“People in order”

More interesting than statistics? The real people behind them.

Here are three videos showing people “in order” — the first is 48 couples in order of the length of their relationship. The second is 100 people in order of age. The third is 73 households in order of income. I would really like to see a student create something like this to show the world more of Japan.

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The right to recline

In recent years, there have been countless incidents on airplanes in which passengers get into fights about space: Who gets the armrest? Is it ok to recline? This article talks about ways to prevent such arguments:

“How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics” (Evonomics, May 12)

Reading this reminded me of a bus ride I was on in Cambodia. Across the aisle, I saw a man reclined in his seat, sleeping peacefully, while the mother and child behind him looked less than comfortable.

What do you think? Should the man have checked first before he reclined fully? Or is it the responsiblity of the bus manufacturer to design better buses, trains and plances, to make sure kids-on-laps aren’t squished?

Tapping hidden potential

“Japanese culture doesn’t allow people to come back from mistakes”

Do you agree?

That’s a quote from the OECD’s Tokyo office head, from this article about how Japan needs to “tap its hidden economic potential” (from Bloomberg) — which includes women and older people. Another area that needs work: innovation. Even though Japan leads the world in the number of patents registered, a culture afraid of risk (says the article) doesn’t allow innovation in businesses and products. Another surprising statistic: according to the article, Japan had the lowest productivity-per-hour rate of all the Group of Seven countries from 1974 to 2014.

human-capital

The article includes a short video, too:

innovation-gap

Calculating creativity

Not of an individual,  but of a country.

(via Quartz)

This is a “Global Creativity Index” for 2015 (60 page pdf here) — the creativity of countries, ranked. How do they measure creativity? The “three Ts”:

  • technology: basically, how much the country spends on research & development and innovation
  • talent: “the share of the workforce in the creative class and the share of adults with higher education”
  • tolerance: “openness to ethnic and religious minorities and gay and lesbian people”

Japan is ranked #2 (behind South Korea) in the technology index, #58 in the talent index, and #39 in the tolerance index. The researchers ranked a total of 139 countries.

There’s some interesting data here, and a lot of themes you could use as research topics.