Justice loving creatures everywhere

The Atlantic Monthly writes up Facebook’s happiness index – they call it Gross National Happiness, but it’s not – it’s net of unhappiness – at least as measured.  I’m a sceptic as to what conclusions one can draw from this, but one can see that killing some pirates rates as the most significant isolated event in 2009 for Americans. Killing Michael Jackson barely caused a blip. We are justice loving creatures, though of course we continue to argue about what justice is. Others getting their just deserts for what they did to us is what usually gets the heart racing.

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4 Responses to Justice loving creatures everywhere

  1. Patrick says:

    I would conclude that we (at least Americans) are social family-oriented creatures?

  2. Yes, that’s true too.

  3. Don Arthur says:

    Interesting. And yes, it’s hard to know what conclusions to draw.

    With more text appearing in electronic form, the analysis of texts for indicators of emotion, gender, deception etc is likely to become more common.

    Researchers are creating tools that, they claim, can reveal information about authors. For example: http://www.liwc.net/

    Thinking on a tangent here — I’m not sure what this kind of analysis could tell you about politicians since you can’t always assume that the speaker is the author (eg an analysis of speeches).

  4. Tel_ says:

    The strongest signal to my eye is the obvious cycle of the working week and the “happiness” peaks related to public holidays. Conclusion is that the stress of working for a living is vastly more significant to most people than any cultural or political event you care to name.

    Having said that, I just realised what a miserable conclusion this is (worse when you think the Emo kids at school might have been correct about something). However this is an excellent example for a project I’m into at the moment if I could get the data in numeric tabular form. Does anyone know how?

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