Monday, January 31, 2011

School of Hard Knocks

Socionomic theory calls for "magical" or "fuzzy" thinking to dominate during eras of negative mood. While in general I agree with the thesis, I've had my own thoughts on this topic over the years. Events in Egypt can help illustrate this.

I personally think that the "magical" thinking actually descends during the fifth wave of the preceding advance (I apply this to large waves, Primary or bigger and for socionomic purposes only, not trading). As "optimism runs extremely high" during fifth wave advances, this giddiness can lead to the magical thinking inherent in bubbles and that becomes obvious - once the bubble pops and folks sober up.  By the time the Wave C retrenchment has played itself out, societies have learned to prioritize and focus more clearly on things that matter to survival.

While "magical" thinking certainly does run rampant during the correction phase, I would perhaps limit it a bit - that magical thinking runs strongest in institutions that were most optimistic or revered during the preceding advance. In hard times individuals learn the hard way to think clearly and make hard choices. Marginalized groups, while they perhaps rally around a "magical" political, social or religious idea, learn how to combat the existing power structure and put in the hard work to overturn it or resist it. Whether this is building a new political party or resisting an authoritarian regime, lot's of clear-headed and ruthless thinking will be going on, no matter what glittering generalities seem to drive it.

Case in point, Egypt, where the various groups opposed to Mubarak are learning how to get around the authoritarian clamp-down on internet access and run a resistance campaign:

Oh yeah, the authoritarian side is learning too:

Welcome to the Revolution, my friends.  Egypt is test bed of how popular resistance movements will fare during this coming era of negative mood.  The tools to oppose authoritarians have long existed.  The people have long held the power to rise up.  Something had to change, though, before that could happen.  Mood had to shift.

It has.

We now are seeing just the first breezes of the whirlwind that we shall reap.  It is a wind choked with ancient sand... 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Events In Egypt

Unrest seems to be increasing, not decreasing.  The Egyptian Army has been called in

Al Jazeera is liveblogging events here.  Might want to keep an eye on things in Egypt over the weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Protest Like An Egyptian

With the protests/riots continuing in Egypt, I thought I'd try and break out a few socioinomic tools to evaluate the situation and try to forecast if this rash of protests has legs and a chance to actually topple Mubarak and Friends or if the wave of negative emotion can't overcome the the Egyptian Security Forces and Army.

Let's take a look at the EGX 30 since its inception as an index in 1998:

(click on the graph to enlarge)

I've labeled this from a quick eyeballing of the graph (data retrieved from here, prices in Egyptian Pounds). My guess is that we saw a five wave Primary move up into late 2007 and that Egpyt is now rolling over into Primary Wave C. Interesting that this index kicked off in 1998, as part of a large bull movement throughout the world. I have no idea where Egypt sits in terms of Cycle or Supercycle movements, but this chart looks like they are in for more downside action. (I'm sure the professionals at EWI would cringe at this quick amateur analysis, but since I currently don't subscribe to their financial products that handle Africa/Middle East analysis, I'm winging it - do your own counts, come to your own conclusions)

Amateur wave-counting aside, what might this tell us arm-chair socionomic analysts? Well, note that we didn't see these massive riots during the bottom in early 2008. Why now?

If we assume that the "personality" of the waves informs the socionomic consequences of this mass mood, it makes some sense. In corrective A waves folks are "generally convinced that this reaction is just a pullback pursuant to the next leg of advance." (pg. 81, Elliott Wave Principle) On the other hand, corrective C waves "are usually devastating in their destruction... ...The illusions held throughout waves A and B tend to evaporate and fear takes over." (pg. 83, Elliott Wave Principle).

The protests in Egypt began twenty days after the downturn in the EGX 30 from 7210 on 5 January to 6723 by 24 Janauary (an 6.75% drop in less than a month) leading up to the Day of Rage on the 25th. The markets have plunged, following the mood of investors and a temporary trading suspension.

What might this mean? Well, in my opinion, it makes sense that the protests would not kick off until a significant Wave C. During Wave A, mood retains an optimistic bent to it, even if the trend is negative. Wave B seems to confirm that optimism, until Wave C kicks off, shattering those hopes and, in this case, moving a segment of the population into action.

