really a lot of money in today’s world? Well if it were constructed in New York City, where building costs are higher, its price tag would exceed $ 5 B, which would make it comparable to the Panama Canal Expansion Project (another example of early ebullience) — just short of the cost of the original canal.

Although the world’s tallest buildings are usually not known for exceptional ROI — e.g., when it was #1, New York’s Empire State Building used to be known as the “Empty State Building” — the Saudi Prince sees ebullient global symbolism associated with his project:

Building this tower in Jeddah sends a financial and economic message that should not be ignored, It has a political depth to it to tell the world that we Saudis invest in our country.

And nobody has to hit Antony Wood, executive director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, with a Mack truck; he gets it:

The world’s tallest building has never been about making the maximum financial return. It’s about ego. It’s about attention. It’s about making a statement.

Just so no one is misled about the scale of early ebullience on display in Saudi Arabia today, consider their plans for the super tower. According to WSJ …

The Saudi project is designed to be the showpiece of Kingdom City, a 57-million-square-foot megadevelopment north of Jeddah. Overlooking the Red Sea, it is slated to cost $20 billion.

Twenty billion … Now you’re talking! That’s ebullience befitting the next Maslow Window!

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May 04 2011

Kanal Istanbul — A View To an Ebullient, Apollo-style Age?

During his ongoing re-election campaign, the prime minister of Turkey is selling a big idea. According to Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Wall Street Journal, M. Champion, 4/28/11),

We are today starting to work on one of the biggest projects of the century, which leaves behind the Panama, the Suez and—in Greece—the Corinth canals.

Do ebullient visions of Kanal Istanbul signal the approach of a 1960s-style golden age?
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Given that the Suez Canal was the “technological jewel” of the 19th century, and Panama was the greatest macroengineering project of the last 200 years (until Apollo), Mr. Erdogan is using the language of ebullience.

Here at 21stCentuyWaves.com, ebullience is a technical term that indicates a very positive, somewhat irrational emotional state characterized by unusual confidence in the future.

In the 1960s Apollo program and Peace Corps of John F. Kennedy it was the ebullient feeling that we could do almost anything; … and about 200 years ago it began auspiciously with Jefferson, Napoleon, and Lewis & Clark.

Mr. Erdogan envisions Kanal Istanbul as reducing shipping traffic and increasing safety and quality of life in the Bosphorus area by creating a channel from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean; indeed, between 1982 and 2003 the Bosphorus experienced more than 600 shipping accidents.

But environmental rationales aside, the project’s main appeal is apparent in the prime minister’s ebullient rhetoric.

We said Turkey deserves to enter 2023 with such a major, crazy and wonderful project, and we took the step for this.

This timeframe suggests Kanal Istanbul would occur near the projected culmination of the 2015 Maslow Window.

History shows that truly ebullient projects — characteristic of the approach to (or early in) Maslow Windows — are usually fuzzy about costs, and Kanal Istanbul is no exception. For example, Mr. Erodgan didn’t address the issue partly because the exact path of the ~50 km-long canal is not decided.

However, William Marcuson, of the American Society of Civil Engineers, estimates a big canal rate of $ 1 B per kilometer, which puts Kanal Istanbul in the $ 50 B range, or about 1/3 of the 1960s Apollo Moon program.

Apollo-level costs convince critics that the canal will never be built. For example, Amada Paul (Today’s Zaman, 5/3/11) suggests that,

This project is probably little more than a three-minute wonder with Erdoğan announcing it without putting any meat on the bones … Once the elections are over it will likely fade away.

The real question is whether Kanal Istanbul will be more like the Grand Korean Waterway or the Panama Canal Expansion Project? In the former case, Lee Myung-bak’s ebullient vision has encountered opposition from the public. But in Panama in 2006, 72% of voters ebulliently approved the $ 5.25 B project — a tab close to the original cost of the Canal!

The Bottom Line
Given Turkey’s ascending geopolitical trajectory (e.g., George Friedman, The Next Decade, 2011) toward regional primacy, it’s probable that Kanal Istanbul will materialize sometime during the 2015 Maslow Window. In any case, the fact that the Kanal is being seriously advocated today is interpreted as more empirical evidence of our approach to another transformative 1960s-style golden age.

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Sep 18 2010

“The Greatest Era in the History of Mankind”

Despite continuing bad news about the economy — e.g. the U.S. poverty rate increased over 1% from the previous year to 14.3% in 2009, the highest since 1994 (near the long wave trough) — there are many reasons to expect a major economic boom by 2015; see “State of the Wave: Today’s Gloom & Doom, and the 2015 Boom.”

Many energy-intensive desalination plants like this one, producing 800 million gallons of pure water per day — currently the world’s largest on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf Coast — could someday use microwave beams supplied by space based solar power satellites to solve the world’s future water challenges.
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Veteran expert on corporate real estate and economic development, McKinley Conway, sees the approach of the greatest boom ever,

A period of unprecedented global development lies just ahead. It will energize world economies and provide new hopes and opportunities for people of many nations. The great new era will start in the 2010-2020 decade and build to a peak by 2050.

