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The strata in the article are based on the work of psychologist Elliot Jacques who as far as I can tell created this independently of Dalio and Bridgewater.

Strata are related to a person's ability to handle complexity, and Jacques argued that this is related to the time horizon a person can handle. For example, the role of a shop floor employee selling widgets does not need to consider what happens more than 1-3 months in the future, however the store manager has to think about a year into the future, the owner of the chain has to consider what happens 2-3 years down the line and so on.

He devised an interview protocol to determine at which level a person is capable of thinking at to be use to match employee's with roles for which they are suitable. Being in the highest stratum means having a time horizon of 20-30 of which Jacques believed only a handful of people are capable of in each generation.




Dr. Jaques divided people into eight strata based on their innate capabilities and limits.

Most of us if we're honest with ourselves are on the level of Strata 1–4. (Even to presume we're Stratum 4 is being generous.)

Strata 5–8 are the rarefied elites. They're typically CEOs of large companies and business leaders.

Stratum 9 and higher—like Mr. Dalio—are the rare geniuses who are capable of thinking into the far future (100+ years) and working on problems of extraordinary complexity.


It might be a function of being in a position to effect things that far in the future, or thinking that far in the future will matter that much.

People love to armchair quarterback federal politics and long term plans that might effect the future. You start learning as you become more effective in life that doing that is ineffective and doesn't get you anywhere. Your energy is better spent on thinking about the things you can actually effect in life.

Or 'man plans and god laughs'


No one can think 100 years into the future, that's just ridiculous. Chaotic systems -- all real-world human systems on some time scale -- are unpredictable no matter how awesome you are.


I mean clairvoyantly sure, but why not imagine the future? Traveling to Mars, autonomous and flying cars, intergalactic space travel etc. type problems are all thinking in a long range, certainly not 5 to 7 years. Look at something like planes even, which took humans years to have the right tools. Thats why people mull over the possibilities of an outcome to reach their goal, which could very well be a long term, 100+ year goal. Instead of worrying about the unpredictability, you can hope the unpredictability will lead to answers for questions you can't answer yet; thats the whole reason for research labs at Google and such, working on longer term problems, finding what's missing now and shelving things for later when we might be able to accomplish the goal.




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