Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Emotional Topography

Use the internet and opinion poll to determine the emotional topography of the industrialized world
  [vote for,

Have a news brief section much like the weather segment of the news to report on the emotional state of various areas of the world. The internet could be used to poll individuals around the world and provide a topographical map of how the world is feeling.

I think this might be useful for people who are planning on travelling or even provide input into business decisions.

Emotion Girl on News at Eleven... "Today we have wide spread satisfaction and mild happiness spreading throughout most of the eastern seaboard. Texas remains in a pissy mood. In international news most of Europe has been expressing nervousness. Amsterdam remains a beacon of pleasure."

TBK, Jan 03 2003


       love it.
futurebird, Jan 03 2003

       I’m thinking color coded (doppler-looking) map. +
Shz, Jan 03 2003

       I don't think you'd learn anything useful from this. A properly-conducted poll would show no variation from day to day apart from predictable patterns (dips on Mondays, surges on holidays, a certain amount of change in response to weather and events). Individuals have moods; in blocks of millions, everything averages out.   

       It might be interesting to see general geographical variations in "happiness" (average self-ratings, variability, elasticity), but this sort of thing is already studied.   

       If you did have a running measure, it might be interesting to try to tease out the meanings of little deviations (current events, weather, whatever else) and learn what sorts of things really affect people. I don't think it would ever be useful for travellers, though.
Monkfish, Jan 03 2003

       Since moods are contagious it's conceivable that good moods and bad moods might actually spread through geographic areas, but if such an effect is present I'm pretty sure it would be swamped by noise.
egnor, Jan 03 2003

       Ooh, yes, the media-spread contagion of happiness. +
bristolz, Jan 03 2003

       egnor: I don't know. Everyone has a mood already. It may be affected by the moods of other people, but a single one won't sweep through an area like a disease or a rumour. I think the external effects of good and bad ones are just part of the wash -- they're all quite small in scale, and they'll all cancel out when the numbers get large. Still, who knows.   

       The system might be useful if it had much greater resolving power. It might really be useful to know what the mood's like in the particular office or bar or party you were about to go to. (But then your information collection would have to be outrageously creepy.)   

       (The fishbone's not mine, mind; it's an attractive idea.)
Monkfish, Jan 03 2003

       I can't imagine it would be more difficult to guage than the Consumer Confidence reports, with their "Present Situation" and "Expectations" indices... the issue would likely be turn-around time.   

       Imagine your local television station having a web page bearing photos of the international and national news anchors, weather forecasters, sportscasters, business desk, etc. each with the question "How did I make you feel today?" and a voting button with croissant/fishbone/rat's arse style responses.
lurch, Jan 04 2003

       Croissant. I'm for anything that complicates the obvious.
polartomato, Jan 04 2003

       Maybe it already has.
egnor, Jan 04 2003

       Ha! (it already has, indeed) Still, I like the idea of an opportunity for more meaningless news commentary. Unless, of course, it provides incentive to envious sorts to march over to a happy region and wreak a little depression on those contented bastards to teach 'em a lesson.
meowhous, Jan 04 2003


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