Hans Rosling

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pages: 288 words: 85,073

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund

animal electricity, clean water, colonial rule, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), jimmy wales, linked data, lone genius, microcredit, purchasing power parity, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, Thomas L Friedman, Walter Mischel

“Sharing a quota on cumulative carbon emissions.” Nature Climate Change 4 (2014): 873–79. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2384. gapm.io/xcar. Rosling, Hans. “The best stats you’ve ever seen.” Filmed February 2006 in Monterey, CA. TED video, 19:50. https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen gapm.io/xtedros. . “Hans Rosling at World Bank: Open Data.” Filmed May 22, 2010, in Washington, DC. World Bank video, 41:54. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OWhcrjxP-E.gapm.io/xwbros. . “The magic washing machine.” Filmed December 2010 in Washington, DC. TEDWomen video, 9:15. https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine gapm.io/tedrosWa. Rosling, Hans, Yngve Hofvander, and Ulla-Britt Lithell. “Children’s death and population growth.” Lancet 339 (February 8, 1992): 377–78. Royal Society of London. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. 155 vols.

About the Author Hans Rosling was a medical doctor, professor of international health, and renowned public educator. He was an adviser to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and he cofounded Médecins Sans Frontières in Sweden and the Gapminder Foundation. His TED talks have been viewed more than thirty-five million times, and he was listed as one of Time magazine’s one hundred most influential people in the world. Hans died in 2017, having devoted the last years of his life to writing this book. Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans’s son and daughter-in-law, are cofounders of the Gapminder Foundation, and Ola its director from 2005 to 2007 and from 2010 to the present day. After Google acquired Trendalyzer, the bubblechart tool invented and designed by Anna and Ola, Ola became head of Google’s Public Data Team and Anna became the team’s senior user-experience (UX) designer.

Gapminder[8]. Income mountains—v3. Accessed November 2, 2017. gapm.io/incm. Gapminder[9]. Extreme poverty rate—v1, rough guestimation of extreme poverty rates of all countries for the period 1800 to 2040, based on the Gapminder Income Mountains data set. gapm.io/depov. Gapminder[10]. Household per capita income—v1. gapm.io/ihhinc. Gapminder[11]. “Don’t Panic—End Poverty.” BBC documentary featuring Hans Rosling. Directed by Dan Hillman. Wingspan Productions, September 2015. Gapminder[12]. Legal slavery data—v1. gapm.io/islav. Gapminder[13]. HIV,newly infected—v2. Historic prevalence estimates before 1990 by Linus Bengtsson and Ziad El-Khatib. gapm.io/dhivnew. Gapminder[14]. Death penalty abolishment—v1. gapm.io/ideat. Gapminder[15]. Countries ban leaded gasoline—v1. gapm.io/ibanlead. Gapminder[16].


The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds

deliberate practice, fear of failure, Hans Rosling, index card, Mahatma Gandhi, Maui Hawaii, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

eBook <WoweBook.Com> If a presentation requires you to use your computer for more than simply advancing slides, then it’s fine to occasionally go to the computer to start a program, demo a web site, and so on. However, you should also move away from that lectern when you do not have to be there. Hans Rosling, a doctor, researcher, and presenter, is extraordinary at doing this. When he needs to pull up some data or start the Gapminder program, he will occasionally go to his computer on stage. But Rosling also spends a lot of time near or in front of the screen explaining how to read the data or pointing out important points. Rosling is a technical presenter with passion; he is able to engage his audiences with the visualizations of data in part because he removes the barriers by often moving away from the lectern. Hans Rosling removes the barriers and gets involved with the data, making things clear for the audience. (Photo: Stefan Nilsson.) Performing demos If you are performing a demo and you need to show how the software actually works, position yourself front and center so the audience can see you and the screen behind you.

Even if you are on a big stage and you can’t really hear the audience, you can ask rhetorical questions that you then answer. 152 The Naked Presenter Wow! eBook <WoweBook.Com> It’s Not the Numbers, It’s What They Mean I’m a huge fan of Hans Rosling, the public health professor from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and one of the cofounders of Gapminder (www.gapminder.org). Rosling is the Zen master of presenting statistics and one of the most popular speakers at TED. Rosling proves what we all know: Statistics are not boring. But Rosling shows that it is not enough just to show data—what matters is the meaning of the data. Statistics tell a story. Photo of Hans Rosling by Stefan Nilsson. The way the Gapminder software displays data is compelling and clarifies the data while bringing the viewer in for a closer look. It is, however, Rosling’s delivery style that really engages the audience and allows them to participate and feel a part of the investigation of the data.


pages: 145 words: 41,453

You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson

delayed gratification, Filter Bubble, framing effect, Hans Rosling, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, race to the bottom, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, yellow journalism

This perfectly captures the tendency for news stories to be about events that are infrequent, unusual and negative. It is because these three criteria have come to dominate the way in which most news stories are created that our thinking about the state of the world has become distorted. The prevalence and pursuit of extraordinarily negative stories in the press can give the appearance that we are going backwards, and most of us are left believing that the world is getting worse. Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistician and renowned public speaker, founded an organisation called Gapminder with his son Ola Rosling and Ola’s wife Anna, which addresses the negative news bias. In Hans’ inspiring and insightful TED Talk ‘The best stats you’ve ever seen’, he shares the results of an original study he conducted among Swedish university students called ‘the chimpanzee test’.10 In this experiment, he offered the students five pairs of countries, consisting of one Asian country and one European country, and asked them to select which performed better on a number of health measures, such as child mortality rates.

., ‘On newspaper headlines as relevance optimizers’, Journal of Pragmatics, 35(5), 2003, pp. 695–721. 8 Association for Safe International Road Travel, 2018, Road Safety Facts, available at: https://www.asirt.org/road-safety-facts/ 9 ASN News, 2018, ‘ASN data show 2017 was safest year in aviation history’, available at: https://news.aviation-safety.net/2017/12/30/preliminary-asn-data-show-2017-safest-year-aviation-history/ 10 Rosling, H., ‘The best stats you’ve ever seen’, Ted.com, 2018, available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen 11 Patterson, T., The Vanishing Voter, Vintage, New York, 2003, p. 93. BAD NEWS SELLS Bad news sells because the amygdala is always looking for something to fear. — Peter H. Diamandis Negative news reporting and highlighting problems is vital in helping society improve. Through negative reporting, the news industry has righted many wrongs, kept people safe and created legislation for our betterment.

Media Books: The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change by Michelle Gielan Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress by Steven Pinker Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund A Force for Good: How the American News Media Have Propelled Positive Change by Rodger Streitmatter The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook Journalism of Outrage: Investigative Reporting and Agenda Building in America by David L.


pages: 264 words: 76,643

The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations by David Pilling

Airbnb, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Branko Milanovic, call centre, centre right, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Hangouts, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, income per capita, informal economy, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, off grid, old-boy network, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, performance metric, pez dispenser, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, science of happiness, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Even those who have not yet clawed their way on to the bottom rung of the aspirational ladder have seen what it looks like, courtesy of the satellite television channels that beam images of a middle-class life into even the most benighted corners of the country.”14 Many Indians had graduated from what one economist called a “petitioning class” into an aspirational one.15 India’s elite had failed to grasp the changes that fifteen years of growth had wrought. It was Modi who saw how alluring and transformative economic growth could be. * * * — Not too long before he died in February 2017, I discussed the issue of growth in poor countries with Hans Rosling, a Swedish academic. Rosling was that rarest of things, a pop-star statistician.16 A master of the TED talk—in which he used dynamic bubble charts to present data, which he pointed to with a rubber hand attached to the end of a long stick—Rosling was a self-described “edutainer.” Although he objected to the term, he was also an optimist.17 He believed that poor countries were gradually closing the gap on rich Western ones, a trend that was most discernible in basic health data such as infant mortality.

