Mar, 2021

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

The Big Idea: Take Naval seriously because he…questions nearly everything, can think from first principles, tests things well, is good at not fooling himself, changes his mind regularly, laughs a lot, thinks holistically, and thinks long-term.

Books make for great friends, because the best thinkers of the last few thousand years tell you their nuggets of wisdom.

Part I: Wealth

Making money is not a thing you do — it’s a skill you learn.

Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep.

Ignore people playing status games.

You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.

Pick an industry where you can play long-term games with long-term people.

All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.

Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.

Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep, or use software like that help with payroll success once you have a business.

There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.

Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.

Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.

You should be too busy to “do coffee” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.

Who you work with and what you work on are more important than how hard you work.

When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place.

Technology democratizes consumption but consolidates production. The best person in the world at anything gets to do it for everyone.

Society always wants new things.

You can improve sales skills.

Society, business, & money are downstream of technology, which is itself downstream of science. Science applied is the engine of humanity.

Focus on the thing that you are really into.

Specific knowledge is found much more by pursuing your innate talents, your genuine curiosity, and your passion.

Escape competition through authenticity.

The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.

Foundations are key. It’s much better to be at 9/10 or 10/10 on foundations than to try and get super deep into things.

Play Long-Term Games with Long-Term People.

Embrace accountability and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.

If you don’t own a piece of a business, you don’t have a path towards financial freedom.

If they can train you to do it, then eventually they will train a computer to do it.

In today’s global business landscape, international payroll management has become an essential aspect. Code is probably the most powerful form of permissionless leverage.

The new generation’s fortunes are all made through code or media.

Forget 10x programmers. 1,000x programmers really exist.

Learn to sell, learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

We waste our time with short-term thinking and busywork. Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting. That act lasts decades.

Always factor your time into every decision. How much time does it take?

Wealth creation is an evolutionarily recent positive-sum game. Status is an old zero-sum game. Those attacking wealth creation are often just seeking status.

There are basically three really big decisions you make in your early life: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do.

What you really want is freedom.

The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody.

To me, creating businesses is play. I create businesses because it’s fun, because I’m into the product.

Even when I invest, it’s because I like the people involved.

Money is not the root of all evil; there’s nothing evil about it. But the lust for money is bad.

The best way to stay away from this constant love of money is to not upgrade your lifestyle as you make money.

For me, freedom is my number one value.

Build your character in a certain way, then your character becomes your destiny.

You are a trusted, reliable, high-integrity, long-term-thinking dealmaker.

In a long-term game, it’s positive sum. We’re all baking the pie together. We’re trying to make it as big as possible. And in a short-term game, we’re cutting up the pie.

I think business networking is a complete waste of time.

Show your craft, practice your craft, and the right people will eventually find you.

Be patient.

Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve.

Always pay it forward. And don’t keep count.

What making money will do is solve your money problems.

Amazing how many people confuse wealth and wisdom.

Hard work is really overrated.

Judgment is underrated.

“Clear thinker” is a better compliment than “smart.”

If you can’t explain it to a child, then you don’t know it.

The really smart thinkers are clear thinkers. They understand the basics at a very, very fundamental level.

Clear thinkers appeal to their own authority.

What we wish to be true clouds our perception of what is true.

The more desire I have for something to work out a certain way, the less likely I am to see the truth.

What you feel tells you nothing about the facts.

Very smart people tend to be weird since they insist on thinking everything through for themselves.

A contrarian isn’t one who always objects — that’s a conformist of a different sort. A contrarian reasons independently from the ground up and resists pressure to conform.

Cynicism is easy. Mimicry is easy. Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.

I think creating identities and labels locks you in and keeps you from seeing the truth.

Optimize for the long term rather than for the short term.

I never ask if “I like it” or “I don’t like it.” I think “this is what it is” or “this is what it isn’t.”

Praise specifically, criticize generally.

The more you know, the less you diversify.

Collect Mental Models

The best mental models I have found came through evolution, game theory, and Charlie Munger.

Author and trader Nassim Taleb has great mental models.

Benjamin Franklin had great mental models.

I think being successful is just about not making mistakes.

Microeconomics and game theory are fundamental.

