Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Joy of Stats

Health, Wealth and Happiness: The Joy of Stats

Hans Rosling's 4 minute summary of global changes in the standard of living over the last 200 years.

Short and memorable - what's the link to utopias?


Dave H.B said...

Interesting to see how the trend in movement of countries from the 'sick and poor' area to the 'rich and healthy' area coincides with arguably the potential death of traditional utopian writing, into dystopian writing and into more modern utopias? For example, how european counties enter the 'rich and healthy' stage, there is arguably no longer need for utopian dreaming? - however can there be an end to utopian writing and dreaming, as there is always room to improve ourselves and society and therefore as we can never reach a utopian state, there is always need to dream of it!? (one of the many questions that had me going round in circles last year ha!).

Meanwhile, the rise in dystopian writing perhaps coincides with the rise in wealth and health of countries as a way of writers/film makers expressing concern at the kind of morality (or lack of) that wealth and the rise in technology can bring to governing bodies. (possibly, I may be waffling here).

Also, how at the end he states that one day we may all be equal and reach the 'rich and healty' area - a utopian thought of the 'sick and poor' of 200 years ago?

Sarah Rees Jones said...

Hi Dave. How are you and what are you doing now?

Just restarting Utopias (III) - amid many real life distractions.

Yes - i agree - but also how do utopias manufacture this transition (to wealth and health) - or is that just wishful thinking?

Dave H.B said...

Hi Sarah. I'm really good thanks, how are you?
Ive maily been in retail, but i've just accepted a job as a management trainee with Enterprise rent-a-car. They are one of the Times top 100, so quite excited!!

Is this going to be the last year of Utopias? (I hope the uni has changed it's mind on this!!)

I dont think it is wishful thinking. I think that, by imagining utopias, it makes us look inwards at ourselves, and also to push ourseleves to reach Utopia, and this manufactures progress.
I guess a crude example of this is the NHS. By trying to reach a society of equality, (and in a health sense, the perfection of humanity), then we manufacture things like the NHS to try and reach that state of perfection. Although we havent reached that state, by trying to reach it, we gain elements of it along the way - i guess it isnt a case of, 1 minute we in in one state, and the next we are in the state of utopia, it is a transition.
(im not sure if any of that made sense!?)