Writer, lecturer and expert socionomist to speak at 4th Annual Social Mood Conference
Alan Hall is a long-time contributor to The Socionomist. His research has covered an impressive swath of human social behavior, including studies on health, authoritarianism, Russia, the environmental movement and the work of Pablo Picasso.
SF: Is there a tenet of socionomics that has been particularly eye-opening to you as a researcher?
Alan Hall: Researchers who assume that social actions motivate social mood will miss connections that leap out at socionomists. Once you understand that social mood motivates social actions, it changes the way you explore and perceive social behavior, and it begins to lead you to better questions.
SF: Of all the articles you have written for The Socionomist, which ones do you think have been the most prescient?
Alan Hall: I think the articles on authoritarianism and epidemic disease are the most important. Many of the trends that we forecasted in those studies continue to unfold according to our expectations.
SF: What trends do you plan to explore in your speech at the Social Mood Conference?
Alan Hall: I plan to show how social mood trends influence technology. Technological change is accelerating rapidly, and many people are writing books and making predictions about the effects that new technologies will have on society. Yet nobody is asking what effect social mood will have on technology. I get to ask both questions and try to come up with some useful answers.
SF: What interests you the most about this research?
Alan Hall: Technology is a new topic for me, and that makes it exciting. I love diving into research, exploring and living with new information until I wake in the mornings with new insights.
SF: What core insight can socionomists offer to people whose livelihoods depend on properly anticipating the future of technology?
Alan Hall: Technology is not driving social change. Social change is driving technology. Elliott wave theory posits that society is undergoing a Grand Supercycle shift in the social mood trend, the end of a pattern that has been unfolding for more than two centuries. If this outlook for massive social change proves correct, we should expect many long-held assumptions about society and technology to change radically. I plan to explore some of those possibilities.
SF: To what degree does a good socionomic forecast hinge on a correct market forecast?
Alan Hall: Market forecasting is always a matter of probabilities. Yet the utility and practical value of socionomics does not depend on correctly forecasting the trend of the stock market. Because the stock market rapidly indicates changes in social mood, it is also a leading indicator for the future character of social expression. This idea alone can put you ahead of trends before they are even trends. For example, socionomists anticipated trends toward marijuana legalization long before Colorado legalized pot, five other states appeared ready to follow suit and a clear majority of Americans said pot should be legalized. Socionomists anticipated a trend toward authoritarian/anti-authoritarian conflict long before anyone had heard of Edward Snowden, Wikileaks or the Arab Spring. Those are just two among many examples, such as an increase in horror entertainment. People are now making money from trends we wrote about five years ago.
SF: Thank you, Alan, and we look forward to hearing more about your work at the 4th Annual Social Mood Conference on April 5th.
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