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Author Topic: The World's Most Typical Person  (Read 1745 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

The World's Most Typical Person
« on: March 04, 2011, 12:59:28 AM »
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/specials/sitewide-redesign/ngm-7billion.html

7 Billion: Are You Typical? -- National Geographic Magazine

Quote
National Geographic magazine continues a yearlong series examining the specific challenges and solutions we face as the worldwide population reaches 7 billion people in 2011 with a March story looking at humans' massive impact on the planet. Other stories will follow throughout 2011. National Geographic and the Aspen Institute are organizing the Aspen Environment Forum from May 30 - June 3, 2011.  For more information, go to http://bit.ly/gArYSu or follow on twitter at #AEF2011.

The video is SUPER cool - it goes over some "typical" traits of the world, from gender, to median age, to number of people who have cell phones and bank accounts, and more. Now, there's even a "most typical face on the planet" - a composite photo of over 190,000 men who fit that description.

The entire series, 7 Billion by National Geographic, is pretty neat. I've been following it since it started, and it just boggles my mind how much I don't know, as I learn more and more.

Offline Heart

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 12:15:59 AM »
That is soooooooo amazing! And so well put together. ^.^ Love it.

Offline Athos

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 10:37:42 PM »
Wow, thats so cool!

Offline Sure

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 12:50:24 AM »
I wouldn't call them 'typical' so much as 'common'. Still, very interesting. What else does the series go into, Caeli? Or is it just about 20 something Chinese men with cell phones (Guangzhou Shore or somesuch)?

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 03:38:03 AM »
Could always just click the link I so conveniently provided in the first post; probably faster than asking.

Either way, I don't really appreciate the sarcasm. If you could leave it at the door, that'd be fantastic.

Offline Sure

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 04:30:11 AM »
You have my apologies. It was meant to be a joke (therefore the Jersey Shore reference), not sarcasm. I will try to avoid such misunderstandings and won't use it purposefully. However, I would suggest you look to yourself, for though I appreciate the irony of your use of sarcasm in your response, it subtracts from the intellectual level of the statement and therefore the thread.

I am curious, though, as to why you are being so recalcitrant in answering my question? If you do not wish to answer my question, I do not mind, but I would like to ask why.

Offline Valerian

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 09:38:18 AM »
As a possible point of clarification, I have no idea why referencing the Jersey shore would make something into a joke.  Since we have members from many countries and many different walks of life, please try to remember that cultural differences may be a problem from time to time -- even if they're only pop cultural differences, which I suspect is the case here.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 09:45:37 AM »
Sounds like the logical next step from the old "if the world were 100 people" idea - if you boil it down even further, what would somebody who fell into the median of everything be like?

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 02:10:36 PM »
Would it be possible to even make a median, do you think? I mean, if you look at the median of a bunch of numbers, there is a logical progression from the beginning to the end; but there's no such progression if you take all of the people of the world and try to line them up next to each other.

I find all of the stories about the earth's population - 7 billion, by the end of 2010 - extremely fascinating, especially since I'm currently taking a course on world poverty and we've discussed many issues relating to population growth, and the effects on the environment, on cities, on development...

Incidentally, I also recently watched Last Train Home, a documentary that explores the experience of a family of migrant workers. 130 million of these migrant workers return home only once per year, for Chinese New Year - and just seeing the sheer amount of people in the train stations, traveling home to rural farms and rural towns, was really eye-opening.

(By the by, if you enjoy watching documentaries, Last Train Home happens to be available on Netflix.)

There's an interesting article in the 7 Billion series about humanity ushering in a new epoch called the "Age of Man", or officially termed the Anthropocene. It was a term created by a stratigapher (a type of geologist) and bandied about in the geologic community because of the suspected human impact on the world - on the atmosphere, on the environment, etc. - and whether or not that impact will be something of geologic significance. There's currently a debate on whether or not Anthropocene should be officially incorporated into the geologic time scale.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 02:24:01 PM »
I'm probably using the wrong term for it. I was thinking along the lines of somebody who embodies the most widespread attributes in every way - you know, male because there are 1.07 men for every 1 woman, right handed because 85% of people are, Chinese because 1/6 of the world is (or maybe that's Indian now), & so on.

We alter the landscape all the time, we're changing the weather, we're changing ecosystems all over the world - "anthropocene" sounds like just the right word for it.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 02:56:31 PM »
I don't actually know if there is an official term for what the video I linked describes (the 'somebody' who embodies the most widespread attributes in every way). National Geographic used "most typical", I would suggest "most common", someone else might say "average". I think if the main point is clear, it probably doesn't matter too much.

I was intrigued by the prediction that by 2030, the most populous country in the world will be India, not China. I wonder if they will have developed enough by 2030 to be able to handle that many people in the country, and especially in their urban centers and cities.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2011, 03:30:06 PM »
I'm probably using the wrong term for it. I was thinking along the lines of somebody who embodies the most widespread attributes in every way - you know, male because there are 1.07 men for every 1 woman, right handed because 85% of people are, Chinese because 1/6 of the world is (or maybe that's Indian now), & so on.

We alter the landscape all the time, we're changing the weather, we're changing ecosystems all over the world - "anthropocene" sounds like just the right word for it.

I think that would be 'modal' person.  In data analysis, the mode is the value that occurs most often in a given data set.  (Not to be confused with 'model'.)

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2011, 03:36:12 PM »
I think that would be 'modal' person.  In data analysis, the mode is the value that occurs most often in a given data set.  (Not to be confused with 'model'.)

That sounds like it would fit.

I've never heard that term used to describe a data set, though. O.o

Offline Avis habilis

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2011, 03:49:48 PM »
There you go. I guess he would be a modal citizen.

I'll get me coat.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2011, 03:53:26 PM »
That sounds like it would fit.

I've never heard that term used to describe a data set, though. O.o

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_%28statistics%29

It's not brought up very often, because the mean (average) or median (50th percentile) are typically more useful.

Offline Kurzyk

Re: The World's Most Typical Person
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2011, 07:31:26 PM »
Really enjoyed this! Well put together. I especially found the point that less than 25% of us have a bank account interesting and slightly disturbing.