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Old 11-12-2013, 12:08 AM
 
40,177 posts, read 26,797,761 times
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It is interesting what people will focus on and get from a study like this. I would prefer to look at the entire top ten and the bottom ten for implications.

Best and Worst things:

Top-ranked activities according to the survey

1: Sex
2: Drinking alcohol
3: Volunteering
4: Meditating/religion
5: Caring for children
6: Listening to music
7: Socialising
8: Hobbies
9: Shopping
10: Gaming

Worst-ranked activities are:

1: Recovering from sicknes
2: Facebook
3: Housework
4: Studying
5: Texting
6: Going to lecture
7: Paid work
8: Commuting
9: Computer work
10: Washing

Three of the top five best ranked are quite encouraging about what makes us tick. The entire bottom ten were also quite enlightening. Just saying.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is interesting what people will focus on and get from a study like this. I would prefer to look at the entire top ten and the bottom ten for implications.

Best and Worst things:

Top-ranked activities according to the survey

1: Sex
2: Drinking alcohol
3: Volunteering
4: Meditating/religion
5: Caring for children
6: Listening to music
7: Socialising
8: Hobbies
9: Shopping
10: Gaming

Worst-ranked activities are:

1: Recovering from sicknes
2: Facebook
3: Housework
4: Studying
5: Texting
6: Going to lecture
7: Paid work
8: Commuting
9: Computer work
10: Washing

Three of the top five best ranked are quite encouraging about what makes us tick. The entire bottom ten were also quite enlightening. Just saying.
Living as I do, a couple blocks from an Ivy League university, the free lectures was one of the draws to moving here. And I love making a living from "computer work". And I love getting paid for work. Always enjoyed studying, at least concerning topics I care about. Lots of people practically live on FaceBook. And recovering from sickness is far better than succumbing to it, recovery was always kind of a relief.

On the top 10 list, while I love my children and chose to care for them, I've never thought of it is FUN. Never enjoyed alcohol, religion or gaming.

With things this skewed / confused I have to wonder about the validity of the study. I think it is likely permeated by some sort of selection bias or framing problem. Besides, one person's heaven is another's hell. Take commuting for instance. It's possible via audio books and podcasts to turn a long commute into something quite pleasurable. I still wouldn't want two hours ripped out of each workday to sit in a car no matter how I made lemonades from the lemons, but for certain people, a long commute could be a sublime experience.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:58 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
Reputation: 3965
Default Creating titles for my city-data posts is my sixth-least-enjoyable activity, personally

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Living as I do, a couple blocks from an Ivy League university
Time to change your location from "Midwest" to "Northeast"...at westernmost you're in Ithaca, and although I've heard people argue that Buffalo should be deemed a Midwestern city, I'm not sure that argument is ever attempted about the Finger Lakes region, heh. Given the comment you made in another thread where you mentioned a neighborhood construction guy's "fatal hunting accident in the case of diagnosis with terminal illness" suicide/euthanasia pact with his buddy, I'm more likely to guess Ithaca or Hanover, NH than any of the other options. I suppose this is due to the fact that I had a mental image of this conversational exchange taking place in a quietish neighborhood...I guess nothing is truly ruling out NYC/Cambridge/Philly/Providence/Princeton/New Haven. And statistically speaking, you'd be more likely to relocate to one of the bigger cities...so by assigning undue weight to the not-entirely-remembered anecdote, it seems I'm falling victim to the base rate fallacy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_rate_fallacy

(put "pointless speculation" near the top of my personal top ten list of enjoyable activities)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
With things this skewed / confused I have to wonder about the validity of the study. I think it is likely permeated by some sort of selection bias or framing problem. Besides, one person's heaven is another's hell.
You can't question the validity of the study solely because your own preferences don't align with the consensus. I only read through this thread rather than clicking the link, so IDK what the sample size of the study was or whatever (an early comment mentioned it was conducted via text, so, yeah, probably not all that scientific...there's your justification for questioning the findings of the study...in fact, if people didn't enjoy participating in the study, and the study was conducted via text message, then that might've even had something to do with why text messaging was reported to be the fifth-least-enjoyable activity overall...hmm), but intuitively these lists would seem to mesh with the behavior I observe out of others. Volunteering seems overrated (based on my perception of how many people actually do volunteer work...although I guess once you start accounting for involvement with things like PTAs and Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts/youth sports maybe the rank would start to make sense...when I hear "volunteering" I think soup kitchens and fire halls), but otherwise....

PS: Since you mentioned free lectures...this isn't exactly a lecture series, but check this link out, and tell me this sort of thing shouldn't be done in more cities (allow me to indulge a little Buffalo pride here):
Science and Art Cabaret - Hallwalls

Upset that I missed the one on 10/23--it wasn't listed when I checked for information on the restarting of the series back in late September. I have no idea what hysteresis is, so it would've been educational. For the record, the venue for these gatherings is typically the basement of a converted church (a couple that I've attended have been held elsewhere). Now we drink beer and conduct/witness presentations about science and art in the admittedly-aesthetically-pleasing-structure instead....