Conway’s unique asset is his company’s database of new plant reports that has been maintained since 1954 and serves “as a vital link around the world between Corporate Facility Planners and Area Developers and Service Providers.” By providing a realistic assessment of the nation’s fastest growing firms, Conway found a multi-decade picture of consistent growth; “growth that continued despite wars, natural disasters, recessions, and depressions … a measure of the true strength of our economic system and its future.” This is due to the geographic and functional diversity of thousands of new plants started every year.

For example, as fresh water sources become inadequate, the future world will have to depend on massive seawater desalination plants. Currently, over 13,000 desalination plants produce more than 12 billion gallons of water a day around the world. “Selling water will become the world’s biggest business,” according to Conway.

As the world moves away from fossil fuels, alternate energy sources will be developed including nuclear, solar, and “new systems yet to be developed.” It’s clear that increasing industrial activities and quality-of-life issues around the globe will benefit from clean, space based solar power and other growth technologies. And due to global television and the internet, even “those who live in the Third World are well aware of what they are missing.” This includes the “underlying desire of all people to be self-governing.”

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Apr 02 2010

Near-Term Wars Threaten the New Space Age

Recently the Wall Street Journal (3/31/10) expressed concern about the “fading hope” of sanctions on Iran,

We are left with a stark alternative: Either Iran gets a nuclear weapon and we manage the risk, or someone acts to eliminate the threat,

according to Ms. Danielle Pletka, VP for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

And earlier this week Ronan Bergman, senior military and intelligence for an Israeli daily (Yedioth Ahronoth) and author of The Secret War With Iran (2008), pointed out that the three most likely scenarios for starting the next Middle East war “all involve Iran” (WSJ, 3/29/10). Despite the fact that a preemptive airstrike by Israel on Iranian nuclear installations is “somewhat less likely” now, due to Israel’s evolving perception of sanctions on Iran.

These issues need to considered in the context of the current “major flap in U.S.-Israel relations.” According to a recent interview in ForeignAffairs.com with Ehud Yaari, who is Lafer International Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Middle East Commentator for Channel 2 news in Israel, and the the co-author (with the late Ze’ev Schiff) of Israel’s Lebanon War and Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising — Israel’s Third Front,, regarding the Israeli prime minister’s recent visit to the U.S.,

The general sense in Israel right now is that the prime minister was sorely humiliated by President Obama. There is quite a degree of amazement the way he was treated. I think it’s fair to say that neither the prime minister nor his defense minister, Ehud Barak, were aware of the kind of reception that they were greeted with at the White House.

Because of its importance to world energy supplies and the global economy, a Middle East war in the next few years would significantly reduce global security, as well as possibily threaten the new international space age expected to begin by 2015.

This is a different military threat than the one I focused on in July, 2008:

In addition to the expansive joy of Great Explorations from Lewis & Clark to Apollo, and stunning Macro-Engineering Projects (MEPs) like the Panama Canal, the last 200 years also teach us one sobering fact: Each Maslow Window is also associated with a tragic, major war (e.g. W. W. I).

And sadly, the 2020s are unlikely to be an exception.

Instead of the major wars (e.g., WW I) that occur near the end (or after) a typical Maslow Window, the near-term conflicts referred to here are a feature of early Maslow Window times or the years just before them; e.g., from 2010 to 2016.

And all Maslow Windows are aflicted by them.

Neither the early/pre-Maslow Window conflicts (that threaten Maslow Windows) nor the late-Window major wars (that terminate Maslow Windows) over the last 200 years, can be scientifically predicted with much reliability. But they are historically associated with long wave trends, including the upswing toward the major economic boom that triggers the widespread affluence-induced ebullience of Maslow Windows, as well as the long wave’s decline after the boom has peaked and an economic downturn is looming.

The early/pre-Maslow Window conflicts and the long economic waves they are associated with over the last 200+ years may be thought of in the context of a complex adaptive system model where self organized criticality produces typical events — e.g., early/pre-Maslow Window conflicts, financial panics, great recessions — just prior to the major economic boom of the Maslow Window itself. Niall Ferguson has described a similar model for the onset of World War I and other major geopolitcal events of the last 200 years.

