Data, not Feelings

We think we know the world. From movies, TV reports, and the society around us, we “just know” many things that are, in fact, not true.

You have probably heard the term “third world country.” But what does it mean? Where does this idea come from? Once upon a time (back when Mr. D. was a kid), it meant there were two “teams” of countries: Team USA (in green below); Team USSR (in yellow); and then all the others (in red). Over time, “third world” came to be associated with very poor countries.

There is no more USSR, (and Team America is falling apart pretty quickly!), but the term “third world” keeps being used:

Third World Blues

Is there a problem with using the term? Yes, because it leads people to think something that is out of date. The way of thinking, the “mindset”, is incorrect. Let me introduce you to one of my heroes: Hans Rosling.

Hans Rosling Swedish pronunciation: [hɑːns ²ruːslɪŋ] (27 July 1948 – 7 February 2017) was a Swedish physician, academic, statistician, and public speaker. He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute[4] and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system. He held presentations around the world, including several TED Talks[5] in which he promoted the use of data to explore development issues.[6]

Talking at the US State Department the summer of 2009, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.But what do these terms really mean?

Questions: What does he mean by mindset? How can a dataset change a mindset? What important difference did he point out between China and the USA? Did his dataset change your mindset? Why or why not?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.