Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Statistician Hans Rosling: The Press Does Not Understand the World (Michael Simkovic)

Statistician and data visualization expert Hans Rosling recently took the media to task for misleading readers and viewers using unrepresentative anecdotes and ignoring contradictory data.

Rosling says "You can't trust the news outlets if you want to understand the world.  You have to be educated and then research basic facts."

While journalists often depict the developing world as full of "wars, conflicts, chaos" Rosling says "That is wrong.  [The press] is completely wrong.. . . You can chose to only show my shoe, which is very ugly, but that is only a small part of me. . . . News outlets only care about a small part but [they] call it the world."

Rosling complains that the slow but steady march of progress is not considered news.

Rosling is famous for his data visualizations, especially this video briefly illustrating 200 years of global progress toward health and prosperity.  It's optimism for the data-driven set (and is a big hit in my business law classes).

Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Science, Television, Weblogs | Permalink