If you do not understand the principal-agent problem, you will not know how to navigate your way through the world.

“If you want it done, then go. And if not, then send.”

If it doesn’t make falsifiable predictions, it’s not science. For you to believe something is true, it should have predictive power, and it must be falsifiable.

If you can’t decide, the answer is no.

If you have two choices to make, and they’re relatively equal choices, take the path more difficult and more painful in the short term.

Reading science, math, and philosophy one hour per day will likely put you at the upper echelon of human success within seven years.

The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower.

Reading a book isn’t a race — the better the book, the more slowly it should be absorbed.

Real people don’t read an hour a day. Real people, I think, read a minute a day or less.

“As long as I have a book in my hand, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time.”

The number of books completed is a vanity metric. As you know more, you leave more books unfinished. Focus on new concepts with predictive power.

Explain what you learned to someone else. Teaching forces learning.

It’s not about “educated” vs. “uneducated.” It’s about “likes to read” and “doesn’t like to read.”

Because most people are intimidated by math and can’t independently critique it, they overvalue opinions backed with math/pseudoscience.

The best way to have a high-quality foundation (you may not love this answer), but the trick is to stick to science and to stick to the basics.

Mathematics is a solid foundation. Similarly, the hard sciences are a solid foundation. Microeconomics is a solid foundation

Don’t begin with Richard Dawkins (even though I think he’s great). Read him later; read Darwin first.

If you want to learn macroeconomics, first read Adam Smith, read von Mises, or read Hayek.

There is ancient wisdom in books.

Any book that survived for two thousand years has been filtered through many people.

Part II: Happiness

The three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness. We pursue them in that order, but their importance is reverse.

Whatever happiness means to me, it means something different to you.

Happiness is there when you remove the sense of something missing in your life.

It’s about the absence of desire, especially the absence of desire for external things.

To a tree, there is no concept of right or wrong, good or bad.

This is what I mean when I say happiness is a choice. If you believe it’s a choice, you can start working on it.

We think of ourselves as fixed and the world as malleable, but it’s really we who are malleable and the world is largely fixed.

A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.

Happiness, love, and passion – aren’t things you find — they’re choices you make.

We crave experiences that will make us be present, but the cravings themselves take us from the present moment.

Enlightenment is the space between your thoughts.

For me these days, happiness is more about peace than it is about joy.

I think the most common mistake for humanity is believing you’re going to be made happy because of some external circumstance.

The fundamental delusion: There is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.

Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.

Happiness is being satisfied with what you have. Success comes from dissatisfaction. Choose.

Confucius says you have two lives, and the second one begins when you realize you only have one.

The problem with getting good at a game, especially one with big rewards, is you continue playing it long after you should have outgrown it.

All of man’s troubles arise because he cannot sit in a room quietly by himself.

The enemy of peace of mind is expectations drilled into you by society and other people.

The reality is life is a single-player game. You’re born alone. You’re going to die alone.

Perhaps one reason why yoga and meditation are hard to sustain is they have no extrinsic value. Purely single-player games.

My most surprising discovery in the last five years is that peace and happiness are skills.

When working, surround yourself with people more successful than you.

When playing, surround yourself with people happier than you.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a fantastic introduction to being present, for people who are not religious.

The obvious one is meditation — insight meditation.

I try to get more sunlight on my skin.

I think dropping caffeine made me happier.

I think working out every day made me happier.

Recover time and happiness by minimizing your use of these three smartphone apps: phone, calendar, and alarm clock.

Use meditation, music, and exercise to reset your mood.

Politics, academia, and social status are all zero-sum games.

Increase serotonin in the brain without drugs: Sunlight, exercise, positive thinking, and tryptophan.

We don’t always get what we want, but sometimes what is happening is for the best.

Death is the most important thing that is ever going to happen to you. When you look at your death and you acknowledge it, rather than running away from it, it’ll bring great meaning to your life.

Whenever I get caught up in my ego battles, I just think of entire civilizations that have come and gone.

You’re going to die one day, and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work.

Doctors won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility.

Nothing like a health problem to turn up the contrast dial for the rest of life.

We’re still arguing over what the optimal diet is.

The combination of sugar and fat together is really deadly.

