How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.

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44 COMMENTS

  1. But also we need to stop consuming to tackle climate change. The ozone layer didnt heal without taking measures. There was an alarm. This one is going to be worst. Ask people who know there are plastic isles in the oceans, how many and how big. How many countries will disappear and have disappeared because of sea rise. How much fish is there in the ocean. Sailors know it and its bad…very bad. The universities know it too.

  2. Horrible if so many will fly our climate will collaps
    If You think thats a good news you auf crazy. You just think about the human beeing and Not about the planet on which we live Theresa is noch reason to bei so optimistic

  3. This convincingly demonstrates what they're trying to prove, but my only problem with the poverty camel thing is it does not seem to consider how the poverty line itself is constantly moving upward because of inflation 10$ today might be the equivalent of 2-5$ in 1975, depending on what country you are in.

    But generally, isn't happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment the true measure of human success? And thinking in that way, what they are saying is extremely helpful. It's easy to be depressed if you only believe what you see in the news to be true, but if you know the reality, you will likely be less depressed and overwhelmed, to the point that you may even be energized to do something to improve the human condition yourself, in whatever small or large way. Depression and anger make us feel helpless, frozen, or destructive, and are, more often than not, counter-productive to our goals as a global society.

  4. As a Turkish, among all those interesting facts that we learn from the lecture, what amazes me the most is them using a photo of Istanbul to represent "our worlds." Interesting…

  5. Does this consider the overall number of people in the world? It is said that the population of earth grew from 1.5 billion to 6.1 billion in the hundred years b/n 1900 and 2000. If that's the case then … okay. I got 2/3 correct. Not bad.

  6. All due respect,I love your guys' talks and recognize your expertise…. BUT, lol, ….for this one, aren't you just leaving out the negative statistics and focusing on a few positive ones? Or, at the very least, just teaching people how to beat your test or 'guess' correctly a majority of the time?( Ftr, I got the 3 questions correct.) I agree sitting down to study and becoming a 'global awareness champion' overnight is not going to happen. I was able to get those questions correct because I'm always present, I have always payed attention to my surroundings and given logic priority over emotion, stayed open minded and since I was young enough to start having memories,(a long time ago,lol) I have been asking adult's,( what's the deal? Why can't you see that simple answer. Idk the answer to the following but I'd like to before determining for myself the value of your claim that things are getting better. I do realize that your talk was intended to highlight a technique for not being ignorant but I also think it is fair to say you chose the subject based on a personal view of what constitutes ignorance. If these questions are not relevant or unfair please don't hesitate to shoot them down as such. I think there must be an inherent risk in choosing the question to study that you did; for if the specific, subjective conclusion is incorrect then your technique is rendered useless, and I just don't want to believe that from you guys so, if it pleases you so, please address these points….

    – Do we have data on family dynamics, mental health, social relationships. Science and tech has improved our lives alot, no doubt there. But how deep can we really travel into the individual or collective mind of humanity? I base all of this on my own data about these facts; separation, megalomania, narcissism, fully mature adults still attached to the teet. Willingness to hate on the drop of a sentence, tribalism, partisan politics, drug use and escapism. I believe all of these things have deteriorated, only lately, but still now on the decline.

    I was compelled to comment because while I enjoyed and indeed support your message of gaining information before coalescing on a position, I think you somehow managed to extract a rosy outlook without balancing it against 'not-so-rosy' data. Perhaps I am ignorant but, as a lateral thinker, it would not be the first accusation of such, however my life has proven to me the opposite is true, that my lateral, tangential and just plain 'out there' thinking has come to fruition as the crux of the subject in question.

    And an even further examination of human psyche in those situations would reveal not only do scholars and leaders, minimize, disrespect that 'thinking' before hand they do so by disqualifying anyone not in their field as being equipped to question them. Me as a non-scholar it is very easy to disregard my information.that is the FIRST mistake, but the larger one comes after the results are in and the scholars had it wrong while the layman or general public had it right. That's when it really shows, to me, how far away from reality most people are, even scientists and like minded people, because they don't eat crow, they don't apologize, they don't investigate thinking techniques the layman used, they discredit me further, marginalize the contribution that thinking could have made, and still come out the champion in their own minds. It gets pretty sickening to be honest.

