Hans Rosling: The Magic Washing Machine

Dear old Hans Rosling can always be depended upon to teach while making the lesson interesting and fun. I am confident that one day everyone will realize what an amazing machine the world wide web is and how it can be the answer to our educational problems. But for now, sit back, and watch this amazing man do what he does best — lift the veil of ignorance and reveal a little bit of what lies beneath. And most of all, remind us to mind the gap. The video is below the fold:

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf
Don’t forget to visit the Gapminder.org site.

Previous Related Posts: 200 Years that Changed the World, and 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

4 thoughts on “Hans Rosling: The Magic Washing Machine

  1. Hans Rosling certainly gives a good lecture. But he’s wrong on two counts. Firstly, economic growth is not a consequence of democratic voting procedures. It’s the other way round. In the West, pressures to acquire the vote only as one social class after another came on stream as a result of economic growth. Secondly, he should have chosen the TV set (and the PC and the mobile phone) as the most significant iconic product. In the West, these came at the end of a long chain of consumer products which had motivated demand for at least 200 years and thus brough about economic growth and the standard of iving the West has today.

    In the middle band of Rosling’s graphic several billion of still-poor people have already acquired TV even though they might scarcely possess anything else and live in a one-room shack in a massive megalopolis. They’re hardly motivated to do much else in addition to the necessary minimum to survive (even if the higher-paying jobs existed!)– so long as they have TV. Just like most people in the West they’ll spend hours every day just watching it (the average daily viewing hours in the West is 7 hours a day and still growing somewhat if you include the use of PC and mobile phone). Just like growing numbers of people in the West they’ll become increasingly dumbed down and living in a surrogate soap opera world and not the real world.

    As a child I used to have to help my mother as she washed the family clothes before washing machines existed. Hand washing with soap and a scrubbing board. Hand agitating successive rinsings in a tub with a big wooden tool (a “posher”). Hand-wringing the clothes through wooden rollers (a “mangle”). I know what it’s all about — very hard work. But it still remains the case that the male of the household will remain largely content if he does just enough work to afford the minimum of food for the family and to save for a TV set.

    Keith Hudson

    Like

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