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Mood Matters – Book

By 6. November 2010 No Comments

Mood Matters: From rising skirt lengths to the Collapse of World Powers – by John Casti, a different approach to forecasting

From his page: „Most people think that a productive economy makes people optimistic and that an unproductive economy makes people pessimistic. The opposite is true: Optimistic people make a productive economy, and pessimistic people make an unproductive one. Most people think that peace makes people content and tolerant while wars make people angry, fearful and patriotic. The opposite is true: Content and tolerant people make peace, while angry, fearful and patriotic people make war.

It sounds so simple, yet no one in the social sciences has made this case-until now. Mood Matters tells the story of why human events happen the way they do and not some other way, showing how it is the collective mood of a population, its social mood, that biases the events that we can expect to see. If you want to understand how information flows from the individual human impulse to herd together in groups to the overall social mood in a population that gives rise to events.

My good friend Truida Prekel in South Africa recommended this book to her friends: „I just need to share with you about a most interesting book I am reading now. My friend Natalie Fitz-Gerald, has introduced me to John Casti, a friend of hers (from when he worked at Santa Fe Institute). He is at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, near Vienna.  He looked so interesting that I ordered his latest book – and I am having a hard job putting it down, to do other things that are more urgent.

I am not going to spoil it by trying to summarise it – if interested, you could best Google John Casti, or go to www.moodmatters.net.  Or get the book.  All I can say is, a very complex and interesting topic, presented in a fresh, thoughtful and accessible way, spiced with gentle humour.“

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