Do you keep up with the Joneses?

Asking ChatGPT what it means to keep up with the Joneses, this is what I learned:

“To keep up with the Joneses means to strive to match or surpass the social and material status of others, particularly in terms of possessions, wealth, or lifestyle. It refers to the desire to maintain a similar level of material success or social standing as one’s neighbors, friends, or acquaintances.

The phrase suggests a tendency to compare oneself to others and feel the need to acquire the same or better things in order to fit in or gain social approval. It implies a constant pursuit of external markers of success, often driven by the fear of being seen as inferior or left behind.

Keeping up with the Joneses can involve various behaviors, such as buying the latest gadgets, owning a luxurious car, living in an upscale neighborhood, wearing fashionable clothes, or participating in expensive activities or events. The underlying motivation is often rooted in a desire for social status or validation from others.”

To learn about how the term “keep up with the Joneses” develop over the time, have a look at the graph in Google Books Ngram Viewer.


Does a universal basic income increase GDP or reduce GDP?

Asking ChatGPT whether a universal basic income increases GDP or reduces GDP, this is what I learned:

Potential for increasing GDP

  • A universal basic income can inject money directly into the hands of people, in particular people with lower incomes. That will increase economic growth, for example due to increased consumer spending.
  • A universal basic income can encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. This can contribute to productivity growth, job creation, and overall economic expansion, which could positively impact GDP.

Potential for reducing GDP

  • A universal basic income would require funding, which may involve tax increases or reallocation of resources. Critics argue that such funding measures could have adverse effects on economic growth by reducing incentives for work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.
  • Some opponents of universal basic income suggest that it may lead to reduced labor supply as individuals may choose to work less or withdraw from the workforce. This could potentially result in decreased productivity and economic output, which could have a negative impact on GDP.

What is virtuous behaviour?

Asking ChatGPT what virtuous behaviour is, I learned that these 10 virtues can be associated with virtuous behavior.

  1. Honesty:
    Being truthful, sincere, and transparent in one’s words and actions.
  2. Integrity:
    Acting in accordance with one’s principles and values, and having consistency between one’s words and deeds.
  3. Compassion:
    Showing empathy, care, and concern for others, and taking actions to alleviate their suffering.
  4. Courage:
    Displaying bravery, resilience, and determination in the face of challenges or adversity.
  5. Justice:
    Treating others fairly, respecting their rights, and striving for equality and fairness in social interactions.
  6. Kindness:
    Demonstrating acts of generosity, benevolence, and goodwill towards others.
  7. Humility:
    Recognizing one’s limitations, showing modesty, and avoiding arrogance or excessive pride.
  8. Patience:
    Practicing self-control, tolerance, and endurance in difficult or frustrating situations.
  9. Responsibility:
    Taking accountability for one’s actions and obligations, and fulfilling one’s duties and commitments.
  10. Respect:
    Valuing the dignity, autonomy, and worth of others, and treating them with courtesy and consideration.

What are similarities and differences between economic history and folklore studies?

Asking ChatGPT what similarities and differences there are between economic history and folklore studies, this is what I learned:


  1. Cultural context:
    Both economic history and folklore studies examine aspects of human culture and society within specific cultural contexts. They consider the historical and social factors that shape economic systems and folklore traditions.
  2. Interdisciplinary approach:
    Both fields often draw upon interdisciplinary approaches to understand their subject matter. Economic history may incorporate insights from fields such as sociology, anthropology, and political science, while folklore studies may engage with disciplines such as anthropology, literature, and linguistics.
  3. Historical perspective:
    Both fields consider the significance of historical development and change. Economic history focuses on the economic aspects of societies over time, analyzing economic transformations and long-term trends. Folklore studies also explore the historical context of traditional beliefs, customs, and cultural expressions.


  1. Subject matter:
    The primary difference lies in the subject matter of each field. Economic history focuses on the economic aspects of societies, including production, consumption, trade, and economic institutions. Folklore studies, on the other hand, examine traditional beliefs, customs, narratives, and cultural expressions within specific communities or cultures.
  2. Methodology:
    Economic history often employs quantitative methods and data analysis to study economic patterns and trends, utilizing historical evidence and economic data. Folklore studies typically use qualitative methods, ethnography, and textual analysis to explore the meanings, functions, and transmission of folklore traditions.
  3. Emphasis:
    Economic history places emphasis on economic factors, institutions, and their impact on society. It analyzes economic systems, policies, and their consequences for social structures and development. In contrast, folklore studies prioritize the cultural and social significance of traditional beliefs, customs, and narratives, focusing on their role in shaping identity, community, and cultural heritage.

What is narrative economics?

Asking ChatGPT what narrative economics is, this is the response I received from the AI system:

“Narrative economics is a term coined by economist Robert J. Shiller to describe the study of how stories and narratives shape economic decision-making and behavior. Shiller argues that narratives play a significant role in influencing economic events, including business cycles, market booms and busts, and even long-term economic trends.

According to Shiller, people are not purely rational beings when it comes to making economic decisions. They are also influenced by the stories, anecdotes, and narratives that circulate in society. These narratives often simplify complex economic information and provide a framework for individuals to make sense of economic events. They can create a shared understanding and belief system that guides people’s behavior.

Narratives can have a profound impact on economic outcomes because they can shape people’s expectations, attitudes, and beliefs about the future. For example, during an economic boom, positive narratives about rising asset prices and success stories of investors can fuel speculative behavior and contribute to the formation of an asset bubble. Similarly, during an economic downturn, negative narratives can lead to pessimism, reduced consumer spending, and further economic contraction.

Shiller argues that studying narratives can provide insights into economic phenomena that traditional economic models often overlook. By analyzing the narratives that dominate public discourse, economists can gain a better understanding of how these stories shape economic behavior and influence market dynamics.

Overall, narrative economics highlights the importance of stories and narratives in shaping economic decision-making and emphasizes the need to incorporate these factors into economic analysis and policy-making.

What are concrete initiatives to improve mental health?

Reflecting and building on this posting this is what I learned about concrete initiatives to improve mental health. Some examples:

1: Accept emotions you feel

2: Breathe

3: Write down your thoughts
Writing thoughts down, for example using social media, is a way to offload and stop negative thoughts from spinning.

4: Think about what you are grateful for

5: Take a walk in nature

6: Use your senses to experience the moment

For example, try using your senses when you are in nature.

7: Use your creativity to make something

For example, you can bake bread with ingredients of your choice or make a cover of a song you like – individually and/or with another person.

8: Be kind

Even when you experience unkindness, try to be kind.

9: Talk with people about your thoughts

For example, you can invite a person for a walk and talk.

10: Make a list of positive statements about yourself

In this posting, Marie from Delaware in the US writes:

“Make and “I am” list. I read it to myself in front of the mirror every morning. The list is made of only positive statements, including things I want for myself but that may not yet be true, like: I am an amazing educator that help kids grow their full potential. It has helped me develop a vision for myself and has truly been life changing.”

What are creative ways to celebrate achievements?

Asking ChatGPT about creative ways to celebrate achievements, this is some inspiration I received from the AI system. I changed / adapted the ideas a little 😉

# 1: Create a video:
Create a video that celebrates the achievement.

# 2: Take a trip:
Take a trip to celebrate the achievement. This could be a weekend getaway or a longer trip to a place you like.

# 3: Make a gift:
Create a personalized gift that celebrates the achievement. This could, for example, be bread or a cake you made yourself.

4: Make a lunch or dinner:
Make a meal that included the person’s favourite food and beverages.