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Numbers that tell a story

Last Call

marc-blogFor once I resort to numbers instead of words to tell a story. Each of these numbers stands symbolically for something much larger and hopefully gets you to think about what it means or could mean. Send me your favorite number   by e-mailing me and I will make sure it gets posted.  


Since 1990, extreme poverty around the world has been cut in half, according to the United Nations. Enrollment in primary education in developing regions reached 90 percent in 2010 and maternal mortality rates have been reduced by 47 percent within the past 23 years.

However, 870 million people remain hungry, 61 million children are not in school and maternal mortality remains 15 times greater in developing regions than in the developed world. There’s still plenty of work to be done.

No ordinary office building.

It seems a little odd that a company whose business model is centered on the virtual and connected world would spend $5,000 million on a physical infrastructure (the estimated cost of the new Apple ‘space camp campus’).

Tag. You’re it.

6 degrees of separation. In 1967, American psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment which led to the conclusion that any random person is only separated by another random person in the United States in average by six people. A recent experiment conducted through social media networks reported a random person can be tagged in about 12 hours.

More and more information.

3.2 billion New messages posted daily on the Internet according to an estimate by IBM (who is trying to harness this growing mountain of information).

Privacy. A thing of the past.

Through a court order, a European student was able to enforce a request for Google to produce a report that listed everything the company had on him. He was given 1,222 pages worth of information…

(Currently in the United States, Google is not required by law to make these reports available. California and other states are working to change that.)

Make a buck, lose a buck. Before you know, it amounts to real money.

14 thousand and growing The Dow Jones index number as of press time. Remember, we were in that territory five years ago!

Displaced people.

1 million The estimated number of Syrian refuges.

South Korea.

28, 115 The number of active duty military personnel stationed in South Korea.

The real cost of terrorism.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks, we mounted “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and “Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).” As of April 23, 2013, 7,115 U.S. citizens were lost and 50,344 wounded (according to Department of Defense statistics). 

Connected world.

2 billion.  The amount of minutes Skype users use to connect with each other every day.