|By Euan Wilson | Excerpted from the March 2010 Socionomist|
[Ed: Socionomics goes beyond the ‘what’ of human events to pursue the deeper question of ‘why.’ Why does social mood wax and wane? Why does history seem to repeat itself in patterns? Why were hemlines higher last year? In this fascinating article, socionomist Euan Wilson offers part of the explanation: Fluctuations in social mood exhibit the same “golden” or “Fibonacci” ratio that also orders our DNA and galaxies.
[Here is an excerpt of Wilson’s March 2010 article.]
The Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio
In 1202, Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Leonardo Fibonacci, brought knowledge of the Fibonacci sequence from the Arab world to Europe. The sequence begins with the numbers 0 and 1. After 1, each number is the sum of the preceding two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, and so on.
Several mathematical properties make the sequence remarkable. The quotients of each successive pair of numbers is a number progressing toward a constant, phi. Phi is an irrational number equal to roughly 1.618, and is named for Phidias, architect of the Parthenon.
Expressed as line segments (see Figure 2), any two adjacent Fibonacci numbers show the same ratio of the smaller segment (b) to the larger (a) as the larger segment (a) to the whole (a+b). Note that any additive sequence begun with any two numbers (that is, not only 0 and 1) will yield successive quotients that converge toward phi. For example, -1 and 8 begin the sequence -1, 8, 7, 15, 22, 37, 59, 98, 157, 255, 412, 667, 1079, etc., and 1079/669 = 1.618. Thus, phi is a mathematical constant of all such sequences.
Logarithmic Functions Govern Efficient Natural Designs
The Fibonacci sequence and the shapes associated with it grow according to logarithmic functions. These functions, spirals in particular, are found throughout nature.
The fastest animal on earth is the Peregrine Falcon, which dives at over 200 miles per hour to capture its prey. It plummets not straight down but in a spiral, widening by a constant factor. In a paper published in 2000, Dr. Vance A. Tucker of Duke University points out that to maintain constant vision of its prey, a straight-diving bird would have to cock its head to the side. He observes:
Although the spiral path is longer than the straight path, a mathematical model for an ‘ideal falcon’ shows that the falcon could reach the prey more quickly along the spiral path because the speed advantage of a straight head more than compensates for the longer path.1
By employing a logarithmic spiral, the bird maintains top flying speed, shortest time of descent and the ability to constantly view its target.
Logarithmic spirals govern a realm far greater than the falcon’s: the structure of many galaxies.
In plants, logarithmic spirals frequently express themselves with Fibonacci numbers, creating golden spirals. One example is the pineapple. The fruit’s outer surface comprises hexagonal sections arranged in five, eight, 13 and 21 spirals of increasing steepness. HSB discussed similar spirals in branch and root patterns. …
In the remainder of this six-page article, author Euan Wilson:
- Describes the presence of the Fibonacci ratio at the atomic level
- Presents new discoveries of Fibonacci relationships in the human body
- Illustrates the appeal of the golden ratio to human minds
- Explains why growth and organization in nature and fluctuations in social mood unfold according to Fibonacci-regulated patterns
You’ll come away from this article with an understanding of the patterns and fluctuations that form many of the basic building blocks of social mood, which in turn is a primer to help you understand how you can take appropriate action and be successful in the investment markets.
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The Socionomist is designed to help readers understand and anticipate waves of social mood. We also present the latest essays in the field of socionomics, the study of social mood; we anticipate that many of the hypotheses will be subjected to scientific testing in future scholarly studies.
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Most economists, historians and sociologists presume that events determine society’s mood. But socionomics hypothesizes the opposite: that social mood determines the character of social events. The events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events, macroeconomic trends and even peace and war—are the products of a naturally occurring pattern of social-mood fluctuation. Such events, therefore, are not randomly distributed, as is commonly believed, but are in fact probabilistically predictable. Socionomics also posits that the stock market is the best available meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social mood, and that financial and economic decision-making are fundamentally different in that financial decisions are motivated by the herding impulse while economic choices are guided by supply and demand. For more information about socionomic theory, see (1) the text, The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior © 1999, by Robert Prechter; (2) the introductory documentary History's Hidden Engine; (3) the video Toward a New Science of Social Prediction, Prechter’s 2004 speech before the London School of Economics in which he presents evidence to support his socionomic hypothesis; and (4) the Socionomics Institute’s website, www.socionomics.net. At no time will the Socionomics Institute make specific recommendations about a course of action for any specific person, and at no time may a reader, caller or viewer be justified in inferring that any such advice is intended.