What does this mean in terms of success? Well, I am personally skeptical of the ability to overthrow the security apparatus of Egypt. Mubarak is a survivor in that sense. That said, if the Cycle and Supercycle degress of mood are also moving negative in Egypt, then this is the time when you could see either a successful overthrow that is relatively peaceful, or a martyred movement that could lead to protracted bloodshed and, one wonders, possibly an insurgency.  Maybe Mubarak's kid knew what he was doing when he packed up and hauled his butt out of Egypt recently.

Time will tell, but the short term picture looks negative for Egypt's current establishment, in my opinion.

One final note.  Check out the marketing symbol for the Egyptian Exchange:

A nice representation of a bullish impulse wave, straight out of Elliott Wave Theory.  You'll notice they forgot to add the A-B-C correction phase...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Socionomic Trendspotting for 2011

What now for 2011? Let’s put on our Socionomic-Vision Goggles and peer over the horizon into the coming year and see what shapes we can make out on the horizon. I expect the general social mood to plunge, or at least slide into a net-negative condition. Now, I thought the same thing for 2010 and while we did see ongoing expressions of general negative mood as an overall theme, we had a lot of positive mood type events that showed the strength of this rally in mood. These included a massive health care bill (expressions of optimism, inclusion, confidence and supportiveness – though one could also have called it one massive exercise in magical thinking as the dominant theme, with a fa├žade of positive mood aspects reflecting the weak nature of the positive aspect of mood) and the ongoing belief in the power of the Fed to control events via Quantitative Easing (constructiveness, optimism, supportiveness – or, the negative theme of magical thinking smeared with a varnish of those positive mood aspects). I’m calling again for net negative mood. In a way, I hope I’m wrong again. Another year to prepare for the final, ugly realization of just how rotten the edifice of our system is, the better for me and mine.

This edition of Trendspotting is based on some of the “Aspects of Social Polarity” found in Chapter 14 of The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior by Robert Prechter. I’ll be providing my expectation of how these aspects will play out in what I expect to be a negative mood environment.

At best I can give my interpretation of what to expect and use those expectations to help position myself, my assets and my location to avoid the worst if it comes and be able to take advantages of opportunities as they pop up. As Gary North puts it – you always want to “move to, don’t flee from” – we have been given an enormous gift, a long plateau of delusional (in my opinion) positive mood that has held firm for well over a year. Who knows how much more time we have to plan and prepare. Use that time wisely and keep a cheerful attitude.

Adventurousness/Protectionism

The slide towards trade protectionism will continue. Keep an eye on the ongoing disputes with China over the Rare Earths trade as a marker, but it will only be part of an overall trend towards rolling back many of the Free Trade agreements that were locked into place during the late great era of positive mood. Expect to hear much about how the early Republic was founded and grew behind significant trade barriers as an example of why we should put up new walls today.

As for other aspects of protectionism, expect banks to continue to be more conservative in their lending, expect personal debt to drop as people pay off their credit cards (though this could be interrupted if employment craters) and expect the general tenor of mood to be much more defensive.

Action Items: When others retreat, be ready to advance. Look for opportunities that others may be too frightened to take advantage of. Look for products meeting a local or regional need. Trade barriers could very well trash the base assumptions of many fine business plans.

Alignment/Opposition

Opposition will increase in many forms – whether it is labor strife in professional sports and public unions or between the main political parties, expect opposition to rule the day in many interactions.

Action Items: Don’t expect to get huge projects that required many layers of agreement off the ground. If you need lots of permitting, complicated financing or political support – don’t expect it to be easy. I would suggest focusing on small, discrete projects that can be handled quietly and cheaply.

Benevolence/Malevolence

I’m not sure how far down the curve we will slide on this polarity. Expect a rough year for charities. Expect public discourse to get even rougher and don’t be surprised to see a rash of stories about serial killers or spree killers make the news. The recent spate of cop killings (which we discussed briefly here) might be a ugly foreshadowing of things to come

Action Items: Keep your wits about you and make sure you don’t get caught up in a wave of malevolent behavior. Heaven knows the world can be short on kindness in the best of times.