In any case, the patterns associated with early/pre-Maslow Window years are clear. For example:

The Lewis & Clark/Jefferson Maslow Window:
If Napolean hadn’t been distracted from his interest in a North American empire by the need to fund his European war machine, Jefferson might not have gotten such a good price for the Lousiana Purchase, which led to the opening up of the American Northwest during the first Great Exploration of the last 200 years. (See: 10 Lessons Lewis & Clark Teach Us About the Human Future in Space)

The Dr. Livingstone/Suez/Polk Maslow Window:
One long wave later, the Mexican War played a major role in the early mid-19th century Maslow Window due to the ebullient, expansionist belief by the U.S. population in Manifest Destiny. (See: How the West Was Won — The Expansionist Effects of Ebullience)

The Peary/Panama/Roosevelt Maslow Window:
Just prior to perhaps the most ebullient decade in U.S. history, the Spanish-American War (1898) taught the future president and “Rough Rider” Theodore Roosevelt the potential strategic value of a Panama Canal — the greatest MEP of the last 200 years until Apollo. TR waited in Cuba for a key U.S. battleship from the Pacific which finally arrived, after a long trip around the southern tip of South America, 2 months after the war began. (See: 10 Lessons the Panama Canal Teaches Us About the Human Future in Space)

The 1960s Apollo/JFK Maslow Window:
One long wave later, early in the most recent Maslow Window, Cuba again eerily rose to center stage as the world came very close to World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962); this Crisis intensified the competition and global symbolism of the U.S.-Soviet race to the Moon, eventually won by the U.S. in 1969. (See: The New Cuban Space Center and Vladimir Bonaparte)

That’s the Bad News, and early/pre- Maslow Window international tensions — characteristic, as we’ve seen, of the last 200+ years — appear to be building again now in the Middle East as well as potentially elsewhere. (See, for example, Krepinevich (2009), 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century.)

But the Good News is that — although each early/pre-Maslow Window conflict was a time of war and/or even potentially global doom (i.e., the Cuban Missile Crisis) — over the last 200 years, all have amazingly accelerated the world toward the stunning Great Explorations and Macro-Engineering Projects of each ebullient Maslow Window, and have served as global quantum leaps as they transformed the world.

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Dec 13 2009

Are We Entering the “Superproject Void”?

The New York Times (11/29/09) thinks we are.  According to Louis Uchitelle,

Generation after generation, giant public works projects have altered the American landscape. The Erie Canal and the transcontinental railroad come to mind. So do massive urban sewer and sanitation systems, the Tennessee Valley Authority, rural electrification, the Hoover Dam, the Interstate System, the subway networks in San Francisco and Washington, the Big Dig in Boston … and the list abruptly stops.

For the first time in memory, the nation has no outsize public works project under way.

Actually, the Times’ Superproject data is supportive of  21stCenturyWaves.com’s  Maslow Window model and its relation to Macro-Engineering Projects (MEPs) over the last 200 years – including the early 19th century, near-MEP Erie Canal mentioned by the Times — as well as current MEPs and those anticipated during the 2015 Maslow Window.

1. The 1960s Apollo Maslow Window appears in public works spending data for the last 60 years.
The signature of the long economic wave is visible in the Times‘ graphic of public works spending as a percentage of GDP from the late 1940s to the present; Click HERE.

The rapid rise in spending during the 1960s was enabled by  the major economic boom that triggered the 1960s Maslow Window;  it slammed shut just before 1970 and was followed by a precipitous decline across the 1970s and beyond. Both mirrored the trends of the long wave at those times.  As Uchitelle points out, “the strongest periods of economic growth in America have generally coincided with big outlays for new public works and the transformations they bring once completed.”

The  post-WW II spending boom of the 1950s and late 1940s has not been replicated in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Instead, the Panic of 2008 and our current great recession appears to be following the pattern of the Panic of 1893 and the great 1890s recession, which, after 1899,  rapidly rebounded into one of the most ebullient decades in U.S. history:  the 1903-1913 Maslow Window.  It featured Theodore Roosevelt’s transformative Panama Canal and the spectacular international races to both the north and south poles.

2.  Over the last 200 years, MEPs tend to cluster in rhythmic, twice-per-century pulses.
In The Way MEPs Really Work,”  I adopted the definition of an MEP from Eugene Ferguson (1916-2004), a well-known professor of engineering and later history, and a founding member and former president (1977-78) of the Society for the History of Technology  According to Ferguson,

MEPs are: 1) at the state-of-the-art of technology for their time; 2) extremely expensive (at least $ 1 B,  in 2007 USD) and usually large in size; and 3) sometimes practical in purpose, but often they are aimed at satisfying intangible needs of a spiritual or psychological nature and are highly inspiring.

This is a demanding definition that excludes many extraordinary projects like trans-continental railroads or large highway systems because, while expensive and significant, they do not stretch technology.

The rhythmic, twice-per-century pulses of MEPs are visible in Cordell (1996).  Their association with Maslow Windows and regular timing suggests that the next flurry of Superprojects and MEPs will begin near 2015.  So, any “Superproject void” should be short-lived.

3. The Erie Canal was considered by Thomas Jefferson to be “a little short of madness.”

ErieCourtesy of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester.

Uchitelle correctly identifies the Erie Canal as the key Superproject of early America, although I have been unable to convince myself that it is a true Ferguson-style MEP in the context of other MEPs of the last 200 years (e.g., the Panama Canal or Apollo Saturn V).

