|By Alan Hall, originally published in the June 2011 Socionomist|
In Chapter 14 of The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, Robert Prechter noted the tendency for positive social mood to impel the desire to build and for negative mood to impel the desire to destroy. Lately, the hacker group Lulz Security (Lulz means “laughter at someone else’s expense”) has garnered headlines for successful attacks on prominent properties such as the CIA’s website. According to the BBC, LulzSec “opened a telephone request line so its fans can suggest potential targets.”6 At first, LulzSec and others like it (for example the hacker group “Anonymous”) mostly seemed like kids out to have some fun. But with their devastating attacks on Sony, and the recent release of confidential Arizona Department of Public Safety documents, LulzSec has emerged as the latest WikiLeaks wannabe. These escapades conjure up novelist Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors,” in which a group of boys vandalize and ultimately destroy a 200-year-old house while the owner is away. The boys find a treasure in the home: a mattress stuffed with cash. So great is their impulse to destroy that, rather than pocket the money, they torch it. The hackers’ current disruptive impulses foreshadow far more destructive cyber attacks should mood continue to wax negative. As we said in the March 2010 issue of The Socionomist, “Socionomists expect cyber attacks to become both more prevalent and increasingly vicious during bear markets.”■
6LulzSec opens hack request line (2011, June15). BBC, Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13777129 on June 20, 2011.
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Most economists, historians and sociologists
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the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The
events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events,
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