Friday, April 26, 2013

More Violence with a Toxic Overlay through May 3

Social Mood shows an emphasis on ideology and an increased willingness to sacrifice for a higher purpose.  This combined with a continuing high global risk of violence and terrorist activity is concerning.  Factors associated with mayhem and unrest are also on the rise.

Another trend of interest is a sharp rise in epidemic factors.  This can correspond with increased interest in disease, sickness, and mortality.  The China bird flu may become more of a serious concern this week.  This trend may also correspond with poisons, toxins, or environmental destruction.  It would be best to monitor news updates to see how this will express itself.

While violence and terrorism factors remain elevated, it is unlikely that a major attack will occur on U.S. soil.  Should there be any incidents, the targets with the highest likelihood are Russia, Europe, the United States, and E. Asia.

The risk for natural disasters should continue to decline and remain at low levels.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

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4/28/13 4 people stabbed in Albuquerque church
5/1/13   May Day rally turns violent in Seattle

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flooding Worries, but little Risk of Natural Disaster

In the Midwest, people have been watching rivers already at flood stage, threatened by rains yesterday and today.  There have been evacuations, and levees are being carefully watched for possible breaches.

For the past few days, natural disaster risk has not risen, it has been dropping.  Just a week ago, U.S. damage risk was at "serious" levels and global risk at "disaster." Yet, at this point, it would be highly unlikely for a serious natural disaster to occur within the U.S. and there is only a very small chance that one would happen anywhere in the world. 

Just a reminder, we are not out of the woods for human-caused disasters.  There could still be another big one in the next few days.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Natural Disasters' Relationship to Social Mood: How we chart it

In a recent conversation with a university dept. head, it was expressed that the meteorology dept. was concerned about possible catastrophic tornadoes in the early spring this year in the Midwest.  We were able to tell him that while we were watching for the next big U.S. disaster in the early spring, that the risk of it being a natural disaster was low.  However, close to April 9 there would be a greater risk for a natural event.  As it turned out, those big storms that blew across the U.S. (Walda) were the most powerful on April 8-10. Yet, we told him this before Walda even had a name.  How was this possible?
We get social mood from Google Hot Trends.  This tells us where people are at.  We also measure the mood reflected in current events via top U.S. news stories, and its relation to social mood.  Before a disaster occurs, of any sort, there is a process that we have found always occurs.  Basically, where people are at and where the news is at reaches a maximum divergence, then a process begins that brings it all back together.  Disasters, whether natural or human caused are a primary means of things getting in sync again.  We can't talk about why without getting into metaphysical supposition. Yet, we have a method that makes this process repeatable, observable and quantifiable. 

The above chart is derived from the relationship of entropy and its opposite phimation,*  and their divergence between social mood and the news.  We quantify this in the way we categorize the social mood data that we gather. When entropy in the news  (vs. where people are at) is sufficient and then phimation surpasses it, that means a natural disaster is likely. In the  above chart, the light yellow range (45-55%) will likely not do much damage in the U.S., but may manifest in serious natural event damage elsewhere (e.g. the recent Iran earthquake).  In the middle orange range (55-70%), there will likely be some serious damage, but it won’t be seen as a national “disaster” (e.g. Walda); also it may manifest as a natural disaster outside of the U.S.. The top red range (>70%) indicates events that will be experienced as natural disasters in the U.S. are almost certain; risk for major natural disasters elsewhere would also be very high. 

This is all based on a recent breakthrough we had on the nature of disasters in late February, which has given us so much more to work with. Hope that helps to clarify our approach and the connection between disasters and social mood.  For more on this recent breakthrough, check out the presentation: Disaster: Society's Shadow.
For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

* Phimation as the self-organizing principle or force opposing entropy in complex systems was first used by Robert Prechter.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Earthquakes and Violence: A Path to Vulnerability - Global Mood thru April 25

Global Violence Warning: According to social mood changes, there is an extreme risk of terrorist activity and/or geopolitical escalation on a global scale after April 17.

The social mood through April 25 reflects aggression, ideological warfare, and sacrifice for a "higher purpose." People want action, and are willing to take matters into their own hands if necessary.  The Boston Marathon attack is one example of this, but the social mood signature gets even more extreme after April 17.

The clues we get about the type of events come from MoodCompass type NE- "victim of unprovoked attack" or "vulnerable."  Also, U.S. social mood continues to be extremely manic, overconfident, and optimistic in spite of the destruction of Walda, in spite of mass stabbing at a Texas college, and in spite of the more recent events in Boston.  We can stand together proudly and affirm that this is the resilient "American Spirit," however, the mood shows the type of extremity that occurs when it is grasping at straws to hang in there.  A change is coming.

This is a global alert, and this might manifest in events in Europe, in the U.S., or elsewhere.  There are likely to be direct or indirect economic consequences of the events.  Currently, terrorist activity, or violence propagated by disturbed individuals or fringe groups is more likely than new warfare by geopolitical powers, but that could change during the alert period.

There is a high risk for significant natural events during this period.  The types most associated with this configuration are earthquakes, violent storms, and wildfires.  If there are any large volcanic eruptions, globally, that will indicate the shift has occurred that makes warfare more likely than a terrorist attack.