The Erie Canal is considered to be the greatest engineering marvel of its day and was often referred to as the 8th Wonder of the World.  Construction began in 1817 and it opened in 1825; the canal featured 18 aqueducts and 83 locks to accommodate the 568 foot rise from Albany to Buffalo.  It led to a population boom in western New York state, caused a drop in transportation costs by more than 90%, and opened up the western Great Lakes area to new settlers. In essence, the canal was a response to the pressures for westward expansion that had been ignited by the Great Exploration of Lewis and Clark earlier in the Maslow Window.

Jefferson’s “madness” quote referred to the canal’s cost: $ 7 M, courtesy of the New York state legislature; that’s about $ 0.1 B in 2007 USD, which is a little low for a true primary MEP. More impressive is its cost expressed as a fraction of GDP: 0.1 %.  That’s large and puts it in the same class as the Panama Canal (Apollo was 0.2 % of GDP); this is the best case for Erie being a Ferguson-style MEP.   However, despite the Erie Canal’s “engineering marvel” reputation, the project leaders were ebullient amateurs, not professional engineers because there were none in the U.S. at that time.  And its key technology advancements were limited to new, efficient techniques for removing tree stumps so the canal could be kept on schedule and within budget. 

The Erie Canal is definitely a Times-style Superproject, but not quite a Ferguson-style MEP.  I view it as transitional between the smaller, but still important, engineering projects of the late 18th century, and the more modern, true MEPs beginning in the mid-19th century Dr. Livingstone-Suez Canal Maslow Window.

4. Construction of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge from 1932-37 did not end the Great Depression.
Uchitelle’s interest in the history of American superprojects relates to our recovery from the current great recession. 

President Obama has earmarked just $80 billion — a tenth of his stimulus package — for megaprojects, and put off most of that down payment until next year. His focus instead has been on spending hundreds of billions to quickly and visibly repair existing public works, especially highways, and also levees, dams and locks, particularly in the New Orleans area. That’s not a bad thing — those repairs are certainly needed — but it doesn’t create permanent wealth.

By the standards of the past, however, they are not the spectacular feats of engineering and ingenuity that greatly enhance the economy. The Erie Canal was just such a feat …

“Last year at this time we were debating whether we should be concentrating our spending on big projects that, in the long run, add to economic growth,” said John J. Wallis, an economic historian at the University of Maryland. “That debate never got resolved, and the stimulus bill we enacted in February ended up focused instead on quick spending.”

This is consistent with Harvard economics professor Robert Barro who finds that stimulus spending doesn’t work to stimulate the economy; “The available empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers typically exceed one, and thus spending stimulus programs will likely raise GDP by less than the increase in government spending,” (Wall Street Journal, 10/1/09)

The Golden Gate Bridge is a spectacular Northern California landmark that was built between 1932 and 1937 during the Great Depression  for $ 35 M; that’s about $ 530 M in 2007 USD.  As a fraction of GDP it’s 0.01%, much smaller than the Erie or Panama Canals, but still a sizeable amount of cash.

It’s significant that GGB was financed privately (without any significant expenditures of state or federal money), so it could have stimulated the economy, but in 1938 — almost a decade after the Crash of 1929 that triggered the Great Depression and 6 years after Franklin Roosevelt was elected — U.S. unemployment was still about 14%.  Well-known Keynesian economists George Akerloff and Robert Schiller believe that FDR and Hoover were ineffective. In fact, “Confidence — and the economy itself — was not restored until World War II completely changed the dominant story of people’s lives, transforming the economy,” (Animal Spirits; 2009).

5. Current MEPs, the Panic/Recession of 2008+, and our current recovery suggest that any “Superproject void” will be brief. 
Indeed, the 2015 Maslow Window — a Golden Age of Prosperity, Exploration, and Technology – should not be late, based on the last 200 years of financial panics and great recessions (e.g., the 1890s great recession) that commonly occur in the decade just prior to Maslow Windows.  Plus pre-Maslow Window secondary MEPs — like the Large Hadron Collider and the International Space Station — point to the on-time opening of the 2015 Maslow Window.

 

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Oct 20 2009

Is the Heady Optimism of the 1960s Apollo Program About to Return? Chatting with UK's Stephen Ashworth

Thanks to UK space expert and longtime Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society Stephen Ashworth for his comments about future space activities and Maslow Windows on his website, which I highly recommend (both the website and the comments!), by the way. He does an excellent job introducing the Maslow Window concept and indicating a few concerns.

Are happy days almost here again? A cheering, rain-soaked New York City crowd watches Neil Armstrong take his first step on the Moon in 1969. Click Apollo11crowd
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis

Let me borrow a few of his quotes here …

My own knowledge of recent history is not good enough to judge whether a cycle of roughly 56 years is in operation. And when people start saying that they have a sure-fire method of predicting the future of a highly complex system — whether the climate, or society; whether in an ostensibly scientific manner or through decoding secret messages in the Bible or the works of Nostradamus — my bullshit indicators start twitching.

