Over at the NYTimes.com is a good editorial by David Brooks on the meaning of the work of Hans Rosling and Gapminder. For Brooks, the meaning is that the world is becoming more middle class. Given that Brooks is a small “c” conservative by American standards, this conclusion is not surprising. I also don’t think it is wrong.
What I think would be wrong, however, would be to just read one meaning in the work. I think there are many conclusions one can draw from it. To me, the main one is that the Gaps between rich and poor people in the world is diminishing and overall people are benefiting from human progress.
Don’t believe me? Start with this video
And then go search for Gapminder videos on YouTube or TED.com and draw your own conclusions. I’d be very interested to hear what you think.
The world has still a great many inequalities and too much suffering. But the gaps are closing, and progress is increasing. Be hopeful.