He took the GPI exactly as he found it, he says, making only the tiniest adjustments to fit Maryland’s circumstances. For McGuire the GPI is an off-the-shelf index with a venerable history. Yet the right-wing nut job made a valid point. It is one we need to consider carefully when weighing up the pluses and minuses of indexes. Because the thing about an index is that you can put in it almost anything that takes your fancy. It is what Hans Rosling, the Swedish statistician, calls “GDP in the age of Excel.” Almost everything in the GPI is a value judgment. Booze is an example. Alcohol in moderation is counted as a positive expenditure. Who doesn’t like a glass of red wine or a beer after work? But anything above what is considered reasonable consumption is deducted from the GPI, which subtracts money spent on “binge drinking.” Academic research apparently puts binge drinking at 25 percent of all alcohol consumption, so this portion is subtracted from the GPI rather than added.

“Indian Tycoon Hosts £59m Wedding For Daughter Amid Cash Crunch,” Guardian, November 16, 2016: www.theguardian.com. 13. Amartya Sen, “Bangladesh Ahead of India in Social Indicators,” Daily Star, February 13, 2015: www.thedailystar.net. 14. David Pilling, “India’s Congress Party Has Done Itself Out of a Job,” Financial Times, May 7, 2014: www.ft.com. 15. Rajiv Kumar of the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi. 16. Sam Roberts, “Hans Rosling, Swedish Doctor and Pop-Star Statistician, Dies at 68,” New York Times, February 9, 2017. 17. He objected because he said his observations were based merely on data. 18. When I asked him about the other 20 percent, he said, “That’s why we have public health. That’s the reason for my existence.” 19. There is at least one country that breaks Rosling’s rule: Equatorial Guinea, where the elite has grown fat on oil money courtesy of Exxon Mobil, has a GDP per capita of $30,000 adjusted for local prices.


Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, cloud computing, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Hans Rosling, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra

But often that’s how we present statistics: we just show the notes, we don’t play the music. Hans Rosling gets involved with the data at TED 09 in Long Beach, California. Let your data speak As a presenter, what sets Rosling apart is his animation of the data. Before Gapminder, he had been using data and playing it beautifully—in fact, he was a bit of a hero in his own academic community. But it was the Gapminder software that allowed him to really connect with people—to reveal the meaning of data and tell a story to the greater public. What was missing before was the “instrument of playing,” says Rosling. Gapminder, which allows for complex animation, provides that instrument. “In statistics we need the composers, we need people who make the instruments, and we need those who play.” Gapminder was founded in Stockholm by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling in early 2005.

Which map makes it easier to find all of the counties with positive growth rates? 7. Which graph makes it easier to determine R&D’s travel expense? 8. In which graph are the labels easier to read? 9. Which graph is easier to look at? 10. Which table allows you to see the areas of poor performance more quickly? The Future of Data Presentation One of the masters of displaying data during live presentations is Hans Rosling, a public health professor from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. With his amazing ability to unveil the beauty of statistics, Rosling has become a bit of a super star. His talks during the annual Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conferences have been seen online millions of times. In an interview with Paul Miller of the Cloud Computing Podcast, Rosling claims that good data can tell a story, but it is up to us—the presenters—to let this story out.


pages: 204 words: 58,565

Keeping Up With the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics by Thomas H. Davenport, Jinho Kim

Black-Scholes formula, business intelligence, business process, call centre, computer age, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, forensic accounting, global supply chain, Hans Rosling, hypertext link, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, longitudinal study, margin call, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Myron Scholes, Netflix Prize, p-value, performance metric, publish or perish, quantitative hedge fund, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, six sigma, Skype, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport

This list was adapted and modified from one on the IBM ManyEyes site; see http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/page/Visualization_Options.html. 7. This example is from the SAS Visual Analytics 5.1 User’s Guide, “Working with Automatic Charts,” http://support.sas.com/documentation/cdl/en/vaug/65384/ HTML/default/viewer.htm#n1xa25dv4fiyz6n1etsfkbz75ai0.htm. 8. Hans Rosling, “Stats That Reshape Your Worldview,” TED talk, February 2006, http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html. 9. While Schmitt’s group sometimes creates such videos in-house, this one was done by an external production company. 10. James Taylor, “Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics,” IBM Press, 2011. 11. Thomas H. Davenport, “How Companies Make Better Decisions,” International Institute of Analytics, 2010, www.sas.com/decisions. 12.

If the data includes, for example, “One date/time category and any number of other categories or measures,” the program will automatically generate a line chart.7 * * * Purposes and Types of Visual Analytics IF YOU WANT TO: See relationships among data points: Scatterplot: Shows the relationship between two variables on a two-dimensional grid Matrix plot: For showing relationships and frequencies for hierarchical variables Heat map: Individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors Network diagram: Shows relationships between entities and the strengths of the paths between them Compare a set of frequencies or values, typically for one variable: Bar chart: Length of bar represents values Histogram: Type of bar chart with bars showing frequencies of data at specified intervals Bubble chart: Displays a set of numeric values as circles, with the size of the circle corresponding to the value Show the rise and fall of one variable in relation to another (typically time): Line graph: Two-dimensional graph, typically with one variable or multiple variables with standardized data values Stack graph: Line graph with filled-in areas underneath the graph, typically showing change in multiple variables; can also show change in multiple categories with different colors See the parts of a whole and how they relate to each other: Pie chart: Displays distribution of values in one variable in a pie format; percentages of each value correspond to size of slices Tree map: Visual for showing the size of values in a hierarchical variable, such as world/continents/countries/population in each country Understand data across geography: Overlaying summarized data onto geographical maps with colors, bubbles, or spikes representing different values Analyzing text frequencies: Tag cloud: A visualization of word frequencies; more frequently used words are displayed in larger type Phrase net: Shows frequencies of combinations of words used together; more frequently used words are displayed in larger type * * * The types of visual analytics listed in the worksheet are static, but visual analytics are increasingly becoming dynamic and interactive. Swedish professor Hans Rosling popularized this approach with his frequently viewed TED Talk, which used visual analytics to show the changing population health relationships between developed and developing nations over time.8 Rosling has created a website called Gapminder (www.gapminder.org) that displays many of these types of interactive visual analytics. It is likely that we will see more of these interactive analytics to show movement in data over time, but they are not appropriate or necessary for all types of data and analyses.


The Data Journalism Handbook by Jonathan Gray, Lucy Chambers, Liliana Bounegru

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business intelligence, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, eurozone crisis, Firefox, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, game design, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Julian Assange, linked data, moral hazard, MVC pattern, New Journalism, openstreetmap, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, social graph, SPARQL, text mining, web application, WikiLeaks

And those possibilities can come at any stage of the journalist’s process: using programming to automate the process of gathering and combining information from local government, police, and other civic sources, as Adrian Holovaty did with ChicagoCrime and then EveryBlock. Or using software to find connections between hundreds of thousands of documents, as The Telegraph did with MPs’ expenses (http://tgr.ph/mps-expenses). Figure 1-1. Investigate your MP’s expenses (the Guardian) Data journalism can help a journalist tell a complex story through engaging infographics. For example, Hans Rosling’s spectacular talks on visualizing world poverty with Gapminder have attracted millions of views across the world. And David McCandless’ popular work in distilling big numbers—such as putting public spending into context, or the pollution generated and prevented by the Icelandic volcano—shows the importance of clear design at Information is Beautiful. Or it can help explain how a story relates to an individual, as the BBC and the Financial Times now routinely do with their budget interactives (where you can find out how the budget affects you, rather than “Joe Public”).

But with the barrier to entry now barely a speed bump, the question facing journalists is now less about whether you can turn your dataset into a visualization, but whether you should. Bad data visualization is worse in many respects than none at all. — Aron Pilhofer, New York Times Using Motion Graphics With a tight script, well-timed animations, and clear explanations, motion graphics can serve to bring complex numbers or ideas to life, guiding your audience through the story. Hans Rosling’s video lectures are a good example of how data can come to life to tell a story on the screen. Whether or not you agree with their methodology, I also think the Economist’s Shoe-throwers’ index is a good example of using video to tell a numbers-based story. You wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, present this graphic as a static image. There’s far too much going on. But having built up to it step by step, you’re left with an understanding of how and why they got to this index.

