Hans Rosling passed away today. I was a fan of his life's work. I wrote about him in an article once a while back,
This One: https://writtting-d.blogspot.ca/2014/09/a-tuesday-comparison-comparin-writings.html
In that 2014 article, I compared one T. Malthus' viewpoints to children fighting over toys and pondered whether the Malthus viewpoint was obsolete and whether a new popular statistician could shape the world view in future years. It was good, it got hits.
Most people in North America wouldn't consider smart people as inspirational role-models but I think Hans Rosling's work was inspirational to a large degree.
Through his work with Gap Minder and other places he aimed to show that science and technology is making large headway in the battle against global poverty levels. Through his talks on various websites and tv outlets he often attempted to counter the popular viewpoint that the "Third World" was a cess-pool of violence, over population, and savagery .... people in the "First World" tend to think Africa or India or someplace is still living in like the 1500s ... but it's not the case at all. Using quizzes he would often ask an audience what they thought the birth rate was per woman in the "Third World" and usually 95% would get it wrong. He'd ask questions about child mortality and vaccination rates and again about 95% of the First World audience would get it wrong. People in the "First World" really still have the view that certain continents are cess pools of violence and degradation but that's not the case at all.
Humanity really should be proud of how many of its members have rised up and out of poverty. We've come a long way, honey we truly have. We should really be proud of ourselves in that regard ... even though we still have a lot of work to do in terms of global poverty.
According to a book I read once, "The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time" by one Jeffrey Sachs ....
We've gone from:
in 1901: 99% of Humanity Living in Poverty
in 1981: 56% of Humanity Living in Poverty
in 2001: 44% of Humanity Living in Poverty
... and according to World Bank estimates ... in 2017 about 11% of Humanity is Living in Extreme Poverty.
In 1901 only the 1% of super duper rich people had things like enough food, access to clean water, sanitary toilets/amenities and now by 2017 only 106 years later 89% of Humans Worldwide have these things. That's pretty good. Through GapMinder you can see videos of graphs of these stats and how they increase over time. You can see how much gain we've made into child mortality rates, poverty rates, and other factors.
Rosling was also an exceptional teacher who was able to take these concepts and teach them worldwide using the simplest of visual tools and language. His talks and seminars took difficult statistical relationships and analysis and explained them in the simplest and easiest to understand of terms. Taking difficult things and explaining them to people in easy terms is the hallmark of a good educator. He was an exceptional educator.
Through the advancements of Science and Technology we've made a lot of headway into solving many global problems. People really forget how much progress we've actually made in the last century. People can say what they want about Humanity and Society about how bad it is ... but looking at the stats on Gap Minder and understanding just how far we've come .... people like Rosling really reminded us that humanity has a lot of room for good as well. We've come a long way baby, and people who operate on a fact-based world-view really should recognize Rosling for how much he promoted a fact-based statistically-proven view of the world around us and our understanding of it.
Stats for me started on the backs of O-Pee-Chee baseball cards .... and now Stats are a huge part of my fact-based worldview. I love stats, man.
Like I ended the 2014 article, I still believe that Humanity is heading to an era where thanks to Science and Technology we will all "live like millionaires" with an infinite abundance of renewable energy resources, food resources, and clean water resources. I still abide by that original conclusion that Malthus is finished and that Statisticians like Rosling are the new Big Name Statisticians of Tomorrow. Hans Rosling's life work was very inspirational and important.