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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.


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Update 4/19/13: Yesterday, we celebrated a day that had very little risk of natural disaster anywhere in the world and put out a Tweet. Today, we shared that the risk had risen back to "serious damage" possible. Over a dozen houses were damaged or destroyed in Northern Georgia today by a tornado. In China, a 7.0 earthquake has caused extensive damage and killed over 40 people. Wow.

Update 4/20/13: Today, the risk dropped below 30, and it looks like this period of violent storms and large earthquakes is winding down, if not over.
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For more information on the current outlook or the MoodCompass Project, see http://moodcompass.com.


You can also like The MoodCompass Project on undefined.

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



- - -
Update 4/19/13: Yesterday, we celebrated a day that had very little risk of natural disaster anywhere in the world and put out a Tweet. Today, we shared that the risk had risen back to "serious damage" possible. Over a dozen houses were damaged or destroyed in Northern Georgia today by a tornado. In China, a 7.0 earthquake has caused extensive damage and killed over 30 people. Wow.

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