"After he arrived in Monrovia, Rosling started by doing simple things, such as proofreading the ministry's epidemiological reports, which he says nobody had time for. He changed an important detail in the updates: Rather than listing "0 cases" for counties that had not reported any numbers—which could be misleading—he left them blank. Next, he tackled the problem behind the missing data. Some health care workers couldn't afford to call in their reports, because they were paying the phone charges themselves; Rosling set up a small fund to pay for scratch cards that gave them airtime."
Rosling says he's tired of the portrayal of Africa as a continent of incompetence, superstition, and rampant corruption. “I am astonished how good people are that I work with here, how dedicated, how serious,” he says. When The New York Times reported that governmental infighting was hampering the Ebola response, Rosling tweeted: “Don McNeil misrepresents Liberia’s EBOLA-response to win the MOST INCORRECT ARTICLE ABOUT EBOLA AWARD.” His self-assurance and impatience with opinions he disagrees with can grate on others. “I find him quite irritating,” says one Western colleague. “Mostly because he turns out to be right about most things.”
That last line is the ultimate compliment.
He will be missed.
Also, with the shifting and opening of roles for women, education of children plummeted because "teacher" used to be the most acceptable role for an educated woman, and quality dropped dramatically when the most talented women funelled into the economy to become scientists, doctors, lawyers, etc. It's a serious question, this is a real "technical debt" style tradeoff, and it's not a question of "pay teachers better" or "treat them differently", it's a quality question (this view is not popular within teachers' organizations)
Just nitpicking your argument here. I think there are empirical studies looking at things like impact of teacher pay, teacher prestige in society, teacher selection etc on student learning; and teacher pay doesn't actually have that much of an impact (and neither does class size). But I would need to look that up to be sure.
I mean, alright, I get it- it can save time and all. But personally, I can't think of a context where I wouldn't find the association of washing machines with women to be humiliating.
You would condemn the women of the world, the poorest of the poor to backbreaking work because you won't identify with reality?
Even amongst the ultra rich, aka you (given you are on HN, most likely), women do more house work.
Yet you expect people who dedicate their lives to the ultra poor and get things done to be careful of your sensibilities?
Well duh, of course not. The solution is to change their societies so that they don't have to be the ones who do all the bloody washing. Until then, selling them washing machines is primarily of benefit to the people who sell them the washing machines.
I'm a Ghanaian/German and my wife is a house wife.
Indeed, I go to work while she stays at home to clean, cook and take care of the kids.
The point is, it's her choice to do so. Because she doesn't work, we can't afford to get help. And she prefers to take care of her kids herself at this young age (oldest is 4).
Does that mean we need to change so I leave work and come help her with the washing?
Well, I bought her a washing machine due to the sheer volume of laundry my kids generate in a day so she doesn't have to, on top of her other chores spend her whole time washing.
Now she has more time to study as she's done with chores sooner and is less tired after doing them.
The split of roles is mostly a necessary evil in our part of the world.
Mothers are some better suited to taking care of their children than fathers are. Slice it whatever way you want, it's a fact of nature.
Our realities are different, sometimes I wish people would understand that.
>> The split of roles is mostly a necessary evil in our part of the world.
Yeah, sorry but I don't believe that. If you want to say that there's a great
deal of social reform that's needed before women and men have the same
opportunitites in life, and there's no reason to "split roles" so that women
stay at home and do the washing and men go to work, then fine. But that it's
"necessary" anywhere, I don't accept that. It's no more necessary in Ghana,
than it is in the UK.
And btw, I'm an immigrant to the UK. I'm originally from Greece which is a
very traditional country, so I'm very familiar with the alleged social
necessity of keeping women home with their washing machines. It doesn't make
sense in Greece, it doesn't make sense in the UK, and I'm pretty sure it's
just an excuse in Ghana also.
> I'm very familiar with the alleged social necessity of keeping women home with their washing machines.
I think you missed the point where I mentioned it was her choice to stay at home and take care of the kids.
No where did I try to advance an argument to keep women at home with their washing, rather, I tried to explain that for most people, they have no choice, and this lack of choice doesn't mean they should continue to do it manually.
You speak about it being an excuse. Again, basing this on your reality. One that has only experienced western culture and life styles.
