Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Hans Rosling has died (gapminder.org)
846 points by anc84 on Feb 7, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments

Most readers only know him as a statistician, gapminder (which he founded) and the ted talks but he also had a medical background and was prepared to go straight to work during the Ebola outbreak in Monrovia. He called and jumped right in.


"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.

The view on Africa is doubly sad I believe, because it reinforces the psychological bias that African immigrants are worthless, coming from natural resource only places; which in turns I'm sure fuels the racism from Caucasians in Europe. Even if a French "hate" an English, he knows the two are similar and so cannot think himself above much.

My favorite video of his: A huge chunk of the women in the world spend a depressing amount of their time washing clothes. The washing machine has done more for women than anything else: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_...

that idea is an old idea predating Rosling, that the automation or labor-saving in the home and, more or less at the same time, women working in factories while the men fought WWII, was what led to women being recognized as "economically capable" and having a lot of free time as soon as they were done baby booming.

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)

Paying teachers better might attract more people to become teachers instead of lawyers?

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.

Perhaps not from lawyer specifically, since that tends to be a much more ambitious goal, but yes in general.

I find this [1] one quite amazing as well.

1: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_y...

There was actually a guy in the washing machine, that just made me completely fall in love with that talk and I already liked it a lot.

Actually a woman!

I'll confess I don't know who Hans Rosling was, but if that's what he really said, I can't muster much admiration for him. What is really depressing is that "a huge chunk of women in the world" are expected to do the washing, while the men are working or getting an education etc. Having a machine do the washing for you under the circumstances simply frees your time so you can spend it in more house chores. After all, there's not a big difference between "woman, go to your washing" and "woman, go to your washing machine".

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.

I find this statement horrific.

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?

And I, in turn, find your outrage misplaced. I am certainly in no position to condemn anyone to anything. Most women in most of the world are in a social situation that forces them to be domestic slaves. So what's the solution to that? To automate their domestic slavery, by buying them washing machines?

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.

When I read statements like this, I realise how detached many people are from the African reality.

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.

I don't know what nature has to do with anything- is it any different for people in Africa, than in the UK, where I live? Over here men are expected to help with all the house chores - dishes, cleaning up, washing, you name it. And that includes taking care of the children. For instance, it's very common to see lone dads out with their toddlers in a pram, or a sling around their neck.

>> 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.

You don't have to believe it for it to be true.

> 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 agree with your basic sentiment, that it's wrong that we so often assume that housework is women's work, and that it would be better if that gender expectation were not taken as a fundamental given.

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.

> that it's wrong that we so often assume that housework is women's work

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.

Exactly the same argument I advanced to @YeGoblynQueenne.

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.

No, I think what's going on here is "let them use washing machines".

Like- Problem: women are treated as domestic slaves. Solution: get them domestic appliances.

Well that's just ridiculous.

> Until then, selling them washing machines is primarily of benefit to the people who sell them the washing machines

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.

>> Have you ever done all your laundry by hand? I have, and it's a MASSIVE waste of time.

Yes, I have. Why is it the women that have to do it- by hand, or otherwise?

Professor Rosling is just the type of man we would need in todays political landscape. A character with a strong belief in verifiable facts and using those facts to change the world for the better.

And, almost more importantly, the creativity to think about how to communicate those facts to a large audience.

It is, we need a list of such persons, and entice them the spread the knowledge.

Importantly, a very strong communicator of scientific work.

His passion shined through in the videos he made, which any non-expert could understand.

Sad day. RIP.

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.

Start here:


Great presentation, thanks for sharing it. Are there any others you recommend?

Check the other ones posted in this thread :)

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.

Do you happen to know which podcast in particular? A quick Google search revealed several. Was there a specific one featuring Rosling?

He presented an excellent 1 hour BBC documentary in 2010 called The Joy of Stats which is available on the Gapminder website


Or here is the direct link on Vimeo


Thanks! He is like the David Attenborough of stats!

Ironically, David Attenborough is an 'overpopulation' alarmist and misanthrope of the exact type that Hans Rosling was always arguing against.