The harder the workout, the easier the day.

What habit would you say most positively impacts your life? The daily morning workout. That has been a complete game-changer.

In the morning, I work out, and however long it takes is how long it takes.

One month of consistent yoga and I feel 10 years younger.

Taking a cold shower for two minutes isn’t going to kill you. Having a cold shower helps you re-learn that lesson every morning.

Life-hack: When in bed, meditate. Either you will have a deep meditation or fall asleep.

I recommend meditating one hour each morning because anything less is not enough time to really get deep into it.

The advantage of meditation is recognizing just how out of control your mind is.

Awareness alone calms you down.

The ability to singularly focus is related to the ability to lose yourself and be present, happy, and (ironically) more effective.

Meditation is turning off society and listening to yourself.

Hiking is walking meditation.

Praying is gratitude meditation.

Showering is accidental meditation.

Sitting quietly is direct meditation.

The greatest superpower is the ability to change yourself.

When we’re older, we’re a collection of thousands of habits constantly running subconsciously.

Impatience with actions, patience with results.

Scott Adams famously said, “Set up systems, not goals.”

Science is, to me, the study of truth. It is the only true discipline because it makes falsifiable predictions. It actually changes the world.

If you read what everybody else is reading, you’re going to think what everyone else is thinking

Grind and sweat, toil and bleed, face the abyss. It’s all part of becoming an overnight success.

Number one: read. Read everything you can.

Read to develop skills of mathematics and persuasion.

Courage is not caring what other people think.

Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money.

Anger is its own punishment. An angry person trying to push your head below water is drowning at the same time.

People who live far below their means enjoy freedom.

What is the meaning and purpose of life?

Answer 1: It’s personal. You have to find your own meaning.

Answer 2: There is no meaning to life.

Answer 3: We globally accelerate entropy until the heat death of the Universe.

What are your core values? Honesty, long-term peer relationships.

I don’t believe in anger.

Anger is a hot coal you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at somebody.

The moment you have a child, it’s this really weird thing, but it answers the meaning-of-life, purpose-of-life, question.

The older the question, the older the answers.

Try everything, test it for yourself, be skeptical, keep what’s useful, and discard what’s not.

Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now, and we will never be here again.

Naval’s Recommended Reading

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Taleb

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher by Richard Feynman

Thinking Physics: Understandable Practical Reality by Lewis Carroll Epstein

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg

Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger by Charlie Munger

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant

Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living by Bruce Lee

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Great Philosophers, by Will Durant

The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford

Dale Carnegie

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Rick and Morty

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

The Big Idea: Success in show business is a result of talent, hard work, strategy, and luck — probably in equal portions.

The Fourth Turning by Neil Howe and William Strauss

The Big Idea: Brace yourself. Winter is coming. The 2020’s will be a time of crisis and will remake America.

CHAPTER 1 – Winter Comes Again

The four turnings of the saeculum comprise history’s seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction.

The First Turning is a High, an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays.

The Second Turning is an Awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when the civic order comes under attack from a new values regime.

The Third Turning is an Unraveling, a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions, when the old civic order decays and the new values regime implants.

The Fourth Turning is a Crisis, a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one.

The 1760s were followed by the American Revolution, the 1850s by Civil War, the 1920s by the Great Depression and World War II. All these Unraveling eras were followed by bone-jarring Crises so monumental that, by their end, American society emerged in a wholly new form.

The Fourth Turning is history’s great discontinuity. It ends one epoch and begins another.

History is seasonal, and winter is coming.

Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood.

Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history.

The next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse — or glory.

Each time younger generations replace older ones in each phase of life, the composite life cycle becomes something altogether new, fundamentally changing the entire society’s mood and behavior.

The Lost Generation was born 1883-1900.

The G.I. Generation was born 1901-1924.

The Silent Generation was born 1925-1942.

The Boomer Generation was born 1943-1960.

The 13th Generation was born 1961-1981.

A Prophet generation is born during a High.

A Nomad generation is born during an Awakening.

A Hero generation is born during an Unraveling.

An Artist generation is born during a Crisis.

PART ONE – Seasons

CHAPTER 2 – Seasons of Time

Awakenings are the summers.

