Monday, June 13, 2016

unhappy? what’s your problem?

If you're unhappy in Dubai, the police may call you

So desperate is Dubai to become one of the happiest cities in the world by 2021 that citizens who admit to being gloomy will get a call from the authorities

If you say you’re unhappy in Dubai, the police may call to ask you why. It’s because of an online survey, launched earlier this month, which aims to help Dubai break into the top 10 rankings of world’s happiest cities by 2021.

The simple survey asks users to choose between a frown, a smile and an unimpressed straight line. The police say that they will call those who say they are unhappy, which puzzles some observers, including William Davies, a senior lecturer at the University of London who recently published the book The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Wellbeing.

“This looks to me like an attempt to try to slightly frighten people into
a) replying to the questions and
b) replying to say they’re happy because people really don’t want to be rung by the local police with the question: “Well, what’s your problem?”

“I think it diverts attention away from broader political or economic factors that might actually be... problematic or unjust,” Davies says. “It’s possible to imagine a society which had great concern for happiness but very little concern for, say, human rights or the rights of minorities.”

- source

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