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DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT THE THIRD WORLD-Hans Roslong

by wchurchill Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 03:31:23 PM EST

I'm sure many of you are far more familiar with Prof Roslong than I.  But this presentation is amazing in its use of graphics, and unbelievably enjoyable (it is a 20 minute lecture, so if you go there have some time available--but it is really, really worth it.)  There is great data regarding the development of the third world along economic and health lines.  And Prof Roslong is incredibly entertaining.

DEBUNKING MYTHS ABOUT THE THIRD WORLD
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
We get a lot of letters expressing surprise here at NationMaster. The real world is far more complex than what our preconceived notions would have us believe. For example, the third world isn't one big block of large families and poor health. It's easy in the west to overlook the massive amount of development that has taken place in Asia, well beyond Japan. In this lecture, Hans Roslong, Professor of International Health, Karolinska Institutet of Stockholm, gives a graphical and entertaining summary of how the world has changed in the past 40 years. Highly recommended viewing.


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Sadly, Jérôme's charts are going to look a bit mundane after this ;-)

This was the best 20 minutes I've spent in a long time...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 04:10:58 PM EST
Wow ! Reminds me of the thrills we had with a professor of literature, who was incredibly brilliant.

Thanks !

by balbuz on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 04:44:34 PM EST
Nice presentation. And I couldn't agree more with his claim for access to (and searchability of) data.

However, some questionable comments :

While commenting on poverty: "of course it's a logarithmic scale" Heh!

 

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 05:06:31 PM EST
You can download most of his presentations on this site: Gapminder

Thanks, wchurchill!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 05:47:23 PM EST
Ah - lovely use of graphics.

But although the tools are 'free' they seem to be keeping a tight grip on them, and limiting the applications to one very specific kind of data visualisation.

I can imagine a lot of people wanting to use them, but - not so far, it seems.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 07:29:24 PM EST
Actually it is Rosling.

And he is quite an entertaining lecturer, at least he was last time I heard him (I have not seen the youtube video). Though he got quite defensive when challenged by students on the sustainability of the trends described in his data.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 08:43:45 PM EST
Nice video. There is indeed healthy progress, and most countries benefit from it.

But is the Third World necessarily improving specifically thanks to globalization? Is aggressive free market globalization necessarry for healthy progress? Aren't priorities of each contry more important?

Comparison of child mortality rates Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea against, respectively, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, Poland rather shows that the world can be better off without misguided "advancement". Obsession with GDP growth is actually impending essential improvements.

I will continue in this thread.

by das monde on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 09:36:47 PM EST
Yes, I don't think you can give the credit only to globalization and economics.  Actually factors like more peace, more social stability, must be important.  Though I imagine rising incomes in these countries is an important part as well.
by wchurchill on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 09:48:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hans Rosling's blog

(His first post is titled Fact based worldview.)

Thanks very much for finding and sharing this, wchurchill.  Is providing much food for thought -- and re-thinking.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon Mar 5th, 2007 at 10:39:54 PM EST
In fact, it is often necessary.  But it must be managed well.

That is one take-away I get from Rosling.

Another take-away:  Even when there is less and less wealth, if you allocate what wealth you do have effectively, you can nevertheless improve the overall state of your society.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Mar 6th, 2007 at 06:04:51 AM EST
Two remarks:

First, I think it's a bit short to set the poverty line at US$ 1 a day and, once people earn US$ 1,1O, to say they are out of poverty! Hence my remark about the logarithmic scale above. That doesn't mean I don't acknowledge some progress has been made, but we have to be very careful about assertions in this field.

And to say that the income gap  between countries is closing, again using the same logarithmic scale, is questionable. It is particularly questionable if you look at data country by country and not by whole regions.

One important phenomenon is that, even if inequality between countries is still very high, it is gradually replaced by inequality within countries. In the current trend, we are heading towards a worldwide social stratification, with a global super-rich class getting richer and richer, a numerous middle-class stagnating in the developed countries and catching up in the developing ones, and a huge proletariat losing ground in developed countries and barely improving in the developing ones.

The only countries resisting this trend (so far) are Canada, European countries, (except for UK, maybe Ireland, and some Central European countries) and maybe Australia.    

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 6th, 2007 at 07:06:22 AM EST
And to use quintiles to show inequality is too broad a brush: using percentiles would make the deepening of inequalities much more obvious.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Mar 6th, 2007 at 07:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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