Crises are the winters.


  1. The Wars of the Roses Crisis (1459-1487; climax, 1485)
  2. The Armada Crisis (1569-1594; climax, 1588)
  3. The Glorious Revolution Crisis (1675-1704; climax, 1689)
  4. The American Revolution Crisis (1773-1794; climax, 1781)
  5. The Civil War Crisis (1860-1865; climax, 1863)
  6. The Great Depression and World War II Crisis (1929-1946; climax, 1944)


  1. The Protestant Reformation (1517-1542; climax, 1536)
  2. The Puritan Awakening (1621-1649; climax, 1640)
  3. The Great Awakening (1727-1746; climax, 1741)
  4. The Transcendental Awakening (1822-1844; climax 1831)
  5. The Third Great Awakening (1886-1908; climax, 1896)
  6. The Consciousness Revolution (1964-1984; climax, 1974)
  7. The next Crisis era will most likely extend roughly from the middle Oh-Ohs to the middle 2020s.

CHAPTER 3 – Seasons of Life

Childhood (pueritia, ages 0-20); social role: growth (receiving nurture, acquiring values)

Young Adulthood (iuventus, ages 21-41); social role: vitality (serving institutions, testing values)

Midlife (virilitas, ages 42-62); social role: power (managing institutions, applying values)

Elderhood (senectus, ages 63-83); social role: leadership (leading institutions, transferring values)

By the time the next generation arrives, World War II will be pure history.

Every generation has thus been shaped by either a Crisis or an Awakening during one of its first two phases of life.

Every forty years or so, the persona of each phase of life becomes nearly the opposite of that established by the generation that had once passed through.

The first birth year of each generation usually lies just a couple of years before the opening or closing year of a Crisis or Awakening.

Each of these four locations in history is associated with a generational archetype: Prophet, Nomad, Hero, and Artist.

During a Crisis era, Prophets enter elderhood, Nomads midlife, Heroes young adulthood, and Artists childhood.

The Four Archetypes

So too must a functional modern society, immersed in directional time, experience the sequential unfolding of all four archetypes.

Jung saw this Hero Myth as perhaps the most potent expression of his archetypes.

Recall all the classic Western pairings of the young hero and the elder prophet.

Another popular type of myth — that of the young prophet and the old king.

In the Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo looks down the age ladder and sees the good Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia — and looks up and sees the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi and the evil Darth Vader.

The affinity between grandparent and grandchild is universal folk wisdom.

A generation’s dominance in national leadership posts typically peaks around the time its first cohorts reach age sixty-five.

At the heart of the saeculum: an oscillation between the overprotection and underprotection of children.

Four key characters in The Iliad and Odyssey are mythical personifications of the four generational archetypes: Nestor (Prophet), Agamemnon (Nomad), Odysseus (Hero), and Telemachus (Artist).

CHAPTER 4 – Cycles of History

The First Turning is a High. Old Prophets disappear, Nomads enter elderhood.

The Second Turning is an Awakening. Old Nomads disappear, Heroes enter elderhood.

The Third Turning is an Unraveling. Old Heroes disappear, Artists enter elderhood.

The Fourth Turning is a Crisis. Old Artists disappear, Prophets enter elderhood.

Spring High => summer Awakening => autumn Unraveling => winter Crisis

Highs promote income and class equality, and Awakenings change that. Unravelings promote inequality, and Crises change that.

In a High, people want to belong; in an Awakening, to defy; in an Unraveling, to separate; in a Crisis, to gather.

The onset of war causes birthrates to fall and the onset of peace causes birthrates to surge.

Rates of crime and worries about social disorder rise during Awakenings, reach a cyclical peak during Unravelings, and then fall sharply during Crises.

For the saeculum, what matters most are not the accidents themselves, but rather society’s response to them.

History always produces sparks. But some sparks flare and then vanish, while others touch off firestorms out of any proportion to the sparks themselves.

During a Fourth Turning, generational forces tend to funnel exogenous events toward a concerted national response.

Crisis-era wars were all large, deadly, and decisive.

History is not predetermined — the actions people take (and political choices they make) can fundamentally alter the course of history.


