Charles. I like your thread of consciousnes. But find this part of the logic to be flawed: i.e. statistics (about meaning) fail when we move from the general population, to individual’s context. How can that be the case?
Numbers help humans to count. Sometimes a number or a numerical comparison will indicate something meaningful. (e.g. you are having less sex this week than last week.) But numbers are never able to explain the meaning of another number. (is there one true explanation for the decrease in sex? Either, cause or effect??)
We need to urge the world to stop measuring, well, actually counting, things while expecting meaning. (which requires an explanatory statement/argument.) This not a request to stop counting, or all other forms of math. Just a request to stop conflating our maths with our qualitative explanations of the world.
When one seeks a qualitative explanation, they will rely on a written grammar, logic and rhetoric.
For instance, can one count how much quality exists in a bottle of wine? Many try. They use proxies. But the proxy is an illusion. Robert Parker’s 92/100 is a splendid work of fiction. Even if Parker thinks it is true. His 92 is meaningless to anyone who has no knowledge of oenology for instance. And for those who do, or surrender to his illusion, they are prone to corruption. For more on the last claim see Campbell’s law.
Why bring this up? I believe your argument about happiness is timely and significant. Significant to about 76% of people who work for a living. (just to do some counting) It has been known for decades of employeee engagement surveys (Towers-Perrin) that all but 14% of employees are either checked out or fucked off at work. Sad.
Still quantitative surveys never ask for, or welcome, or synthesize an explanation for such collective disaffection.
You can influence change of this misconception.