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-   -   The State of the World: Take the Test (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=338579)

angrysoba 31st August 2019 01:12 AM

The State of the World: Take the Test
 
Some of you may have heard of Hans Rosling. He was a Swedish academic and global health expert.

He devised a test for asking people how bad they thought the state of the world was.

Take the test and post your results here in the poll.

Go on!

Take the test here.

Then, once you have done that, have a look at these fascinating bubble graphs about the state of the world.

You can choose a country, and you can also look at how the world has changed through the years.

Molinaro 31st August 2019 01:18 AM

Your test link dropped me into the quiz with three quarters of it already answered. I was only given 3 questions and then it told me I had got nearly a dozen answers wrong!

angrysoba 31st August 2019 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molinaro (Post 12804327)
Your test link dropped me into the quiz with three quarters of it already answered. I was only given 3 questions and then it told me I had got nearly a dozen answers wrong!

Yikes!

Let me see if I can fix it.

Molinaro 31st August 2019 01:29 AM

Link is good now.

angrysoba 31st August 2019 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Molinaro (Post 12804334)
Link is good now.

:thumbsup:

Matthew Best 31st August 2019 01:40 AM

12 out of 13. I'm not quite a genius.

catsmate 31st August 2019 08:21 AM

100%. OK I am a genius (by testing) but I also know quite a lot about the world.
Pretty straightforward.

Mike! 31st August 2019 08:59 AM

I'm lucky to know how to breath and walk at the same time, apparently, having only got 2 correct. I'm also reassured to know the world isn't nearly as screwed as I'd thought it was.

Distracted1 31st August 2019 09:07 AM

Got 9.

Like Mike!, my wrong answers came from overestimating what most would think of as the severity of certain problems.

wasapi 31st August 2019 09:18 AM

As I already knew, I am stupid. Didn't even get 50% correct. I hate tests with time limits.

casebro 31st August 2019 12:13 PM

Hmmm, interpreting my poor results as well as the nature of the questions, it shows the world to be a better place than I have been indoctrinated to believe.

Or maybe it is a push-poll, with questions chosen for their ability to guide the subject towards "enlightenment"?

To bad we don't have the demographics of our members, THAT might really teach us something. 15 poll responders, only 5 have posted results here.

Childlike Empress 31st August 2019 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casebro (Post 12804747)
To bad we don't have the demographics of our members, THAT might really teach us something. 15 poll responders, only 5 have posted results here.


I am the four in the poll and was conscious while answering the questions that they might trick one into following the common doom scenarios. So if in doubt I choose the middle road only to find that in most of my errors I still erred on side of too much doom.

Good for the Tiger, the Panda and the Nashorn!

isissxn 31st August 2019 01:00 PM

I got a 7, but I still don't really feel any better about the world. The things I'm worried about weren't really covered. I'm worried about how polarized everyone is, the rise of scary flavors of populism, deepfakes, internet radicalization, hackers - stuff like that.

I think we're going to effect our own swift doom because people won't get off the internet and stop fighting with each other.

...I said saucily, on the internet. Hash tag - PartOfTheProblem

AJM8125 31st August 2019 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike! (Post 12804633)
I'm lucky to know how to breath and walk at the same time, apparently, having only got 2 correct. I'm also reassured to know the world isn't nearly as screwed as I'd thought it was.

5 and ditto.

JoeMorgue 31st August 2019 01:10 PM

Careful the opinion that the world doesn't completely suck and isn't getting worse isn't taken too kindly to around these parts.

catsmate 31st August 2019 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12804774)
Careful the opinion that the world doesn't completely suck and isn't getting worse isn't taken too kindly too around these parts.

Really? I think most posters here are cautiously optimistic about the future.

isissxn 31st August 2019 02:01 PM

I would love nothing more than to grow super old in a prosperous, evolving world! Fear and pessimism are not the same thing. I'm just a very fearful and anxious person naturally, and it has gotten much worse in recent years. I don't believe that this change is necessarilly due to world events - I ascribe it more to events in my personal life along with just generalized anxiety. But whatever the ultimate cause, it's become much harder for me to calm down and process things that are happening around me.

I still consider myself an optimist; I'm just scared of my own shadow.


ETA - Basically, I would describe it like this. If I get it into my head that a certain thing could happen, I begin to stress that it will and I cannot stop. It is impossible to reason myself out of the fear, no matter how silly it objectively is. Statistics and things like that have zero effect on such anxieities. Tell me "there's less than a 1% chance of that happening," and I hear, "So you're saying there's a chance!"

I don't think that's pessimism, exactly. I think it's a touch of the cuckoo-bananas.

casebro 31st August 2019 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by isissxn (Post 12804768)
I got a 7, but I still don't really feel any better about the world. The things I'm worried about weren't really covered. I'm worried about how polarized everyone is, the rise of scary flavors of populism, deepfakes, internet radicalization, hackers - stuff like that.

....

