By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the January 2019 Socionomist
A space elevator. Flying taxis. Contact lenses with built-in displays. These are all lofty technological developments currently under way.
Here, Chuck Thompson explains that positive social mood prompts public excitement about technological breakthroughs. Yet investors beware: When the mood shifts, this enthusiasm could shift to skepticism or distaste for progress and innovation.
Read an excerpt of Thompson’s article below.
Today’s news is rife with sunny predictions of how technology will vastly improve our lives.
The same positive mood that prompts investors to buy stocks also inspires a fascination with new and future technologies aimed at improving our lives. The October 2016 issue of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast said that enthrallment with technology “is a common gathering point for the unbridled enthusiasm of a major stock market peak.” Yet positive mood extremes can fuel wild speculation, and in their aftermath, technological advancements may be delayed for years or never come to fruition. This pattern of events has occurred time and again throughout history.
Steven Schnaars, author of the book Megamistakes: Forecasting and the Myth of Rapid Technological Change, said that technology forecasters can be affected by “technological wonder.” They can “fall in love” with a particular technology, become “blinded by their emotions and lose perspective of commonsense economic considerations.” Socionomic theory reveals when and why such “technological wonder” is likely to strike.
It’s important to note that technological development occurs in both positive and negative mood periods.[…]
Let’s survey a 200-year history of these technologies, society’s predictions about them and most importantly, the outcomes of those predictions. […]
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