Yet it is certainly conceivable that an overall cyclic pulsation in economic conditions — a two-generation business cycle — may be modulating the conditions for great scientific and exploration projects in a non-random way, allowing approximate forecasts to be made. And there is no bogus claim of certainty being made here — while great explorations may be imminent, we are also warned that the opportunity created by the newly favourable conditions could be squandered.

Actually, I don’t know much about Nostradamus except what I’ve seen on the History Channel! And I’m still not sure how he made his predictions. However, I discovered the Maslow Window by accident. I read a couple of books in 1992 that introduced and documented the 56 year energy cycle (one by Swiss physicist Theodore Modis), realized it was like a K-wave, and was impressed with the economic, technology, and societal parameters it was correlated with. So just for fun I checked to see if 1969 — culmination of the Apollo decade — was an energy peak. Of course it was, so I realized then that I’d have to check out everything back to Lewis and Clark to be sure it wasn’t real.

That’s when I noticed the Great Exploration/Macro-Engineering Project (MEP)/Major War clusters that line up with upswings and peaks in the long wave. (I should mention that the political scientists had already created a large literature on wars and the long wave, although I didn’t know anything about it yet in the mid-1990s. And Modis hinted at an MEP-long wave link, although I didn’t remember that until I noticed them preferentially popping up near long wave upswings and peaks over the last 200 years.)

So this is really a thoroughly empirical approach.

The theoretical part started when I tried to imagine how long business cycles could enable the clusters. It’s clear why the expensive MEPs would be favored by a large economic boom, but less so why Great Explorations would, until you connect a large, twice-per-century economic boom (part of the two-generation business cycle) with Maslow’s hierarchy. (Incidentally, before Apollo, the Great Explorations — e.g., Peary/Amundsen polar expeditions — were separate from the MEPs; e.g., Panama Canal.) This is the most likely time when large numbers of people in society will ascend Maslow’s hierarchy and momentarily be riveted by Apollo-style exploration and technology. But after the long wave peaks and begins to descend, this affluence-induced “ebullience” rapidly heads south; i.e., the “Maslow Window” collapses. Incidentally, that’s why we have 3 real Saturn V launch vehicles in museums today. In addition, Joshua Goldstein and others see major “peak” wars as interactive with the long wave, so they fit the broad pattern too.

This theory is certainly not perfect and cannot explain everything over the last 200 years. (And it doesn’t try to as you’ll see below.) As with anything involving real history about real humans and nations, there are always exceptions. But nevertheless, it does hang together rather well and points tantalizingly toward the 2015 Maslow Window and what’s in store for us!

More from Stephen Ashworth…

The difficulty I have with this theory is that Dr Cordell allows only about two decades of favourable conditions per century, in two “Maslow windows” 56 years apart.

The globalisation of the past half-millennium did not take place in scattered decade-long windows of opportunity, but was and had to be a continuous process over those centuries. Similarly, the multi-globalisation of the future will need to be a sustained effort. Certainly, there may be sudden leaps ahead, followed by long periods of relatively slow consolidation of the gains so spectacularly acquired.

Actually the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window itself (not counting the post-WW II long boom leading up to it) was even shorter than a decade; e.g., although Sputnik went up in 1957, Apollo didn’t really get going until 1961 and public support for it was already slipping by 1966. The length of the 2015 Maslow Window will probably be determined by how soon the expected mid-2020s major war begins. If it’s early (<2020) we could lose most of the Mars/Moon program, instead of only the last part of it as we did with Apollo in the late 1960s.

Secondly, Maslow Window theory does not really focus on globalization. Based on the last 200 years, it applies mainly to 3 things: Great Explorations, MEPs, and major wars; i.e., focused, large-scale endeavors that generate intense international interest. In fact, as I mentioned in the 1996 Space Policy paper (in the Articles), a lot of technology and science research proceeds consistently without much long wave modulation. To the extent that international cooperation and commercial relations expand and develop during Maslow Windows, globalization would be enhanced, but not limited to Maslow Windows.

More key Ashworth comments…

If each euphoric window of opportunity is only a decade long, then no groundbreaking government programme will in such a short time be able to create the conditions for steady progress during the following relatively depressed decades. The 1970s saw not only no further progress in lunar access, but even the loss of the limited access that did exist.

He’s really identified the problem with Apollo and its interaction with the 1960s Maslow Window very succinctly! The Windows do close abruptly and terminate great explorations and large engineering programs. For example, the ebullience of the early 20th century polar expeditions and “Panama fever” was as intense as Apollo but was quickly terminated by WW I. Likewise, government support for the amazing central Africa explorations of Dr. Livingstone – he’d previously returned to London as a major hero — was rapidly cut off, much in the style of his brothers-in-exploration, the Apollo astronauts, just past the peak of their wave, 2 long waves later.

A subtle, but important point is that funding limitations do not fundamentally cause great explorations and MEPs to die, it’s because of a lack of ebullience. As the long wave descends and contractions occur, it’s the perception of falling behind by many people that understandably weakens ebullience, not the lack of funding. This is demonstrated by our current situation in the U.S.; You could run the greatest space program of all time on part of the $ 787 B Stimulus bill that was passed earlier this year — and some suggest that a small part of it should be returned to fund NASA — but during this great recession, a time of deep anti-ebullience, there is little public interest to do so.