Google Spreadsheet Charts You can access this tool at http://www.google.com/google-d-s/spreadsheets/. Figure 6-21. UK government spending and taxation (the Guardian) After something simple (like a bar or line chart, or a pie chart), you’ll find that Google spreadsheets (which you create from the documents bit of your Google account) can create some pretty nice charts—including the animated bubbles used by Hans Rosling’s Gapminder. Unlike the charts API, you don’t need to worry about code; it’s pretty similar to making a chart in Excel, in that you highlight the data and click the chart widget. The customization options are worth exploring too; you can change colors, headings, and scales. They are pretty design-neutral, which is useful in small charts. The line charts have some nice options too, including annotation options.


pages: 262 words: 66,800

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996, p. 56. 40 ‘Xiaogang Village, birthplace of rural reform, moves on’, China Development Gateway, 16 December 2008, http://en.chinagate.cn/features/rural_poverty/2008-12/16/content_16966805.htm (accessed on 21 March 2016). 2 Sanitation 1 G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004, p. 5. 2 Ann Lindstrand, Staffan Bergström, Hans Rosling, Birgitta Rubenson, Bo Stenson and Thorild Tylleskär, Global Health: An Introductory Textbook. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2006, p. 77. 3 WHO, The World Health Report 1995: Bridging the Future. Geneva: WHO, 1995; WHO and UNICEF, Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment. Geneva: WHO and UNICEF, 2015. 4 Quoted in Rose George, The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste.

Epilogue: So why are you still not convinced? 1 George Thomas White Patrick, ‘The new optimism’, Popular Science Monthly (May 1913), p. 493. 2 Bailey 2015, p. xvii. 3 Melanie Randle and Richard Eckersley, ‘Public perceptions of future threats to humanity and different societal responses: a cross-national study’, Futures, 72 (2015), 4–16. 4 Johan Norberg, ‘Rubriker som gör oss rädda’. Timbro, 2005. 5 Hans Rosling, ‘Highlights from Ignorance Survey in the UK’, 3 November 2013, http://www.gapminder.org/news/highlights-from-ignorance-survey-in-the-uk (accessed on 22 March 2016); Gapminder, ‘The Ignorance Survey: United States’, 2013, http://www.gapminder.org/GapminderMedia/wp-uploads/Results-from-the-Ignorance-Survey-in-the-US.pdf (accessed on 12 April 2016). 6 Mark Crispin Miller, ‘It’s a crime: the economic impact of the local TV news’.

Since I started writing about globalisation and development in 2001, I have been lucky to come across, meet with and learn from several thinkers who have tirelessly presented the case that humanity solves more problems than it creates, when it gets the freedom to do so. This group includes – but is far from limited to – Ronald Bailey, Lasse Berg, Anders Bolling, Angus Deaton, Robert Fogel, Indur Goklany, Charles Kenny, Deepak Lal, Bjørn Lomborg, Deirdre McCloskey, Joel Mokyr, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Max Roser, Hans Rosling, Michael Shermer and Marian Tupy. And above all, I am indebted to Julian Simon, the grand old man of development optimism. Their common denominator is not political or even philosophical, but methodological. They look at the whole building rather than just one brick, long data series rather than anecdotes. Of course it’s possible to lie with statistics, but it’s easier to lie without it. If you are interested in more data on the world’s progress, I urge you to visit and investigate the easily accessible databanks that they and others have compiled, like gapminder.org, humanprogress.org, ourworldindata.org and the World Bank’s World Development Indicators.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

The big worry is that the effects of global warming will greatly reduce our capacity to grow food as crops wither under the onslaught of rising temperatures, which is why what Bruce and Tony are doing in Australia could be staggeringly important. Ironically, one way to continue to increase food production in a sustainable way could be to return to ancient practices. But can we continue to raise food production ad infinitum as our population continues to grow? The good news is we won’t have to. The statistician Hans Rosling from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute tells a story of how many of his students wonder if keeping the poor alive is really such a good idea. ‘In a time when we know the pressures on the environment are growing, my students tell me “population growth destroys the environment so poor children may as well die.” This is a statement they don’t make in class, but afterwards. They say, “Why save the lives of all these small children?

A recent New York Times piece by Elisabeth Rosenthal, entitled ‘New Jungles Prompt a Debate on Rain Forests,’ went so far as to suggest that for every acre of rainforest being cut down, over fifty acres of secondary forest are regrowing. That’s pretty incredible, don’t you think? It is, however, important to stress that re-grown secondary forest in no way matches up to the biodiversity lost when ancient rainforests are destroyed. This teeming metropolis I’m walking through is therefore an engine of renewal. Hans Rosling’s students are dead wrong. Those ‘poor children’ must live, move to the city and prosper – and in doing so they will, in just a few generations, stabilise the world populace while allowing many ecosystems to flourish. It’s a nice thought to have as the sun sets on the Indian Ocean. The next morning brings fresh disappointment. An interview today is looking ‘unlikely,’ says Paul. He suggests, instead, that I come along to a lecture the president is giving about Gandhi, and try and talk to him there.

TED does no advertising, it’s a word-of-mouth thing and it’s easy to see why. TED ideas are by turns so mind-bending, hopeful, scary and entertaining that they demand to be shared. Mixing the most radical ideas with a short format means speakers need to hone their presentations, and because the Internet audience is millions there is no room for academic long-windedness. In 2007, statistician Hans Rosling (whose thoughts on population I’d considered while walking the packed streets of Malé) delivered a blistering attack on the concept of ‘developed’ versus ‘developing’ nations … and then he swallowed a sword, because sword swallowing is ‘a cultural expression that for thousands of years has inspired human beings to think beyond the obvious.’ Pure TED. On TED.com, too, you can see Juan Enriquez talk about the coming age of genomics, Ray Kurzweil summarise his law of accelerating returns, and Hod Lipson demonstrate his self-aware robots.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

* * * The sociologist Robert Merton identified Communalism as a cardinal scientific virtue, together with Universalism, Disinterestedness, and Organized Skepticism: CUDOS.2 Kudos indeed goes to the many scientists who shared their data in a communal spirit and responded to my queries thoroughly and swiftly. First among these is Max Roser, proprietor of the mind-expanding Our World in Data Web site, whose insight and generosity were indispensable to many discussions in part II, the section on progress. I am grateful as well to Marian Tupy of HumanProgress and to Ola Rosling and Hans Rosling of Gapminder, two other invaluable resources for understanding the state of humanity. Hans was an inspiration, and his death in 2017 a tragedy for those who are committed to reason, science, humanism, and progress. My gratitude goes as well to the other data scientists I pestered and to the institutions that collect and maintain their data: Karlyn Bowman, Daniel Cox (PRRI), Tamar Epner (Social Progress Index), Christopher Fariss, Chelsea Follett (HumanProgress), Andrew Gelman, Yair Ghitza, April Ingram (Science Heroes), Jill Janocha (Bureau of Labor Statistics), Gayle Kelch (US Fire Administration/FEMA), Alaina Kolosh (National Safety Council), Kalev Leetaru (Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone), Monty Marshall (Polity Project), Bruce Meyer, Branko Milanović (World Bank), Robert Muggah (Homicide Monitor), Pippa Norris (World Values Survey), Thomas Olshanski (US Fire Administration/FEMA), Amy Pearce (Science Heroes), Mark Perry, Therese Pettersson (Uppsala Conflict Data Program), Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Stephen Radelet, Auke Rijpma (OECD Clio Infra), Hannah Ritchie (Our World in Data), Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Google Trends), James X.

