Posts Tagged ‘happiness

A few things following on from the announcement by David Cameron , Britain’s prime minister, that the government plans to measure well-being from April. * Cameron distinguished between General Well-Being and Gross Domestic Product back in 2006. Yet another example, if any are needed, of how mainstream such ideas are. * Diane Coyle made the useful […]

A “happiness app” for iPhones is now available in America (at and Britain (at – linked to the Movement for Happiness). After you fill in some basic questions for statistical purposes you are sent regular text messages asking how you are feeling and what you are doing. The app evidently then generates a […]

I should have realised this earlier but evidently growth scepticism is being preached to kids too. David Walliams, better known as a comic actor, was on BBC Breakfast yesterday talking about his new children’s book, Billionaire Boy.  According to his publisher: “Joe has a lot of reasons to be happy. About a billion of them, […]

Ireland still has the power to make itself a country worth living in, the Observer, by Fintan O’Toole. The assistant editor of the Irish Times argues the Ireland should embrace “ethical austerity”. I suspect that will be even more painful than regular austerity. Government ‘planning to measure people’s happiness‘, BBC. For a critique of this […]

This Wednesday evening at 8pm I will be at Queen’s College in Oxford discussing the recession with Oliver James, the author of Affluenza, and Chris Talbot of the Socialist Equality Party. The meeting is organised by Oxford University’s Current Affairs Society. The event will focus on three questions: 1) Who, if anyone, is to blame […]

Given that Richard Layard’s Movement for Happiness is due to be launched in Britain in January it makes sense to be prepared. The former government’s “happiness tsar” will no doubt attack prosperity while arguing happiness should be the over-riding goal of state policy and for individuals. Two recent Battles in Print from the Institute of […]

Against mashups

In: Uncategorized

14 Oct 2010

Martin Ravallion, the director of the development research group at the World Bank, has written a perceptive article on the dangers of “mashup indices” for the VoxEU website. For those not familiar with statistics such indices, more politely called composite indices, combine several different factors to provide an overall index. For example, the United Nations […]

The world’s lungs. The Economist. Fairly upbeat comment piece on the prospects for the world’s forests linked to an Economist survey on forestry. No free locavore lunch, Wall Street Journal, by Virginia Postrel. A critical article on the local food movement. Serving up some home truths about food, spiked, by Rob Lyons. A review of […]

Progressives against progress, City Journal, by Fritz Siegel. How American liberals have turned against progress since 1970. Genome breakthrough heralds dawn of new era for agriculture, Independent, by Steve Connor. The isolation of the genome of the wheat plant could have hugely positive implications for agriculture. Growth in a Buddhist economy, Project Syndicate, by Jeffrey […]

Anti-growth stance a misty nostalgia, the Australian, by Michael Stuchbury. A rebuttal to attacks on growth and fears about immigration in Australia. Don’t let the miserabilists clip humanity’s wings, spiked, by James Woudhuysen. Advanced biofuels could play a big role in tackling the problem of flight and climate change. Can China be green?, the Diplomat. […]