AM Inspiration: Hedonometers and the Balance Sheet of the Mind
At this very minute, a hedonometer is at work, perhaps about to add this post to its calculations about the happiest and saddest days across the internet. If scientists have always had a hard time measuring something as objective as happiness, why would researchers Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth ever turn to virtual phenomena like blogs and tweets?
And the site, WeFeelFine.org, is well worth the visit. You can find out who's feeling "adamant" in Arkansas, or "wistful" in Wisconsin, reading their post or tweet. Seeing an aggregate of the human experience, this whirl of emotions among people--strangers--who nevertheless share a commonality that they could never suspect...it's strangely moving to see humanity written large and written small at the same time.
While no doubt some fascinating data will be accumulated by the project, happiness is by nature an anarchic concept. As the poem below by Rabindranath Tagore states, there's something to be said for that which cannot be measured.