  1. Late Medieval (1435-1487)

The Retreat from France (Third Turning, 1435-1459)

The Wars of the Roses (Fourth Turning, 1459-1487)

The Arthurian Generation (Hero, born 1433-1460)

The Humanist Generation (Artist, born 1461-1482)

  1. Reformation (1487-1594)

The Tudor Renaissance (First Turning, 1487-1517)

The Protestant Reformation (Second Turning, 1517-1542)

Intolerance and Martyrdom (Third Turning, 1542-1569)

The Armada Crisis (Fourth Turning, 1569-1594)

The Reformation Generation (Prophet, born 1483-1511)

The Reprisal Generation (Nomad, born 1512-1540)

The Elizabethan Generation (Hero, born 1541-1565)

The Parliamentary Generation (Artist, born 1566-1587)

  1. New World (1594-1704)

Merrie England (First Turning, 1594-1621)

The Puritan Awakening (Second Turning, 1621-1649)

Reaction and Restoration (Third Turning, 1649-1675)

The colonial Glorious Revolution (Fourth Turning, 1675-1704)

The Puritan Generation (Prophet, born 1588-1617)

The Cavalier Generation (Nomad, born 1618-1647)

The Glorious Generation (Hero, born 1648-1673)

The Enlightenment Generation (Artist, born 1674-1700)

  1. Revolutionary (1704-1794)

The Augustan Age of Empire (First Turning, 1704-1727)

The Great Awakening (Second Turning, 1727-1746)

The French and Indian Wars (Third Turning, 1746-1773)

The American Revolution (Fourth Turning, 1773-1794)

The Awakening Generation (Prophet, born 1701-1723)

The Liberty Generation (Nomad, born 1724-1741)

The Republican Generation (Hero, born 1742-1766)

The Compromise Generation (Artist, born 1767-1791)

  1. Civil War (1794-1865)

The Era of Good Feelings (First Turning, 1794-1822)

The Transcendental Awakening (Second Turning, 1822-1844)

The Mexican War and Sectionalism (Third Turning, 1844-1860)

The Civil War (Fourth Turning, 1860-1865)

The Transcendental Generation (Prophet, born 1792-1821)

The Gilded Generation (Nomad, born 1822-1842)

The Progressive Generation (Artist, born 1843-1859)

  1. Great Power (1865-1946)

The Reconstruction and Gilded Age (First Turning, 1865-1886)

The Third Great Awakening (Second Turning, 1886-1908)

World War I and Prohibition (Third Turning, 1908-1929)

The Great Depression and World War II (Fourth Turning, 1929-1946)

The Missionary Generation (Prophet, born 1860-1882)

The Lost Generation (Nomad, born 1883-1900)

The G.I. Generation (Hero, born 1901-1924)

The Silent Generation (Artist, born 1925-1942)

  1. Millennial (1946-2026?)

The American High (First Turning, 1946-1964)

The Consciousness Revolution (Second Turning, 1964-1984)

The Culture Wars (Third Turning, 1984-2005?)

The Millennial Crisis (Fourth Turning, 2005?-2026?)

The Boom Generation (Prophet, born 1943-1960)

The 13th Generation (Nomad, born 1961-1981)

The Millennial Generation (Hero, born 1982-7)

(Artist?, born ?)

The First Turning is a High — an upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism.

The Second Turning is an Awakening — a passionate era of spiritual upheaval.

The Third Turning is an Unraveling — a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions.

The Fourth Turning is a Crisis — a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one.

CHAPTER 5 – Gray Champions

Each time the Gray Champion appeared marked the arrival of a moment of “darkness, and adversity, and peril,” the climax of the Fourth Turning of the saeculum.

PART TWO – Turnings

CHAPTER 6 – The First Turning: American High (1946-1964)

CHAPTER 7 – The Second Turning: Consciousness Revolution (1964-1984)

CHAPTER 8 – The Third Turning: Culture Wars (1984-2005?)

The best-known Unraveling decades (the 1550s, 1660s, 1760s, 1850s, and 1920s) bring to mind risk taking, bad manners, and a sobering of the social mood.

The Silent are well on the way to becoming the first generation in U.S. history never to produce a president.

