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Amusement Park Indicator

Around work we've become fond of judging the safety of any travel destination by the number and quality of available amusement parks. For example, the United States is a very safe place to visit, as measured by the size of the amusement park industry. We're a people who enjoy having a good time. Any people who are so dedicated to having fun are bound to be safe to hang out with.

It works regionally, too. Iowa has a nice amusement park and it's a mostly harmless place. Oregon has less to offer, and I have anecdotal evidence that it's more densely populated with crazy psycho killers. Coincidence? You decide.

Travel the globe and you can quickly spot the trouble areas. Afghanistan? No amusement parks. Kashmir? I don't think so. Iraq? Not yet… but look for them soon. The correlation is fantastic — this is a great indicator!

Or at least I used to think so. I've discovered a possible counterexample. Or maybe this is just a paradoxical data point that, properly understood, reinforces the indicator?

Tiny Island