Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling: How not to be ignorant about the world

Worried the world is going to hell in a handbasket?  You’ll feel better after watching this video, and also get some insight into why you might have thought it was.

Watching this video also reminded me of something I learned years ago, not to trust numbers given in isolation.  Whenever I hear about the increase in some number, or I’m shown a large scary number, as the media is prone to do, I pretty much automatically discount that as evidence unless the numbers are given in their overall context.

For instance, here in the US it’s common to hear about the total US public debt, which is always some scary astronomical number much higher than in the past, but rare to hear it as a percentage of the total income of the economy, and how that compares historically, where it’s not nearly as scary.