Picking up from where the hardworking staff ran out of gas last night:
Gross National Happiness
Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal reported on America’s happiness index:
The Drag of Devising a State-by-State
Researchers Try to Measure ‘Gross National Happiness,’ but Satisfaction, Though Nearly Guaranteed, Is Poorly Defined
How happy are Mississippians?
If you believe one recent study, not very. A report last month ranked them 48th in well-being among residents of the 50 states. But a more recent study, published online last week, ranked Mississippi the seventh-merriest state in the nation. Bring us a plate of whatever they’re serving.
Who’s serving up the studies are Gallup and the Centers for Disease Control. (The CDC rankings are in the Journal piece; the Gallup rankings are here.)
The reason for the disparity? The Journal’s explanation:
Overall, people in Mississippi reported similar levels of well-being to Gallup and to the CDC. But one crucial distinction between the studies helps explain the diverging levels of bliss: The Science study controlled for differences between respondents, such as age, income and marital status. People who are employed, married and high income-earning tend to be happier.
A state that has a lot of married, wealthy people is likely to rank high in happiness, but not because its residents have chosen the ideal place to live. In fact, wealthy, married couples tend to be happy anywhere. If you are single and not wealthy, moving to a more happily-ranked state isn’t likely to lift your spirits much, says study co-author Andrew J. Oswald, an economist at the University of Warwick in the U.K.
I don’t quite follow, but luckily the splendid readers of Campaign Outsider are a lot smarter than I am.
On a parochial level, Massachusetts ranks eighth in the Gallup survey, 43rd in the CDC’s.
Raise your hand if you’re happy about that.
From New Scientist (via the Missus):
Brain scan reveals who will keep their promises
Promises are made to be broken, so it can be tough to tell which ones will be kept. But new-found patterns in brain activity can reveal whether someone intends to keep their word.
The finding raises the possibility of using brain scans to determine the true intentions of criminals who are up for early release on parole, according to Thomas Baumgartner of the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
That’s all well and good, but maybe (via the Missus) the scans should be used during election-year debates and stump speeches.
Any candidates want to promise that?
The Red Sock of Courage
The Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Decade on Sports TV includes this among its Top 11 through 20:
Curt Schilling’s ‘Bloody Sock’ game in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees
Amazingly, there’s no mention of it on Schilling Himself’s increasingly sporadic blog. Maybe he’s not feeling well.