Tom Raftery managed to abduct Hans Rosling from Stockholm for all of 22 hours to come and speak at the IT@Cork Conference in November 2007 and he has just posted the Professor’s presentation on his blog.

Much has been written about Rosling and his wonderful ability to present complex statistical data in a compelling and mind-expanding way. If you haven’t see him before nor heard of his Trendalyzer software, you are in for a treat that will make your eyes pop. If you are familiar with the Prof., just enjoy his wonderful enthusiasm and his ‘horse racing’ commentary as he traces country and continental developments against each other over time.

Rosling just has this amazing … conversation with the audience! And he makes absolute sense of the whole mess. He does this to such an extent that when he talks about the world being “double inversely logarithmically unjust” to a virtual numerical illiterate like me, I find myself nodding my head sagely. Money quotes from this one for me:

“We have increased the bandwidth of the optic nerve.”

“When we put statistics up in tables they do not sing.”

“The two hit groups
[for Trendalyzer] are kids below 12 and heads of state. These have one thing in common – they hate being told things.”

That, plus his extraordinary ability to somehow turn the beam of a laser [“law-ser”] into a steady, solid and very useful pointer which can also catch fish …

Push the button Max!