In the year 2000, all 189 members of the United Nations, together with two dozen international organizations, agreed on eight Millennium Development Goals for the year 2015 that blend right into this list.31 And here is a shocker: The world has made spectacular progress in every single measure of human well-being. Here is a second shocker: Almost no one knows about it. Information about human progress, though absent from major news outlets and intellectual forums, is easy enough to find. The data are not entombed in dry reports but are displayed in gorgeous Web sites, particularly Max Roser’s Our World in Data, Marian Tupy’s HumanProgress, and Hans Rosling’s Gapminder. (Rosling learned that not even swallowing a sword during a 2007 TED talk was enough to get the world’s attention.) The case has been made in beautifully written books, some by Nobel laureates, which flaunt the news in their titles—Progress, The Progress Paradox, Infinite Progress, The Infinite Resource, The Rational Optimist, The Case for Rational Optimism, Utopia for Realists, Mass Flourishing, Abundance, The Improving State of the World, Getting Better, The End of Doom, The Moral Arc, The Big Ratchet, The Great Escape, The Great Surge, The Great Convergence.32 (None was recognized with a major prize, but over the period in which they appeared, Pulitzers in nonfiction were given to four books on genocide, three on terrorism, two on cancer, two on racism, and one on extinction.)

How long do you think an average person in the world can be expected to live today? Bear in mind that the global average is dragged down by the premature deaths from hunger and disease in the populous countries in the developing world, particularly by the deaths of infants, who mix a lot of zeroes into the average. The answer for 2015 is 71.4 years.1 How close is that to your guess? In a recent survey Hans Rosling found that less than one in four Swedes guessed that it was that high, a finding consistent with the results of other multinational surveys of opinions on longevity, literacy, and poverty in what Rosling dubbed the Ignorance Project. The logo of the project is a chimpanzee, because, as Rosling explained, “If for each question I wrote the alternatives on bananas, and asked chimpanzees in the zoo to pick the right answers, they’d have done better than the respondents.”


Beautiful Visualization by Julie Steele

barriers to entry, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, database schema, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, index card, information retrieval, iterative process, linked data, Mercator projection, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, QR code, recommendation engine, semantic web, social graph, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, web application, wikimedia commons

Some animations can enhance the visual appeal of the visualization being presented, but may make exploration of the dataset more difficult; other animated visualizations facilitate exploration. This chapter attempts to work out a framework for designing effective animated visualizations. We’ll begin by looking at some background material, and then move on to a discussion of one of the most well-known animated visualizations, Hans Rosling’s GapMinder. One of the projects I worked on explored animated scatterplots like GapMinder; this makes a fine launching point to discuss both successes and failures with animation. As we’ll see, successful animations can display a variety of types of transformations. The DynaVis project helps illustrate how some of these transitions and transformations can work out. The chapter concludes by laying out a number of design principles for visualizations.

Visualization was most helpful when accompanied by constructivist theories—that is, when students manipulated code or algorithms and watched a visualization that illustrated their own work, or when students were asked questions and tried to use the visualization to answer them. In contrast, animations were ineffective at transferring knowledge; passively watching an animation was not more effective than other forms of teaching. GapMinder and Animated Scatterplots One recent example of successful animated visualization comes from Hans Rosling’s GapMinder (http://www.gapminder.org). Rosling is a professor of Global Health from Sweden, and his talk at the February 2006 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference[1] riveted first a live audience, then many more online. He collected public health statistics from international sources and, in his brief talk, plotted them on a scatterplot. In the visualization, individual points represent countries, with x and y values representing statistics such as life expectancy and average number of children and each point’s area being proportionate to the population of the country it represents.

‚ÄúAnimated exploration of dynamic graphs with radial layout.‚Äù In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization. Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society. Zongker, Douglas E., and David H. Salesin. 2003. ‚ÄúOn creating animated presentations.‚Äù In Proceedings of the 2003 ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation. New York: ACM Press. [1] Available online at http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html. Rosling presented similar discussions at TED 2007 and TED 2009. Chapter Twenty Visualization: Indexed. Jessica Hagy Visualization: It’s an Elephant. Visualization. To one person, it’s charts and graphs and ROI. To another, it’s illustration and colorful metaphor and gallery openings. To a third, it’s that wonderfully redundant compound word: infographics.


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Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire by Rebecca Henderson

Airbnb, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crony capitalism, dark matter, decarbonisation, disruptive innovation, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, profit maximization, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Zipcar

Brooke Jarvis, “The Insect Apocalypse Is Here,” New York Times, Nov. 27, 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/magazine/insect-apocalypse.html. 5. S. Díaz, J. Settele, E. S. Brondizio, H. T. Ngo, M. Guèze, J. Agard, A. Arneth, et al., eds., “Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” (Bonn, Germany: IPBES Secretariat, 2019). 6. Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, 1st ed. (New York, Flatiron Books, 2018). 7. WHO, “World Bank and WHO: Half the World Lacks Access to Essential Health Services, 100 Million Still Pushed into Extreme Poverty Because of Health Expenses,” Dec. 13, 2017, www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-12-2017-world-bank-and-who-half-the-world-lacks-access-to-essential-health-services-100-million-still-pushed-into-extreme-poverty-because-of-health-expenses; Kate Hodal, “Hundreds of Millions of Children in School but Not Learning,” Guardian, Feb. 2, 2018, www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/02/hundreds-of-millions-of-children-in-school-but-not-learning-world-bank; United Nations, “Lack of Quality Opportunities Stalling Young People’s Quest for Decent Work—UN Report / UN News,” Nov. 21, 2017, https://news.un.org/en/story/2017/11/636812-lack-quality-opportunities-stalling-young-peoples-quest-decent-work-un-report; James Manyika et al., “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation,” McKinsey Global Institute (2017). 8.

CEMEX Carbon Disclosure Project Annual Report, 2018. 34. 46m tonnes CO2e * $80/ton * 1.1 tonnes/ton. 35. CEMEX Annual Report, 2018, www.cemex.com/investors/reports/hom#navigate. 36. Climate Change, Marks and Spencer, https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/sustainability/business-wide/climate-change. 37. Key Facts, Marks and Spencer, https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/investors/key-facts. 38. Hans Rosling et al., Factfulness. 39. Alvaredo et al., World Inequality Report 2018. 40. Raj Chetty, “Improving Opportunities for Economic Mobility: New Evidence and Policy Lessons,” Bridges (Fall 2016). 41. Raj Chetty et al., Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility, NBER Working Paper no. w23618 (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017). 42. “Disparities in Life Expectancy in Massachusetts Driven by Societal Factors,” Harvard T.

Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update (Mauritius: UNDP, 2018), http://hdr.undp.org/sites/all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/MUS.pdf. 93. My sources for what follows are a personal interview with Daniella conducted in August 2018, my personal experience, and Leadership Now’s website. I am on the Advisory Board of the organization. Chapter 8. Pebbles in an Avalanche of Change 1. Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, 1st ed. (New York: Flatiron Books, 2018), 33. 2. K. Danziger, “Ideology and Utopia in South Africa: A Methodological Contribution to the Sociology of Knowledge,” British Journal of Sociology 14, no. 1 (1963): 59–76. 3. Rosling et al. Factfulness, 53. 4. “Global Child Mortality: It Is Hard to Overestimate Both the Immensity of the Tragedy, and the Progress the World Has Made,” Our World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/child-mortality-globally. 5.


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The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel

"side hustle", airport security, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, computer age, coronavirus, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial independence, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, stocks for the long run, the scientific method, traffic fines, Vanguard fund, working-age population

Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way. The simple idea that most people wake up in the morning trying to make things a little better and more productive than wake up looking to cause trouble is the foundation of optimism. It’s not complicated. It’s not guaranteed, either. It’s just the most reasonable bet for most people, most of the time. The late statistician Hans Rosling put it differently: “I am not an optimist. I am a very serious possibilist.” Now we can discuss optimism’s more compelling sibling: pessimism. December 29th, 2008. The worst year for the economy in modern history is about to close. Stock markets around the world had collapsed. The global financial system was on day-to-day life support. Unemployment was surging. As things looked like they couldn’t get worse, The Wall Street Journal published a story arguing that we hadn’t seen anything yet.

If you say the world is going to go on getting better, you are considered embarrassingly mad. If, on the other hand, you say catastrophe is imminent, you may expect a McArthur genius award or even the Nobel Peace Prize. In my own adult lifetime ... the fashionable reasons for pessimism changed, but the pessimism was constant. “Every group of people I ask thinks the world is more frightening, more violent, and more hopeless—in short, more dramatic—than it really is,” Hans Rosling wrote in his book Factfulness. When you realize how much progress humans can make during a lifetime in everything from economic growth to medical breakthroughs to stock market gains to social equality, you would think optimism would gain more attention than pessimism. And yet. The intellectual allure of pessimism has been known for ages. John Stuart Mill wrote in the 1840s: “I have observed that not the man who hopes when others despair, but the man who despairs when others hope, is admired by a large class of persons as a sage.”


