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World View: Labor Unions Shut Down Greece for 48 Hours in Anti-Austerity Strike

World View: Labor Unions Shut Down Greece for 48 Hours in Anti-Austerity Strike

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Labor unions shut down Greece for 48 hours in anti-austerity strike
  • Seven more Syrian generals defect to Turkey
  • The Butterfly Effect and the presidential election

Labor unions shut down Greece for 48 hours in anti-austerity strike

An elderly man marches with protesters in front of the Greek parliament on Tuesday (AFP)
An elderly man marches with protesters in front of the Greek parliament on Tuesday (AFP)

Greece’s trade unions launched a general strike and nationwideprotests on Tuesday against a new package of austerity measures thatare being demanded by European leaders as a condition for Greece toreceive its next bailout payment, in time to avoid going bankrupt inmid-November. Hundreds of thousands of people marched across thecountry, creating a major political crisis for prime minister AntonisSamaras, who must get agreement on these austerity cuts by theweekend. There have been numerous defections from Samaras’ governingcoalition, but at latest count, the austerity bill is expected toreceive 160 out of 300 votes, enough to win passage. AP and Spiegel

Seven more Syrian generals defect to Turkey

Seven generals in the army of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assaddefected to Turkey on Tuesday, along with their families. This bringsthe total number of Syrian generals in Turkey to 42. There are now111,890 Syrian refugees living in Turkey in 14 refugee camps builtalong the Syrian border, where they are fed three meals a day, andwhere health, security, financial access, communication, socialactivity, and educational needs are addressed. Today’s Zaman (Ankara)

The Butterfly Effect and the presidential election

As I’m writing this, early on Tuesday evening ET, it’s not yet knownwho won the presidential election, but I’ve heard several pundits saythat last week Romney had a great deal of momentum that was stoppedand partially reversed by hurricane Sandy. This means that if Obamawins, then it will be at least partially due to the weather.

Most readers will have heard of the “Butterfly Effect” in ChaosTheory, which says that a butterfly flapping its wings in China mightcause a chain reaction that turns into a hurricane in North America.So if Obama does win, then we might speculate whether Obama can credithis victory to some Chinese butterfly – the Butterfly Effect.

This is a charming way of looking at it, but it’s quite significantfrom the point of view of Generational Dynamics forecasting. (See“Generational Dynamics forecasting methodology”)

Long-time readers may have noticed that there have been thousands ofpredictions on my web site, but never predictions about the results ofan election. That’s because Chaos Theory tells us that it’simpossible to predict the results of an election with any certainty,because of the Butterfly Effect. The tiniest event — a gaffe duringa speech, a traffic accident, a sex scandal, or a butterfly flappingits wings — can change the election results, and prove thepredictions wrong.

Generational Dynamics forecasting distinguishes between “trend events”and “chaotic events.” Trend events are those determined by largemasses of people, entire generations of people, based on long-termirreversible trends. Chaotic events are those that can changedirection rapidly, as the result of a tiny unforeseen accident.That’s why generational forecasting theory carefully distinguishesbetween chaotic and trend events, and makes predictions only on thelatter. Besides election results, other examples of chaotic events arenext month’s weather and next month’s stock prices. Trying to predictchaotic events may be fun, but you’ll probably be wrong half the time.And I always like to point out that it’s easy to get a millionpredictions right — just make two million predictions.

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