Sunday, April 16, 2006

Streets of Casablanca & HDI

I've just finished up on the film "Streets of Casablanca". It is very gripping. It highlights three children in Casablanca, Marocco, living in the street. One of their buddies gets killed by a gang of other street children and they are trying to arrange for his burial. The IMDB probably has a better description of the film, but I would definitely recommend to have a look at the "Extras" section of the DVD. It shows that the film crew also spent a good amount of time working with these children and supported several projects that helped these children to get off the street and build a better life.

There is not a good way to measure "human development" or other figures that properly reflect standards of living. I went to the United Nations Human Development report website here to have a look:

An interesting project could be to start mapping this data in color maps using Google's map API. At the moment it's just a collection of numbers and it does not really say much yet.

The majority of reports I've browsed through are "comparative" reports. I've read a paper here that puts Brazil in quite a good spotlight, but when you look at the majority of the population, poverty is all around. We're seemingly doing not too bad, but from the streets here I know better. An amazing number is that 10% of the richest people in Brazil hold 46% of all wealth. 30% of the poorest have only 3.1% of all wealth. These do not state absolute numbers unfortunately.