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Educational and important – the Joy of Stats

December 14, 2010

Have a close look at the graph here. Can you see how much the budget deficit is (thanks bankers)? Don’t forget to add the various bail-outs.  Have a look at how much Trident is supposed to cost compared to, say, schools or local government. It’s all the more shocking isn’t it, for understanding their relative size properly.

I became aware of this from a show on BBC4 called The Joy of Stats. I really recommend you watch this in the next few days. Or, if you can’t, pray that it comes out on DVD and buy it.

Quite apart from the delightful visualisation of data and the demonstration of Hans Rosling’s own ‘Gapminder’ application, there is so much to learn about world health, language, communications more generally and (not surprisingly) statistics.

I tried statistics and I didn’t like them. Even Bodo Schlegelmilch couldn’t really make it painless. But Hans has at least enthused me again to have another go.

The BBC4 show is here. You can play with Hans’ Gapminder at  www.gapminder.org and there is this particularly telling example shown above as well as the We Feel Fine project which we’ve blogged on before.

Have fun.

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