Progress, Animated

A million-plus people saw this animated Hans Rosling tale of two centuries' worth of progress in health and wealth before I did, but that's what I get for burying my nose in David Brooks columns:

As usual, a Hit & Run commenter got there first: Kudos to Lauren for hipping us to Rosling's whole TEDtastic act last year.

UPDATE: Whoops! Turns out Katherine Mangu-Ward got there two weeks ago as well.

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  • Corduroy||

    But but... "The End Is Coming!"(tm)

  • God (word of)||

    "And before the end of days the world will be more prosperous than ever."- me

    That part got left out. Human error I'm sure.

  • Trespassers W||

    Your credibility has dwindled in recent centuries, I'm afraid.

  • Juice||

    Most impressive.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Never believe the official story.

  • hmm||

    H&R is like the old man with the walker of the internet. =)

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Get the fuck off my lawn, kid.

  • hmm||

    They really need to hire some right out of college people. They have come so far so fast, but I fear the old fogies have hit a plateau.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Admitting to reading David Brooks is a bad sign. When was the last time he ever wrote anything worth reading?

    And not for the lulz.

  • LibertyMark||

    Watching that energetic, older man with the enthusiasm of a child makes we want to quit my job, and just become a graduate student bum so I could sit in his classes all day.

  • LibertyMark||

    BTW, even though I loved this, it has something that bothers me.

    He calls his y-axis "Lifespan", which I think is incorrect and leads to a common form of confusion. He really means "Life Expectancy".

    When a country has a Life Expectancy of 40, it doesn't mean that most people die when they are around 40, or that a 39 year old person would appear like an elderly person.

    What it means is that a lot of people die in infancy and due to accidents and illnesses.

    Even in countries with life expectancies in the 40s, "old" people are still in their 70s and 80s, it's just that not as many people make it to that age. Outside of calamities and illnesses, the healthy human animal usually lives to 80 or so, and it has been that way for a long time.

  • ||

    Rosling did call the Y axis life expectancy. I suspect the graphic artists titled it lifespan to avoid crowding the graphic.

  • ||

    Outside of calamities and illnesses, the healthy human animal usually lives to 80 or so, and it has been that way for a long time.

    The 3 inch spear point embedded in my hip disagrees with you.

  • kennebunkport man||

    Collateral damage.

  • kenya man||

    I have a remedy for that, if only you morons will shut up and fall in line.

  • ||

    That was cool, but I'm sure the colors are confusing to those of use who have trouble discerning between certain shades.

    I'm interested to know which European country dipped into the negative quadrants during World War II time frame. Was it Germany or Russia?

  • BakedPenguin||

    It looked like it happened right around 1940, in which case it would have been Russia.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Also, as someone pointed out on the last thread, China took a huge hit in life expectancy in the late 50's during the Great Leap Forward.

  • Edwin||

    What a cute accent! I love this guy's accent. It's going to be in my head all day today.

  • Edwin||

    What a cute accent! I love this guy's accent. It's going to be in my head all day today.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Well since I believe in Social Justice for the Reason staff, I think I get to do one of my own:

    Hey, gang! Check out Hans Rosling's animated historical XY graph of medicine and riches!

  • Ali||

    I guess James Watson was right about Africa.

    The world will eventually face a moral dilemma about what to do with it.

  • Kodos||

    For the statistically curious, if you go to Rosling's site

    and load the "Gapminder World" utility they let you plot a ridiculous number of variables, like literacy rates, sickness rates, wealth etc..., against each other in a graph just like this.

  • Sean||

    My questions on the visualization:
    Has inflation been factored in? Growing popuations?

  • ||

    People like to complain that inflation has not been factored in, that if it were it would show that everything is getting worse. Yet this graph ALSO shows life expectancy. It keep rising too.

    If we all so incredibly worse off than our great grandparents, and we only living on the equivalent of pennies a day, then why has our life expectancy improving so dramatically?


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