Monday, 4 July 2011

Facts, gaps and headaches

My immediate pre-holiday period was marred this year by the annoying minutiae of the internet, specifically two companies that are products of the internet age. I'm still debating which caused me more headaches; PayPal for their inability to attend to someone hacking into an account I set up a couple of years ago and have only used once or Ryanair for their ghastly, horrid booking system. I know, I know...if you want a cheap holiday, you just have to grit your teeth...

So, a week of no internet, no emails, no global brands shoving their logos in my face (OK, I did spot a Lidl and an IKEA from a distance but their blue and yellow logos actually look quite jolly against a sun-saturated sky) was just what was needed.

And a link to a wonderful organisation from a colleague on my return has restored my faith in the power of the internet when in the hands of the right people. Gapminder is an organisation dedicated to replacing myths with a fact-based world view. Data and graphics are used to great effect in their presentations and videos to explain what is happening in the world.

Particularly recommended is a TED talk from Hans Rosling, pictured above, on the magic washing machine that produces books and professors. Much more constructive than PayPal.

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