jueves, 7 de abril de 2011

A Speech to Make You Think

We have recently read a text about Bhutan and we all found it difficult to imagine life there, mainly because of one remark mentioned in the text about the amount of people who do not have electricity at home. That reminded me of this video where Hans Roling -a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker - speaks about electricity and the washing machine. A speech with a twist at the end, a surprise ending.

Make sure you understand the following words before you watch the video:
  • to load the laundry
  • to mesmerize
  • consumption / to consume / time-consuming
  • stream
  • bulb
  • environmentally-concerned
  • tough question
  • to be energy efficient
  • hardcore
  • trend
  • growth
  • emerging economies
If this is the first time you listen to Hans Roling, I bet you´ll enjoy his speech and even if you are not good at understanding statistics, I´m sure you´ll get all the data he mentions: his graphics are so vivid and clear; you´ll agree as soon as you hear his way of classifying the population of the world into four groups: the fire people, the bulb people, the wash people and the air people. (A very good example of an excellent teacher!). Click here if you want to get the transcript.

4 comentarios:

  1. Definitely, it´s obvious that he´s such a good public speaker that nobody was hoping for the ending. It´s an interesting way of giving a speech about this kind of stuff, I really think that, nowadays, it´s the best way to capture mind´s public because we have `a lot of´ information about this reality and it seems that we get boring of hearing constantly the same (although it sounds unfair, awful, horrible....); we are like chidren who need a new toy each week.
    I have a question, Is it possible to be environmentally-concerned and don´t do anything about it?? I´ve been trying to understand one or another answer and I wasn´t able to do it... I would appreciate some help.

  2. Andrea, I think people who are environmentally-concerned do, somehow, act that way: recycling, saving water, avoiding the use of polluting materials... the problem is that they are the ones who are really conscious of what needs to be done and the ones who know that, in order for these little things to be effective, everybody should do them.

  3. Ana Rodríguez08 abril, 2011

    I have to admit that I had never think about how many people were “fire people” or “bubble people” before I watched this video, because at least for me it’s very difficult to imagine the day to day life without electricity. Maybe for a day it would be a great experience, but after a week or two I would probably go mad.
    As for the people environmentally-concerned I think that they are the ones who realise about the magnitude of the problem, but most of them only talk about it and criticise the mistakes of the others (since It's easier to see the speck in your neighbour's eye than the log in your own.), but they don’t really do anything effective.

  4. Ana, I know you meant "bulb people" when you wrote "bubble" and that made me smile because I often use the expression "to live in a buble" for those people that Hans Rosling describes as "air people"(and we belong to that group, as we agreed in class)because it is very difficult for us to imagine what life is like when people lack what we have.


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