The mood of the nation at midday and 11 pm EST (Alan Mislove/Sune Lehmann/Yong-Yeol Ahn/Jukka-Pekka Onnela/J. Niels Rosenquist, 2010)

Emotional words contained in 300 million tweets suggest that the West Coast is happier than the East Coast, and across the country happiness peaks each Sunday morning, with a trough on Thursday evenings, computer scientists at Northeastern University have found, describing the technique as “the pulse of the nation.” 

To glean mood from the 140-character-long messages, they filtered the tweets to find ones that contained words included in a psychological word-rating system called Affective Norms for English Words – a low-scoring word on ANEW is considered negative, a high-scoring one positive.

What is a mimo?

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A mimo is a message. IN and OUT.
MI is Message In.
MO is Message Out.

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In Chapter 24 The Message (page 219) I have written more about mimos and messaging in WOMBAT Selling: How to Sell by Word of Mouth:

When it comes to intellectual capital the message is the medium. The message is THE most fundamental unit of intellectual capital. I believe that the message is about to take a quantum leap and that we are on the threshold of a whole new appreciation of its importance in the business context.

- page 223, WOMBAT Selling

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Blogs and tweets could predict the future …

NEWSCIENTIST:  In the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than a thousand tweets will have been twittered and dozens of blogs posted. Much of their content will be ephemeral fluff: personal gripes and tittle-tattle interesting to no one but the parties concerned. Yet despite this, it is possible to use that torrent of information to make predictions about social and economic trends that affect us all.

Interest in the idea of analysing web data to make predictions took off around a year ago, when researchers at Google used the frequency of certain search terms to forecast the sales of homes, cars and other products.

In their landmark study, Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, and his colleague Hyunyoung Choi showed how the volume of searches for certain products, such as types of car, rose and fell in line with monthly sales. Google keeps extensive records of what is being searched for, and that information is available almost instantaneously. That could make Varian and Choi’s method a far quicker way of gauging purchasing behaviour than traditional sales forecasts, which are often made by looking back at purchasing patterns.

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The Policeman’s Dilemma:

A policeman arrives at a burning truck where the driver is so trapped that he cannot be rescued and is about to burn to death. To save him this final agony, should the policeman shoot him or let him suffer his terrible fate?

What do YOU think?

Bishop Harries and Richard Dawkins have collaborated on several occasions to promote the proper teaching of science in UK classrooms. They discuss the Policeman’s Dilemma and mercy killing and other strong questions of religion, science and ethics including faith schools, homosexuality and Christianity, the school curriculum and the media. They also do it rationally and respectfully.

To Richard Dawkins believing in God is like believing in a teapot orbiting Mars. Although, Dawkins says he is ‘a member of Atheists for Jesus’. This is a fascinating video interview with Richard Harries, the Bishop of Oxford by Richard Dawkins, the famed evolutionary biologist, atheist and popular science writer.


The northernmost city in Australia is Darwin. Darwin is in the Northern Territory and is the only large city in the world named after one of the cleverest humans who ever lived, Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of Species and most famous for his brilliant idea on how evolution works.

Darwin’s Theory (as it has been fully developed during the last 150 years) has explained more about life in the universe than any other idea ever produced by any other thinker from St Paul to Steven Hawking.

In my personal opinion, he is easily the #1 Thinker of the Second Millennium.

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