Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Socionomic Alarm Goes DEFCON 1

Socionomics speaks yet again. Straight from the pixels of the Wall Street Journal, I give you Magical Thinking hard at work:

Need a Job? Losing Your House? Who Says Hoodoo Can't Help?
by Cameron McWhirter, WSJ
Jennifer Forness, a 39-year-old in Groton, Conn., felt her life falling apart earlier this year. Her husband announced he wanted a divorce. She lost her job as a store clerk. She developed health problems from the stress.

Then one night she discovered a website selling products for hoodoo—an ancient belief system based on spells, potions, balms and curses that slaves developed long ago in the Deep South. Ms. Forness ordered several items and instructions for performing certain rituals. She also had a telephone session with a hoodoo "doctor" who specializes in employment matters.

Since then, things have turned around. Ms. Forness found work tending bar part-time and her health has improved. "There is a reason we believe in this stuff," she says...

Emphasis mine. Yes, there is a reason people start believing more and more in occult forces during hard times - because mass mood encourages that behavior and we, as pack animals, are quite in tune with that greater mood.

As mood plunges more deeply into negative-bias territory, expect more stories about Hoodoo, Santeria, et al - and expect those stories to become more fixated upon the darker aspects of these belief systems, that of conjuring demons, hexes, and bloody sacrifice...

3 comments:

Greg B said...

Did I miss the memo about voodoo being renamed hoodoo? Of the various negative mood reactions (like unfocused rage, debilitating stress, escape to fantasy) perhaps magical/fantastical beliefs is one of the least harmful...

What are the other personal emotional manifestations of the negative mood that we should be watching for?

Flagg707 said...

@Greg B: Hoodoo or Voodoo - if memory serves it depends on which part of the South or the Caribbean the African traditions came from. I believe it is all from a very similar root - West African shamanistic practices that have informed the development of Santeria, Voodoo/Vudun, Hoodoo, etc.

I'll try and get a list of what I'm looking for up in the next week, but I think a broad theme anti-intellectualism should manifest itself strongly, which will make "alternative" religions and activities that fly in the face of "established" religions become appealing.

Hell, I'd trust an astrologer more than I'd trust a macroeconomist at this point, so who knows where it will end.

Greg B said...

I hear that the LATOC founder has switched from Peak Oil to Astrology. Charges $200 for a reading.

Maybe he's ahead of the curve...