Toward the end of an Unraveling…

The elder Artists, now appearing less flexible than indecisive, begin impeding the Prophets’ values agenda.

The midlife Prophets, now filled with righteousness of conviction, grow impatient to lead society toward ever-deeper spiritual conversion.

The young-adult Nomads, now tiring of an unrewarding self-sufficiency, yearn to settle down and shore up social barriers.

The child Heroes, protected by adults who are fearful of their future, begin sensing a dire secular challenge at the heart of the Prophets’ visions.

CHAPTER 9 – Fourth Turnings in History

History has no rewind button. Like the seasons of nature, it moves only forward.

A Fourth Turning is a solstice era of maximum darkness.

A Crisis era begins with a catalyst.

Once catalyzed, a society achieves a regeneracy.

The regenerated society propels toward a climax.

The climax culminates in a resolution.

Collective action is now seen as vital to solving the society’s most fundamental problems.

What makes a Crisis special is the public’s willingness to let leaders lead even when they falter and to let authorities be authoritative even when they make mistakes.

When society approaches the climax of a Crisis, it reaches a point of maximum civic power.

The climax can end in triumph, or tragedy, or some combination of both.

A Crisis catalyst occurs shortly after the old Prophet archetype reaches its apex of societal leadership, when its inclinations are least checked by others.

A resolution comes, with the Prophet’s symbolic assistance, at a time when the Nomad is asserting full control.

As visionary Prophets replace Artists in elderhood, they push to resolve ever-deepening moral choices, setting the stage for the secular goals of the young.

As pragmatic Nomads replace Prophets in midlife, they apply toughness and resolution to defend society while safeguarding the interests of the young.

As teamworking Heroes replace Nomads in young adulthood, they challenge the political failure of elder-led crusades, fueling a societywide secular crisis.

As Artists replace the Heroes in childhood, they are overprotected at a time of political convulsion and adult self-sacrifice.

CHAPTER 10 – A Fourth Turning Prophecy

In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party.

This implosion will strike financial markets — and, with that, the economy.

America’s short-term Crisis psychology will catch up to the long-term post-Unraveling fundamentals. This might result in a Great Devaluation, a severe drop in the market price of most financial and real assets.

Soon after the catalyst, a national election will produce a sweeping political realignment.

Republicans, Democrats, or perhaps a new party will decisively win the long partisan tug-of-war, ending the era of split government.

America’s initial Fourth Turning instinct will be to look away from other countries and focus total energy on the domestic.

The economy will in time recover.

Fourth Turning America will begin to lay out the next saeculum’s infrastructure grid.

Authority will simplify the options of daily life.

Criminal justice will become swift and rough.

Time will pass, perhaps another decade, before the surging mood propels America to the Fourth Turning’s grave moment of opportunity and danger: the climax.

Ingredients of the climax:

  1. Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation).
  2. Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities.
  3. Cultural distress, with the media plunging into a dizzying decay, and a decency backlash in favor of state censorship.
  4. Technological distress, with cryptoanarchy, high-tech oligarchy, and biogenetic chaos.
  5. Ecological distress, with atmospheric damage, energy or water shortages, and new diseases.
  6. Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders.
  7. Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction.

The Spirit of America will return, because there will be no other choice.

Trust is reborn.

With or without war, American society will be transformed into something different.

If the Crisis catalyst comes on schedule, around the year 2005, then the climax will be due around 2020, the resolution around 2026.

If America plunges into an era of depression or violence which by then has not lifted, we will likely look back on the 1990s as the decade when we valued all the wrong things and made all the wrong choices. If the Fourth Turning goes well, however, memories of the Unraveling will be laced with nostalgic fun.

If the Crisis ends badly, very old Boomers could be truly despised. If it ends well, they will bask in grand encomia


CHAPTER 11 – Preparing for the Fourth Turning

The proper plan for the saeculum is to move with, not against, the seasons.

We should avoid and control these excesses now, while realizing that society will address them more fundamentally in the Fourth Turning.

To be preseasonal, America should prepare now for the Fourth Turning.

Wise fifty-five-year-olds save money and preserve good health habits.

In autumn, wise farmers prepare against an early and hard winter. They protect their harvest, gather their seeds, and stock their fuel.

