Sometimes boffins sail up their own backpassages and lack so much common sense that is a wonder that Darwin’s laws do not apply to them and they don’t get eaten by giraffes.
This morning my dieting bowl of wheetabix was spoiled by the news that boffins the London School of Economics had developed a new iPhone app in a bid to “track the UK’s happiness across space and time”.
Called ‘mappiness’ it aims to help researchers understand how people’s feelings are affected by their immediate environment. Pollution, noise, weather conditions and green space will be among the factors that data will be compared against.
Lead researcher George MacKerron, of the LSE’s Department of Geography & Environment, said “By tracking across space as well as time, and by making novel use of a technology that millions of people already carry with them, we hope to find better answers to questions about the impacts of natural beauty, environmental problems – maybe even aspects of climate – on individual and national wellbeing.”
Yes,yes it is all very well, but MacKerron failed to understand one of the key problems with gathering such data on an Iphone. The problem being that the phone is in the hands of a subspecies of humanity which are the biggest, most ignorant, arrogant tossers on the planet, next to the First 15 Rugby team of any college in New Zealand.
Now MacKerron wanted the iPhone because it has a GPS making it possible to tell where the fanboy is being happy.
Now since an Apple fanboy is only happy when he is visiting an Apple store, immediately the figures are going to be distorted. In a few months time the LSE will announce that British people are only happy when they are in the vicinity of one of Jobs’ Cathedrals of Shallowness
Professor Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance has predicted this by claiming that “It is the best method so far devised for understanding how people’s emotions are affected by the buildings and natural environment in which they move”.
The LSE will therefore come up with results that imply that we are only happy when we are listening to Coldplay and that most of British people live in subterranean levels of their mum’s house.
What the boffins at LSE have not twigged yet is that the majority of Brits are not particularly wealthy, they are fairly independent thinkers and are capable of making a sane purchasing decision. This is why the majority of Brits have not bought one of Steve Jobs’ broken toys which require a rubber band to fix them.
What they need to understand is that the rest of humanity does not give a toss if an Apple fanboy is happy. Why would you care if someone gets joy out of buying an overpriced, and overheating, lump of shiny gizmo?
The best scientific use for the GPS in an Iphone 4 is to allow police and care in the community to swoop on the user and take them away to somewhere where they do not need make another stupid purchasing decision. Failing that you can use it to help target the laser array to nuke the beggers from space.