Life in these structures will be punctuated by three cycles that vary in time: a year and a half for the technological structure, three years for the economy and nine years for the societal (see Braudel’s remark below).

They are the equivalent of the biorhythms of the human body :


These cycles complicate the new society to the point of making it much more difficult to understand and, above all, manage. Current administrators do not know the timing of structural changes and their schedules are often inadequate.

The difficulty is not to understand the new ideas, but to escape the old ideas,
John Maynard Keynes

Technology cycles

Technology cycles give the impression of a more frenetic life caused by cycling through a period of one and a half years. Life seems more hectic because of the arrival of all the novelty of continuosly-new information. One can easily develop the impression that today’s society lives at a faster pace, which is an illusion. In fact, it is the densification of information caused by the description of large quantities of events that creates this illusion in the citizen (see chapter 3, Big Data).

Where are we going so fast … and why?
David Suzuki.

Economic cycles

For their part, economic structures evolve in cycles of about 3 years. These are punctuated by the seasons, trends and modes and regulated by inventories, advertising, credit policies and investment cycles.

Societal cycles (involves media and culture)

Political and social structures are slowly evolving according to 9-year cycles (ie two governance mandates), which leads in particular to the perceived slowness of government decision-making. It is also the length of time required by a citizen to change deep behaviors.

The coexistence of these three cycles plays a major role in the evolution of our society :


See the analyses of Fernand Braudel on the staging of temporalities and the interpenetration of these steps
History, social science …, 1958.