Clarity/Fuzziness

This one is easy to spot. Policies such as issuing more debt to try and “fix” a debt crisis is a screaming alarm bell for this sort of thing, no matter how man Nobel Prize Winners line up to support it. There will be a vast amount of glittering generalities thrown around when it comes to talking about more jobs and debt relief. Expect vast waves of unintended consequences from the programs that do get pushed through.

Action Items: Be careful to make sure any plans you make – be they business plans, bug-out plans, relocation plans, etc. are based on the best facts available. Leave the day-dreaming to others. Keep in mind the old country saying “wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which one fills up first” when considering an investment. There is a lot of dreaming built into financial statements and pro formas. Make sure you can spot it.

Concord/Discord

Discord should rule the day. We are seeing politicos play nice at the moment as we are in a significant rally in mood. When we pass Dow 10,000 once again, expect that to melt away into angry, bitter, partisan wrangling.

Action Items: If you rely on harmonious times for your income or safety – expect a decrease in both.

Confidence/Fear

Fear should make a big, big comeback. Whether in terms of personal safety or investments, times should get stressful.

Action Items: If you have ignored me over the last several years when I say “get to know your neighbors, get plugged into your community – the actual real-life one, not the digital one” then please stop ignoring me and make those connections. People usually have less fear of those they know. Do what you can to limit fear’s deleterious effects on your life. When others are fearful, you can be looking for opportunity.

Constructiveness/Destructiveness

Expect to see things crumble or be blown to bits, whether it is infrastructure or political entities. Money for maintenance is going to dry up. Anger will spark the detonation of bombs and the collapse of many current social and political arrangements. Burn Baby Burn will make a comeback.

Action Items: I see this as a theme that will be picked up by macro themes such as Peak Oil or the Climate Change movement. Watch for a push to the return to gravel roads (informed by devastated local budgets and by an eco movement out to limit the use of roads) or for allowing infrastructure to decay to promote restrictions on access to areas and a return of those areas “back to nature.”

Daring/Defensiveness

Retrenchment should be the order of the day. Again, this will be a tough era to see big projects through to completion.

Action Items: You should already have your defensive measures in place. Be ready to get daring while others get defensive.

Desiring Power Over Nature/Desiring Power Over People

I think the Climate Change Religion (as opposed to the legitimate science of climate studies) is going to be the poster child for this. The Climate Catastrophe folks have their villain (carbon emitting activities), they have their Mein Kampf (Climate Change and the Failure of Democracy – read what they have in store for you, friends), they control many levers of power in the establishment and they have a high profile champion in Al Gore. They’ve suffered some setbacks lately, but watch as mood deteriorates. They will be a vocal, angry minority and they will know what they want – always a dangerous combo.

Action Items: Tyranny is going to be hard to impose in this era of open communications systems, but don’t worry, plenty of folks will try and impose it. Be watchful and be ready to run – early or fight - if you must in defense of the Constitution, your life and property.

Ebullience/Depression

If this model is correct, we should expect a lot more acceptance of depression or stoicism rather than the manic insistence that we should all be happy we saw in the 1990’s and most of the 2000’s. Ludes and other downers should make a comeback. Hopefully meth abuse will shrink.

Action Items: Be watchful of your moods. Don’t get caught up in the waves of depression that could very well sweep the country after an ugly financial or political event.

Embrace of Effort/Avoidance of Effort

Expect a lot of ennui if mood truly craters. A lot of “it doesn’t matter” will be floating around, in tandem with a depressed national psyche.

Action Items: While others avoid doing the hard things – you should be embracing them. This is the ultimate contrarian play.

Forbearance/Anger

As the text says “A rising mood leads to social expressions of acquiescence, apology and tolerance. A falling mood leads to social expressions of resistance, recriminations and intolerance.” Don’t expect to see things like the Catholic Church apologizing for the Inquisition or other public self-flagellation by political bodies to apologize for crimes or atrocities committed decades or centuries ago. This will be an age where we’ll be making plenty of our own atrocities that our great-grandchildren can the apologize for down the road.

Action Items: If you are a member of a group that relies on income based upon historical guilt. Get ready to see that income wither away. Also, this is just another ingredient in the stew that will keep politics a seething mass of anger and futility for the near future.

