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The happiest character on Seinfeld was …

... Kramer! Ohhh YEAHHHHH! Whether he was analyzing underwear performance (“My boys need a house!”), advising a friend on marriage (“Is it alright if I use the bathroom now?”), or unabashedly offering his honest opinion (“You just need a nose job!”), Jerry Seinfeld’s awkwardly outspoken neighbor brought the funny. Inspired by writer Larry David’s real-life neighbor Kenny …

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Hedonometer 2.0: Measuring happiness and using word shifts

With our Hedonometer, we’re measuring how a (very capable) individual might feel when reading a large text—a day’s worth of tweets from New York City, the first chapter of Moby Dick, or the music lyrics from all UK pop songs released in 1983. We’ll describe two fundamental pieces of the Hedonometer in this post: How our simple measure works; …

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Exploring Hedonometer 2.0’s global Twitter time series

In this post, we'll run through the basic features of our new interactive happiness time series for Twitter. We'll first use words and pictures to orient your experience, and then finish with a video explanation. Our method for measuring happiness, which we describe in a companion post and more fully in our foundational papers, relies on perceived happiness …

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Hedonometer 2.0

Over the summer of 2014, we have worked very hard to bring many new pieces to our Hedonometer, and we're pleased to tell you about what we've done, and where we're going next. All along, one of the central goals for the Hedonometer has been to provide a new instrument for society's dashboard, one that measures population-level happiness in real time from …

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The Ferguson protests: Quantifying state-level sentiment on Twitter

Reporting on the August 9, 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, David Carr concluded his August 17 piece for the New York Times by observing that "nothing much good was happening in Ferguson until it became a hashtag”. Following the story's rise and spread on Twitter, the protests in Missouri swiftly captured the news cycle in the U.S., and brought into focus the consequences …

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Moose on the Loose!

Note: a version of this post was given by the author for Invocation at the UVM College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences graduation ceremony, Flynn Theatre, May 18, 2014. A few weeks ago—on one of those beautiful spring mornings that makes the long winter seem like it happened elsewhere—something quite remarkable took place here at the University of Vermont. At the …

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