Sad day for all of us who value a fact-based worldview in these dark days of rising nationalism and euroscepticism.

Vila i frid, professor Rosling.

I want to be clear here: nationalism and euroskepticism are also fact-based worldviews.

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."

Please don't drag that into every unrelated thread

Hans Rosling was an outspoken proponent of globalization and specifically criticized the idea of a past when things were great.

While I think I can appreciate your sentiment in general (esp. technology) discussion, in this case it is really misplaced.

Very sad. Another victim of pancreatic cancer. A couple of months ago, astronaut Piers Sellers died from it.

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.


> 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.

Also that for whatever reason pancreatic cancer tends to be very aggressive. One-year relative survival rate is 20%, and the five-year rate is 7%

Compare with most thyroid cancer. Stage IV 5 year survival rate 50%.

It could change with easier screening methods.

...or you could find a way to detect it earlier. I'm not sure why you'd simply throw up your hands in defeat. It's not an unsolvable problem, just a difficult one.


> ...or you could find a way to detect it earlier.

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".

Yeah, pancreatic, esophageal, anything with a "glio" prefix... time to get your affairs in order.

I feel that the last round of attention Rosling got in Sweden gave the impression of a man determined to see ONLY good. But I do think this feeling got elevated by everyone else parroting uncritically everything he said taking it as the utter truth, and proof that anyone not thinking the exact same were crazy idiots. I guess it also connects to my aversion for simplification and fear of how easy some people seem to take anything at face value.

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.

My impression is he disappeared from the spotlight after a rise to fame. Never understood why. Maybe his illness? Or that some of his facts actually were inconvenient.

I think lately his illness, but I think he peaked in popularity just before he stated his belief that it is multiple times (100 times?) more efficient to help refugees from the Middle East and Africa in their home countries or local region rather than he to help them in Sweden.

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.

I agree wholeheartedly. He made this "mistake" of stating correct facts in a broken debate that is emotional. And like clockwork the Swedish "establishment" shut him out of the spotlight.

... 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.

That was almost like 1984. Surrealistic to come from someone that have dismissed "numbers" and "statistics" (with quotes) as irrelevant distractions from the emotional narrative.

How about let him speak for himself?


Those articles are spin written as damage control by a leftist journalist with a political agenda and a think tank, respectively, and does not let the man speak himself.

He did speak for himself. "We can help people everywhere" is his literal words. He said outright he don't think migration needs to be stopped.

So stop pretending he meant anything else.

This is pretty inaccurate. He didn't say we should stop accepting immigrants or significantly cut the immigration.



Rosling's real argument was that we should fix the accounting behind it all, and to also give more foreign aid.

> he stated his belief that it is multiple times (100 times?) more efficient to help refugees from the Middle East and Africa in their home countries or local region rather than he to help them in Sweden.

Does anyone have a citation for this, I'm not able to find anything on google.

I don't know your Swedish skills, but here is a follow up interview: https://www.svd.se/man-hade-kunnat-salja-asylratten-for-20-0...

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.

Unfortunately my Swedish skills are nonexistent....so was that basically a direct quote, 10 SEK / day to house a refugee in a camp vs 500 SEK / day to accommodate them in Sweden?

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.

I'm a native Swede. What he says in that interview is

"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.

Interesting, thanks for the translation as well as your perspective!

That kind of analysis has been done and occasionally is done again in Sweden by proponents of 'local help' versus immigration. Unfortunately those who do this type of analysis are immediately stamped with a 'racist' stamp in Sweden - or, if 'racist' does not work because the author happens to be an immigrant him- or herself (e.g. Tino Sanandaji [1], an Iranian-Swedish economist who publishes on these subjects) terms like 'husblatte' (translates more or less to 'Uncle Tom') are used - and the research is deemed tainted by a large majority of politicians and media. This is unfortunate as it makes it close to impossible to base policy on objective information on these subjects. Cracks are starting to appear in the façade of 'correctness' but this process is slow and problematic.

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 [3], 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.

