What is the old mindset? Who is the "We" and "Them" and what differentiates the two? Did his video change your mindset on viewing the world in terms of "We" and "Them”? Does that concept still apply now or has it changed? How and why?
The old mindset is a way of thinking that divides the world into two parts: the western world and the developing world. In this mindset, the western world is considered the "We" and the developing world is considered the "Them." In this model, the western world population is characterized by having a longer average life spans with smaller families while the developing world has much shorter average life spans and larger families. In his TED talk, Professor Rosling provides statistical evidence showing that the old mindset no longer stands as a valid philosophy.
The old mindset, Rosling argues, was true over 50 years ago and current data shows the world has changed. His graphs highlight several statistics directly related to changes in countries occurring as long as 200 years ago. He highlights data related to annual family income, child survival rate, life expectancy, and family size. In one graph, Rosling shows the change in life expectancy and size of families among all countries in the world over the past 50 years. The data shows that the majority of countries in the developing world have had an increase of life expectancy and reduced the size of families, implicating that the developing world and the western world have converged.
Professor Rosling's talk highlighted data that I did not know. I was still thinking in the old mindset and had no idea that so many countries in the East were as developed as the "western world." The terms now stands irrelevant because so many countries around the world can be characterized by what once defined the west. This video does a good job of showing the reality of globalization, the converging of cultures around the world. Professor Rosling illustrates the idea as convergence, calling it the new mindset.
The old mindset concept of "we" and "them" no longer applies in today's world. We can see the evidence of convergence in several countries throughout the world. One example is McDonalds, a billion-dollar company founded in 1955 that today has locations worldwide. Even though convergence has leveled out the field for several countries who are now striving, Professor Rosling says that the bottom billion are still in poverty and suffering low life expectancy due to living conditions. He says that the new mindset of convergence is not sustainable by any one-superpower country. He urges the U.S. State Department to work as a representative of the entire world to help bring the poorest countries up to par with the majority.
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