Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Challenging Our Preconceptions - A Refresher

I can't remember the first time I saw this video of Hans Rosling's talk challenging people's preconceptions about world health and poverty. I've seen and shared it often. By internet standards, it is an oldie.

I watched it again recently and was struck by its renewed importance.

Yes, it is a TED Talk, and I know that can get a bit tired for some, but this one doesn't have that guru vibe some of them are guilty of.

Rosling effectively demonstrates the gap between 'what we believe is true' and what facts and data actually tell us about the world.

With the phrase "fake news" on the tips of everyone's tongue...
With an incoming president who prefers an impressive message over a fact-based one...
With people seeking to discredit and disregard all arguments that contradict their beliefs...
With every argument becoming a zero-sum game...

With all that in the air, it is worth watching a man who can successfully challenge 'what we believe is true.'

It's not enough to have the facts.
The facts have to be clear and clearly linked to the point being made.
And yes, presentation and enthusiasm count.

If you haven't seen the video, take a look.
If you have, have another look and consider this kind of rhetoric in the context of the past several months of news and politics.

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