Whatever happened to Nomads ?
4 Feb 2010
"Colt made everyone equal .
Kalashnikov made everyone free ." … AW
Nomadism is alive and well and on an upsurge .
Nomadism is one of the great Human inventions .
What is nomadism ?
The capability of transporting your culture and technology in a small , portable package that can unpack on fertile ground and defend itself .
Do not confuse it with Hunter-Gatherer .
The processes are
1. hunter-gatherer ->agricultural -> nomad ->city
2.hunter-gatherer ->agricultural -> city ->nomad
The two processes iterate into each other .
City and Nomad has been in this thesis-antithesis-synthesis armed discussion for at least 10 000 years . .
City is more secure , but less freedom . Nomad less secure , but more freedom . The kicker is that technological innovation (due to higher degree of freedom) proceeds from Nomad to City .
Eg Iron and steel working , windmills , stirrups , etc
The City system ends up as reactive to Nomadic systems . Always a step or two behind . But sheer strength enabled it to survive the lag until about the middle of the twentieth century AD Until air-travel and electronic communication .
Composite bows and AK47
Composite bows :
Invented by the Egyptians as bow-saws , these spread . But to make a glued-together composite bow requires freedom of vibration . Ditto for other weapons . Pregnant women could not ride . The nomad Achilles Heel .
Any nomad people had to have peripheral permanent manufacturing and R&R settlements . We can even calculate their size . They must have been 1/3 of the total population .See previous posts on the size of Mongolian population .
The same holds for the modern equivalent : The AK47 .
The AK47 is the modern equivalent of the Composite bow .
It makes modern nomadism possible .
The fragmentation of states :
There are now more than 200 states in the UN . Most made possible by the rapid rate of fire of the AK47 and supplies by other fragmented super-power bloc states .
Can you see what is happening ?
The loose-cannon elements in the city-nomad dialogue is freed from the constraint of peripheral fixed bases .
For the moment . The guns can last a long time , but the ammunition has a fixed life-span . Fixed by the states that make them . A problem the Scythians or the Mongols did not have . Oh well .
This means a rapid collapse of unsupported freedom movements .
Meanwhile , back at the Ranch …
Capital from the West is still being exported to China (still perceived as a periphery) because returns are higher (Cf Roman Empire) .
But Chinese City-Nomad dialogue has been optimized using differential provincial mechanisms .
Internal China has been turned into a nomad system .
Peasants are nomads to the Special Economic Zones . If they can't hack it , they nomad back .
Like the US or Russia used to be before the death-grip of the large companies and banks , driven by UK or French capital .
( A good 2/3 of emigrants to the US West or Siberia went back home.)
But this time , it can be optimized into permanence .
This is what the City-systems of UK-US and France-Russia feared .
With good reason . Internal differential pressures can be maintained indefinitely in a large enough state . There is a threshold (attractor basin) where this becomes the norm
See previous posts . Seven to fourteen percent growth rates are at the lower end of the scale for this particular configuration . The next quantum step is 18 – 67 percent .
So why did Nomads not take over the world ?
They did .
Successful City states export their surplus population (eg ancient Greek , Roman , Celtic , Persian , Chinese ,London , Paris , etc) , who become nomads to their new colonies .
The nomads make cities and repeat the process .
A very old algorithm ( cf bacteria in their free-form and plaque stage .) We should be able to very decisively derive a threshold between the two .
A delicious analogue of the wave-particle duality .
I go on a business trip to New York . I get made an offer by a multinational and become a nomad . I was a city-dweller until the decision to accept the offer to become a nomad . A typical wave-particle duality .
This process was decisively accellerated by technology .
We are living in the greatest age of Nomadism yet .
The nomads are known by different terms:
Emigrants , refugees , conquerors , businessmen , etc.
But all characterized that they unpack their parcel of civilization skills and defend them .
Look at the volkewanderungs in Europe after WWII .
They dwarfed anything in recorded history . And it is still going on
The greatest threat to ultra-conservative systems is this exact process . Hence the present armed response to cultural encroachments , both in the East and the West .
Called terrorism or war on terrorism .
Remember , the nomad unpacks his technological and cultural system and defends it with cheap , effective weapons (eg composite bow , AK47 , etc)
The IT specialist that hops on a plane at the whiff of a contract is a nomad .
The "refugee" is mostly a nomad , hopping the bus to a better life .
And he defends it by money .
The Mercenary has made a big comeback .
Now called a Security Contractor .
This was to be expected in a nomadic society .
If the base society is mobile , nobody feels the need to defend to the death .
This erodes the tax-base .
Large , permanent armed establishments only become affordable at need .
Intriguing is the reverse , where nationalistic security establishments (like the Red Army or US military-industrial complex ) have become more business-oriented .
The result are huge fractal armies .
Notice how dusty old memes are resurrected and polished up .
All present existing societies have had previous episodes of the same (eg condottieri , Marius , Sulla , Chinese Warlordism , etc , etc . The list is very long .)
As technology accellerates , this process will also accellerate .
No peace-time army can afford to keep up with the new technology . But the one with the second-best technology will lose .
The alternatives are :
1.Permanent high taxes , and a lot of wars This leads to exhaustion , especially in democratic , nomadic states . The tax-payers run away or vote them out .
2. Sell arms . A stop-gap solution . Eventually , one of your clients is going to tackle you .
3.Mercenaries . Nationalism has to degrade , as the commanders have to juggle priorities . Read "Anabasis" by Xenophon again to see what a commander in this system has to put up with .
Interesting Medical Correlation :
Note the correlation with medical technology .
They face exactly the same problems .
This is because the immune-bacteriological complex is a very good analogue of our society .
In other words , if the medical establishment cannot resolve the problems of Cost-Effectiveness , we will repeat them in the society .
As National Health Insurance goes , so will your society . But NHI is faster by at least two orders of magnitude .
What happened to the Huns ?
They phase-shifted from a free-form to a plaque form to use our above bacteriological analogy . The same people who were ravening barbarians abruptly changed into sedentary civilized persons .
This is actually the norm in humans .
Most white South Africans have undergone this transition. So also Germans , Eastern European Communists , medieval heathens of the Viking persuasion , Muslim Mongols , etc .
It is actually the same coin , seen from different sides .
And they can change back just as easily as we have seen in Yugoslavia , Germany , Uganda and countless other examples .
We can mirror this system back onto bacteria and calculate where an attack on the bacteria will trigger a phase change .
As I said , this threshold can be exactly calculated ,
as it derives from very old bacterial sources. It is not even difficult .
1. 1/3 as discussed in Reserves (see http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "New tools")
2. 1/3 of 1.3= 0.1111… (primary reserves of reserves (iterative): the salt of the earth)
3. 1/3 of 0.1111… = 0.0370… (3-4 percent . The percentage of officer material or attractive males in human populations by definition .)
4. 1/3 of 0.0370… = 0.01234567 …(notice the sequential numerals in base 10) Humans start getting very scratchy if this population percentile is attacked .It is seen as an exponentially escalating attack . Even bacteria will respond to this easily perceived escalation . (Resonance : why you have ten fingers)
5. 1/3 of 0.01234567… = 0.004115226337… Humans fight to the death or move if this percentile is attacked . Notice the base 10 repetition . ( 411 .. 522 ...633..) Once again this is interpreted as extreme but hidden escalation of aggression . The conscious mind is not usually aware of this sequence .
6. 1/3 of 0.004115226337 = 0.001371743112… Note the 137 . This ties in with some fundamental constants and ratios of infinite over finite growth
7. And so it goes .
Stand-down Negotiations .
Para 4 above in any direction will be interpreted by bacterial (or human) systems as an invitation to negotiation . It does not really matter in which direction it goes, though it is slightly easier in the decreasing direction .
In other words , not tit-for-tat , but halftit-for-tat or doubletit-for-tat , then 3tit-for-tat or 1/3tit-for-tat , then 4tit-for-tat or 1/4tit-for-tat , and so forth .
This is important , because it opens dialogue with bacterial subsystems of the human body . Not only infections and phene systems , but also metabolic systems like the sugar metabolism .
Once you have their attention , you must indicate a direction (the two are the same: these are not conscious systems)
How many terms are needed ?
From general theory we know that at least 4 terms are needed , but the system is much better with 5 terms .
Dissolve 15 gm (3 tsp of sugar) into 150 (half-cup) of water .
Sip first 50 ml (3 tbs + 1tsp ) ,
then 40 ml(2 tbs +2 tsp)
then 30 ml(2 tbs +0 tsp)
then 20ml(1 tbs +1 tsp)
then 10 ml (2 tsp)
etc . This will get the attention of the system
What will happen is anybody's guess .
Maybe Mongols of the Serengeti will still happen .