Ashworth concludes…

If Dr Cordell and his co-workers are right, the period 2015-2025 could see doubled and tripled government space budgets, with multiple manned landings on the Moon and even Mars. But by the same token, the late 2020s and 2030s will see retreat and retrenchment, with events on Earth dominated by economic depression and war. A new conspiracy theory will emerge: astronauts never really landed on Mars at all!

Therefore the hope that manned exploration can leap ahead in a renewed age of Camelot is ultimately an illusion. It may indeed — but if it does, it will quickly fall behind again, with the loss of most of the capabilities gained during the decade of ebullient expansion.

I agree with Stephen’s assessment of the positive effects of the next Maslow Window but do not think the aftermath will be as bleak as he suggests. For example, although we no longer have a Saturn V and haven’t returned to Moon in 40 years, the U.S. and others have gained much human space-ops experience in the Shuttle and the ISS, plus we’re seeing the birth of the private space tourism industry, and we are the recipients of a genuinely multi-polar space world — unlike where we left off in the 1960s.

Two more things:
1) To counter the negative effects of declining Maslow Windows, we (globally) should strive to achieve a largely self-sufficient presence on the Moon or Mars (as suggested recently by Buzz Aldrin and others) during the 2015 Maslow Window. This will avoid another crippling ~40 year interval (1972 to now) when we are trapped in Earth orbit and deprived the pleasures of solar system settlement.
And…
2) It was not an accident (and shouldn’t have been a surprise) that the Cold War space race began, as well as ended, the way it did. It’s been happening basically the same way for 200 years — all the way back to Lewis and Clark. The real power in learning these lessons is that we can begin to plan around these long waves, instead of being completely surprised by them.

We need a global, unified, multi-decade approach to human exploration and settlement of the solar system. And with knowledge of how Maslow Windows have operated in the past, we should be able to either moderate the long waves themselves, or at least reduce their effects on human expansion into the cosmos.

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Sep 10 2009

Immortality — An Ebullient 21st Century Technology That's to Die For!

The World Future Society’s journal The Futurist (Jan-Feb, 2009; David Gelles) highlights an intriguing analysis of Silicon Valley’s attraction to physical immortality. The people involved call themselves transhumanists which involves “part science, part faith, and part philosophy,” but their focus is “radical life extension and life expansion.”

Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a world-class anti-aging champion, is head of the Methuselah Foundation. Click de_grey.jpg.

Some believers envision using biotechnology to reach ages near 1000 years, or “freezing the terminally ill…” using cryonics, in hopes of “…a second opinion from a future doctor,” and ultimately even uploading a human mind onto a computer. Drivers of this ebullient movement include the Who’s Who of Silicon Valley; e.g., dot-com millionaires like Peter Thiel (co-founder and former CEO of PayPal), technologist Ray Kurzweil (prolific inventer and Chancellor/Founder of Singularity University), and biologist Aubrey de Grey (Cambridge Univ PhD and head of the Methuselah Foundation).

Here at 21stCenturyWaves.com, Silicon Valley transhumanism piques our interest because it points to the growth of early ebullient thinking expected to be a key driver of the 2015 Maslow Window.

Over the last 200+ years, widespread ebullience has been at the core of fleeting and rare, but spectacular decades that we call Maslow Windows. Rhythmic, twice-per-century major economic booms trigger transformative clusters of Great Explorations (e.g., Lewis and Clark), macro-engineering projects (e.g., Panama Canal), and even major wars (e.g., WW I). For a few brief shining moments, many ebullient members of society are catapulted to higher levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy where their expanded world views make great explorations and massive MEPs seem not only intriguing, but almost irresistible. Other ebullient individuals — who for personal reasons, do not ascend to elevated levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy — sometimes become involved in destructive pursuits, including major wars.

However, the key is ebullience — an intensely positive, almost giddy, feeling of confidence in the future — that drives Maslow Windows like the 1960s Apollo Moon program and the Lewis and Clark explorations over 200 years ago. The next one is expected near 2015, and the early ebullience of Silicon Valley transhumanism suggests it will be on time.

Interest in immortality was generated during the early stages of the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window by physicist Robert Ettinger’s 1962 book, The Prospect of Immortality. Ettinger asserted that “if a body were frozen shortly after death, future technologies would be able to revive the recently deceased.” Ten years later, as the Apollo Maslow Window was closing, Ettinger brought transhumanism into focus by suggesting that “rather than relying on cryonics to revive the dead, forthcoming technologies might make death obsolete.”

Whatever questions you may have about the people and/or the technologies, this is truly the essence of 1960s Camelot-style ebullience!

After the 1960s Maslow Window, nearly 200 bodies were frigidly ensconced in the Arizona vaults of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. For a time Walt Disney was rumored to be among the elite 200 but he’s apparently buried in Forest Lawn Glendale near Los Angeles, not far from Michael Jackson’s new final resting place.

