David R. Henderson  

Hans Rosling RIP

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Hans Rosling died today of pancreatic cancer. What a loss!

If you have never watched any of his videos, these are the two main ones I recommend:

1. The washing machine. 9 minutes. And here's my own reminiscence about my mother hand washing clothes at our summer cottage.

2. The increase in world per capita income and life expectancy. Under 5 minutes.

Here's a beautiful recent piece on him in Nature.

HT2 Steve Horwitz.


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COMMENTS (4 to date)
Jim Rose writes:

The washing machine clip is also my favourite

His put him in a league of his own in terms of the presenter of the statistics of The Great Enrichment

Shane L writes:

Professor Rosling's videos on Ted and also his excellent Gapminder.org website played a significant role in my changing political views. I think my friends have grown sick of me posting about consistent, startling declines in poverty and violence ever since!

I gather there is a lot of work in psychology showing that confronting someone with evidence against their views tends to strengthen those views. In my case, I was encountering Gapminder around the time that I was also exposed to various liberal economics narratives, so I was open to data that could sway me either way. The Gapminder data were so striking: steep improvements in life expectancy, infant mortality, wealth and a range of other criteria over the last century. The gloomy popular insistence that the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer" simply did not stand up.

For people who are not familiar with Rosling, I suggest opening Gapminder and clicking the "play" arrow in the bottom-left corner. Watch the world's life expectancy and wealth improve since 1800.

Joe Williams writes:

I want to thank you Prof. Henderson for introducing your EMBA students to Hans Rosling and his magnificent way of communicating how great the world is becoming. Since that introduction nearly five years ago, I followed Hans Rosling's subsequent ventures, including battling Ebola in Africa. Thank you for introducing us to a wonderful person! He will be missed.

David R. Henderson writes:

@Joe Williams,
You’re welcome. I miss your group at NASA. I still tell (positive) stories about you guys and gal to friends and colleagues.

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