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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

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Before I begin, here's a funny talk by Randall Munroe (XKCD) at TED. If the Google story at the end is true, I forgive them for Google+. Almost.

OK, so here's the real thing I want to talk about: Hans and Ola Rosling on "How not to be ignorant about the world".

Hans Rosling has been an idol of mine for quite some time. I've used GapMinder in my lessons and it was a great success. I've used GapMinder to check some ideas I've had. I've listened to his talks and I think they were great. His son Ola is shaping up to be quite as good as Hans.

Look at the three questions he poses and answer them. Then watch the clip. Only then continue reading, I don't want to spoil it for you.

OK, you've watched the clip. I admit that I am very pessimistic about the world; I think every-thing's going to shit. Turns out I'm wrong, things are improving. Can't it be both? I'm worried that, even though things are arguably improving, they're improving at too slow a pace and we're faced with some pretty hefty challenges. I hope to discuss that soon, but not now.

I spend a lot of time browsing the Internet for information I might need and I guess so do many of you. The Internet's great, you can find so much information. However, I believe there's a pretty big flaw. Not with the Internet, but with the way it's being used. Well, with the way information is being used, I should say. Take any problem at all in the world today. It can be "how do we fix the economic crisis" or "how do we combat climate change" or anything like that. For the sake of argument, I'll choose "Is a comprehensive school system (like the Finnish) better than a tiered one (like the German)?"

There is a wealth of information out there on most subjects, but it's disjointed pieces of information. Performance in country X given conditions Y, perhaps even comparison of countries X, Y and Z (even though they have completely different conditions and, in my opinion, can't