Posted in Economy by John Moser
Hans Rosling is excellent.
You should get out more John if this is the best you've seen. It's just a little basic demography. Much of the world (but not Subsaharan Africa) has nearly caught up with the West demographically, but not economically. It does tells us that the level of consumption we find in the U.S. or Western Europe is not necessary for the promotion of longer lives (which has more to do with infant mortality than anything else).
What's much, much more interesting is the positive relationship between population density and development. The countries that are catching up so fast mostly have a long history of civilizational accomplishment and the dense populations that required.
And of course China is catching up. They gobble up HALF the foreign investment to so-called 3rd World countries every year. We have made them the new workshop of the world, and we are beginning to see the aftermath of that here in the United States. Treasury bonds, anyone??
Rosling mentions only in passing the critical information regarding politics and economy. One or the other or both contribute to improvement in the human condition. The diversity in Africa is particularly telling, but also on other continents in which the freest or the most commercial outdo the rest. Why the reticence--lost in statistics or taking refuge in them?
Is there a relationship between number of children and life expectancy? Isn't it the same medical advancements that have prolonged life and made possible the prevention of reproduction? Rosling seems to suggest that long life and fewer children is progress. But who will be there to take care of the elderly in their old age?
While the world is gaining a better understanding of the mechanics of life, it seems to understand less and less the purpose of it.
Longer average life expectancy is largely a function of declining infant mortality. People have fewer children when they believe that they are all likely to survive childhood.
I think that the point of Roslings presentation was related to the communication of statistics, and the examples he gave were meant to address information that could be conveyed statistically, but took on new meaning, when presented in the manner and with the software he (or his group) have developed.
I don't read a political message into Rosling's lecture, but having gathered and presented statistics related to health, income, and population, his information allows for the formulation of alternative points of view and a discussion of them.
Imagine the difficulty of doing this, had the statistics been presented as a set of spreadsheets for each year and the variable data (e.g., life expectancy) listed by country.
Wonderful learn, I just handed this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on that. And he really bought me lunch as a result of I discovered it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Anyway, in my language, there aren't much good supply like this.
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