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Friday, December 01, 2006

No Bliss in NS 

There has been an interesting survey of moods across the country and a lot of people have talked about it. Happiness Poll Finds Bliss in New Brunswick. But by far the best part is the subtitle, “Nova Scotia ranks dead last on nationwide survey on satisfaction”. I'm not happy with that. Not at all. (And is it really necessary to write “dead last”? Wouldn't “last” do?)

But the interesting thing is that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are not hugely dissimilar places, as far as I can tell.

I can just about work out how much change I'm owed when I buy a coffee, to an accuracy of ten cents fifteen percent of the time, so I am no statistician, but this business of happiness statistics strikes me as a bit odd. I don't believe you can fruitfully try to measure anything like this. They've collated a bunch of answers to questions such as “How are you getting on there?” but surely a good deal would depend on where you quizzed the person and what had been going on at the time. Some days, around 5:30 or so, if someone asked me asked me all these questions, I'd probably have to answer “Go away” to most of them. Or “I am fine. Leave me alone.” What could you deduce from that?


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