Very interesting concept ShinShimon, I hadn't really thought of imperial social cohesion from this cyclical kind of perspective. What would be especially interesting is to observe this kind of "secular" social cycle when it intersects with resource depletion cycles, like soil depth and fertility. The trick would be to represent the secular cycle you describe in the form of individual powerful families and their attitudes. I'll have to read up more on Turchin, thanks for bringing this to our attention!
No problem! Turchin's work is really interesting - he's spearheading the effort to turn the study of human societies into a hard science. He comes to it from a background in population ecology, and actually has his PhD in zoology, so he thinks about human societies differently from the conventional historian. Of course, he also works very closely with conventional historians, especially in the construction of the Seshat historical databank (a huge and fascinating project, whose data is available publicly here http://seshatdatabank.info/data/).
Wow, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I know in the humanities there is often a lot of resentment at the notion that the study of human societies can be a hard science, but this is the approach I am interested in. Thanks for the find. Is there any other literature of Turchin's you can point me to? Would be interested in reading up. Also, are you a part of our other communities? Would like you to stick around. It's helpful to have people with your perspective.
He has a lot of published journal articles dealing with specific matters related to his broader research goals, and a few other books that I haven't read yet. Of these, Historical Dynamics seems to be the most relevant to SotE - it deals with a lot of questions related to large-scale human societies, with the same analytical and mathematical rigor as his other work. The bibliography on his Wikipedia page has a list of his most important articles, and you can read brief descriptions of all his published books on his website (http://peterturchin.com/books/). That website also includes a semi-regularly updated blog, which has a big backlog of interesting posts related to his work.
I've become a somewhat active user of the Discord, and I'm sure I'll stick around. I've been following SotE since you left M&T to start on it, but now that I can play around with the 2.0 world generator, it's grabbing my interest more and more.