I was reading about this book called Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling that Bill Gates recommend reading. From this I found the Gapminder (which is a spin off from Han’s work) and their tool:
which lets you explore a dizzying number of statistics in order to get a better idea of the world from a macro perspective.
Open Numbers is a cool organization that has a lot of data and is where gapminder pulls its data to put into their tool. Particularly this dataset:
As I am into multiagent systems and agent based modeling this seems like an amazing resource for providing real world data to back up simulations. There are so many interesting things to try and model this data and then with those models be able to code “what if” scenarios. Like say what if we taxed all the millionaires and billionaires 1% every year and redistributed it somehow to the poorest 6 billion? With this data we could see how nations could change and populations grow. We might even find that the people we tax grow even richer due to the increase in the number of people that would be buying things. So many other things we could study with sort of simulation. We could consider what would happen if we had trade tariffs, or natural disasters, or famines… We would see what would happen globally not just locally and not just to a particular sector but to a variety of variables. Clearly this would require a massive amount of research and more data than is currently available. It would be awesome just modeling the behavior of these datasets would be beneficial to understanding how the world works and possibly aiding decision making to possibly reveal outcomes previously not thought of.