ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Archive for August 2008

Happiness Divided

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Last weekend, a discussion initiated out of boredom, led to an interesting thought. Let me put forward a number of assumptions before getting into the heart and soul of it.

Assumption 1: There exists some heavenly power, call it God if you want to.

Assumption 2: The heavenly powers created the universe and in that sense our earth and subsequently human beings. And after forming us it went into the self imposed sleep mode.

Assumption 3: Unlike Oil, Water, Thorium and Diamonds; Happiness was divided equally all over the earth. i.e. Happiness per square meter = Total happiness/Total surface area of earth.

Given the assumptions, a square meter of land should have as much amount of happiness as a square meter of ocean surface. Now the total surface area of earth is about 500 million square km, with around 150 of it land and rest 350 being water.

World population today is around 6.5 billion. This ideally gives 0.02 square km area per person. Let the happiness on earth be 1 HN per square km (equally divided). HN being happiness quotient (say). It gives 0.02 HN per person. If population density is taken into consideration we are left with a drastic difference in happiness among different continents. Given the hypothesis. Just to give you some idea:

  • Asia:       0.012 HN
  • Africa:    0.031 HN
  • Europe:   0.014 HN
  • Oceania: 0.270 HN

So Down under people have more Happiness and Asia comes the last. Is it really so? Well I don’t know if happiness can be measured someday, can be quantified or not. There have been a lot of tries though. One such try that I was reading, was http://www.financialjesus.com/2008/05/27/top-10-happiest-countries/ . They consider certain parameters and list top ten happiest countries. Here are the top 10 happiest countries in decreasing order, according to the given survey.

******************HN       Rank******************

  1. Denmark         0.008      155
  2. Switzerland     0.006      6
  3. Austria            0.010      44
  4. Iceland            0.333      9
  5. Finland           0.064       41
  6. Australia         0.385      7
  7. Sweden           0.05        49
  8. Canada           0.313      12
  9. Guatemala      0.009      152
  10. Luxembourg   0.006      179

Going by HN in various countries I couldn’t find a direct relation to population density. This leaves us no where and our hypothesis seems fishy.

God might have some other distribution method for sure. Maybe equally per person, but then all of us would have been equally happy, which is not the case. However hard I try, I don’t get close to the answer. Perhaps, “God has his own designs”.

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Written by arpitgarg

August 1, 2008 at 7:48 am

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