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Category Archives: Health Care

The Sad State of Happiness in the United States and the Role of Digital Media

“This is the 7th World Happiness Report. The first was released in April 2012 in support of a UN High level meeting on “Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm”. That report presented the available global data on national happiness and reviewed related evidence from the emerging science of happiness, showing that the quality of people’s lives can be coherently, reliably, and validly assessed by a variety of subjective well-being measures, collectively referred to then and in subsequent reports as “happiness.” Each report includes updated evaluations and a range of commissioned chapters on special topics digging deeper into the science of well-being, and on happiness in specific countries and regions. Often there is a central theme. This year we focus on happiness and community: how happiness has been changing over the past dozen years, and how information technology, governance and social norms influence communities. The world is a rapidly changing place. Among the fastest changing aspects are those relating to how people communicate and interact with each other, whether in their schools and workplaces, their neighbourhoods, or in far-flung parts of the world. In last year’s report, we studied migration as one important source of global change, finding that each country’s life circumstances, including the social context and political institutions were such important sources of happiness that the international ranking of migrant happiness was almost identical to that of the native born. This evidence made a powerful case that the large international differences in life evaluations are driven by the differences in how people connect with each other and with their shared institutions and social norms…”

Public Sees an America in Decline on Many Fronts

Looking to the Future, Public Sees an America in Decline on Many Fronts – Majorities predict a weaker economy, a growing income divide, a degraded environment and a broken political system “When Americans peer 30 years into the future, they see a country in decline economically, politically and on the world stage. While a narrow… Continue Reading

OECD survey of 21 counties – many people unhappy with public services and benefits

“Many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are inadequate and hard to reach. More than half say they do not receive their fair share of benefits given the taxes they pay, and two-thirds believe others get more than they deserve. Nearly three out of four people say they want their government… Continue Reading

Social Media Addiction Is a Real Disease, U.K. Lawmakers Say

And Facebook and Google Must Be Taxed for It – Fortune: “For the last few years, some psychologists have been warning of the dangers of social media addiction—a phenomenon that whistleblowers from within tech industry say has been deliberately fostered by companies such as Facebook and Google. Now, lawmakers in the U.K. say social media… Continue Reading

FINRA National Financial Capability Study

FINRA Investor Education Foundation: – “A significant part of financial capability is the ability to make ends meet through adequate savings. Having resources for immediate medical needs is also an important component. In the U.S., 18% of individuals reported that over the past year, their household spent more than their income (not including the purchase… Continue Reading

America’s doctors warn Google, Twitter, and Facebook: Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing tech platforms

Business Insider: The American Medical Association (AMA) is worried that anti-vaxxers are weaponizing the world’s biggest social media platforms, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Parents often use these platforms to spread misinformation about vaccine dangers that aren’t real. Doctors say the content is having a dangerous impact on the number of vaccinated people in America,… Continue Reading

Specialists from seven countries call for moratorium on gene editing

Nature [no fee or paywall]: Adopt a moratorium on heritable genome editing, Eric Lander, Françoise Baylis, Feng Zhang, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Paul Berg and specialists from seven countries call for an international governance framework. “We call for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing — that is, changing heritable DNA (in sperm,… Continue Reading

The World Wide Web Turns 30. Where Does It Go From Here?

Sir Tim Berners Lee via Wired: “Today, 30 years on from my original proposal for an information management system, half the world is online. It’s a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far we have yet to go. The web has become a public square, a… Continue Reading

CDC is launching its first investigation into e-scooter injuries

CNBC: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the first-ever study of electric scooter accidents at the request of Austin Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department. “We want to identify the risk factors for those who get injured, how severe the injuries are and why they’re getting hurt,” said Jeff Taylor, manager… Continue Reading

National Academies website – Vaccines are safe

“Vaccines go through a lot of testing.  Why? Because they are meant for healthy people and babies, vaccines often go through even more testing than other medical products. Vaccines are tested in labs and in hundreds to thousands of human volunteers before being approved for the public. This testing process takes many years, often more… Continue Reading

Life insurance industry using AI and social media to rate customer risk

The New Yorker: “Recent news that life insurers are now subject to a mild setback in the process for determining premiums might have been cheering if it didn’t come with a revelation that the actuaries of the world might be studying your Instagram feed. Last month, in a circular letter, the New York State Department… Continue Reading

Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites

TechCrunch: “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal.” Those locations include a network of hospitals, pharmacies and… Continue Reading