What really counts?

22nd June 2017
"All things are numbers," said Pythagoras once, a prescient phrase particularly relevant to today's era of quantification and big data. The magazine Hémisphères digs into this trend in its 13th issue.

From hotel and restaurant reviews to health costs, from GDP to social media "likes", and from opinion polls to unemployment levels, the quantification of our lives and our society is reaching an unprecedented scale.

The latest edition of Hemispheres takes on numbers in all their forms. For example, doctors are using numbers to help patients better describe their pain. In economics or politics, numbers are king -- a phenomenon that is also leading to increasing attempts at manipulation and spin. The magazine also unpacks the "golden ratio", whose mystical power reportedly inspired thinkers like Lenoardo da Vinci and the architects of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Ironically, the rising omnipresence of numbers is matched by the public's increasing dislike for mathematics. In the magazine, researchers give tips on teaching this important subject throughout someone's career. A photographer from Geneva, Niels Ackermann, takes Hémisphères readers into the halls of the Federal Statistical Office in Neuchâtel.

The magazine Hémisphères, produced by LargeNetwork, comes out twice a year, in January and June. It is available in bookstores and newsstands in French-speaking Switzerland for 9 CHF. Subscriptions are also are available on revuehemispheres.com for 45 CHF for six issues.