Last edited by Matt Marcinkiewicz; 11-14-2013 at 12:23 AM.. Reason: edit to add postscript
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,102,293 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Time to change your location from "Midwest" to "Northeast"...at westernmost you're in Ithaca, and although I've heard people argue that Buffalo should be deemed a Midwestern city, I'm not sure that argument is ever attempted about the Finger Lakes region, heh.
Good deductive powers; I moved to Ithaca not long ago. I haven't bothered to change my location for privacy reasons, I want to keep this account a place where I can speak freely without relatives listening in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
You can't question the validity of the study solely because your own preferences don't align with the consensus.
Not solely, but my point was not that I'm right, it's that people have widely varying interests and my guess is that an adequate sampling would not have produced this distribution. An my meta-point is that one person's heaven is another's hell, so for any given person, such surveys are basically meaningless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
PS: Since you mentioned free lectures...this isn't exactly a lecture series, but check this link out, and tell me this sort of thing shouldn't be done in more cities (allow me to indulge a little Buffalo pride here):
Science and Art Cabaret - Hallwalls
Pretty cool :-) I wondered what you guys do up there when buried under 3 feet of snow.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:01 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
Reputation: 3965
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Good deductive powers; I moved to Ithaca not long ago.
Ithaca's a cool town. I was originally going to go to Cornell (I was accepted into the Industrial and Labor Relations School there on a guaranteed transfer, meaning that they asked me to spend a year studying elsewhere, mostly in accordance with the ILR school's own curriculum requirements), but once I got a taste of philosophy at UB, I just decided to stay there and major in philosophy. I like the town of Ithaca more than I like[d] the campus of Cornell...when I visited it felt quietly intense and unappealing to me. I was never very motivated to attend

My brother is a senior in high school this year and is probably 80% to go to Cornell next year to study atmospheric science. He's valedictorian of his high school class (announced at the beginning of senior year at his school) and got a 1550 on the SATs (IDK what he got on the writing section...I'm old-school; the original out-of-1600 trumps the newish out-of-2400 in my book) so I'm considering his admission a formality
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,700,326 times
Reputation: 35450
Geeze. I do so not fall in with the majority of the things on either one of these lists in the order in which they appear or none at all. But these polls are usually not the most reliable measures of human behaviour. Or maybe it's just that I am not the most reliable measure of human behavior. Not sure which.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:38 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,987,323 times
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Sex and alcohol make people happier than kids and religion.

so does a hot shower, a nap, petting a dog or cat, a peanut butter and banana sandwich, even a good bowel movement.

(not necessary in that order)
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Here
1,694 posts, read 1,497,163 times
Reputation: 1332
Not to sound too philosophical, but way back when, I was a lousy student in public school. My mother, in hopes of motivating me, told me that I would never be able to afford a wife and kids if I did not get good grades, and hopefully go to college. She went to that theme a lot. This was in the late 50s and 60s. I never got good grades, but I was inspired to look at life, and its possibilities, differently. I came to the conclusion that parenthood and family life were not mandatory for an enjoyable life. The human race was not in danger of going extinct if I did not procreate.

I think there are a number of ways to go through life. One way is the American way of enjoying family while seeking optimum professional success. But another way is to simply relish life by dismissing the perceived obligation of parenthood, the traditional family setting, and professional advancement, and instead pursuing enjoyed activities.

Forty years later and I remain a bachelor. I have had the same ladyfriend for decades. There are no children. We travel and do various fun activities. On my own, and with other friends, I participate and am a fan of sports and outdoor activities. Looking back in hindsight, my mother was right, well, sort of. I went for years after high school never earning any more than minimum wage. I have never earned a high wage. But it has been a very good life and I thank my willingness to reject the beaten path.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: The #1 sunshine state, Arizona.
12,172 posts, read 15,471,076 times
Reputation: 64033
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac110 View Post
This could have gone into a number of forums--Relationships, Parenting, or here, in Atheism and Agnosticism--but I figure it will cause the least amount of self-righteous outrage and be the most well-received here.

Sex and alcohol make you happier than kids and religion, study finds

More here.

All together now:

"They say you are a snuff queen, but honey I don't think that's true..."

ETA: This is meant to be fun and light-hearted. Really. It cracked me up, so I thought I'd share it.
Of course sex and alcohol make people happier. If kids weren't a result of sex, we would have a lot less parents.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,700,326 times
Reputation: 35450
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalileoSmith View Post
Not to sound too philosophical, but way back when, I was a lousy student in public school. My mother, in hopes of motivating me, told me that I would never be able to afford a wife and kids if I did not get good grades, and hopefully go to college. She went to that theme a lot. This was in the late 50s and 60s. I never got good grades, but I was inspired to look at life, and its possibilities, differently. I came to the conclusion that parenthood and family life were not mandatory for an enjoyable life. The human race was not in danger of going extinct if I did not procreate.

I think there are a number of ways to go through life. One way is the American way of enjoying family while seeking optimum professional success. But another way is to simply relish life by dismissing the perceived obligation of parenthood, the traditional family setting, and professional advancement, and instead pursuing enjoyed activities.

Forty years later and I remain a bachelor. I have had the same ladyfriend for decades. There are no children. We travel and do various fun activities. On my own, and with other friends, I participate and am a fan of sports and outdoor activities. Looking back in hindsight, my mother was right, well, sort of. I went for years after high school never earning any more than minimum wage. I have never earned a high wage. But it has been a very good life and I thank my willingness to reject the beaten path.
I love your mom! LOL! Mine told me the only way a college degree could ever be of any value to a female is if she majored in teaching or nursing. This was back in the 50's. The belief of the day that a female going to college for any other reason than to obtain these degrees was only to procure her "Mrs." degree. Since I refused to major in either of the gender approved degrees and was not looking for a husband, my mom refused to pay for my college education.

I went another way and worked my way through college obtaining a bachelor's degree in history. I married later on and divorced with no kids. Like you, I then took the road less traveled of pursuing life without the obligation of parenthood and was much happier for it than if I had followed the life script of doing so.
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