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.
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.
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'