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Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

The Economist is also skeptical of the UN estimates: previous projections, it observed in a 2014 analysis, failed to forecast “the spectacular declines in fertility in Bangladesh or Iran since 1980 (in both countries, from roughly six children per woman to about two now). At the moment, Africa is the source of much new population growth and the authors assume that fertility rates will continue to fall more slowly there than they did in Asia and Latin America. But no one can be sure.”82 The Swedish statistician Hans Rosling founded the Gapminder Institute to spread knowledge of great demographic shifts underway using language the general public can understand. In one popular video, “Don’t Panic,” he tells the audience that “mankind already is doing better than many of you think.”83 He talks about the convergence of birth rates and life expectancy between developed and developing countries, noting, “We no longer live in a divided world.”

All current and projected population and fertility data in this book is drawn from this source unless otherwise noted. 80 Wolfgang Lutz interview with Darrell Bricker, 15 April 2016. 81 Tedx Talks, “We Won’t Be Nine Billion: Jørgen Randers at TEDx Maastricht,” YouTube, 11 May 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73X8R9NrX3w 82 “Don’t Panic,” Economist, 24 September 2014. 83 Gapminder Foundation, “Don’t Panic: Hans Rosling Showing the Facts About Population,” YouTube, 15 December, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FACK2knC08E 84 “World Population to Peak by 2055: Report,” cnbc, 9 September 2013. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101018722 85 “The Astounding Drop in Global Fertility Rates Between 1970 and 2014,” Brilliant Maps, 23 June 2015. http://brilliantmaps.com/fertility-rates 86 “Margaret Sanger’s the Woman Rebel—One Hundred Years Old,” Margaret Sanger Papers Project (New York: New York University, 2014). https://sangerpapers.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/margaret-sangers-the -woman-rebel-100-years-old 87 OECD Health Statistics 2014: How Does Spain Compare?


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More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

By 2015, the developing world average was $11,000, where the US was in the 1940s, meaning that they have caught up more than a century within 35 years.10 The biggest advances were in China. In 1970, US per capita income was 20 times that of China; by 2010, the ratio was only 4.11 Of course, there are still too many people dying too early, and too many living in extreme poverty, or close to it. But things have in general been getting better. In the book he wrote with his son and daughter-in-law, the late Hans Rosling described 13 questions he often asked at global conferences.12 Most people were too pessimistic in their answers, not realising, for example, that 60% of girls in low-income countries now finish primary school, 80% of children have been vaccinated, and 80% of people have access to electricity. Most remarkably, despite all the disasters you see on the news and the sevenfold rise in the global population, the absolute number of people who die in natural disasters every year has halved over the last century.

“Worst tech predictions of all time”, The Daily Telegraph, June 29th 2017, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/worst-tech-predictions-of-all-time/thomas-watson-ibm-president-in-1943/ 7. Vaclav Smil, Energy and Civilization: A History 8. https://www.tudorsociety.com/childbirth-in-medieval-and-tudor-times-by-sarah-bryson 9. Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress 10. Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think 11. Ibid.; the figures comes from a World Bank study by Martin Ravallion and Shaohua Chen 12. Joe Hasell and Max Roser, “Famines”, Our World in Data, https://ourworldindata.org/famines 13. Steven Radelet, The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World 14.

The Story of Land: A World History of Land Tenure and Agrarian Reform, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 1988 Prawdin, Michael The Mongol Empire: Its Rise and Legacy, George Allen & Unwin, 1967 Pye, Michael The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us, Pegasus Books, 2016 Radelet, Steven: The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World, Simon & Schuster, 2016 Razzell, Peter, and Spence, Christine “Social capital and the history of mortality in Britain”, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 34, no. 2, 2005 Read, Charles “British economic policy and Ireland c. 1841–1845”, unpublished University of Cambridge PhD thesis, 2017 Reid, Michael Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America’s Soul, Yale University Press, 2007 Rhodes, Richard Energy: A Human History, Simon & Schuster, 2018 Romer, Paul “Increasing returns and long-term growth”, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 94, no. 5, 1986 Ronson, Jon So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Picador, 2015 Rosenberg, Nathan Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics, and History, Cambridge University Press, 1994 Rosling, Hans, Rosling, Ola, and Rosling Rönnlund, Anna Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Sceptre, 2018 Russell, Andrew L. “Standardization in history: a review essay with an eye to the future”, Johns Hopkins University, http://arussell.org/papers/futuregeneration-russell.pdf Sampson, Anthony The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Made, Hodder & Stoughton, 1975 Scheidel, Walter The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, Princeton University Press, 2017 Schofer, Evan, and Meyer, John W.


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The Art of Statistics: Learning From Data by David Spiegelhalter

Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Carmen Reinhart, complexity theory, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Hans Rosling, Kenneth Rogoff, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, Netflix Prize, p-value, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, replication crisis, self-driving car, speech recognition, statistical model, The Design of Experiments, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus

The steady lengthening of this line between women born in the 1930s and those in the 1970s displays the increased period in which effective contraception is necessary. Figure 2.10 Infographic based on data from the third UK National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) – the lesson from the data is pointed out both visually and verbally. Even more advanced are dynamic graphics, in which movement can be used to reveal patterns in the changes over time. The master of this technique was Hans Rosling, whose TED talks and videos set a new standard of storytelling with statistics, for example by showing the relationship between changing wealth and health through the animated movement of bubbles representing each country’s progress from 1800 to the present day. Rosling used his graphics to try to correct misconceptions about the distinction between ‘developed’ and ‘undeveloped’ countries, with the dynamic plots revealing that, over time, almost all countries moved steadily along a common path towards greater health and prosperity.fn149 This chapter has demonstrated a continuum from simple descriptions and plots of raw data, through to complex examples of storytelling with statistics.

Cairo, The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (New Riders, 2016), and The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (New Riders, 2012). 4. World Health Organization. Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat is at http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/. ‘Bacon, Ham and Sausages Have the Same Cancer Risk as Cigarettes Warn Experts’, Daily Record, 23 October 2015. 5. This was a favourite observation of Hans Rosling – see next chapter. 6. E. A. Akl et al., ‘Using Alternative Statistical Formats for Presenting Risks and Risk Reductions’, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 3 (2011). 7. ‘Statins Can Weaken Muscles and Joints: Cholesterol Drug Raises Risk of Problems by up to 20 per cent’, Mail Online, 3 June 2013. The original study is I. Mansi et al., ‘Statins and Musculoskeletal Conditions, Arthropathies, and Injuries’, JAMA Internal Medicine 173 (2013), 1318–26.


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More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

—Bono, TED Talk, 2013 Max Roser’s Our World in Data is one of my favorite websites, for two reasons. The first is that it contains a lot of valuable information. The second is that it tells an invaluable story—an optimistic and hopeful one. The evidence presented in Our World in Data and in books like Julian Simon’s The Ultimate Resource, Bjørn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, and Hans Rosling’s Factfulness shows clearly that most of the things we should care about are getting better. Not all, but most. This happy fact applies both to the state of nature and the human condition. The Power of Negative Thinking But do your friends and family believe that a lot of important things are getting better? Do you? If not, they and you are far from alone. Most people don’t appreciate that things are improving as the four horsemen advance.

“Young Muslims in the Middle East, the world’s most conservative culture”: Pinker, Enlightenment Now, location 228. By 2014, the figure had dropped to less than 15 percent: Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, “Global Rise of Education,” Our World in Data, August 31, 2016, https://ourworldindata.org/global-rise-of-education. Chapter 11: Getting So Much Better “But in online polls, in most countries, fewer than 10 percent of people knew this”: Hans Rosling, “Good News at Last: The World Isn’t as Horrific as You Think,” Guardian, April 11, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/good-news-at-last-the-world-isnt-as-horrific-as-you-think. Across all countries surveyed in 2017, only 20 percent of people correctly answered: “Most of Us Are Wrong about How the World Has Changed (Especially Those Who Are Pessimistic about the Future),” Our World in Data, accessed March 25, 2019, https://ourworldindata.org/wrong-about-the-world.


