Friday, September 14, 2012

Angry, Explosive, Destructive Sept. 14-18, 2012

The social mood is flashing red as we go into this weekend.  In fact, there has been no time this year that such a potentially dangerous collective mood has registered. There are symptomatic events in the news such as the Chicago teacher's strike and the Arab world up in arms, attacking U.S. embassies. You may even have noticed yourself or the people around you feeling extra edgy, argumentative, even explosive.  This mood pattern continues through next Tuesday, so do your best to keep a cool head and prevent any permanent damage to otherwise good relationships.

For further details on the social mood "temperature," and the latest alerts see

Friday, September 7, 2012

Violence / Disaster Alert Sept. 11-22, 2012

In both the months of July and August, there was an increase in the level of violence in the category of mass shootings. In July, 12 people were killed and 59 wounded in the theatre shooting in Aurora, CO.  In August, 7 were killed in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.  Several other shootings occured by disgruntled employees, people mad about eviction notices, and a student upset about being bullied.  Increases in these types of events can be predicted.
Our Societal Risk Thermometer, which uses changes in social mood to detect the liklihood of such events 1-2 weeks in advance of their occurance, is showing a possible double whammy just ahead.  It is showing a concurrent warning of a mass violent event and a disaster or upheaval type of event.  The warnings for the individual signals are given on our website  While these could be two different events or series of event types, with both signals peaking nearly at the same time, does that signal some larger scale event, a violent disaster of some type?  Is the scale of loss of such an event the sum of the two signals (greater than 14 people) or the product (greater than 33 people)?  With limited experience dealing with concurrent signals, we are uncertain how this affects the expected manifestation.
Also, as mentioned on our website, estimated casualties are based on the expected impact to U.S. society, and provided to give a sense of scale.  If the event(s) occur outside of the United States, losses of life and/or property could be substantially greater. 
Stay alert and keep a cool head, especially over the next two weeks. 
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            9/18: More than 13 people killed in Afghanistan Suicide Attack over film           
For the record, this is what was published on as of Sept. 9:

There is a high risk for violent outbursts, violent protests, and/or terrorist activities on the scale of 3-5* casualties, especially between September 11-18.

There is a high risk for event(s) perceived as a disaster or upheaval with casualties greater than 11*, especially between September 14-22.

Note: The period in which both risks overlap is September 14-18. The effect that concurrent high risks have on likely casualties has not yet been determined.

*Estimated casualties are provided to give a sense of scale of expected impact to U.S. society. Also, if the event(s) occur outside of the United States, loss of life and/or property could be substantially greater.