After the 1960s Maslow Window slammed shut, ebullience faded right on schedule as the long wave descended during the 1970s, 80s and into the 90s as “futurism gave way to materialism.” About the time of the Internet bubble burst (circa 2002) the famous Extropy Institute closed although scattered online discussions of transhumanism persisted.

During the early approach the 2015 Maslow Window, Alcor’s business was resurrected with over 800 ebullient members signing on to be frozen at death (and hopefully revived in the future), as the Silicon Valley became the “Galactic Center” for transhumanism, with several groups — e.g., Foresight Nanotech Institute, The Singularity Institute, the Immortality Institute — vying for prominence.

Today’s transhumanists see “the body as a machine, and the brain as a computer.” In a stunning display of ebullient techno-optimism, they believe that a Moore’s Law for medical technology will enable us to “fix, improve, and upgrade ourselves… (and) change the world.” And according to the popularizer of the most popular transhumanist concept — The Singularity — Ray Kurzweil explains that it is “a future period when the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.”

The Transhumanists’ impressive early ebullience today virtually guarantees that the 2015 Maslow Window is right around the corner!

But even Kurzweil admits that The Singularity could ruin our entire afternoon if, for example, rogue nano-machines were to “disassemble everything on Earth…(or a) Cyborg army might decide to wipe out the human race.” And even Theil, a major transhumanist benefactor admits, “There’s always this big question about how much of this is too bizarre to be affiliated with.”

Others are more direct. For example, Johns Hopkins political scientist Francis Fukuyama labeled transhumanism “The world’s most dangerous idea…(because) the first victim of transhumanism might be equality.” Fearing a “new, high-tech eugenics,” Richard Haynes of the Oakland-based Center for Genetics and Society asks, “At what point do we start thinking of each other as humans and subhumans…Or humans and transhumans? And some wonder if there isn’t something sad about the incessant focus on avoidance of death in a Universe where “Life is a mystery and death is part of life.” It’s reminiscent of the first stage in Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ well-known “Five Stages of Grief“: denial.

However, all this may soon be beside the point. Indeed near 2015, when the next Maslow Window is expected to open, these issues will recede from our purview, because if the last 200 years are any guide, between about 2015 and 2025 we’ll be … simply … ebullient.

And for a brief few moments, like the transhumanists of today and the Maslow Window residents of the last 200 years, we’ll believe that almost anything is possible.

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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 21stCenturyWaves.com 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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Jul 11 2009

Young People, Long Waves, and a Glimpse of Their Coming Space Age

Thanks to Aron Sora, a recent high school graduate who blogs at habitationintention.blogspot.com for his intriguing comment about his and other young people’s future:

I’m going to graduate from college in 2013, just in time for the Maslow window. I want to be an active participant in the next window … I just feel really lucky about my birth date since it will lead to me having a undergrad degree two years before the window or a doctoral degree about mid-way.

The next Maslow Window should open near 2015, and trigger a New Space Age for young people! Click mars_base.jpg.

1) Let me reiterate that there is every reason to believe that the 2015 Maslow Window will open approximately on time, based on the last 200 years of Maslow Window timings and current data. I’ll give a brief summary here with more to come soon.

U.S. unemployment recently reached 9.5% and the prediction market Intrade projects, at the 80% level (up from 50% in April), that it will surpass 10% by December, 2009. Although “casting doubt on prospects for the U.S. economy to soon rebound,” (Wall Street Journal, 7/3/09), this is still a long way from the devastating unemployment rates during the Great Depression (25% in 1933 to 17% in 1939).

Although Jeffrey Frankel, a Harvard economist, is “expecting the recovery to be a slow one,” (WSJ, 7/3/09), another Harvard economist — Robert Barro — who has examined data on recessions back to 1870 for the U.S. and 33 other countries, says there is only a 20% chance that our current crisis will result in a GDP decline of 10% or more (a major depression has 25% decline).

Akerloff and Shiller (2009) see current parallels with the Panic of 1893 and its major recession; e.g., “U.S. unemployment rose to 12.3% in 1894, peaked at 12.4% in 1897, and did not fall below 10% untill 1899.” However, the 1890s recession was followed by a time of “sustained prosperity” (Fischer, 1996) that we know of as the Peary/Panama Maslow Window (~1903-1913), one of the most ebullient decades in the history of the United States.

The fact that — over the last 200+ years — no Maslow Window has ever been delayed or in any observable way diminshed by a financial panic or recession, plus the special parallels with the “1893 to 1913 Panic – Recession – Maslow Window” experience , suggest the 2015 Maslow Window will open on time. (More to come in future posts.)

2) 1930 was a good birth year for future Apollo astronauts. What about the first Mars explorers?

It’s true. The entire Apollo 11 crew — Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins — was born in 1930, as were many others. An incomplete list includes Tom Stafford (Apollo 10), Pete Conrad (Apollo 12), Ed Mitchell (Apollo 14), Jim Irwin (Apollo 15), and John Young (Apollo 16), etc.

