America’s Happiest States

 

My adopted state has quite a bit going for it.  Including, apparently, pretty happy residents.

 

Sunset over Mount Timpanogos, the peak that presides over the valley in which I live

 

In the Wasatch Mountains of Utah

 

A Utah landscape

 

A Utah cityscape

 

Scenery at Lake Powell

 

Park City, Utah, at night

 

Another Utah landscape
(click to enlarge)

 

Yet another Utah landscape

 

Bryce Canyon, in southern Utah

 

Monument Valley, in southern Utah

 

A Utah ski area

 

I don’t know how scientifically valid this is, but it’s certainly interesting — and it’s gratifying to see that the Mormon Kulturgebiet seems to do pretty well, along with my beloved Switzerland, too:

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/02/happiest-states-_n_3696160.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics

 

(My gratitude to Professor Trevor Luke, of Florida State University, for bringing this item to my attention.)

 

 

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  • RaymondSwenson

    This particular survey was based on a computer search for “positive” words on tweets, in other words the most subjective ephemera anyone could possibly find. Such data will create patterns, but they depend on language characteristics, amount of free time people devote to tweeting, etc. There is always variation in any grab of data, and if it is distributed geographically, some locations will have higher numbers than others. Whether this really means anything important is highly suspect, especially as to whether it has anything to do with what any particular person thinks of as personal happiness, since even the meaning of terms like happiness, joy, satisfaction, contentment, sense of accomplishment, etc. are extremely subjective.

    As someone who earned a degree in math, I am amazed at how many people think that something is meaningful just because it has been expressed in numbers. Law schools, for example, still calculate student grade point averages out to four or five digits past the decimal point in order to rank order students and decide who gets invited to staff the law review and awarded the Order of the Coif, when the input grades are only meaningful to one digit. Meaningless distinctions end up having huge consequences on job opportunities and income, even though the last several digits that rank order ten or fifteen people are essentially random numbers. This is not sour grapes; I was #20 in my class of 140 at graduation, and an associate editor of the law review at my school, but that is not as meaningful as the school and prospective employers think it is.

    • rockyrd

      Agreed Raymond. Having been “forced” to take two graduate classes in statistics, the use of tweets to determine much of anything is questionable. It is skewed towards youth and those who can afford devices on which to tweet. I also noticed the state of Colorado, which has legalized, pot has an inordinate number of “happy” communities. Santa Cruz, California, where one could get high just driving through, would fall into the same category.

  • RaymondSwenson

    That being said, I personally have been very happy in Utah, and am seriously considering the effort of moving back when I retire. Out of the eight states we have lived in for a year or more, it is our favorite.


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