Friday, August 10, 2007

ooooh, aren't we serious today...

Recently, I've told several people they should have a look at Hans Rosling's presentations at the TED conferences, which are held annually in California. (Thanks to another wombat-related blogger for alerting me to these in the first place.) As it says on the TED website:
As a doctor and researcher, Hans Rosling identified a new paralytic disease induced by hunger in rural Africa. Now the global health professor is looking at the bigger picture, increasing our understanding of social and economic development with the remarkable trend-revealing software he created.

There are two talks you can watch (links below). Both address Rosling's ideas about 1) improving information itself by improving the way it's presented, and 2) misconceptions about how the international development sector categorizes and looks at the "developing" versus the "developed" world, and how these misconceptions stand in the way of effective development. The videos seem to work very well (not sure if that stands for dial-up connections) and if I had any idea whatsoever about the technology I'm sure I'd dazzle people by explaining how they've wisely chosen a thingamy platform to optimise the data stuff. Then I'd throw in a snide comment about some other competing technology. Then you'd respect me.

There aren't too many talks on statistics that make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, but these did:
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen

Hans Rosling reveals new insights on poverty


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