Friday, July 4, 2008

everybody, peace on earth

A great organization TEDS, makes available free to anyone, a wide range of talks and performances on science, technology, arts and music. I was particularly struck by this musical performance of two songs "Everybody" and "Peace on Earth" by songwriter, musician, singer Raul Midon.

P.S. sorry about the commercial, wasn't anyway to avoid it. I'm not trying to promote the product.


Qaro said...

I love TED! I don't know much about who they are but they have such interesting stuff. Have you seen this one about global economics, life expectancy, poverty, etc. with Hans Rosling:

The graphics are amazing. They use some program called Gapminder.
I wish I could use a program like that on my own data...

I have missed quite a few days of your posts... You just do a really great job writing, it's great, Thanks!

Sue said...

That is wonderful presentation by Hans Rosling. What a great presentation tool!
Did you notice though that he was using logarithmic scales on his x axis on a lot of those, particularly the ones where income was the independent variable. I have a feeling (based on having looked at some of this data before) that if he'd use a linear scale for income, there would still be a clearly visible gap between the lower end and the upper end. Of course his point about an overall improvment still stands, but perhaps not quite as impressive as he made it sound.

Sue said...

qaro -- Google has purchased the software from Gapminder, and made some of it available free on-line. Check out

I'm not sure whether you have to have Google's spreadsheet program or whether or not you can use it with Excel.

Qaro said...

No, I didn't notice the logarithmic scale. I wonder if I have any use for logarithmic scales? I hadn't actually heard of them. I know about trend line logarithms and I've seen lots of info about ways graphs can be distorted, which it doesn't sound like that's what you mean exactly. If I had noticed, I would have guessed that logarithmic scales are for extremely large numbers, sort of like scientific notation. I saved an article about it, I'll have to read it.

I figured it might not be all new to you. : )

Thanks for the link!!!

Sue said...


a linear scale is one that is marked off in equal sized units; for income that might be 100's, so the scale would go $100, $200, $300, $400, etc.
A logarithmic scale has units that increase in size geometrically in some way. The one that Rosling showed for talking about increasing "equality" of income progressed like this income per day: $0, $1, $10, $100. On this scale Rosling is calling "middle" of the graph the area between $1 and $10 a day, which is where the big hump of people are located between. On a linear scale that would mark off in $10 a day units. This would mean that the huge hump of people (vast majority) would be located in the first 10 percent of the graph, with a deep chasm between them and the small hump nearer the upper end. Go back and look at the presentation and his discussion about the "disappearance" of the gap between the rich and poor. Basically he uses a log scale that artificially makes the bottom 10 percent of people the "middle."

Sue said...

I got curious and went looking for the base data that Rosling was working with from the UN. Currently in the World, 70 percent of the world's people have incomes of less than $10 a day, and the top 10 percent of the world's population holds just over half of all the income. So while it is true that in absolute terms, more people have been moved above the $1 a day barest miniumum poverty line, to have 70 percent of the people earning less than $10 a day (3,650 a year), isn't exactly the decline of the gap between rich and poor. It was only using the log scale that made it look like that large mass of people was in the "middle." It's all in how you present the numbers!

Qaro said...

That's fascinating. Now I understand about the way the income distribution is depicted. Where he says, "There is no gap between rich and's a little hump..." That seems far out.

Minimum wage in Ohio ($7.25*2080hrs/365days) is only about $40 per day. These are the people who have to take out pay-day loans to keep their cell-phones turned on.

Most of the people I know make at least $100 per day...

I liked the improvements in infant mortality rates around the world. Those were encouraging.

(Personally, I've got some conjectures about upcoming social and economic changes in China, but I can't find articles to support my ideas.)