Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Know your world

This flat-out fascinating lecture (with great graphics) on global demography may seem only tangentially related to national security. But remember that the people are one of the three elements in the secondary Clausewitizian trinity, the other two being the military and the state. And spending a few minutes with Hans Rosling’s lecture will almost certainly ...

589160_090126_world_1.26_resized2.jpg
589160_090126_world_1.26_resized2.jpg

This flat-out fascinating lecture (with great graphics) on global demography may seem only tangentially related to national security. But remember that the people are one of the three elements in the secondary Clausewitizian trinity, the other two being the military and the state. And spending a few minutes with Hans Rosling's lecture will almost certainly change the way you look at trends in the peopling of the globe. Who knew that Vietnam and the United States now have about the same family sizes and life expectancies?

His mastery of the graphic portrayal of data should inspire anyone who has had to write a PowerPoint brief. If you want to follow up on this guy, here is his blog.

This flat-out fascinating lecture (with great graphics) on global demography may seem only tangentially related to national security. But remember that the people are one of the three elements in the secondary Clausewitizian trinity, the other two being the military and the state. And spending a few minutes with Hans Rosling’s lecture will almost certainly change the way you look at trends in the peopling of the globe. Who knew that Vietnam and the United States now have about the same family sizes and life expectancies?

His mastery of the graphic portrayal of data should inspire anyone who has had to write a PowerPoint brief. If you want to follow up on this guy, here is his blog.

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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