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MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, buy and hold, car-free, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

With public sector organizations stockpiling huge quantities of data, the challenge is increasingly to extract insights that can inform action. Some changes, like the relationship between health and GDP, are so gradual that they’re nearly imperceptible to us. Animating nearly two hundred years’ worth of data depicting the relationship between infant mortality rates and GDP per capita in a forty-five-second clip is much more revealing than a static chart, says Professor Hans Rosling, the creator of Trendalyzer, a tool that allows users to turn spreadsheet data into rich, interactive visualizations on the Web.16 If you present the same data set without animation, just using “before” and “after” graphs, people somehow disbelieve it, says Rosling. These animations don’t tell a story: they’re “story busters,” because they correctly convey the richness and diversity of the data without oversimplifying.

Proenza, University of Akron; Jordan Raddick, Johns Hopkins University; Saad Rafi, Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; Chris Rasmussen, U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Ben Rattray, Change.org; Michael Reinicke, Rideshare; Steve Ressler, GovLoop; David Rich, WRI; Ben Rigby, the Extraordinaries; Jay Rogers, Local Motors; Bruce Rogow, IT Odyssey; Mechthild Rohen, European Commission; Hans Rosling, Trendalyzer; Adam Roth-well, Intelligent Giving; John Gerard Ruggie, Harvard University; Charles Sabel, Columbia University; Rick Samans, World Economic Forum; Saskia Sassen, Columbia University; Kevin Schawinski, Yale University; Eric Schmidt, Google; Henrik Schuermann, CoreMedia; Brent Schulkin, Virgance; Klaus Schwab, WEF; Eddie Schwartz, Songwriters Association of Canada; Zuhairah Scott; Peggy Sheehy, Suffern Middle School; George Siemens, Connectivism; Anne Hojer Simonsen, Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy; Larry Smarr, Calit2; Marco Smit, Health 2.0; Kirsi Sormunen, Nokia; Dwayne Spradlin, InnoCentive; Soren Stamer, CoreMedia; Tom Steinberg, mySociety; Robert Stephens, Best Buy; Unity Stoakes, Organized Wisdom; Susanne Stormer, Novo Nordisk; Val Stoyanov, Cisco; Tomer Strolight, Torstar Digital; Anant Sudarshan, Stanford University; David Ticoll, author; Bill Tipton, HP; Michael Toffel, MapEcos; Linus Torvalds, Linux Foundation; Lena Trudeau, NAPA; Mike Turillo, Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations; Wood Turner, Climate Counts; Gentry Underwood, IDEO; Jim Walker, Virtual Alabama; David Wheeler, CARMA; Dennis Whittle, Global Giving; John Wilbanks, Creative Commons; Sean Wise, VenCorps; Dave Witzel, Environmental Defense Fund; John Wonderlich, SunlightFoundation; Nicole Wong, Google; Jon Worren, MaRS; Doug Wright, RiffWorld; Nick Yee, Palo Alto Research Center; Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Thank you The title of the book came from a challenge we conducted online that showed there is indeed wisdom in crowds.

Henry R. Nothhaft and David Kline, “The Biggest Job Creator You Never Heard Of: The Patent Office,” Harvard Business Review Blog (May 6, 2010). 13. Liz Allen, “Your chance to participate in Patent review—Peer to Patent needs you,” Public Library of Science (November 11, 2007). 14. Tom Steinberg, Ed Mayo, “Digital Engagement”, The Power of Information Task Force (2007). 15. Ibid. 16. Professor Hans Rosling, “New insights on poverty and life around the world,” TED (March 2007). See: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/140. 17. “About,” MapEcos.org (accessed May 19, 2010). 18. In most countries, the public sector is encumbered by complex institutional legacies that encompass hundreds of separate departments across multiple levels of government. The resilience of government institutions is profound, and their historical role has created a sense of permanence that has proven difficult to shake.


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Do Improvise: Less push. More pause. Better results. A new approach to work (and life) (Do Books) by Poynton, Robert

Berlin Wall, complexity theory, Hans Rosling, iterative process, off grid, Skype, Toyota Production System

Their attention and engagement cuts off suddenly, just like the edge of the stage. Using the Audience Requirements Grid is a way to keep you away from that edge. I don’t mean to say that the role of content in a presentation is irrelevant. Good slides can lift things and great material can, occasionally, carry the day. For example, there is a magnificent TED talk (see www.ted.com) by statistician Hans Rosling whose animated visualisation of data is stunning. But these animations were the result of decades of work. And, realising that there is more to presentations than good data, at the end, Rosling strips off to reveal a spandex vest and goes on to swallow a sword (or to be more accurate, a 19th-century Swedish infantry bayonet). Really. Check it out. Going Off Piste Something we are often asked to help people with is how to deal with objections or questions.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Mortality rates are taken from the Human Development Indicator database; GDP per capita from the World Development Indicators database (see Chapter 1, note 13). See also UNICEF (2014). 21 Data are for 2014. Mean years of schooling are taken from the Human Development Indicator database; GDP per capita from the World Development Indicators database (see Chapter 1, note 13). 22 There are some wonderful recent developments in this field of study, in particular Hans Rosling’s interactive GAPMINDER project, online at www.gapminder.org. See also Rosling’s TED talk, online at www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen (accessed 25 January 2016). 23 See Stuckler and Basu (2014) for a thorough exploration of the health implications of different responses to economic hardship. 24 Time series data on life expectancy for individual countries are from the World Development Indicators database (series SP.DYN.LE00.IN). 25 Franco et al. (2007: 1374). 26 Stuckler and Basu (2014: 108 et seq.). 27 In the conventional model, resources are often excluded from the equation and the main dependencies are thought to be on labour, capital and technological innovation. 28 Aggregate demand refers to the ‘expenditure’ formulation of the GDP, namely the sum of private and public consumption plus business investment.


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Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought by Barbara Tversky

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, clean water, continuous integration, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, fundamental attribution error, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Snow's cholera map, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, neurotypical, patient HM, Richard Feynman, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, theory of mind, urban planning

The uncorrelated features are likely to be far greater in importance than the few that are correlated. Yet thinking about subtle gradations along dimensions is much harder than lumping things into gross categories; there’s so much more that has to be considered and kept in mind. Categories are easier on the mind. But beware the First Law of Cognition, benefits come with costs. The beloved physician and professor of global health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Hans Rosling, was dismayed by the many misconceptions people, even distinguished political and economic leaders of the world, had about the state of the world. His TED talk, telling the dramatic story of world economic development in recent times as if it were an ongoing tight soccer match, went viral. Many of the misconceptions that people held about economic and social development came from categorical thinking, especially dividing the world into rich and poor.

Since ancient times, shepherds use walking sticks, mothers carry babes in arms or slings, people put baskets on their heads or on their backs or in their arms or carefully balance them on sticks slung across the shoulders. Palanquins transported nobility; commoners were transported on the shoulders or arms of family or in wheelbarrows or sleds. Horses, camels, donkeys, dogs, and reindeer took our premotorized ancestors farther distances than their feet could. Now strollers and wheelchairs and scooters and skates and planes and rockets do those jobs. Recall Hans Rosling’s work: the key to jumping up an economic level is moving farther in the world. At level one, you only have your feet. To get to level two, you need a bicycle; to get from level two to three, a motor scooter; to reach level four, an automobile. Moving farther in the world brings far more than economic opportunity. Moving farther in the world opens new vistas, new perspectives, new knowledge. Moving farther means collecting more places and people and things.


Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

23andMe, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, bioinformatics, Black Swan, business intelligence, card file, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, database schema, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Firefox, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, information retrieval, lake wobegon effect, longitudinal study, Mars Rover, natural language processing, openstreetmap, prediction markets, profit motive, semantic web, sentiment analysis, Simon Singh, social graph, SPARQL, speech recognition, statistical model, supply-chain management, text mining, Vernor Vinge, web application

Conclusion Political data is increasingly accessible and is increasingly being plotted and shared in the media and on the Web. At the research level, articles in political science journals are starting to make use of graphical techniques for discovery and presentation of results. And online tools ranging from NationMaster.com to the Name Voyager (http://www. babynamewizard.com/voyager) are becoming increasingly accessible, with data dumps such as Hans Rosling’s TED talk (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_ stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html) becoming cult favorites. We expect statistical visualization to become more important and more widespread in political analysis. References Bertin, J. (1967). Semiology of Graphics. Translated by W. J. Berg (1983). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Gelman, A. (2003). “A Bayesian formulation of exploratory data analysis and goodnessof-fit testing.”


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Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian

Airbnb, barriers to entry, carbon-based life, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Hans Rosling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Occupy movement, Paul Graham, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, software is eating the world, Startup school, Tony Hsieh, unpaid internship, Y Combinator

For my TED talk, I had room for no more than a few words on each slide—and they had to be in 86-point type, minimum. Forty-two slides—a good sign,3 even though it meant I had only a little more than four seconds for each slide. There was going to be a giant TED sign on the stage behind me. This could make or break my public speaking career. And I was going to be on the same stage where the brilliant statistician Hans Rosling, using beautiful data, emphatically demonstrated how India ascended to economic superpower status—meanwhile, I was going to talk about a whale named Mister Splashy Pants. No pressure. I finished before sunrise and took a power nap. When I awoke I began feverishly practicing with my timer. I missed all the morning talks. I was terrified of Chris Anderson, who famously cuts off speakers when they go on too long.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Airbnb, Akira Okazaki, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, British Empire, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Costa Concordia, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Ferguson, Missouri, fundamental attribution error, Georg Cantor, George Akerlof, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, land reform, liberation theology, lone genius, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, open economy, out of africa, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, plutocrats, Plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, rent control, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spinning jenny, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, very high income, wage slave, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yogi Berra

For example, the lower end of the world’s present income distribution, the bottom billion out of seven, as Ó Gráda has documented, has seen a dramatic decline of famine.4 In the European Middle Ages a killing famine in the favored south of England came every ten years or so.5 The last widespread, killing famine in southern England was 1597, in northern England 1623, in Scotland the 1690s, in France 1710, in Germany, Scandinavia, and Switzerland 1770–1772, in Ireland the late 1840s, in Finland 1866–1868.6 The upper middle of the present-day seven billion—perhaps two billion, double the population of the world in 1800—live in countries in the mold of Greece or Taiwan or Israel. The average income of such places exceeds $80 a day, which is to say two and a half times the present world average, and twenty-six times the world average in 1800. Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of public health, calls $80 “the Washing Line,” because at that level a household can have an electric washing machine, freeing women from exhausting wash days.7 Deborah Fallows reports on a study of material aspirations among the upper bourgeoisie in China: “In the 1950s and 1960s . . . a watch, a bicycle, and a sewing machine. In the 1970s and 1980s . . . a color television, a fridge, and a washing machine. . . .

Italy in its legal system ranked sixty-third, just above Iran, and in its freedom from regulation ninety-fourth, just above the Dominican Republic.9 Italian legal institutions, the exercise of the monopoly of legitimate violence—its L variables and the S variables supporting the L—are wretched. Yet in real GDP per person New Zealand and Italy, in 2010, were nearly identical, at $88.20 and $86.80 a day, a little above Hans Rosling’s Washing Line. One could argue that there is anyway an international correlation between income and governance. But the causation is in part the other way around—rich people demand better governance, which is certainly the story of more honest governance in American cities, 1900 to the present. And the oomph of the fitted curve is too small to explain much: that correlation “exists” does not answer the scientific question of its importance.

Vladimir Popov (2014) offers hope for socialism, though admitting at length what Heilbroner concluded. 11. Bakunin 1869, Second Letter. 12. Shils 1957, p. 490: the ex-Marxists “criticize the aesthetic qualities of a society which has realized so much of what socialists once claimed was of central importance, which has, in other words, overcome poverty and long arduous labor.” 13. Ehrlich 1968 (1975), p. xi. 14. If you disbelieve it, you need to listen to Hans Rosling’s astonishing video for the BBC, I say again: “Don’t Panic—The Facts about Population,” http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/. 15. Amazon.com reviews of Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, accessed July 2013. 16. Eldridge 1995, p. 9. Such mistaken science comes from the English-language notion that the only “sciences” are physical and biological. Eldridge believed a geologist but did not consult an economist or a historian, because they are not (English-definition, OED sense 5b) “scientists.”


There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee

air freight, autonomous vehicles, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, food miles, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Hans Rosling, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, neoliberal agenda, off grid, performance metric, profit motive, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, urban planning

We all recognise that happiness, meaning, and thriving depend on far more than material consumption.’ 22 BT’s procurement guidelines in regards to climate change can be found here: https://groupextranet.bt.com/selling2bt/ working/climateChange/default.html They also outline their environmental principles here: https://www.btplc.com/Purposefulbusiness/Ourapproach/ Ourpolicies/Environmental_Policy.pdf 6 People and Work 1 See, for example, the late Swedish statistician Hans Rosling’s entertaining and striking TED talks on population, health 268 NOTES TO PAGES 150–154 and wealth trends. Highly recommended, if you haven’t seen them already. Very sadly he died in 2017. https://tinyurl .com/roslinghans 2 Stewart Wallis, former head of the New Econmomics Foundation, and before that International Director of Oxfam, estimates that this alone can cut the fertility rate by a massive 60%, making it, in his view one of the world’s most critical investments on three simultaneous fronts: morally, socially and environmentally.


pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Civilization is law codes, it is coinage, it is scientific inquiry, and it is the educational system. Because we have civilization, we have been able to develop culture. And culture is why we have William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Pietà, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. We have come a long way on our pathway to civilization. Yet our journey is far from complete. As the Swedish doctor Hans Rosling said, “You have to be able to hold two ideas in your head at once: the world is getting better and it’s not good enough.” While it takes but a few moments to make a list of the appalling atrocities and injustices that plague our world, most generations do leave the world a little better of a place than they found it. The cumulative effect of this, the compounding of this interest across centuries, has brought us to today.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Ben Fowkes (New York: Vintage, 1957), vol. 1: 914–15; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Manifesto of the Communist Party,” in The Essential Left (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1961), 15–17. 18 E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution (New York: New American Library, 1962), 222. 19 Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, “Unequal gains: American growth and inequality since 1700,” Vox, CEPR Policy Portal, June 16, 2016, https://voxeu.org/article/american-growth-and-inequality-1700. 20 Hans Rosling, “Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think,” Guardian, April 11, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/apr/11/good-news-at-last-the-world-isnt-as-horrific-as-you-think; Homi Kharas and Kristofer Hamel, “A global tipping point: Half the world is now middle class or wealthier,” September 27, 2018, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/09/27/a-global-tipping-point-half-the-world-is-now-middle-class-or-wealthier/?


