It’s so sad that the first thought I had when I heard of Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis was that it was a convenient lie to bolster many of his agendas, his own “fake news”, if you will. What’s sadder, though, is that we have not only someone willing and capable of doing this, but that someone is leading the United States of America. Furthermore, what’s saddest is that it is to try and usurp one of our most cherished institutions – democracy.
So what has the farting Trumpeter got to gain by faking a COVID-19 diagnosis? Let me count the ways:
The content for Week 3 of the Science of Well-being course explained why we are generally so bad at predicting what we think what would make us happy. Professor Santos called them “Annoying Features” of our minds, and referred to the erroneous judgment for happiness outcomes of these Annoying Features as “miswantings”, a term coined by psychologists Tim Wilson and Dan Gilbert. It’s a term which I rather like and will use in discussion of happiness, or lack thereof, with others I know to whom I am humbled that some people turn to discuss rough spots in their lives. There was a lot of video content, which I will summarize and discuss below, with how I compensate for these Annoying Features to keep myself pretty happy generally, allowing for some sadness and other negative feelings to give the happiness more meaning through relativity. My compensation solutions aren’t discussed in the class but that’s my value add with this blog post. Professor Santos had an extensive list of reference articles of research to support her teachings, but I’ll leave them out since many probably won’t care for them. If you do to that level, I suggest signing up for the course on Coursera and taking it for free.
As part of setting or resetting things in my life for the new year, I updated my Facebook friends list. I mostly dropped some, using tips I wrote in 2010 on which Facebook friends should I remove. However, I also added a few who have recently come into my life and who I can say with some confidence I will see and interact with again numerous times in the near future.
On this biggest sports day of the year, the Super Bowl, I pondered why NFL football remains America’s #1 sport.
NFL football became America’s #1 sport through a variety of complex, interwoven and additive reasons as analyzed here in the Bleacher Report. The reasons why it has remained so, and only widened the gap, are a little different, in my opinion. The latest survey from Harris for ESPN shows some interesting demographic divides among the popular sports, though, but it’s not these demographics I’m looking at, rather the overall results. Finally, I have to be clear that #1 is for watching and interest, not participation. That belongs to soccer, probably for its ease to be able to play without huge costs for gear and facilities to play in.
I owe this post to a pro-gun friend who debated me on more gun control. His arguments and stats used, including the graph below, led me to do the degree of research I did to counter, which I used here. I didn’t convince him, which I didn’t expect to, but you can judge for yourself from what I present following. I thought it might be valuable for people to understand the flaws in many anti-gun control, if not pro-gun, arguments presented, coming from someone who does analysis of all sorts for a living.
I was shown the graph below with data showing why tighter gun control was not the solution to America’s gun problem with gun related deaths and incidents. What I, as a professional analyst, saw, instead, was the very reasons why America needs tighter gun control. I will also counter a bunch of other points brought up by gun lobbyists that doesn’t involve data, because it isn’t just about the data, of course. But let’s first look at one graph with lots of data.
US Firearms, Deaths and Population Trends