Regardless, it's a great story. Whenever technology (be it Google Earth, or Facebook) makes such a positive impact on someone's life, I find it uplifting.
Somehow Google Earth is often credited for anything involving satellite imagery. He probably actually used Google Maps.
It does not make sense to credit Windows XP nor Internet Explorer, because he might as well have used Firefox on a Mac. But it does make sense to credit the advance of computer technology in general. And I think to a degree that is the subtext of the article.
Can't remember the name of it now though. It seemed mostly like an embarrassingly parallel benchmark designed to make a success story for SQL server.
Here we go: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Research_Maps Microsoft Terraserver since June 1998.
I doubt that without Google's effort, this very valuable database of satellite and aerial photography would be available to everyone.
It is more akin to crediting a library for its content : it did not write it, but gave you access to it.
PS: He remembered the Khandwa train station and surrounding area not a street name and not what the area looked like from space.
Where does this odd thing come at the end of the article?
"The older brother who accompanied Mr Brierley on the train ride was found dead on railway tracks."
Earlier in the article, it was written that Saroo boarded the train after he got lost. No mention of older brother, which made me think he was alone.
Although the article does fail to mention him again until mentioning his death, which seems to warrant more explanation than "guy died on some railway tracks."
This here is just an example of very shoddy editing.
He got separated from his brother and subsequently got lost.
Pure speculation, but it might put your OCD at ease.
Most of the industrialized world can be said to have done that.
Western Europe, Japan, probably Canada too. It is easy* and requires only low levels of corruption, good law and order, combined with mostly free markets. Wealth in terms of natural resources is NOT a requirement, Switzerland is resource wise very poor. (Unless you count scenic views of the Alps as a resource.)
*When I say easy, I mean possible and requires only changes in human behavior - so super hard in fact.
Consider the "curse of oil." Abundant natural resources may make uplifting the wider society difficult. Compare the Middle East with Japan.
Also: the help of a larger, richer friend overseas who is much less concerned with equality.
Also there's very little military projection from the Scandinavian countries for example.
And I am not sure how the overseas friend helps? If you look at median (not average) GDP per capita, the US is actually less wealthy than many European countries. Plus, in terms of trade with Europe, the US is as much a competitor and exporter as it is an importer.
So I'd say Western European or Scandinavian style prosperity is definitely possible without UK style ex-colonialism, or US style inequality and military projectionism.
Honestly, it seems so hard to imagine a 20th Century without US influence that it may not even be worth the effort.
And yet that has not crippled the European economies when it comes to trade with the US. European cars are more gasoline efficient, and Europeans live closer together (although this may largely also be due to historic reason long predating the automobile).
And I think the fear that oil might be radically more expensive for everyone, unless someone ensures it keeps flowing, is unfounded. If oil is valuable - people will look to sell it.
Didn't certain groups in Iraq partly fund themselves by exporting oil in pickup trucks? That's what I mean. Even if an oil exporting area turns to complete and utter chaos, strong men will arise and they will look to get rich by selling oil. And how long could the oil exporting states maintain their quality of life without massive oil exports?
I think you'd have to actively fight to prevent oil from trading rather than the other way around.
But it is also true that Europe might look radically different if the US had not pushed for democracy in the west.
That's what's really so depressing about the US and the rest of the world slowly sliding towards more and more authoritarianism. Who will be guiding beacon of freedom in the coming centuries? Switzerland is not big enough to strong arm anyone into being more democratic.
But yeah - I agree. Authoritarianism is definitely not the way to a prosperous world.
If you define it as having much less money than everyone else around you then it's impossible to ever get rid of it. Someone will always have less money. Someone will always have fewer skill and have the poorer jobs.
However, if you define poverty as not having the basics, then we are well on the way to getting rid of it already.
Another few doublings of our energy usage should do it. (Energy usage = resources available, which means everyone has those resources.)
"Have you ever stood and stared at it? Marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world where none suffered, where everyone would be happy? It was a disaster. No one would accept the program, entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world, but I believe that as a species human beings define their reality through misery and suffering."
Am I wrong about the ability of five year olds?
Granted, one year can make quite a difference at that age, I'm sure I at least know the name of the town and which quarter I lived in.
My memories before 4 were a blur, but my daughter remembers falling off a Big Wheel and breaking her front tooth when she was 1-1/2. She's 17 now but she can even tell you what outfits she and her best friend were wearing that day. Some people just have sharp memories of their early childhood.
The logic here is that if you are reminded of things your brain can think you remember them. This doesn't just mean that someone can say "when you were 2 x happened" and you suddenly think "I remember x!", it means that, if for example you heard the story when you were 5, a decade later that story might now feel like a memory of the incident itself.
I can't remember exactly what age he said the cut-off was, I think it was 3ish - and I don't honestly know if this is a well-educated opinion or a proven fact, but it's definitely an opinion I'm inclined to believe, both for it sounding reasonable and for the credibility of the person who explained it to me.
Just looked up his current job, as it's been a few years since I've spoken to him. He's currently a tenured (that bit I remembered!) Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, and his bio page says his specialist areas include:
- Emotional Development and Social Cognition in Infancy and Early Childhood
- Individual Differences in Children's Socio-Cognitive Development
- The Inter-Generational Transmission of Social Fears
- Attachment and the 'Internal Working Model' Construct
- Children's Theory of Mind and Folk-Psychological Understanding
I'm sure most people have a few legitimate clear memories (the single one I have is indeed of a traumatic, though amusing, event) of the 4-6 age range, and of course you have your savants; it's the unusual number of people who claim to vividly recall their youth pre-3 to 4 years of age who I'm skeptical of.
A 20 year old real memory is not a recording that you have carefully preserved. It is more like a a clarisworks document on a floppy disk that you copied to a wordperfect doc on a hard drive, then to a word doc on a CD, then to Google docs, and each time you copy it you have any to reconstruct some lost details.
Rehearing and retelling the memory is critical. As such, the actual different in constructing a real memory vs false memory diminishes to kill over time.
She also thought she remembered him saying 3 years old, so 4-6yo memories are perfectly feasible, and I think most people have them. I have loads.
I don't intend to make this a political discussion, but something similar appears to have happened to Mitt Romney recently:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/mitt-romney-remembe... (warning, autoplay video)
While this was, of course, widely interpreted as Mitt making up a story to play to the crowd, it seems a much more charitable interpretation is that he heard about the Golden Jubilee so often as a child that he internalized the memory.
> "Mitt doesn’t say he was there," said the aide. "In fact, he says his memory was foggy, he 'thinks' his dad had a job there and that he was “probably 4 or something like that.” He was simply telling the story about his dad."
(And to your point about not being political - I'm an Obama fan, and I extremely dislike Romney, so I think my opinion that the HuffPo piece you linked is a load of bollocks isn't motivated by my politics!)
I surprised my parents some while back when we discovered I could remember the full address and phone number of a house we left when I was 5.5 and they couldn't. I found it again pretty easily when I was at university not that far away, along with my school and church. I'm pretty sure I could find our regular shops from then as well. There are occasional details of life from around then that I remind them about.
Kids remember more than you'd think, and tend to get home details drummed into them by parents in case they get lost.
I've never considered myself to have a particularly good memory, so I don't doubt that anybody else would have an issue doing the same thing.
Let me see if I can find a picture.. yep that's it http://daddytypes.com/2009/02/12/brother_can_you_spare_a_cra...
It sounds like this poor kid spent a lot of time on the streets, literally. It's not surprising to me that he was able to recognize it later.
Hah. I bet they did.