Yeah, this ^. I picked up on a flavor to the poll- population pressure, women's education, physical well being (vaccinations, electrification) . NOT the particulars of society and where they are heading. Maybe the Swede is trying to distract us from World Politics? It could not hve been a mistake to leave it out of a poll on The State of the World.

Carlotta 31st August 2019 06:00 PM

I did really badly, and I'm usually good at tests! Yay!!! Things aren't as bad as I thought. :p

TragicMonkey 31st August 2019 07:58 PM

I got Hufflepuff.

Faydra 1st September 2019 12:26 PM

3 right, I'm oblivous apparently

Skeptical Greg 1st September 2019 04:02 PM

What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?

cullennz 1st September 2019 04:07 PM

9

Mostly under-estimated life expectancy, vaccinations and thought Rhinos were getting rarer

angrysoba 1st September 2019 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg (Post 12805411)
What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?

It’s still zero.

angrysoba 1st September 2019 11:47 PM

Looking at the poll results so far, I think people mostly did pretty well.

Hans Rosling has said he devised tests like these when he became astonished by how little people seemed to know about global health - his students, lecture audiences, world leaders etc... In fact, people apparently do so badly on the tests that he says if the answers A, B and C were written on bananas and given to chimpanzees, the chimpanzees would select the correct answer more often than most people.

People do badly on the test because they generally, systematically choose the most pessimistic options because of a negativity bias that might have been created partly due to media coverage, sometimes from campaigners and pressure groups who believe it is not in the interest of their cause to provide anything other than the gloomiest images, or indeed radical ideologues.


Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12804774)
Careful the opinion that the world doesn't completely suck and isn't getting worse isn't taken too kindly to around these parts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 12804782)
Really? I think most posters here are cautiously optimistic about the future.

Yeah, I think a lot of people are familiar with Steven Pinker's book, The Better Angels of Our Nature which is about the decline of violence, and maybe to a much lesser extent with Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist.

It was actually from reading the latter a few years ago that I became aware of the changes in population growth that have been observed and which Hans Rosling has publicized. Suffice to say, the fears of the "Population Bomb" should no longer be taken seriously unless there is a sudden and unexpected change in the world.

The important lessons that Rosling and others have been trying to put forward is that eradicating extreme poverty is the main cause of the slowing down of population growth. This, combined with modern medicine (such as vaccines), better infrastructure and consumer goods mean that children don't die in such large numbers, are not needed for labour, can go to school instead, etc...

If you ever hear anyone say, "Yeah, the problem with modern medicine is that it lets too many people live, which leads to overpopulation", if you can resist slapping them with a wet fish, you can explain that modern medicine does the exact opposite.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike! (Post 12804633)
I'm lucky to know how to breath and walk at the same time, apparently, having only got 2 correct. I'm also reassured to know the world isn't nearly as screwed as I'd thought it was.

Indeed. Don't feel bad about doing worse than a chimpanzee. Be happy the world is getting better.

Quote:

Originally Posted by casebro (Post 12804747)
Hmmm, interpreting my poor results as well as the nature of the questions, it shows the world to be a better place than I have been indoctrinated to believe.

Or maybe it is a push-poll, with questions chosen for their ability to guide the subject towards "enlightenment"?

To bad we don't have the demographics of our members, THAT might really teach us something. 15 poll responders, only 5 have posted results here.

The demographics probably won't tell us very much. In Rosling's book, he shows the basic level of ignorance across countries, and there is not a lot in it. He does note that people in Skandanavian countries tend to do slightly better, but he puts that down to the fact that he is somewhat better known there and has been making these points for decades. Maybe some Swedes, Danes and Norwegians can chime in...?

Quote:

Originally Posted by isissxn (Post 12804768)
I got a 7, but I still don't really feel any better about the world. The things I'm worried about weren't really covered. I'm worried about how polarized everyone is, the rise of scary flavors of populism, deepfakes, internet radicalization, hackers - stuff like that.

I think we're going to effect our own swift doom because people won't get off the internet and stop fighting with each other.

...I said saucily, on the internet. Hash tag - PartOfTheProblem

Ha ha! Yes, Steven Pinker says he got the same replies when he was talking about the decline in violence. He would say, "But people say to me there are still new forms of violence such as bitchy comments on Twitter. That has definitely gone up!"

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlotta (Post 12804949)
I did really badly, and I'm usually good at tests! Yay!!! Things aren't as bad as I thought. :p

Yay!11!

Of course, this is not to say that the whole world has changed for the better in every single way.

Climate Change is a massive problem. There could be antibiotic-resistant superbugs that could cause massive numbers of deaths. Let's not entirely rule out nuclear war, especially when we have our current crop of world leader morons and rabble-rousers.

But the world is improving and far better off than most people think.

kellyb 2nd September 2019 02:17 AM

I got a 10, but I figured angrysoba would only post a quiz demonstrating Pinker's POV, lol.

