The unexpected is always exciting, one-way or another. “Crowd sourcing” was beginning to feel, well, oh so last century until this morning. Firstly, I heard from Wisconsin ( about oncological gaming as a teaching tool for high school students and this left me with the vision of the future where we may ask our Doctor for a second diagnostic opinion and get a consensus from the local tenth graders. The equation:
has taken on a whole new vision.

Secondly, I realize that social networking has provided an enthusiasm for taking part in surveys. Today’s Sunday Observer, UK, reports on George MacKerron’s iPhone App, Mappiness. This one is a survey of our perceived happiness quotient with the current environmental factors such as sunshine or showers. The GPS location is also recorded. So several times a day our little pocket friends put on their therapist's hats, inquires how happy we all are and fills in the scores on Mappiness. The reward? – A record of your happiness quotient and a warm fuzzy. Plenty good enough, except for a real the dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeon. In six months 32,000 of us have got stuck into happiness mapping with 7,000 stalwarts sticking with it regularly.

Eagerly devouring the results so that I could gain new heights of contentment left me a tad unsatisfied, or maybe I’m just typical. Living among trees and mountains makes us happier than living among skyscrapers, suburbs being just so-s0. That sun is good and being rained on is bad, is also to be expected, if we keep in mind that most large deserts don’t have good iPhone reception. Being stuck in bed sick is a real downer but making love, perks you right up.
It is always comforting to have my prejudices confirmed. 

We will presumably see this type of continuous survey extended to other social and political fields. We could, for example, indicate several times a day, our approval rating of the antics of our lawmakers and the correlated results could be prominently displayed. This would give more rapid feedback than a tweeting campaign to the dovecotes of the mighty. Sadly though, it might be less effective as a cacophony of tweets is more attention grabbing than the tidiness of a single number, except to us geeks, that is.

One Response so far.

  1. jazgal says:

    I'm all for study by app - of course!!

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