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"Mood Matters" makes the radical assertion that all social events ranging from fashions in music and art to the rise and fall of civilizations are biased by the attitudes a society holds toward the future. When the "social mood" is positive and people look forward to the future, events of an entirely different character tend to occur than when society is pessimistic. The book presents many examples from every walk of life in support of this argument. In addition, methods are given to actually measure the social mood and to project it into the future in order to forecast what’s likely or not over varying periods of time. Casti's writing is a pleasure to read and its contents an eye-opener.

"They [the chapters] tell an engrossing story, and the mystery heightens as it goes. . . . it's chatty and knowing." Greg Benford, Physicist and science-fiction writer, author of "Timescape" and "Deep Time"

"I am struck by how thought-provoking it all is. I am sure that your book will draw a lot of attention" Tor Norretranders, Science writer, author of "The Generous Man" and "The User Illusion".



Chapter 1. The UnConventional Wisdom

Reaching for the Sky
A couple of years ago when the Great Asset Mania was still in full force, I saw an article extolling India’s new-found position in the world scheme of things, one of the many outgrowths of the globalization of the world’s economy, which as it happened was just then beginning to roll over. Somewhere in the middle of this piece was a statement by Delhi architect Hafeez Contractor (what a great name for an architect!), who was obviously caught up in the euphoria of India’s move onto the world’s center stage. He was speaking out for building the world’s tallest building in Delhi, stating “It is about status. It is about glorification. It is high time that people started realizing that we too are a great nation.” While I think most would agree that India is a great nation, even without Mr. Constructor’s cheerleading, his statement underscores a point worth pondering.
John L. Casti

Chapter 2. Why “Stuff” Happens

The Start of Something Big
In the autumn of 2001, the financial collapse of the Enron Corporation hit the front pages of virtually every newspaper in the world. At the time it was the largest bankruptcy in US corporate history. But as scandals go, it turned out to be just one of many accounting “irregularities” that numerous American corporations had been practicing for the decade or more during the runaway bull market that began in the early 1980s.
John L. Casti

Chapter 3. Why Hits Happen

Paint It Black
I live on a street in the center of Vienna that probably has the highest density of upmarket shops and oh-so-stylish women’s fashion emporia of any single street in town.
John L. Casti

Chapter 4. Why wars, Economic Cycles, and Political Crises Happen

A Tide in the Affairs of Nations
While aimlessly wandering through the Internet not long ago, I came upon a link to my former employer, The RAND Corporation (named for “Research and Development”), which is the prototype for “think tanks” everywhere.
John L. Casti

Chapter 5. Why Great Powers Come and Go

The Long Wave Goodbye–And Hello
Nikolai Kondratiev was a Russian Marxist economist who directed the Conjuncture Institute in Moscow in the 1920s. The principal focus of his institute’s work was the study of business cycles in the capitalist economies, since socialist economies do not have the degrees of freedom needed for such cycles to occur.
John L. Casti

Chapter 6. Getting It Together

Polishing The Crystal Ball
In 1956 the American Petroleum Institute held their annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. On the program was a talk titled “Nuclear Energy and the Fossils Fuels” to be presented by M. King Hubbert, a geophysicist at the Shell Oil Research Center in Houston.
John L. Casti

Chapter 7. Appendices

Appendix A: Elliott Wave Analysis
In this short Appendix we give a bit more detail on the Elliott scheme for characterizing stock price movements. This treatment is by no means a full and complete account of how the Elliott wave system works to forecast price movements, but only a bit more detail than was appropriate in the main text for a general-reader volume.
John L. Casti


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