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Let’s Discuss the Problem

By   /   February 21, 2013  /   Comments

#NVR here; and it’s been a while. I’d apologize but mammals of my size tend toward hibernation in the winter time, so let’s just call this a good morning piece.

It hit two days ago, a new study shows Albany is in the top three saddest cities in the United States. First, I have to mention that this study is based on a statistical analysis of words from tweets that also contain a “geotag” such as #Albany. Once tweets from the designated time frame with the “geotag” are collected they are analyzed based on positive and negative values for the words, not the context of the tweet. This means that if you tweeted “Being out in the country sucks, I’m headed to #AlbanyGA,” you did contribute negatively towards the rating of Albany. As a disclaimer I feel I should mention that the group handling the study did attempt to adhere to the Gallup standard for analyzing the quality of life of any given location by a random assessment of surveys and words.

But what does this mean exactly? It means that people are unhappy or that they express their happiness in a way that is not fitting to the criteria of the study. Seems like a stretch, huh? It may be all I have to go on at the moment. But it is far from all I have to say.

The reality is that we have a lot of negative claims being made. And while I’m sure that there is a good foundation for a lot of them, I have to say that that isn’t helping. So a study was done of tweets posted sometime over the last year, we were named fourth poorest city in the United States last year, I wonder how that helped to skew the data.

In the end what I come to is this… Negativity is a habit. If you curse something every time you see it then you inadvertently reinforce a negative feeling for that thing or situation. Positivity is the same way. I’ll encourage… No, I challenge you to say positive things about the place where you live and about what’s going on in this town, such as the arts revival and the downtown renovations being made. And see if it doesn’t change your mood. Because being happy isn’t about what’s out there, it’s about what you see and how you choose to feel about it.

Final notes: If you want something to smile about come check out the Downtown Arts Show tomorrow night in the Silvers Building on Washington. And we’re a little over a week away from the Mardi Gras Street Festival in Downtown Albany. The Flint RiverQuarium in currently selling adoptions for their annual turtle race, this is a big fundraiser for them and it comes with some great prizes. And we at The Kattalistt are gearing up for a great year with website launches, river cleanups, and maybe a few black tie affairs. Get involved and be a part of something that #TricklesUp.

James C. Malphrus is the founder of Kattalistt Communications. He can be reached by emailing JCM@ChangeIntoAnIdea.org

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