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View Poll Results: What score did you get?
13 - I'm a genius / I cheated by knowing the facts already 4 6.90%
12 5 8.62%
11 5 8.62%
10 6 10.34%
9 4 6.90%
8 2 3.45%
7 4 6.90%
6 3 5.17%
5 5 8.62%
4 5 8.62%
3 7 12.07%
2 4 6.90%
1 1 1.72%
0 2 3.45%
I did the poll for Planet X 1 1.72%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 31st August 2019, 01:12 AM   #1
angrysoba
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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.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)

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Old 31st August 2019, 01:18 AM   #2
Molinaro
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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!
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:25 AM   #3
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Molinaro View Post
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.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:29 AM   #4
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Link is good now.
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:31 AM   #5
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Molinaro View Post
Link is good now.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:40 AM   #6
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12 out of 13. I'm not quite a genius.

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Old 31st August 2019, 08:21 AM   #7
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100%. OK I am a genius (by testing) but I also know quite a lot about the world.
Pretty straightforward.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 31st August 2019, 08:59 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 31st August 2019, 09:07 AM   #9
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Got 9.

Like Mike!, my wrong answers came from overestimating what most would think of as the severity of certain problems.
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Old 31st August 2019, 09:18 AM   #10
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As I already knew, I am stupid. Didn't even get 50% correct. I hate tests with time limits.
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Old 31st August 2019, 12:13 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 31st August 2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
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!
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:00 PM   #13
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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
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
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.
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:10 PM   #15
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Careful the opinion that the world doesn't completely suck and isn't getting worse isn't taken too kindly to around these parts.
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Old 31st August 2019, 01:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
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.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 31st August 2019, 02:01 PM   #17
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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.

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Old 31st August 2019, 02:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
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.
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Old 31st August 2019, 06:00 PM   #19
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I did really badly, and I'm usually good at tests! Yay!!! Things aren't as bad as I thought.
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Old 31st August 2019, 07:58 PM   #20
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I got Hufflepuff.
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You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
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Old 1st September 2019, 12:26 PM   #21
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3 right, I'm oblivous apparently
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Old 1st September 2019, 04:02 PM   #22
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What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?
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Old 1st September 2019, 04:07 PM   #23
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9

Mostly under-estimated life expectancy, vaccinations and thought Rhinos were getting rarer
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Old 1st September 2019, 04:15 PM   #24
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?
It’s still zero.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 1st September 2019, 11:47 PM   #25
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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.


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

Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
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.

Originally Posted by casebro View Post
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...?

Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
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!"

Originally Posted by Carlotta View Post
I did really badly, and I'm usually good at tests! Yay!!! Things aren't as bad as I thought.
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.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 2nd September 2019, 02:17 AM   #26
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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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 02:20 AM   #27
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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
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Old 2nd September 2019, 02:53 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
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.)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd September 2019, 03:28 AM   #29
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5 for me and I care as much as I do about that as I do about the state of the world.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 03:37 AM   #30
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
What's my score if I don't care about any of those questions?
Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
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.
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"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 2nd September 2019, 04:28 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 04:33 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
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.
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Everything is possible, but not everything is probable.
For if a man pretend to me that God hath spoken to him supernaturally, and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce to oblige me to believe it. Hobbes
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Old 2nd September 2019, 04:35 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 06:47 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The white rhino is more or less extinct. Just as well he asked how the black rhino is going.
All rhino lives matter!
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Old 2nd September 2019, 07:11 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
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/
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Old 2nd September 2019, 07:16 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 07:36 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
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?
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Old 2nd September 2019, 08:53 AM   #38
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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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 09:32 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
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.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 09:45 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
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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