Friskiness/Somberness

Sigh. Watch as hemlines drop and fashion goes black, brown and ugly and people let their bodies go. It has been a fun ride in an era of short skirts, well-tailored suits, fun times and giddy excessiveness in parties and politics.

Action Items: If your business model relies on selling tiny amounts of clothing at a big mark-up or selling lot’s of sparkly rocks, expect to see a dent in your income. Fashion will always sell, but the trend is going to abruptly change, in my opinion.

Happiness/Unhappiness

Pretty self-explanatory. Gonna be some good blues tunes that come out of this era.

Action Items: Don’t ignore the bad things, but don’t let yourself dwell on unhappiness. This too shall pass.

Homogeneity/Heterogeneity

Watch for a shift towards a lot of “tribalism” in marketing and in politics. This should work hand in hand with anger and secession to make quite the ugly mix on the political scene.

Action Items: Take time to read The Breakdown of Nations by Leopold Kohr for an idea of how smaller, heterogeneous political and social organizations might be able to flourish. The heterogeneity pole can put enormous strains on big systems that count on people all behaving a set way. Breaking apart some of those sclerotic systems might not be all negative. Think of ways to market and thrive in such an environment.

Inclusion/Exclusion

Tribalism will continue to march onwards and upwards. The worst of “exclusion” takes us skin-color-based violence, to the re-ignition of historical animosities and just aggravates an already ugly national political scene.

Action Items: Go to the U.S. Census website and look up your city and your state. Where do you fall in terms of your ethnic group in your region? What do the projections for ten years out say? What would happen if ethnic-based conflicts erupted in your region?

Interest in Love/Interest in Sex

Get ready to get your groove on if that is your thing.

Action Items: If you are in the arts, plan to write that big best-seller or direct that movie focusing on self-serving pleasure and the thrill of the “hunt.”

Liberality/Restriction

Expect different regions to express this in different ways. Down South you may see a return of Blue Laws and an expansion of dry counties. Up in Yankee Land expect extremely restrictive gun laws. Expect more and more efforts to legislate behavior to more rigid forms.

Action Items: Be aware of the culture of where you live. This will be a cross-cutting theme in realms of politics, business, fashion and social behavior.

Optimism/Pessimism

This one is self-explanatory. While others are preparing for the world’s end in 2012, you can be buying their assets for pennies on the dollar, if you so choose.

Action Items: Buy when blood is flowing in the streets.

Practical Thinking/Magical Thinking

Expect so much Magical Thinking as to make you puke. This will be everything from relatively harmless visits to a local Santero to help out with your love life or a business deal to truly pernicious magical incantations such as QE3 or other sorts of wishful fantasizing that just because you want something bad enough it will manifest itself with no consequences. Much of this has already played out on the national scene as budget deficits have continued to skyrocket, guaranteeing devastation in the near future.

Action Items: Think clearly. Feel free to indulge in the more harmless aspects of magical thinking (so you don’t stand out too much from the crowd) but base your actions on practical thinking.

Search for Joy/Search for Pleasure

I define joy as a deep and internal state of connectedness to the Source, to Divine Providence, with active aspects of faith, hope and charity. A search for pleasure is a road where you wind up like Hugh Hefner, a shriveled old shell of a once-vibrant man, subsisting on Viagra and gold-diggers.

Action Items: Indulge lightly as we descend this slope into hedonism, don’t get consumed by it.

Self-Providence/Self-Deprivation

Watch as we recoil away from Hummers and McMansions to more humble digs and mass transit. In religious circles, look for a comeback of monastic environments and possibly more violent efforts such as flagellation. In politics, looks for “austerity” to rule the day in public spending and in general watch as society retrenches to a lower level of conspicuous consumption.

Action Items: Self-Deprivation, especially after an era of extreme excess is not the worst thing in the world. Use this wave of mood to clear out clutter and rationalize your budget.

Sharpness of Focus/Dullness of Focus

This will be a tricky one to nail down. In the best of times, there is not a lot of sharp focused effort out there.

Action Items: If you work in manufacturing or the energy sectors (or in a research reactor!) be extra vigilant to make sure you and your people are doing things by the book. Cutting corners can mean injury, ruined equipment and regulatory nightmares. Make sure your QA and Safety folks stay on the ball.