The irony is that they had to be born during the Great Depression to be chronologically positioned for the long wave as it ascended into the unparalleled economic boom of the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window. These and most other Apollo astronauts were born about 40 years before they went to the Moon (1969-72).

Using this model, and assuming the 2015 Maslow Window will culminate near 2025, the Apollo astronaut analogs — possibly the first Mars explorers — were born near 1985; they’re called “Millennials.” They graduated from high school near 2002 and college near 2006; some will get PhDs soon.

Like their Apollo analogs, the Millennials are positioned for their approaching Maslow Window (near 2015) but have less in common with them than you might expect. For example,
a) the Millennials have not experienced a major international war as destructive as WW II or Vietnam, and
b) the Millennials are affected by the Panic of 2008 and the current major recession in the decade before their Maslow Window, which did not occur prior to the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window.

Thus it’s interesting that the Millennials’ general life experience, as we approach their Maslow Window during a major recession, may have some key elements more in common with the polar explorers of the Peary/Panama Maslow Window than with the Apollo explorers of the 1960s. Remember also that although pre-Maslow Window financial panic/recessions are the rule over the last 200 years, they are not required to produce a Maslow Window as shown by the 1960s Apollo Maslow Window.

3) When’s the best time to be born?

Many good things and bad things happen near peaks of the energy cycle, about a decade after the Maslow Window begins. The exact timing varies with the specific Maslow Window over the last 200 years but, in general, Maslow Windows are usually terminated by a rapid decline in the economy and/or a major war.

The biggest challenges will be experienced by young people who leave school and come into the world looking for their first real economic opportunity (i.e., job) near the culmination of the Maslow Window. That often occurs around the age of 20. So based on this Maslow Window model, a good rule of thumb is: Think twice about being born about 20 years before an energy cycle peak.

At the most vulnerable time in your professional life, you will be impacted by the abrupt end of a major economic boom and you may be caught up in a major war. Although many are able to “turn lemons into lemonade” you should be aware that these twice-per-century challenges can be formidable. Perhaps the worst aspect is that you’ll be too young to personally participate in the great explorations or MEPs of your Window. And after 10 years of watching them, when you finally are old enough to join the fun, it will all end. We’re talking here about people born between about 2000 and 2010 (they may not be reading this yet!), between 1945 and 1955, and between about 1888 and 1898 (also probably not reading this).

It’s much better to be 20 years or older as the Maslow Window begins. As you emerge into the economic world the long boom will be fully warmed up. Almost anything you do will be profitable. And the ebullience of the Maslow Window will make you feel like it will never end. Of course it always does in about 10 years, but by then you’ll be better established in your career and less vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune — of the economy and the world. Remember the Apollo astronauts were about 30 as their Maslow Window opened, and as more mature people go into space, even being 40+ might be OK; e.g., in 1971 Alan Shepard became the oldest person to walk on the Moon at 47, and in 1998 John Glenn became the oldest human to fly into space at 77. To optimally participate and prosper from the last 3 Maslow Windows (including the 2015 Window), it was best to be born between about 1975 – 2000, 1920 – 1945, and 1863 – 1888.

Although these rules of thumb are broadly consistent with the last 200 years of macroeconomic data and historical trends, they are only approximate and are subject to many exceptions. For example, if you were born during “sub-optimal times,” having supportive parents or being a resourceful person can make up for many challenges associated with the long wave.

But if you’re secretly holding out hope that the lessons of the last 200+ years regarding Maslow Windows and long waves will magically melt away, don’t bet on it. For example, the stunning MEP trio of the Panama Canal, Apollo program, and the International Space Station illustrate the power of the long wave. Amazingly, neither Ferdinand de Lesseps nor President Ronald Reagan — both brilliant leaders about 100 years apart — could make their MEPs materialize during unfavorable portions of the long wave. While Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and John Kennedy became heroes for successfully initiating the Panama Canal and Apollo program during their respective Maslow Windows. And even the Clinton/Bush ISS has recently become known as an “international marvel” as we approach another Maslow Window. The moral of the last 200+ years regarding great explorations and macro-engineering projects is: “great leaders help, but the economy rules.”

In any case, if you’re thinking about having kids this year, and plan to be supportive parents … go ahead!! The economic recovery should begin next year and, although it may be followed by a few years of sluggish growth, we should return to the rapid growth levels of 2007 relatively soon. The long-awaited 2015 Maslow Window will open on time. And remember, history shows that whether you do experience a financial panic/recession just before your Maslow Window (e.g., 1903-1913; or 2015-2025) or whether you don’t (e.g., 1959-1969), your Maslow Window will be spectacular.

As for Mr. Sora, who just graduated from high school and was born in 1991, he is a Millennial and is well chronologically positioned to be about 24 when the next Maslow Window begins. Nice birthdate Aron, work hard and enjoy your Maslow Window!

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