No single style of leadership or hero worship is suitable for every turning.

From liberalism and conservatism to socialism and libertarianism, all the popular ideologies are nonseasonal.

Yet the appeal of these ideologies is very cyclical. Nearly all political philosophies wax and wane with the saeculum.

America will need both personal sacrifice and public authority.

Prepare values: Forge the consensus and uplift the culture, but don’t expect near-term results.

Prepare institutions: Clear the debris and find out what works, but don’t try building anything big.

Prepare politics: Define challenges bluntly and stress duties over rights, but don’t attempt reforms that can’t now be accomplished.

Prepare society: Require community teamwork to solve local problems, but don’t try this on a national scale.

Prepare youth: Treat children as the nation’s highest priority, but don’t do their work for them.

Prepare elders: Tell future elders they will need to be more self-sufficient, but don’t attempt deep cuts in benefits to current elders.

Prepare the economy: Correct fundamentals, but don’t try to fine tune current performance.

Prepare the defense: Expect the worst and prepare to mobilize, but don’t precommit to any one response.

Classic virtues that didn’t necessarily pay off in an Unraveling (traits like trust, reliability, patience, perseverance, thrift, and selflessness) will become hard currency in a Crisis.

Rectify: Return to the classic virtues.

Converge: Heed emerging community norms.

Bond: Build personal relationships of all kinds.

Gather: Prepare yourself (and your children) for teamwork.

Root: Look to your family for support.

Brace: Gird for the weakening or collapse of public support mechanisms.

Hedge: Diversify everything you do.

CHAPTER 12 – The Eternal Return

This nation has endured for three saecula; Rome lasted twelve, Etruria ten, the Soviet Union (perhaps) only one.

Alternatively, the new saeculum could find America, and the world, a much better place.

Post Corona by Scott Galloway

The Big Idea: Coronavirus: this too shall pass. The pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant of existing trends.

Look beyond our unprecedented present and predict the future by creating it.

In any crisis there is opportunity; the greater and more disruptive the crisis, the greater the opportunities.

Three of the largest, and most important, consumer categories in the U.S. (healthcare, education, and grocery) are in a state of unprecedented disruption and, possibly, progress.


Companies with cash, with debt collateral, with highly valued stock will be positioned to acquire the assets of distressed competitors and consolidate the market.

Firms deemed innovators are receiving a valuation that reflects estimates of cash flows 10 years from now, and discounted back at an incredibly low rate.

In the pandemic, cash is king, and cost structure is the new blood oxygen level.

For companies in a weak position, survival will depend on radical cost cutting.

Companies fortunate enough to be in a position of strength should be flexing their pandemic muscles. They are investing, innovating and growing market share.

Cash is great for survival purposes, but the real gangster move is to be capital light, that is, to have a variable cost structure.

The most visible and widespread trend acceleration is the radical transition to working from home .

Young people will bring cities back because they want to live near other young people and to get access to culture and entertainment.

The Brand Age gives way to the Product Age.

The entire world is bifurcating into Android or iOS. Android users are the masses who trade privacy for value. iOS are the wealthy who enjoy the luxury of privacy.

Premium players will wrap themselves in the blue flag of privacy and collect a nice margin for the courtesy of not exploiting their customers ’ data .


One sector has outdone all the others in the pandemic: big tech.

Amazon is better at FedEx’s own game.

Apple is now the largest player in the watch business.

It’s the flywheel.

Streaming video adds momentum to Amazon’s and Apple’s flywheels.

Big tech’s role in sowing dissent and promoting political radicalization has been so well documented, it has become normalized.

Antitrust is just one tool in the government’s kit for addressing the dangerous power of big tech .

Between Prime, AWS, and the Marketplace, Amazon has the largest flywheel in the history of business.

Business gurus have preached for decades: focus on your “core competencies” and outsource everything else. Amazon flips this around. It doesn’t pay someone else to run its data center. It takes advantage of its massive data center volume, and its ability to invest essentially unlimited capital, and the company builds the best data center management competency on the planet. Thus is born AWS, the largest cloud services provider by a wide margin.

They later spun out Amazon Payments and launched a delivery service.