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The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and Its Solutions by Jason Hickel

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Attenborough, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, dematerialisation, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, European colonialism, falling living standards, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Zinn, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land value tax, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

Soon after the UN’s report, The Economist ran a widely shared article with the headline: ‘A Fall to Cheer: for the first time ever, the number of poor people is declining everywhere’. That same year, Charles Kenny published Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, with a glowing foreword by Bill Gates. Gates himself published a public letter in 2014, opening with the words: ‘By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been.’ And the Swedish academic Hans Rosling continued to make his earnest presentations with shiny visual gimmicks illustrating how the plight of the poor keeps improving. Rosling’s TED Talk, ‘The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen’, has been viewed more than 10 million times. The UN’s poverty-reduction figures quickly became some of the most repeated statistics in the world. This is what I call the ‘good-news narrative’ about poverty. It is a comforting story, a welcome contrast to the depressing tales that often fill the daily news cycle.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

By 2015, according to United Nations predictions, the top-ten roster will be joined by Dhaka, in Bangladesh, and Lagos, in Nigeria; and coming on fast will be Karachi, Cairo, Manila, Istanbul, Lima, Tehran, and Beijing. The trend is pretty clear. The “rise of the West” is over. The world looks the way it did a thousand years ago, when the ten largest cities were Córdoba, in Spain; Kaifeng, in China; Constantinople; Angkor, in Cambodia; Kyoto; Cairo; Baghdad; Nishapur, in Iran; Al-Hasa, in Saudi Arabia; and Patan, in India. As Swedish statistician Hans Rosling says, “The world will be normal again; it will be an Asian world, as it always was except for these last thousand years. They are working like hell to make that happen, whereas we are consuming like hell.” • It may be distracting, though, to focus just on the world’s twenty-four megacities—those with a population over 10 million. The real action is in what the United Nations calls small cities (fewer than 500,000 inhabitants; home to half of the world’s city dwellers) and intermediate cities (1 million to 5 million, where 22 percent of urbanites live).


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

Additionally, my writing benefited from conversations and other forms of support from many, many people: Debbie Apsley, Özlem Ayduk, Marika Arcese, Siva Athreya, Garima Bhatia, Chris Blattman, Peter Blomquist, Maurizio Bricola, Jenna Burrell, Suvojit Chattopadhyay, Deepti Chittamuru, Magdalena Claro, Josh Cohen, Kristina Cordero, David Daballen, Kristen Dailey, John Danner, Ankhi Das, Alain de Janvry, Thad Dunning, Paolo Ficarelli, Greg Fischer, Bablu Ganguly, Maria Gargiulo, Achintya Ghosh, Rachel Glennerster, Richa Govil, Jürgen Hagmann, Naomi Handa-Williams, Saskia Harmsen, Gaël Hernández, Melissa Ho, Shanti Jayanthasri, Rob Jensen, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Joseph Joy, Pritam Kabe, Ken Keniston, Neelima Khetan, Jessica Kiessel, Michael Kremer, Ramchandar Krishnamurthy, Antony Lekoitip, Miep Lenoir, Julia Lowe, Jeff MacKie-Mason, Drew McDermott, Patricia Mecheal, Pavithra Mehta, Ted Miguel, Eduardo Monge, Rohan Murty, Miguel Nussbaum, Chip Owen, Tapan Parikh, Paul Polak, Madhavi Raj, Ranjeet Ranade, Gautam Rao, Eric Ringger, Hans Rosling, Elisabeth Sadoulet, Maximiliano Santa Cruz Scantlebury, Jonathan Scanlon, Denise Senmartin, Jahanzeb Sherwani, Priyanka Singh, Pratima Stanton, Rick Szeliski, Steve Toben, Mike Trucano, Avinash Upadhyay, Dipti Vaghela, Suzanne van der Velden, Srikant Vasan, Wayan Vota, Terry Winograd, Christian Witt, Renee Wittemeyer, and Naa Lamle Wulff. As much as I criticize technology hype, I’m not against technology per se.


pages: 677 words: 121,255

Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist by Michael Shermer

Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, Chelsea Manning, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, creative destruction, dark matter, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, gun show loophole, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, luminiferous ether, McMansion, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, moral hazard, moral panic, More Guns, Less Crime, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, positional goods, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yogi Berra

Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered what, in the fullness of time, would become his most memorable vision from his 1963 magisterial “I Have a Dream” speech, he could not have known how much progress in civil rights would ensue over the coming half-century, in no small measure because of his work. Human progress in general, and moral advancement in particular, have been documented in detail in a number of recent books, including Hans Rosling’s Factfulness (2018, Flatiron Books), Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018, Spiegel & Grau), Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now (2018, Penguin) and The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011, Penguin), Greg Easterbrook’s It’s Better Than it Looks (2018, PublicAffairs), Johan Norberg’s Progress (2017, OneWorld), my own The Moral Arc (2015, Henry Holt), and Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist (2010, HarperCollins).


pages: 578 words: 131,346

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, call centre, David Graeber, Donald Trump, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Hans Rosling, invention of writing, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, placebo effect, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, universal basic income, World Values Survey

Snow, ‘Science and Government’, The Godkin Lectures (1960). 2David Hume, ‘Of the Independency of Parliament’, in Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (1758, Part 1). 3See the famous poem by Bernard Mandeville ‘The Grumbling Hive: Or, Knaves turn’d Honest’, The Fable of The Bees: or, Private Vices, Public Benefits (1714). 4Marshall Sahlins, The Western Illusion of Human Nature (Chicago, 2008), pp. 72–6. 5His Holiness Pope Francis, ‘Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone’, TED Talks (April 2017). 6Ara Norenzayan, Big Gods (Princeton, 2013), p. 75. 7If you don’t believe it, this will set you straight: Hans Rosling, Factfulness. Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (New York, 2018). 8For an overview, see the first chapter of my previous book Utopia for Realists (London, 2017). 9See, for example, Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust (Ithaca, 1989), and Roger Griffin, Modernism and Fascism. The Sense of a Beginning under Mussolini and Hitler (Basingstoke, 2007).


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

p. 18 ‘The same is true of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease: they all still increase with age, but they do so later and later, by about ten years since the 1950s.’ Fogel, R.W. 2003. Changes in the Process of Aging during the Twentieth Century: Findings and Procedures of the Early Indicators Project. NBER Working Papers 9941, National Bureau of Economic Research. p. 19 ‘Yet the global effect of the growth of China and India has been to reduce the difference between rich and poor worldwide.’ This is especially clear in Hans Rosling’s animated graphs of global income distribution at www.gapminder.com. Incidentally, the individualisation of life that brought personal freedom after the 1960s also brought less loyalty towards the group, a process that surely reached crisis point in the bonus rows of 2009: see Lindsey, B. 2009. Paul Krugman’s Nostalgianomics: Economic Policy, Social Norms and Income Inequality. Cato Institute.


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

We have listened far too often to people pontificating about politics and economics in ignorance of readily available data. A survey in 2016 across twenty-six countries showed that 84% of respondents believed that extreme poverty in the world had risen or remained the same. 10 But extreme poverty has fallen by more than half in the last two decades, benefiting more than a billion people. 11 This may be the single most important fact about the global economy over the period. In his bestselling Factfulness , Hans Rosling has reported that such ignorance was even widespread in India and China, whose rapid economic growth has been responsible for much of the improvement. 12 College students did a little better than the population as a whole. But we are concerned that modern economics teaching puts emphasis on quantitative methods without giving students the opportunity to learn much either about data sources or about the principles by which data are compiled.


pages: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Humans are in a tough spot, and we need to realize we’re in a tough spot because we are not born in an inherent position of luxury. We need to make very serious contemplations, which does not mean that we’re not going to have moral ethics; it does. It just means that it needs to be balanced to realize that we are in a tough spot. For example, there’s a couple of books that have come out, like Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World, and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling, and Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. Those books basically say that the world’s not bad, and that although everyone says how terrible it is, all the data says it’s getting better, and it’s getting better faster. What they’re not contemplating is that the future is dramatically different to the past. We’ve never had a form of intelligence in the form of AI that has progressed this fast.


pages: 733 words: 179,391

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

As a result, they’ll almost certainly engage in some form of life-cycle savings and investment activity, even if it’s as basic as setting aside money for rainy days. These activities necessarily increase the 258 • Chapter 8 required scale of financial markets, as well as the complexity of the interactions among the various counterparties. We’ve reshaped the world into a far different place. A compelling illustration of this difference can be seen in the pair of graphs in figure 8.3 (in the color section) using the Swedish demographer Hans Rosling’s excellent Gapminder data visualization tools. These two graphs display measures of health and wealth—the average life expectancy and per capita gross domestic product (GDP)—for various countries around the world in 1900 and 2013. Each country is a circle and the size is proportional to its population. In 1900, the United States—the large yellow disc at the upper-right range of figure 8.3a—was in an enviable position, with one of the highest levels of GDP per capita and one of the longest life expectancies, and with only a handful of close competitors.