Supportiveness/Opposition

Another cross-cutting theme that should play havoc with any efforts to make big projects or big efforts succeed. There will be even more arm-chair quarterbacks out there ready to tell you why it can’t be done.

Action Items: Expect this. Build this into any timelines or plans you make. If you have important things you need to get done, keep the projects small and the group of people doing them limited. In politics, expect gridlock.

Tendency to Praise/Tendency to Criticize

Ditto from Supportiveness/Opposition. This will be a very tiresome aspect of this era of negative mood.

Togetherness/Separatism.

If we truly are facing a Super Cycle grade downturn, a lot of political entities are going to be shattered under the strain.

Action Items: Keep your eyes peeled for secessionist sentiment. If you live in Texas, you might want to make sure any assets you have in other states is disposed of within the next few years. Come 2020, you might be a citizen of the Lone Star Republic and need a passport to visit Little Rock or Los Angeles.

Summary

Whew. What a list. I hope the above was helpful. Use it to clarify your thinking. Keep a positive frame of mind. Have Plans A, B, C and D at least scoped out to cover both a continued rally in mood and a collapse. Enjoy this plateau for as long as it can hold.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Socionomic Bugs?

Here's your daily dose of wild blue sky speculation: What if one of the drivers of mood, the basis of socionomics and Elliott Wave Theory, is related to the life-cycle of as-yet unidentified organisms?

What if there is a group of organisms that grow or hibernate on long cycles, such as the cicada, and that these organisms can pass among the population, helping to drive mood?

Infectious Moods: How Bugs Control Your Mind
from New Scientist
FEELING happy? Down in the dumps? Or been behaving strangely lately? Besides the obvious reasons, whether or not you are happy or sad, or prone to depression or other mental illnesses, could be a consequence of an infection - or even down to the diseases that you didn't catch during childhood.

"It used to be thought that the immune system and the nervous system were worlds apart," says John Bienenstock of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. Now it seems the immune system, and infections that stimulate it, can influence our moods, memory and ability to learn. Some strange behaviours, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, may be triggered by infections, and the immune system may even shape our basic personalities, such as how anxious or impulsive we are...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy MLK Day

A Socionomics Trend-spotting update is coming, but not just yet.

I did want to take a brief moment to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he has come to symbolize. Dr. King was the right man, with the right philosophy (non-violent struggle for equality under the law) at the right time (positive mood upswing at Cycle, Supercycle and Grand Super Cycle degrees) to help steer the energies created by the strong positive mood to shift the U.S. towards a stance far more in line with the spirit of "liberty and justice to all."

He was not perfect, nor were the results of the Civil Rights Movement. But it bears remembering just how far we have come. For those, like myself, who were born after Dr. King was shot down in Memphis, or who just want a good reminder, take a moment to read Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" to get the barest flavor of what life was like for American's of African ancestry (and, others "of color" as well) prior to Dr. King's revolution:

Letter From a Birmingham Jail

While it gives us perspective on how far we've come, let's also be mindful of how far we could fall should we experience negative mood with the depth and extended length of time I fear.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fin de Siecle, Illinois

Before we are done plumbing the darkness of the coming storm of anger and negative sentiment, expect politicians running down hidey-holes and through hidden tunnels to avoid angry reactions to their policies to become something normal. Sadly, the recent tragedy in Arizona points out that it might be the smart move for politicos...


Illinois Governor Flees Capitol Through The Basement After Disastrous Meeting On State Budget
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn fled the state's Capitol building through the basement after a lengthy day of debating a rescue plan for the troubled state...

Illinois is in deep trouble. Just like California, New York, and apparently now Texas, things are not bad enough yet for people to accept radical cuts in outlays. It's going to take a crash in revenues, a shutdown in state government, some sort of bankruptcy process and an uptick in mood to allow for a glimmer of "can do" spirit to take charge of the mess and clear the decks.

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...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trendspotting 2010 - A Review

Well, 2010 has wrapped up and the socionomic "gritty reboot" I expected in my "Socionomic Trendspotting 2010 - The Gritty Reboot" post did not pan out.  Let's do an after-action report and see where I was plain wrong or maybe just early...

