Y'all are a bunch of wankers!

Does social change proceed econimic change?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4237353244338529080&hl=en

You move much faster if you are healthy first than wealthy first.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 30th, 2007 9:57am
Chicken-and-egg spiral, is my usual answer to improving tightly coupled systems like this.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 10:23am
Chicken-and-egg spiral, is my usual answer to improving tightly coupled systems like this.

Meaning -- improve whichever side of the cycle you happen to be on, and it will have a positive effect on the other side of the cycle.  It doesn't really matter which came first.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 10:24am
> is my usual answer to improving tightly coupled systems like this

Did you watch it? If you did then you might change your usual answer.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 30th, 2007 10:25am
First impression was ... wow, that's like software you find in movies and TV shows. That is, it looks completely fake (those eggs breaking up into quartiles? or the sheets of income distribution falling down?).

I'm not sure he can make that conclusion that he did (the talk is about software rather than about social/economic change). For every Oman there's a Cuba (high social change/little economic change).

Got to look at the data.

Personally I think economic change precedes/spurs social slightly more than the other way around but the definition of social change is so vague the statement is without much provability (is Saudi Arabia's banning women driving the type of social change we're talking about?).
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 30th, 2007 11:01am
Fascinating.  It's over 20 minutes long, but well worth it.

I'm not sure what his thesis is -- except for the point that the so-called 'gap' between developing and developed nations is narrowing.  And that the data needs to be looked at closely to make sure aid is applied effectively.

Now, WHY the gap is narrowing is up for debate.  Good health helps.  More income helps.  Smaller families helps.

So on the one hand, he has a good point -- you can't really treat South Africa the same as Sierra Leone, the conditions are so different, in terms of income and survival rates.

On the other hand, who said we're treating them the same?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 11:17am
On the other hand, if you believe in "the ascent of mankind" as I do, the presentation is a wonderful illustration of how that is proceeding.

As a world, we really are better off today than we were in 1964.  Even though there is much still to be done.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 11:20am
> the ascent of mankind

So when every baby lives, grows into a warm safe den with high speed net access to RPGs, a reliable supply of nutrient goo, and good health care--will we have ascended?
Permalink son of parnas 
March 30th, 2007 11:29am
I try hard not to define the ultimate destination, since I tend to get mired in unimportant minutia.

But when every human being born has a 99% chance of growing older than five, and has adequate access to food, that would be a start.

Adequate health care comes in there somewhere.  So does work, farming, manufacturing, education.  But since we haven't achieved the first step yet, let's not get too ahead of ourselves.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 12:41pm
> I'm not sure what his thesis is

He said his thesis was to close the gap between databases and presentation by writing some good s/w tools (gapminder.org).
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 30th, 2007 2:01pm
Well, to be pedantic, that's his suggested solution, or better yet "what he's doing to help the situation".

And "I'm not sure" doesn't mean "I don't know".  It means "there's several possible thesis's in here, I'm not sure which one HE considers the top one."

And I then go on to detail a few possible ones he could be on about.  And since he never says "social change Preceeds economic change", I think the OP has it off a little too.

The chicken and egg comment still applies, in other words.  But it's nice to see there IS at least a "rising tide", which he documents beautifully.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
March 30th, 2007 2:43pm
:)

well really his talk was about the tools or lack thereof, don't you think? His anecdote in the beginning about intelligent Swedish students not knowing about child mortality rates was not about how to *lower* the rates, it was about getting the information to the students.

I'm not pedantic. He's an IT guy, and he's trumpeting an IT solution. He's not saying this or that policy is better, other then pointing out how the software helps people to make hypotheses and highlight counterexamples (which is both true and useful).

It would be like Steve Jobs giving a demo of an iPod and everyone discussing whether the song he featured on the demo was an homage to Dinah Washington or a ripoff of Macy Gray.
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 30th, 2007 3:15pm
> He's an IT guy

Hans Rosling is professor of international health at Sweden's world-renowned Karolinska Institute.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 30th, 2007 4:06pm
d'oh!
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 30th, 2007 4:10pm
Of course in Sweden:

> We compare Swedish municipalities on nine indicators... Our main finding is that gender equality was generally correlated with poorer health for both men and women.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBF-4N6G028-1&_user=10&_coverDate=03%2F06%2F2007&_rdoc=24&_fmt=summary&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%235925%239999%23999999999%2399999%23FLA%23display%23Articles)&_cdi=5925&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_ct=35&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=708272ae2ef7d8bf527feb2f28680586

(no I didn't go looking for it. bumped into it while reading a blog.)
Permalink Send private email strawberry snowflake 
March 30th, 2007 5:39pm
I've had no end of difficulties trying to view it in Google video. Which in the end was all for the good because I've found the TED site http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/ which lets you download loads of presentations to view later.

There are some interesting people there, including Levitt, Gladwell, Dawkins, Negroponte, Sir Martin Rees and Barry Schwartz and others.
Permalink Send private email Stephen Jones 
March 31st, 2007 2:55pm

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