I'm not really sure I consider India and China middle income countries.
India has an average income of $1670 per year, and for China:

Quote:

The figure shows that China’s average real per capita income is $12,472.51, which is in line with the world median income but far below the world average.
China and India together are 36% of the world population.

Worm 2nd September 2019 02:20 AM

Hans Rosling's TED talk is well worth a view (IMO)

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

dann 2nd September 2019 02:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 12804325)
Then, once you have done that, have a look at these fascinating bubble graphs about the state of the world.

You can choose a country, and you can also look at how the world has changed through the years.


The income level of Cuba in the bubble graph surprised me!
(I didn't do the test.)

bluesjnr 2nd September 2019 03:28 AM

5 for me and I care as much as I do about that as I do about the state of the world.

angrysoba 2nd September 2019 03:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg (Post 12805411)
What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluesjnr (Post 12805756)
5 for me and I care as much as I do about that as I do about the state of the world.

Roll over hipsters! The new cool is indifference to world poverty.

a_unique_person 2nd September 2019 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wasapi (Post 12804643)
As I already knew, I am stupid. Didn't even get 50% correct. I hate tests with time limits.

I know. No time to Google the answer.

a_unique_person 2nd September 2019 04:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kellyb (Post 12805704)
I got a 10, but I figured angrysoba would only post a quiz demonstrating Pinker's POV, lol.

I'm not really sure I consider India and China middle income countries.
India has an average income of $1670 per year, and for China:



China and India together are 36% of the world population.

It's a trick question. The middle income will be in the middle where most people are.

a_unique_person 2nd September 2019 04:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cullennz (Post 12805418)
9

Mostly under-estimated life expectancy, vaccinations and thought Rhinos were getting rarer

The white rhino is more or less extinct. Just as well he asked how the black rhino is going.

TragicMonkey 2nd September 2019 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 12805787)
The white rhino is more or less extinct. Just as well he asked how the black rhino is going.

All rhino lives matter!

Distracted1 2nd September 2019 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 12805787)
The white rhino is more or less extinct. Just as well he asked how the black rhino is going.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/norther...es-2019-08-26/

Roboramma 2nd September 2019 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 12805761)
Roll over hipsters! The new cool is indifference to world poverty.

Yeah, I'm having a hard time understanding the view that those aren't important questions.

casebro 2nd September 2019 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roboramma (Post 12805876)
Yeah, I'm having a hard time understanding the view that those aren't important questions.

There are just more important questions re: the state of the world than the extinction of 3 species, or how much education young women get compared to young men. How about Doomsday clock or world economy?

Foolmewunz 2nd September 2019 08:53 AM

I tried to answer with my actual "opinions" of what the answer would be, but was prepared to find that I'd missed a lot. I got 'em all right!

It's all in how you read the news or tell the news. A couple of them, e.g. 80% of the world having electricity sound high but if you're talking world population that's still a whopping 800 million people without electricity and that's the number one hears in the news.

I didn't sign up for their certificate or to put my face on their wall. No interest in joining.... just about anything.

angrysoba 2nd September 2019 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 12805782)
It's a trick question. The middle income will be in the middle where most people are.

That’s not how the answer should be interpreted. Until a few decades ago, the majority of people in India and China were in extreme poverty. Rosling explains four levels of income and what those levels of income mean for people throughout the world. According to these levels, the world used to be divided into two very starkly different levels of wealth, popularly known as the developed and developing world. Yet these days, there is a very obvious spectrum of wealth with most countries falling in between. His Level 1 countries that represent extreme poverty are counties such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Nepal and a number of African countries. It used to also include China, India, !Bangladesh, South Korea etc...

If you go back far enough on the interactive chart you can see Sweden was once in level 1 - large, illiterate families with no running water and mud floors that froze in winter. That was the Sweden of his great grandmother’s time. He has a chapter called “I was born in Egypt” meaning that when he was born, people in Sweden were roughly as poor as people in Egypt today. He was fished out of an open sewer by his grandmother. His mother had tuberculosis. No one in his family had been to university etc... this was typical for people in Sweden then.

angrysoba 2nd September 2019 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casebro (Post 12805892)
There are just more important questions re: the state of the world than the extinction of 3 species, or how much education young women get compared to young men. How about Doomsday clock or world economy?

The amount of education young women have is usually an indicator of poverty. In places where people have no transportation, or running water, and almost no money, someone has to spend the best part of their day trudging miles to a dirty river to collect water which will probably contain parasites that make the family sick in the long run. With clean water that can be easily accessed, it is possible to do other things such as for the women to get an education and employment other than near-slave-labour or making babies. It makes a huge difference to people in those situations.

You say that the Doomsday clock is more important, but is it really? How often do you check up on the Doomsday clock and worry about nuclear war? If we end up with an exchange of nuclear weapons then I will grant you it is more important, but unless that happens, what real impact does this have on anyone’s life?

As for the world economy, please explain what you mean. By certain measures the world economy is doing very well. You can tell that by the massive change in living standards around the world.


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