In a region where much of the population is poor, and the only jobs available to them are hard and laborious with long hours, you have no option but to leave that kind of work to the men.
So yes, it is indeed a necessity to many of these people to split their roles and not just an excuse to lord it over the women as you try to make it sound.
The reason this is difficult to end is due to the difficulty in ending the underlying cause itself, mostly poverty.
I disagree with the view that the washing machine, and other domestic labor-saving devices, haven't been deeply beneficial for hundreds of millions of women, even though it is still a mistake that we still see doing the laundry as a job for women. I disagree because changing cultures is really hard and really slow, while changing technology is, by comparison, incredibly easy and fast. And it is absolutely better to make easy, fast changes, whenever that is possible, than to sneer at them because they do not solve the underlying problem. They still solve some part of the problem. Sometimes to a significant degree. That matters: billions of hours of trivial human labor have been saved, many of them going instead to the leisure, study, and thought necessary to move people toward the real solution.
Have you seen the work men do in poor countries?
Do you really expect women to be doing this work and the man stays at home doing house work?
I do see women carrying huge bags of concrete, masonry, pulling carts along occasionally.
And I find it heart breaking. It's body ruining as a man, for women to be doing it is an even lower level of poverty that they are at.
There is a lot of 'let them eat cake' going on here.
Where there's no option, you have to split the roles.
And where you split the roles, you can't make one party burdened unnecessarily.
Problem: women are treated as domestic slaves.
Solution: get them domestic appliances.
Well that's just ridiculous.
Have you ever done all your laundry by hand? I have, and it's a MASSIVE waste of time. As long as someone in the family has to do it manually (along with cooking with fire, carrying water, sweeping, etc), it will keep someone in the home to do all that work.
You should definitely actually watch the video. It's only 10 minutes.
Yes, I have. Why is it the women that have to do it- by hand, or otherwise?
His passion shined through in the videos he made, which any non-expert could understand.
For some context: Hans is famous here for his fantastic series of TED talks which cover population growth, poverty and development.
Totally changed (well, confirmed) my world view.
I can also recommend the Planet Money podcast which covered tshirts. It changed my mind about the whole globalization and child labour story. The textile industry is the first step towards industrialization, and despite the abuses it's a net positive for humanity. More so when you consider the systemic pressure of the charities which work for better conditions.
The only counter argument is global warming: development means more energy usage, which means more warming. Certain groups know this, and would prefer that 80% of the world's population live a Victorian lifestyle so we can keep enjoying ours.
It's clear to me that if our generation can solve the energy problem then the driving factors behind most of the human-world problems go away.
This episode goes into detail iirc: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2013/12/03/247360855/two-s...
Or here is the direct link on Vimeo
Vila i frid, professor Rosling.
The difference between the worldviews are which facts are emphasized, shared and deemed culturally relevant.
You can make pretty much any movie "based on a true story."
Ever since I heard Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture", I take notice when people die from pancreatic cancer, which a decade later, is still basically a death sentence.
And that's unlikely to change given how late symptoms show and how benign they seem.
Compare with most thyroid cancer. Stage IV 5 year survival rate 50%.
The problem of that method is the number of false positives, and that pancreatic isn't a hugely common cancer, just a really lethal one.
> I'm not sure why you'd simply throw up your hands in defeat.
Now what the bloody fuck are you talking about? Looking at the situation objectively is not "throwing up my hands in defeat".
That being said I do not think my thoughts above lessens his work. I have deep respect for his vision and what he strived to achieve.
This was a position held only by the nationalistic (and at least partially racist) political party Sverigedemokraterna, but I think he simply looked at the numbers and saw that the cost for refugees in Sweden is at least 5 (10?) times higher than UNHCR's total budget, while helping only 1-2% of the number of refugees compared to what UNHCR administers.
If I remember correctly, he might have mentioned that at a big fundraiser supporting immigration which was a truth no one wanted to hear, as the "story" as told by media at the time conveyed that the middle east and Africa is inhabitable in general, without exception.
He was remarkably absent in the news after that, almost like an embarrassed silence, but I guess he probably was diagnosed with his illness less than 6 months after that, so I might have been over-interpreting the coincidence.
I might add that Sweden is a very small country with a very strong group-mentality in regards to political ideas and opinions ( and other areas, like fashion).
