The world has lost a giant intellect with the death of Professor Hans Rosling, the statistician who breathed life into data and gave humanity an enormous gift. His entertaining and optimistic approach to data analysis is inspirational. His teaching methods will live on in every person who had the good fortune to hear him speak, […]
Statistics and math are not the same beast. Math is about precise relationships, stats is about patterns, and Professor Rosling was about helping people recognize the patterns created by statistics.
Human beings are very good at pattern recognition, but usually that skill is restricted to the small scale – my house, my world, my life. Statistics gives us a tool with which to recognize patterns on a large scale – our country, our planet, humankind. And you don’t have to be a maths wiz to do it. All you need is basic math and logic.
If I could change one thing about education right now, it would be to teach each child about statistics. Maybe then, we would not have a world in which every fact is open to ‘interpretation’.
But don’t watch Professor Rosling’s videos just for his brilliant, visual ways of displaying stats, watch them for the content. However dissatisfied we may be with our world in 2017, I was gobsmacked to learn that the Industrial Revolution – a period in Western history that saw terrible disruptions to the life of the common man – was also the start of an incredible climb up out of poverty. It gives me hope that the Era of Automation will actually lead to an even better standard of living for all of us, not just a few.