Understanding changes in Africa

After the past two weeks in Africa, I'm more convinced than ever that we are at the edge of bringing a new kind of change to the world's poorest societies: a change in social connectivity. 

And not just inside Kenya, or Tanzania, or Ghana, or South Africa, but between people heretofore isolated and the rest of the world.  The four billion meet the two and a half billion.  One to one. Mother to mother, nurse to nurse, soldier to soldier.

To understand how the old ideas of developed and undeveloped countries are becoming less and less relevant, watch  Hans Rosling and Gapminder, Hans Rosling's talk at Technology, Entertainment and Design, or TED 2006

Rosling wrote one of the world's largest Flash programs to animate statistical series on infant mortality, on wealth, on life expectancy, and he brings the numbers to life.

When I first saw him do this, three years ago, I wanted Sun to help bring this program from Flash to some maintainable programming environment, but we didn't have JavaFX Script.

Now we do.  In the meantime, Google has acquired the software, and has been rewriting it.

Perhaps we can do better. 

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