    I need to wrap this up but that point also ties into another important one, which is the regionality of both your subject matter and that which I have just added. I am in Canada, I speak about my experience mostly here with my family, friends and employers etc. I have travelled, I have friends from and in Sweden, Europe etc.. Some info translates and some does not but I believe Canada has a quite unique social anatomy and probably every region would require special study. I site these facts in my claim that Canada has a unique social landscape – in the 80's we reached as high as 85% Catholic, we are probably today less than 30%. That kind of loss of spiritual direction and moral imperative with nothing to replace it has created a population lost and wandering, grappling for identity. Add that to being separated from our brethren and ancestral lands in Europe but not independent as the USA is. The population here is extremely insecure individuals who are convinced of their superiority, I don't know the name for this combo of conditions but let me tell you, it is 'messed up!' which really prompted this mini speech.:)

    I guess it all comes down to emotion vs. logic. I can sum up everything I have said maybe; "A person with no letters beside their name can not tell a person with letters that they are 'thinking' incorrectly. The ego takes over, and even the smartest people can become the most ignorant.". That of course is emotion beating out logic from people who made the choice to be logical, lol …. Full circle now, I'm returning to my original point which is that you are missing a major component here. ….Am I wrong?

  7. Interesting but he doesn't really address the global impact of an increasing human population aspiring to the 'western lifestyle'. More calorie intake, proteins, fruit, vegetables all consuming vast quantities of fresh water, water tables dropping everywhere, and farming requiring ever expanding acreage stripping out equatorial forests. Consumer societies demanding cars, electronics, household goods all stripping the land of resources. So the exponential increase in humans coupled with the rising standard of living will strain the planet to the limit and perhaps beyond. We're only just beginning to see the impacts of faltering ecosystems. When the bell rings on 11B coupled with the strains of a voracious consumerist human population placing a massive human footprint on the planet – all will likely not be well. Many cities are already far behind meeting the infrastructure and transportation needs of rapidly expanding urban populations living next to rising oceans. The evidence is alarmingly irrefutable yet countries continue to play games with Paris initiatives.

  8. This is such a good TED talk, and one I genuinely benefitted from. Great speakers, and I'll be sharing this around! Obviously it's a few years old now – does anyone know if the concept of this World Knowledge qualification actually took off?

  9. There are two laws of physics that proves I know what I'm talking about.

    Law one. it is physically impossible to endlessly put something into something that is not endless.
    So basing your policies on a system of endless growth living on a planet which is a limited space shows how insane the human race is, and it's ability to deal with reality.

    Law two. It is physically impossible for a stationary object to keep up with a moving object, No matter how far ahead you put the stationary object of the thing that is moving it will always catch it up and leave it behind.

    So the only solution to the problem is you stop the thing that's moving and keep it level with the stationary object, it is called stabilisation. It's a system that allows you to live in a limited space without destroying it and yourselves.

    That's why I can say it doesn't matter how many homes you build, you will never ever be able to build enough.
    It doesn't matter how big you make the NHS system it will always be overwhelmed with people.
    It doesn't matter how wide and how many roads you build you will always suffer with congestion.

    Moving to another planet will not solve the problem either, because we all can't move to another planet otherwise we will have the same problem over population. and that new planet will be overpopulated because we are not controlling numbers .

    What you'll end up with is a species that travels through the universe leaving a trail of dying planets with billions of its own species on them planet's dying a slow lingering death while it travels through the universe claiming to be an intelligent species.

    My species is a joke, that's all I can say. did you know back in the late 70s I use to say when I was a young man. when I die there will be no intelligent life on this planet. back then , I said it as a joke and I meant it as a joke. I am 63 years old and I cannot say that as a joke any longer listening to you lot and watching how you behave. your stupidity and inability to grasp reality is totally unbelievable.

    Your behaviour is to that of a virus, you are not intelligent, how do I know that, it is simple. Nothing intelligent would destroy its own environment . if you write back and say the human race is an intelligent species then explain to me why are you not controlled your numbers why are you destroying your own environment?

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