   [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tino_Sanandaji
   [2] http://www.svt.se/nyheter/ekonomi/migrationen-kostar-mer-an-hela-forsvaret
   [3] http://www.unhcr.org/partners/donors/558a639f9/contributions-unhcr-budget-year-2015-31-december-2015.html

I wonder if part of the reason why there is so little analysis of such a mainstream and expensive problem is that it could be career suicide to get the wrong answers in your study.

Yes, that is a large part of the problem. A single 'wrong' move can be career-ending.

> 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.

This comparison is meaningless without comparing what help they get and standard of living

I think 'implementation details' are important though. What was Rosling's vision for Sweden in particular or the UN in general to do massively more help right there in the Levant? Don't refugees flee because of direct threats to their life an/or because their lifelihood got obliterated? Wouldn't 'help them in their home country' basically mean a ground invasion as a first step?

Not really.

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.


My point is, would it really be as simple as just financing these missions, i.e. is money actually the limiting factor? I was under the impression that (a) the political situation in these locations and (b) actual boots on the ground to secure these places are what's limiting the efforts. Furthermore, this doesn't seem to take the economic situation under consideration. Say you've set up a well run refugee camp in Jordan, with all the safety and comforts needed for a few hundred thousand Syrians or so. Now what? Syria will take many years to be a safe home for them again, if ever considering that Assad seems to be fully regaining control (which again is due to a lack of concerted military intervention as far as I see it). Most Syrian refugees certainly want a way to join the economy again, and Europe still seems their best bet - so a well run camp may smoothen the process, but I'd argue they'd still show up in European countries sooner or later, with roughly the same funds needed.

Yes, UNHCR is short on money.

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.

> 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'?

That's a good point, if you're going to set up the camps, you also better have a plan to liberate the country so the people can eventually return.

A safe zone, most likely in a neighboring country would definitely be a pre-requisite.

You can look at GiveWell's analysis, or look at the work done by GiveDirectly and Watsi.

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.

I'm not able to find any comparison numbers, I wonder if that's something they actually analyze.

Out of interest which of his facts would be considered inconvenient? I'm familiar with his talks and work but only at a shallow level

He talked about how the gender balance in Swedish teens approached China's, because of the uneven immigration with a big male majority among immigrants aged 13-17. This was during a time when everyone that had anything critical to say about immigration was branded a racist by some in the media, and embraced as heroes by others. All he did was quote statistics.



Yes, he was more or less discarded by the same people who previously hailed him as a 'God' when he was saying something positive about immigration.

Interesting how people work sometimes.

People seek out info to confirm their beliefs, it's not a friendly world to other Hans Roslings out there trying to stand up for objective truth.

Rosling started to participate in the migration debate in Sweden and made a classic error, borrowing is doctors degree and professor title into areas outside of hes expertise.

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.

> unpopular opinion that the Swedish migration system is severely flawed.

This opinion seems fairly popular to me, do you have a source for it?

Rosling made his statements late September, early October 2015. This was about the same time December treaty was formally dissolved (not in practice though).

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.

That wasn't quite what he meant.


Clarification needed.

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.

It was popular back then as well but anyone who spoke out in favour of restricting migration was labelled a 'racist'. This still happens but the term has been overused so much that it is losing its potency.

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.

> probably did not agree much with Swedendemocrats in other issues except foreign aid.

He did not agree with them about that either. SD used that rethoric, but their actual policy was to substantially lower foreign aid.

No, not really. You have to remember that the official foreign aid budget includes a 8 billion SEK post used by migration system. So when SD removes that 8 billion SEK it looks like net loss, however it was never used for foreign aid anyway. Also they add half of that amount to refugee help (UNHCR), so net plus is 4 billion SEK.

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.

Wrong. I never claimed that, thats why I explicitly wrote that they agreed on foreign aid, I never wrote that they agreed on migration in general. Rosling was pro migration.

Please to the next time, read what I actually wrote and not just spam links without making an argument against what I wrote.

A sad day indeed. One of his TED talks changed my career forever:


Every medicine student should watch that video to understand how much a proper presentation of data might change your vision about a subject.

I saw him give a variant of this talk at Google, it was very powerful. The world has lost a great teacher.

