NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tell me why I don't like Wednesdays

This amazing graph makes the case that people don't:

Facebook  have added up the number of positive words filed each day and subtracted from them the (usually smaller) number of negative words to create a Gross National Happiness Index that changes in real time, day to day.

(Examples of positive or happy words include "happy," "yay" and "awesome," Negative or unhappy words include "sad," "doubt" and "tragic.")

As you can see above the graph wiggles around. Wednesday is typically the low point; Friday and the weekend the highs.

Here you can look at close ups for the United States and isolate positives and negatives.

This is the pattern:

Believe it or not an academic paper had already found such an effect.

It was entitled Tell me why I don’t like Mondays: Investigating calendar effects on job satisfaction and well-being.

It should have been called Friday on My Mind.

I Don't Like Mondays

HT: The Atlantic, via Nick Gruen

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