Political triangulation would have arrived at almost unrestricted immigration at the time.
... and yet here we have the main political editor of the largest Swedish tabloid (aka main representative of the people who feel rather than think):
wherein she basically reclaims his legacy for her own use. This is.. rich.
So stop pretending he meant anything else.
Rosling's real argument was that we should fix the accounting behind it all, and to also give more foreign aid.
Does anyone have a citation for this, I'm not able to find anything on google.
He quotes 10 SEK / day compared to 500 SEK per day.
He is a bit defensive and says that he his not arguing against helping people in Sweden, just that Sweden as a consequence is NOT spending the money elsewhere.
It's pretty shocking that no one seems to have done any kind of a financial analysis on helping refugees in their local region vs helping them after migrating to western countries, you'd think that would be one of the first steps.
"We have failed to help where the amount of refugees are highest, in the areas of Syria, Iraq, etc. There we contribute through UNHCR with 10-15 SEK per day, whereas the cost in Sweden is 500 SEK per refugee. And we want people who come here to have a decent life, so I have nothing against that, but..."
And so on.
As you might see it is unclear whether he means Sweden/Swedes only gives 10-15 SEK per day to UNHCR, or whether he's saying a refugee in those camps does cost 10-15 SEK per day. Whatever he meant, as soon as he said this, he was "forgotten" in Swedish media because it was the same kind of point that our more protectionistic and border-friendly party aka racist-party, at least if you ask some people, was trying to make.
And really, it would be no surprise that living in a camp in Lebanon would be cheaper than living in Sweden on welfare. Especially since we're not building enough and municipalities are outbidding private capital to get housing for refugees.
I was just going to answer your question regarding the quote, but I got a bit involved in descibing the Swedish state of affairs ;) Rosling was only trying to show people the most effective way of helping other people. And I do assume he based his arguments on facts, as it was how he usually did things.
Meanwhile a single fact should be enough to convince the naysayers: the fact that the expected extra costs (that is, above the already budgeted costs) for migration into Sweden [2 - Swedish] is double the total budget of UNHCR , the UN commission responsible for helping refugees all over the world. For that money Sweden took in about 163.000 people (refugees and economic migrants who pose as such). UNHCR is responsible for 60 million refugees. Part of the increased costs for migration into Sweden are taken from the budget for international help and co-operation so the effect is even stronger that way.
This comparison is meaningless without comparing what help they get and standard of living
It is no problem to help financing the already existing UNHCR funded missions in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, etc that all are close neighbors to conflict zones.
Perhaps surprisingly, as it is not following the narrative conveyed by media, it is also possible to help internal refugees for instance in Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and even parts of Syria.
UNHCR also funds alternatives to refugee camps, and could spend much more money on integration, schools, healthcare in those sites.
The syrian refugees probably have a much higher chance of joining the economy in any country in the Middle East compared to Sweden, since the outlook for them is very bleak getting a job in one of the most demanding and competitive job markets in the world.
The drivers to get to northern Europe is more likely the social welfare systems, free healthcare, and free education for children, rather than jobs.
So how do you solve that as a humanitarian mission? Set up a permanent camp with its own welfare economy, sort of like a 'humanitarian special economic zone'?
One of the challenges with charity, though, is that you don't just want to spend the $10 optimally -- you also need to go back and tell your donors what you did with the $10, and convince them that they should give you $20 next year.
Interesting how people work sometimes.
He made some claims about the schengen directive about what responsibilities of travel companies have that did not really hold water. Also, he repeatedly confused migrant with refugee(classic beginner mistake).
However he started to nuance his critique later and came to unpopular opinion that the Swedish migration system is severely flawed.
Government of Sweden uses funds that is budgeted to foreign aid to pay for immigration. Biggest receiver of Swedish foreign aid is a Swedish county (yes, true).
Using foreign aid to fund immigration is something done both by the political parties of the right and the left.
Rosling said that using foreign aid money for expenses at home is just wrong. Foreign aid should go to regions in distress. Funds for immigration should be taken from other less important areas and/or increased taxes.
At this time almost only the Swedendemocrats(controversal anti-immigration party)criticized the migration system with basically the same argument, help migrants/refugees at their home region. Help many more at a cheaper cost (Sweden is expensive).
