Dystopia Residual

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I tried to look it up, and got little that made sense. Most ways to apply it.

In: Economics

Say it’s room temperature. If you say it’s 23 degrees celsius, you are saying it’s 23 degrees warmer than the temperature at which ice melts into water. If you say it’s 296.15 degrees kelvin, you are saying it’s 296.15 degrees above the coldest temperature physically possible.

Now say you want to measure happiness. You need to compare someone’s happiness to something to create a value. But there is no absolute sadness. You can always be sadder.

The people who created the World Happiness Report solved this issue by taking the lowest scores in 6 happiness categories from all the countries in the world and put them together in a hypothetical country called Dystopia. Now they can compare all other countries to this hypothetical maximally unhappy country.

So say absolute unhappiness is 0. The Dystopia residual is 273.15. And America’s happiness is 296.15. Or we can frame it as the Dystopia residual is set at 0 and America has a 23 in happiness.