Panics, Memes, and Awakenings in the Great Recession

In a previous postings, we’ve covered panics in history, and the panic of 2008 (the one that started the Great Recession).   Last Thursday, we experienced another one, as the stock market went into free fall and plummeted almost 1000 points in less than an hour.

Panics are amazing things.  It’s when a group of people change direction in unison. In Socionomics, it’s described as the way people act together as members of a herd.  While this herd mentality is normally unconscious, it’s hard to ignore once it occurs.

Currently, it is believed that this panic was caused by automated computer trading systems. This is not surprising to me, since computer programs and herd consciousness work in similar ways.  Much of human behavior is done on a subconscious level, driven by little programs that have been learned previously.  The great thing about panics is, they allow us to look at what went wrong, and to repair or replace the faulty programming as a result.

I call these little human programs “memes,”  and those moments of repair I call “awakenings.”

While memes control our everyday behaviors, awakenings allow us to express our free will, and to learn new ways of being.  In the next edition, I’ll talk more about memes, awakenings, and the five states of consciousness.  Stay tuned, and as always, comments welcome and encouraged. is a blog by Jay Fenello, principal and founder of,
an Atlanta-based  firm that helps people tranzition to the new economy.

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