Oct 18 2009

The Forecasts

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“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.” Marcus Aurelius, 121-180

Please Note: The “Nominal” Timelines showing detailed forecasts for 1997 to 2030 are shown below point VII.

AND… You may enjoy: The Maslow Window — A Brief Summary which explores the Forecasts in more detail

I. The Big Questions:
Will there ever be another decade like the 1960s with major, Apollo-style human space exploration dominating the world’s headlines? If so, when? What specific events will occur?

II. 21st Century Forecasts, based on patterns that have repeated for 200 Years:
The decade from 2015-2025 will be the analog — economic, technological, political, exploration-wise – and have the Zeitgeist of the 1960s and/or the 1903-13 decade.
There will be at least one major Human Exploration (HE) event featuring unprecedented, large-scale human activities in space between 2015 and 2025.
There will be at least one Macro-Engineering Project (MEP) between 2015 and 2025; it will be completely integrated with the major Human Exploration event (e.g. like Apollo).
There will be a major international war near 2025.

III. Two Centuries of Macro-Patterns:
A survey of the last 200 years reveals that major Human Explorations (e.g., Lewis and Clark) and Macro-Engineering Projects (e.g., Panama Canal) only cluster together approximately every 56 years (along with the most destructive wars) during economic booms. This enables the basic framework of Forecasts.

IV. The Human Exploration Wave:
The fact that great Human Exploration events occur roughly every 56 years – Lewis and Clark (1804-), Dr. Livingstone/Africa (1850s-), Peary’s Polar Expeditions (1909), and the Apollo Moon Program (1960-) – suggests there is a great Human Exploration Wave operating at least over the last 200 years.

V. Connections with the 56-Year Energy Cycle:
Discovered in 1989, the all-energy consumption cycle has a period of 56 years and is roughly sinusoidal; it is documented almost to 1800. Since 1800, each of the four energy cycle peak years – 1801, 1857, 1913, 1969 – has at least one great HE, one massive MEP, and one major international war near it (except for 1801; it had no MEP). The HEs and MEPs tend to occur during the decade preceding the energy peak, while the major wars typically occur just after the peak.

VI. Maslow Windows and Human Aspirations:
Energy cycle peaks are the times of economic booms. Since the great Human Explorations are approximately in sync with surges in MEPs and major wars, they are probably enabled by the same thing: i.e., exceptionally rapid economic growth in the decade just before each energy peak. According to Maslow’s Heirarchy, when fundamental human needs are met, individuals are more interested in human explorations and the search for truth. Therefore, the decade just prior to each energy cycle peak (which always features major HEs and MEPs during the economic boom) is called a “Maslow Window”.

VII. The Next Maslow Window (2015 – 2025) Will Be Spectacular :
Patterns in economics, technology, and exploration over the last 200 years enable us to make forecasts for the next 20+ years, including for the 2015-2025 Maslow Window. Our expectations should realistically include humans on Mars, solar power satellites in Earth orbit, and tourists on the Moon.

The Nominal Timelines below are forecasts where the 56 year cycle is taken literally. Other interesting forecast/timelines are also possible depending on assumptions.

Nominal Timeline 1997 – 2010


Nominal Time 2011 – 2019


Nominal Timeline 2020 – 2030


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