Thank you Polycarp. I have read and enjoyed Pournelle’s books, but was not aware of his academic history.
I quite appreciated the article, especially his attempt to assign areas of the grid to identifiable groups - I may quibble that the labels for “American counter-culture” and “Various Conservatives” are reversed, but that’s just playing with words.
I would be very interested in knowing just how useful such a model would be in the actual process of getting elected, and how well the model works as a predictive tool for real-world issues. If we were to assign a large group of respondents to positions on this grid, ask them for their views on gun-control and plot the responses, what kind of surface would result? A flat one would imply that at best the model requires another dimension, while an monotonic curve would imply the model has survived that particular test.
Additionally, if this or similar models have been subjected to academic scrutiny, another point of interest would be the stability of groups over time. Could we say, for instance, that the average 20-year-old member of “American Counter-Culture” will become part of “Various Conservatives” in his 50’s?
Incidentally, I recall that the original article I read referencing “Aging Boomers” also described the “Soccer Mom’s” group - those who had a very parochial viewpoint towards politics and simply wanted good schools and other services for their children. The implication was that politicians (and parties) had to make some kind of gesture to this (and every other) identifiable group or write off that section of the electorate.
What I’m really getting at is that this approach serves as a good academic framework for understanding the major differences in political approach, but how practical is it?