Whether violence or earthquakes or some other destabilizing set of events, the net result to balance out the social mood and deflate this potential for increasing scale disasters is clear.  The time of the unfettered manic mood needs to come to a close, spending and consumption need to slow, and focus needs to shift from never-ending expansion to more immediate needs of food on the table, safety, family and community.  The kinds of nurturing, community-oriented behaviors that people displayed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon event was a start.  It certainly would be less destructive if we as a society were to move in this direction easily, and not through the darker version of "vulnerability to unprovoked attack," or some other type of victimization.  For now, the mood signature is saying, "victim" is the more likely path.  Perhaps this will change.  Perhaps we can do our part to change it.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Global Scale Crises thru April 25

Collective mood indicates escalating global instability and economic crises, especially after April 17.  Today's stock market tumble was the sound of distant thunder as a larger storm approaches.

Instability may be exacerbated by ideological conflict.  There is an increased risk for protests, mass violence, and terrorist activity.  There is a higher than usual geopolitical risk for what would be experienced societally as an "unprovoked" attack.  Unusual or surprise events are likely.

Social mood depicts the shape of the crises to be primarily around economic issues and the markets, as well as other events that lead to an increasing sense of vulnerability and risk aversion.  Tenacious optimism and "animal spirits" are likely to fade as dollars and market points disappear.  People should become less certain about the future, less willing to spend, and possibly less willing to venture far from home.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see

You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

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4/15/13: The Boston Marathon terrorist attack today is another very loud "rumble of thunder."
4/17/13: Deadly quake hits Iran / Pakistan
4/18/13: Up to 40 dead in Texas fertilizer plant explosion
              More mayhem in Boston: MIT officer shot
4/20/13: Over 150 dead, thousands injured in Sichuan, China quake
               Week in review: Across America, Chaos, Horror, and Hope
4/24/13: Flash Crash: 4 minute stock market plunge wipes out $200 million in value
4/25/13: Over 250 die in Bangladeshi building collapse

Friday, April 12, 2013

Are we done with disasters?

With this past alert period (April 2-11) we experienced a combination of two U.S. events that could have been much worse than they were. From April 8-11 was the fiercest impact of Walda. There were 3 official fatalities, some buildings destroyed and some roofs blown off, but it could have been worse. On April 9, there were 14 people stabbed at a college in Texas, yet no one was killed.

Both of these events matched the type of events in the series of major U.S. tragedies since July 2012 (Aurora, CO theater, Libya ambassador, Hurricane Sandy, and Sandy Hook), and both reflected the MoodCompass event types we were watching for. Yet, neither by itself was as severe as the other items in the series. There are two possible conclusions we can draw from this:
1) Two half-disasters can take the place of one big one.
2) This again was not "the big one" and something else will have to happen to relieve pressure and restore balance.

While we have to allow that a larger, more impactful event is still on its way, we are going to assume conclusion 1) for now, and that this particular balancing is over. However, there is still a larger imbalance that has remained mostly untouched for many months, even in the presence of the tragic U.S. events that have been happening. Is this more of a global imbalance that will require a global resolution? We will be keeping a close watch on that.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see
You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

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Update 4/15/13: The Boston Marathon terrorist attack today confirmed, unfortunately, that it was #2 above.  This adds Boston Marathon to the growing list of U.S. tragedies above.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Info on April 2-11 U.S. Crisis Type

The MoodCompass Type of the event expected was E SE, and has shifted to E NE.  We now have to look at two possible scenarios.

Scenario 1:  The event(s) could come as a one-two punch including aspects of both MoodCompass types E SE and E NE, following how the mood shifts developed in phase 3.  E SE goes with violent protests, mayhem, terrorist activity, and unusual or surprising events.  It is more likely to be initiated by a lone disturbed individual or fringe group than a geopolitical entity (government).  E NE goes with domestic issues, the economy and diplomacy.  All together, this could mean a surprise event, followed by an economic impact.

Natural disasters associated with E SE are earthquakes and violent storms (including cyclones or high winds).  Natural events associated with E NE would be hail or snow storms, and cyclones.  The probability of the currently developing U.S. event being a natural disaster will rise substantially near the end of this period. 

Scenario 2: The event(s) take on MoodCompass type E which is associated with communications, information, the internet, etc.  It can also be associated with deception or with money.  It is difficult to imagine an information type disaster more emotionally impactful than the Sandy Hook shooting, but we have to allow for this possibility.  The types of natural events associated with type E are major storms and high winds.  The probability of the currently developing U.S. event being a natural disaster will rise substantially near the end of this period. 

To summarize the latest information beyond the two scenarios above:

1) Likely time window for the next major U.S. crisis in the series that began July 2012 (i.e. Aurora, CO., Libya Ambassador, Hurricane Sandy, and Sandy Hook) is April 2-11.  The most likely period is April 4-9.  Update 4/8/13... natural  event risk surpassing human caused risk today.

2) The event might or might not originate from outside of the U.S.  If the event originates in the United States, the most likely region for it to occur is West/Central California, second likely, the Southwestern U.S., and third, the deep South.

3) As the events in the series are of increasing subjective impact, there may or may not be more casualties than the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, but it should have a larger emotional impact for most people in the U.S.

During this period, there is a very high risk globally, for the types of events listed in either scenario one or two above.

For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see
You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

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News on actual events reflecting the E SE / E NE collective mood type during the alert period:
4/9/13 Snow, tornado threat mix in Spring weather tango
           Texas college stabbing: 14 injured, 2 in critical condition
4/10/13 Gunman killed after holding five Georgia firemen hostage
              Man calmly walks into Home Depot and saws both arms down to bone
             Update on the unusual Winter Storm Walda
4/11/13  Storm update; 2 dead, State of Emergency in MO
4/12/13 Storm update; 3 dead, thousands w/o power in Midwest and Deep South