He actually had a green badge for a while. That's normally associated with interns, but it's also given to visiting scientists. Something about that was just funny.

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. :-(

Could you elaborate?

Just seeing his presentation here, the most I can take away for my career is presentation.

The way data is presented means if the audience understands it and is interested versus simply saying good job and moving on.

So sad, this guy was amazing and very enlightening in an era of misinformation.

Check out his presentations: https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_... (to showcase just one)

Very sad. We need more like him to help us understand the true state of the world we live in today. And if you look at the data, like he did, the world is trending upward very well:

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.

For me, he both made me discover TED and be disappointed with every other TED video!

Who's going to carry on his amazing work now...

Me and a friend participated in the Node Knockout 2011, we had decided to build a rap lyrics analytics engine and we called it Rapminder. The day before the hackathon started I ran into Hans Rosling right outside of our office and got his blessing. Serendipity.


Rest in Power big homie. May the facts be with us.

A sad day, indeed. I will miss his creative and entertaining ways of showing how the world is getting better. Especially in these dark times.

Aw man. What a loss! Hans is the guy that gave me eyes to see statistics as something beautiful and exciting. I still remember the first time I saw his TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_y...

Hans Rosling truly changed the way I view information, and the world. A great loss indeed.

Pancreatic cancer has taken the majority of people I know that have died from cancer. A horrible way to go.

My favorite video of his is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo.

Also my favorite - over 100 years of improvements in health and wealth.

Sad news, his visualizations and approach to communication were the first to get me interested in this field.

I remember meeting him in Algeria, where he gave a speak on various economic data of every country and the expected changes in the future with some focus on Africa, it was such an inspiring speech, he has a way to make the data come alive.

Thanks you, Hans, for your excellent & inspiring work. I salute you!

Goodbye Hans. You will be sorely missed.

Well, let's not just assume that. Let's collect some data and see...


Yes, I agree, he will be missed.

black bar, please?

Wow, I still have this tab open for weeks with an article about him that i wanted to read: http://www.nature.com/news/three-minutes-with-hans-rosling-w...

Now hearing that he passed in the meantime is very sad indeed. What a great man.

Awful news. I just started getting into his work and will be sure to watch some of his TED talks this evening in his honor.


A more inspiring and constructive individual I have never encountered. This is a loss with a larger impact than most.

This is on of his TED talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVimVzgtD6w

Also fuck cancer.

What a loss to humanity. This man's lectures and explanations of population growth epitomized hope for me. Empathy in motion!

Heartfelt love and condolences to his family.

This is very sad.

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...


Why do so many good people die from terrible ailments, while the evil ones like Dick Cheney keep having dozens of heart attacks and keep ticking on?

Now what're the chances of that...

In all seriousness though, sorry to hear he passed. He's done a lot of good work and was still quite 'young'.

Truly a great loss, but his style and enthusiasm will endure! I'll never forget the first time I watched him speed up the world..

Wow, that was a surprise. I remember seeing him on TV not too long ago, no idea he was already ill at that time... A sad day.

I will always remember his advocacy to teach, share and contribute knowledge. Amazing talks too. Sad and shocking day

One of great humans that will be missed by millions. It's a shock that he is no longer a part of our world.

Had the honor to see a talk of him live at the TEDSalon in Berlin 2014. Very inspiring. Great loss. RIP Hans

What a loss! Seeing his TED talks did make an impact on me. He truly was an inspiring person.

Sad sad day! He seemed to have boundless energy in his talks, did not expect this...

A man with a wonderful mix of wit, intellect and humanity, he will be missed.

What a sad day. I will miss his way of making facts really exciting

Sad day. I will always remember his talks at TED. RIP.

I truly hate cancer.

This person inspires me, very sad day.

I am filled with sadness about this.

Very sad news. He inspired me.

Sad day :(

His story is inspirational.

Wow. This was so unexpected. This hit me surprisingly hard. I guess I expected him to teach us about important misunderstood things for like 20 more years or so.

Yah, my thoughts exactly. Such a big loss for humanity. :( At least we have his son to carry on - there's still a lot of work to be done.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact