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These pages contain the complete rough draft manuscript of the new book
Generational Dynamics for Historians,
written by John J. Xenakis.
This text is fully copyrighted. You may copy or print out this
material for your own use, but not for distribution to others.
Comments are invited. Send them to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generational Dynamics gives you a great deal of information about the future. But is the ability to predict the future a blessing or a curse?
This is the problem that Cassandra of Troy had.
Now, Cassandra was an extremely beautiful young woman, and was the daughter of King Priam, the ruler of Troy. Apollo was the most handsome of the young gods, and fell passionately in love with Cassandra.
Wishing to gain Cassandra's love, Apollo offered to give her a gift in return for her love. Cassandra agreed, and Apollo gave her the gift of being able to prophesy the future. But once Cassandra received the gift, she broke her word to Apollo and refused him. An angry Apollo could not take back the gift he had given, so he cursed her instead. From that day forth, she would be able to prophesy the future, but she would be unable to persuade anyone of the accuracy of her predictions.
Now Helen of Troy was also overwhelmingly beautiful, and was abducted. Cassandra's brother Paris decided to sail to Sparta to retrieve Helen and bring her back to Troy. Foreseeing the future, Cassandra said, "Where are you going? You will bring conflagration back with you. How great the flames are that you are seeking over these waters, you do not know." [Cassandra to Paris. Ovid, Heroides 16,120]
Helen's face launched a thousand ships, as Paris's abduction of her triggered a Greek war against Troy. However, the city of Troy was well defended by a high wall, and after a few years of fighting, the fighting was stalemated.
The Greeks built a wooden horse with a hollow interior, and filled it with soldiers. The Greeks then sailed their ships away, leaving the Trojan Horse behind on the beach.
Seeing the Greeks leave, the Trojans were elated by their victory, and wanted to bring the wooden horse into the city for the celebration.
Cassandra warned everyone that the horse was filled with soldiers, but no one believed her, and the people brought the horse into the city.
With the Trojan Horse inside the city, the Greek ships returned to Troy's shores. The soldiers came out of the horse, opened the gates, and the Greek soldiers destroyed the Trojans and the city of Troy.
Problems for review and research