1.  "The financial crisis will return as toxic assets that were papered over and wished away return to devastate financial firms. This time, the financial firms will have no more silver bullets to spend with Congress."

Way off base here.  Mood held out much better than I anticipated.  I figured the Elliott Wave pattern would play out rather rapidly and we could get on with the business of collapse and rebuilding.  Either I am wrong and we are building a base for an enormous Bull Market or else this Grand Supercycle top is milking the U.S. population for every thin dime.

Plus, the financial firms have all the freaking bullets - silver or otherwise - that they would ever need for Congress.  I guess I let my own personal mood sway me there.  That said, why would they need bullets when they have truckloads of dollars, junkets and hookers to offer Congress?  Which leads me to another singificant miss...

2.  The Show Trials Begin.  ...I think that the legalistic culture of the United States will find natural outlet in show trials of “them” as the financial and social system unravels. Financiers, banksters, lobbyists, politicos on the wrong side of the current mob opinion and worker-bees of the Big Government Machine will find themselves hauled before tribunals or special courts founded to investigate the devastating wave of bankruptcies and financial hooliganism that will be running rampant as 2010 unwinds...

Wrong.  Again, maybe my own personal mood and outrage at the sky-high levels of fraud perpetrated upon the Old Republic by the banksters colored this outlook, but good Lord, does Wall Street rent the Justice Department by the hour or do they have some sort of monthly package deal.  The silence from prosecutors has been deafening.  These petty little "insider trading" scams they've brought charges on over in Hedge Fund Land are ludicrous and pathetic compared to the crimes they could have been pursuing with the big banks.

There were "special courts" set up - to screw homeowners, of course.

I can't imagine that 2011 will see any significant prosecutions of bankster types, except maybe for political type investigations opened up by the Republican Congress. The Repubs rolled over so easily in 2008 that I doubt they do more than try to score some face time on what I figure will be an increasingly anger-filled mediasphere.

3. The U.S. Nation-State Hollows Out.  That the coming crash will challenge the federal government’s finances and totally devastate most state, county and local balance sheets is pretty much baked in to the coming crisis. What happens when government employee checks start bouncing and when services are slashed or privatized will color the latter part of 2010...

I'll give myself a C- here.  The realization of the coming problem started coming into focus towards the end of the year.  The real hollowing out is coming.  This will be a big one, folks.

4.  Memes

We discussed a few memes I proposed might be flitting out and about in the social organsim, feasting on our anger and fear. 

Cults:  I have not seen significant cult activity making news this year.  I still think this is coming, but with the elevated mood of 2010, it has not found deep purchase yet.

The 2012 (end of the world version) Mayan Calendar Rollover:  This is rising.  There are a lot of new-age books on this theme.  It is ripe for a convergence with the cult meme.  2012 should be a hell of a year on a lot of fronts.  This millenarian aspects of whatever December 21, 2012 brings will be fascinating to watch (preferably from behind bullet-proof glass).

Gang Wars:  Again, nothing that seemed to be an uptick over existing trends.  A big miss here.

Summary

In short, 2010 was a lot, lot better in terms of mood, personal safety and economics than I expected. 

This is good thing. 

2010 saw a lot of organizing going on amongst "prepper" groups who hope to have systems in place to build resilient communities, transition towns, lifeboats or whatever you want to call them.  These systems will give a positive outlet to much of the fear that will swirl once we see mood truly roll over into negative territory (or they will wither up and blow away if we have a huge move into positive-bias mood).  Giving people positive things to focus upon - growing a bit of your own food, interacting in a positive way with your neighbors and communities, thinking about ways to deal with shortages, etc. will mean a lot when TSHTF.  You want as many positive/constructive memes out there for groups to latch onto to.  There will be plenty of negative stuff floating around.  Throwing a few ring buoys into the stormy seas is the least we can be doing.

A Socionomic Trendspotting 2011 blog post iwll be forthcoming. Hopefully (not?) this one will be more accurate.  This coming year I hope to get a bit more technical and start incorporating chart action with my evaluations.  No promises as my day job continues to be hectic, but I'll try.

Here's wishing you and yours a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.