I believe Amazon will offer Prime members COVID testing at a scale and efficiency that makes America feel like South Korea (competent).

The big payoff for Amazon is healthcare.

Apple owns the most profitable product ever made, the iPhone, and sells it through the highest per-square-foot retail business of all time, the Apple Store.

Recurring revenue bundles are expensive, hard, and enduring.

There is only one path to a dramatic increase in stakeholder value in the face of flat/declining revenues: The rundle — my term for “a recurring revenue bundle.”

Facebook and Google are simply more effective platforms for advertisers.


Industries become ripe for disruption when existing players fail to adopt technological change to improve quality and value, as it may threaten their core business.

If your company was already adept at click and collect, as Home Depot was, the pandemic is more a speed bump than a meteor. If your store was not ecommerce competent (T.J.Maxx, Marshalls) , you’ve suffered.

The charismatic founder speaks in a characteristic dialect: yogababble.

Casper’s numbers illuminate signals of a frothy economy.

The pandemic may birth the best-performing IPO class in several years, as the market’s valuations are based on a firm’s perceived performance 10 years ahead.

The DNA of a disruptor: 1) Appealing to human instinct 2) Accelerant 3) Balancing growth and margins 4) Rundle 5) Vertical integration 6) Benjamin Button network effects 7) Visionary storytelling 8) Likability

THE SHINIEST UNICORNS IN THE HERD: Airbnb, Carnival, Lemonade, Netflix, One Medical, Peloton, Robinhood, Shopify, Spotify, Tesla, Uber, Warby Parker, Coworking


The virus has been especially hard on industries whose customers consume the product sitting shoulder to shoulder, like sports, airlines, restaurants, events — and despite their noble mission, universities.

Tax private K–12 schools to supplement public K–12 education.

We need firms (like Apple) to seize the greatest business opportunity in decades and open tuition-free universities.

Gap years should be the norm.

We need national service programs.

We need to encourage two-year community college degrees.

We need to expand the variety and efficiency of certification programs.

One thing we should not do: free college. That’s a populist slogan and a bad idea. It’s a further transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich.


We must wrest our government from the hands of the shareholder class, which has co-opted it, and end the cronyism they have instituted to protect their wealth.

Failure, and its consequences, is a necessary part of the system.

When a corporation fails, those who have risked their capital to support it lose their investment.

Letting firms fail and share prices fall to their market level also provides younger generations with the same opportunities.

The $ 2 trillion relief package passed in March 2020 was a theft from future generations.

The three richest Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50%.

But the fundamental promise of America, of any just society, is that with hard work and talent, anyone can lift themselves up, up out of poverty, up into prosperity. And that promise has been broken.

This is why we need a strong government, to counter human nature, to balance fast thinking and selfishness with slow thinking and community. We don’t need to make idols of the wealthy to inspire achievement.

Dominant firms exploit everything they touch.

The biggest companies are increasingly getting their profits from exploiting another fertile target — their own consumers. There’s no such thing as a free social network app.

The threat of addiction has been slowing our household down. One of our sons demonstrates behavior consistent with device addiction. It’s terrifying. Everything he does, says, and works toward is in pursuit of the dopa hit waiting on his iPad.

Tim Cook doesn’t want his nephew on social media.

Govt provides the rule of law that kept our businesses safe and contracts enforceable.

Govt funded physical and digital infrastructure.

Team Blue hates Team Red because they are putting grandparents in danger by not wearing masks. Team Red hates Team Blue because they are infringing on liberty and threatening the economy over something that hasn’t impacted anyone they know.

We should not rely on billionaires to save us.

Philanthropy is less reliable and less accountable, and it doesn’t scale well.

The most important thing we can do is also the easiest. Vote. Vote in off-year elections. Vote in local elections.

We need to protect people, not companies. My choice would have been to follow the German Kurzarbeit model.

When you give money to poor and working-class people, you see an immediate multiplier effect in the economy — because they spend it.

The first step to restraining private power is to get it out of government. Ideally we would substantially reduce the amount of money that flows from private wealth into political campaigns.

Congress and the Executive must reinvigorate our antitrust and regulatory limits, particularly on big tech.