Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First Impressions: The Socionomist

As most of you know, we here at FutureJacked use Socionomics as our primary model for interpreting the swirl of events around us and to forecast what might await us in the future. In my opinion, the Socionomics model provides a great "reality check" against the "news" and hype that spins out from our televisions, computers, radios and rumor. While I may not always use this model in the best or most orthodox manner, I regard it as a must-have tool in my toolbox when planning or pondering the future.

So, naturally, when Elliott Wave International began offering a monthly subscription-based socionomics newsletter, The Socionomist, I signed up. I thought I'd give you a review of this inaugural issue.

The Newsletter

The newsletter itself is layed out like the Elliott Wave Theorist and the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast. It runs 10 pages and is laced with interesting and useful (in my opinion) charts and graphics. There is the standard self-referencing to research done previously in other EWI products as well as referencing of work from other researchers. If you subscribe to EWT or EWFF, the format will look very familiar.

I am especially a fan of the charts and like the overlay of the Socionomic data and stock price data.

The extras that you can get include a 2 hour DVD of Robert Prechter giving a talk at the London School of Economics. The DVD hasn't arrived yet, so I have no report on it.

What I Liked From Issue #1

Right out of the gate, The Socionomist is timely. The lead story is a 6 page article entitled "A Socionomic View of Epidemic Disease." Sweet. Just in time for the Swine Flu.

The very first graphic of this very first issue is an interesting overlay of the Dow/PPI yearly average since the late 1800's overlayed with with Bear Market phases and major outbreaks of epidemic disease. The article itself (Part 1 of 2) is a succinct overview of epidemic disease as seen through a socionomics lense. Good stuff, if not earth-shatteringly original for those of us who've kept up with socionomic theory. I really look forward to Part 2, which "will include a list of recommendations for protecting yourself against epidemics."

There is an article skyscrapers and social mood. While this is a familiar topic for those of us who've followed it, there are some interesting updates from the big projects planned for the Persian Gulf region and a couple of nice graphics.

One very interesting article entitled "Have We Seen the Peak in Radical Islam?" This is a fascinating topic and one I may take up here at FutureJacked in the coming weeks. It draws on some of the very interesting work that Mark Galasiewski is doing with Asian markets. This broke some new ground and I look forward to following this developing trend.

The newsletter wraps up with "Signs of Shifting Mood" and brings together a number of anecdotes that try to illustrate this amorphous thing we call "social mood."

All in all I was pleased with the product. I especially like the main article on epidemic disease and the one-pager on radical Islam. These are fertile fields for more work.

I am also glad to see them floating a subscription-based product to complement the free "Progress in Socionomics." While I am not thrilled to be paying for it, I do hope and assume the cash will help fund the Socionomics Institute and lead to research and development of "harder" socionomics tools such as better indicies or gauges of social mood.

What I'd Like to See in the Future

The overall feel was one of familiarity. If you do not subscribe to the financial products from EWI, then this is not an issue. What I do hope The Socionomist does avoid is becoming an Elliott Wave Theorist Light. I think they have a large enough stable of researchers and writers to avoid it.

I'd also like to see case studies in applying socionomics in the real world. For those of us who might be interested in starting a business, getting into a new line of work, who have a desire to create art, etc., having examples of the types of activities that got off the ground and thrived in certain social mood environments (or, better yet, failed during one phase of social mood, but suceeded after mood changed - the life of Napoleon Hill seems to be a good illustration - gotta remember that for a future FutureJacked posting as well...)

Only having one issue to go on limits what I can say about The Socionomist, but knowing the track record of other offerings from EWI - and the direct, personal benefit I've gained from those products - I feel comfortable saying that I think The Socionomist will be an interesting newsletter that provides interesting reading and useful, actionable observation.

Overall, I regard this as a product worth your money. My view of Socionomics is that it is a great way to map out the general terrain of the coming future. Knowing the general location of minefields and having a map to safe harbors and the fertile fields of new growth cannot guarantee success, but it can sure help stack the odds in your favor.

3 comments:

Greg B said...

Thanks for the review Mike.

It would be great to see them do articles on changing trends in things like:
* popular housing locations (urban/rural/suburban)
* education levels desired
* crime levels
* individualism (in contrast to a community focus)
* church membership

Keep up the good work!

Flagg707 said...

Hey Greg - very interesting points and I'd like to see them as well. I'll pass that along.

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