I love this image. It is what makes earth so special. Us! I enjoy looking at the regions that are illuminated. Millions of people living their lives in a modern world. My view is light equals economic activity. The more light, the more economic activity. I think it would be hard to have economic activity without light cities by their nature are not dark. Factories, shopping malls and sporting events are all illuminated. There is not much that happens in darkness.
We are told that China is the superpower that rules the world. We should be beholden to the Chinese is the conventional wisdom. Yet they do not seem to different than California. Europe is much brighter. Look carefully at Russia and you can almost see the path of the Trans Siberian Railway. Visual proof of the economic results of commerce. What is even more dramatic is the two Koreas, North and South. Massive economic activity versus almost none at all.
Another intriguing comparison is Cuba and India. They both have a even low intensity luminosity. Not truly bright like Japan and some of the other coastal regions. Maybe some people may not like economic activity. That would be a whole different story. I think the greater the economic activity the better life is.
I would like to zoom in and fly around, see what life is like around the world. Where is life better?
I know people who think economic activity is bad. Yet they personally pursue personal gain. When it comes to light they both condemn and seek light. They confuse me. They despise economic activity, yet want to live in the brightest of cities. I would be willing to say economic activity does not automatically translate to happiness. I am sure there are unhappy people in the brightest of cities. Also there are probably very happy people in the darkest regions.
I will translate economic activity as a sign of technology. Technology definitely makes our lives better. Yet there are people that do not like technology. Perhaps they do not understand technology. Or maybe they are unhappy because they cannot control technology. Does technology bring happiness along with a better life? I would think so. Yet there are the self serving opinionated people that desire to better themselves by depriving others with the use of technology. They are all around us.
It is probably not good to have strong opinions, they fog the mind. I am not sure if that connected to happiness, I will take my chances though.