At this time in Swedish politics all of the other political parties tried to boycott the Swedendemocrats with the infamous December treaty (basically a pact to block elected members of parlament from the Swedendemocrats to have a say in any question).
To have a very famous and popular personality with a huge cult following say this during this time of Swedish history didn't go well at all with the establishment and he was less and less seen in public debates.
Rosling was of course not a Swedendemocrat, he was a liberal (European definition) and probably did not agree much with Swedendemocrats in other issues except foreign aid. However in todays debate climate where you have to buy everyone's opinion wholesale this didn't work so well for him.
Rest in peace Hans. You did fantastic work with your studies on poverty and global health. Farväl.
This opinion seems fairly popular to me, do you have a source for it?
At this time all political parties, except Sweden democrats, was de facto running on a Green party migration policy, inherited from former prime minister Reinfeldt (Moderates), who made an unholy alliance between the Right and the Greens to block any political influence from the Sweden democrats.
True is that the Green party had previously criticized the policy of using foreign aid to fund immigration costs. However when they came into power fall 2014 they accepted it and made into law.
It was not until a year later the Moderates starting to shift away from that policy.
During this time in September 2015, current Prime minister, Löfven, had a some sort a political "jippo" (show/spectacle) as a tour around Sweden called "Sweden Together", with all the top government bosses, where they claimed Swedish culture does not exists at all and open border policy is the way to go. In a speech around the same time Prime minister Löfven stated that "My Europe does not build any walls". About one month later, in the middle of November, same prime minster Löfven introduced strict border controls.
Discussion panel with Hans Rosling where he tells his biggest challenge was to explain to people that the leader of the Sweden Democrats have been correct all along with regards to foreign aid. Because remember for each migrant/refugee coming to Sweden, aid is removed for a few thousands abroad because it was using the same funds. So both prime minister Reinfeldt and Löfven declarations of humanity was not true. It is always unpopular to declare that emperor is naked.
So yes, It was unpopular at the time Rosling said it, especially giving such a controversial party as Sweden democrats recognition.
It was unpopular then, but have starting become popular now.
Late edit: to clarify, it was an unpopular opinion at the time Rosling said it, however if he had said it today, it probably have beeen a different reaction, the unpopular opinion have starting to become popular.
Swedish politics and Swedish media (press and 'entertainment') are ever so slowly waking up to the fact that the 'åsiktskorridor' - a system of political correctness and self-censorship, literally "opinion corridor" - they created is crumbling.
He did not agree with them about that either. SD used that rethoric, but their actual policy was to substantially lower foreign aid.
Opposition parties base their proposed budgets on the official budget. If the official budget uses budgetary loop holes, it will look weird when a proposed budget corrects that post, if you don't know what it actually represents.
Rosling have publicly stated that SD is correct on foreign aid.
Rosling position how high the foreign aid should be, I don't know, however I do know that he was more of a pro-trade person. Remember, Rosling was European liberal, historically they are very pro-trade.
Please to the next time, read what I actually wrote and not just spam links without making an argument against what I wrote.
I only waved hello to him, but was very lucky to spend time with the Gapminder/Trendalyzer folks in B41 (his son Ola, Anna and Henrik), before they moved back to Stockholm. My thoughts go out to Ola and Anna. :-(
The way data is presented means if the audience understands it and is interested versus simply saying good job and moving on.
Check out his presentations: https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_... (to showcase just one)
A quick article: https://singularityhub.com/2016/06/27/why-the-world-is-bette...
Hans Rosling's Gapminder website: https://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-end-poverty/
The Website 'Our World In Data': https://ourworldindata.org/
Some books that go into the world facts in detail: https://twitter.com/sapinker/status/814855168793554944.
Who's going to carry on his amazing work now...
Rest in Power big homie. May the facts be with us.
Yes, I agree, he will be missed.
Now hearing that he passed in the meantime is very sad indeed. What a great man.
A more inspiring and constructive individual I have never encountered.
This is a loss with a larger impact than most.
Also fuck cancer.
Heartfelt love and condolences to his family.
He could explain very complex issues in a way everyone could understand. Something that is need more than ever now in the age of fake news and alternative facts...
In all seriousness though, sorry to hear he passed. He's done a lot of good work and was still quite 'young'.
His story is inspirational.