Gustavo Ballvé on December 29th, 2010
Food for thought, Home, Investment Themes, Mental models, Portfolio Management, Science

Our hopes for mankind were renewed when we received a great suggestion by a reader today. Better yet, this reader has sent great stuff before and this is no exception. Keep those suggestions coming! We have the full BBC documentary with global health professor Hans Rosling inside, but here’s the impressive 4-minute trailer. There’s more on Hans Rosling and data visualization inside, including tips on how to build your own presentation with this data.

First, our usual word of caution regarding skepticism, this time from a previous post at called “Time Perspectives“: “In fact, it’s downright scary how the ‘coolness’ of the presentation can lead one to ‘lower one’s guard’ to data that’s not necessarily accurate or that answers not necessarily the right questions. (…) here’s a quote that applies to the case at hand: ‘One of the most untruthful things possible, you know, is a collection of facts, because they can be made to appear so many different ways.’ “

The Economist’s Babbage blog recently published a “Greatest Hits by Hans Rosling” listing many of his popular presentations, TED or not. There’s also a link to an Economist magazine profile on him (actually the latter inspired the former).

As promised, here’s the full-length, 59-minute BBC documentary The Joy of Stats:

Hans Rosling doesn’t sit still. Besides his teaching job at the Karolinska Institute, his Gapminder foundation is a very interesting project in data gathering/ transparency/ visualization. In fact, you can build your own graph like the one in the trailer right here, for free. Here’s a video on how to use this data:

There’s also a 57-minute swedish documentary on Mr. Rosling (subtitles in English):

Last but not least, an impressive video on data visualization, from a TED talk by David McCandless:

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