For the Love of Science & Art

Yesterday (while scouting the internet for data on Afro-Sino trade/economic relationship) I stumbled on this, this and this, and promptly lost all sense of time.

When I recovered from my endorphin-like data high, I started thinking about how today more information is readily accessible than ever before. And also how most of us do not question these nuggets of data, especially if they fit into our understanding of how the world (or the thing/topic under discussion) functions.

Those two thoughts made me wonder:

would we be more critical about the views we develop, and selective about what we present as “truth”, if we were better statisticians?

I think so.

Like some people, I came to love and value statistics late in life probably because neither my parents nor my teachers presented mathematics/statistics as a delightful tool for crafting stories. I mean, can you imagine a child not being absolutely giddy to play with a Gapminder developed to suite their learning level – say something like this? Yeah, neither can I.

Research shows that children learn by playing and that what we learn in childhood influences what/how we think and the choices we make in adulthood.

Given the current states of the world and math education in the United States, I think it would pay if someone adapted Gapminders/Infosthetics to suit the skills of younger minds.

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