Factfulness
Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases.It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future. “This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance…Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” — Hans Rosling, February 2017.

Factfulness Details

TitleFactfulness
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 25th, 2018
PublisherSceptre
ISBN-139781473637467
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Science, Psychology, Economics, History

Factfulness Review

  • Bill Gates
    January 1, 1970
    I talk about the developed and developing world all the time, but I shouldn’t.My late friend Hans Rosling called the labels “outdated” and “meaningless.” Any categorization that lumps together China and the Democratic Republic of Congo is too broad to be useful. But I’ve continued to use “developed” and “developing” in public (and on this blog) because there wasn’t a more accurate, easily understandable alternative—until now.I recently read Hans’ new book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong Abo I talk about the developed and developing world all the time, but I shouldn’t.My late friend Hans Rosling called the labels “outdated” and “meaningless.” Any categorization that lumps together China and the Democratic Republic of Congo is too broad to be useful. But I’ve continued to use “developed” and “developing” in public (and on this blog) because there wasn’t a more accurate, easily understandable alternative—until now.I recently read Hans’ new book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. In it, he offers a new framework for how to think about the world. Hans proposes four income groups (with the largest number of people living on level 2).This was a breakthrough to me. The framework Hans enunciates is one that took me decades of working in global development to create for myself, and I could have never expressed it in such a clear way. I’m going to try to use this model moving forward.Why does it matter? It’s hard to pick up on progress if you divide the world into rich countries and poor countries. When those are the only two options, you’re more likely to think anyone who doesn’t have a certain quality of life is “poor.”Hans compares this instinct to standing on top of a skyscraper and looking down at a city. All of the other buildings will look short to you whether they’re ten stories or 50 stories high. It’s the same with income. Life is significantly better for those on level 2 than level 1, but it’s hard to see that from level 4 unless you know to look for it.The four levels are just one of many insights in Factfulness that will help you better understand the world. I’m excited that Hans’ publisher Flatiron Books plans to donate 5,000 copies to Books for Africa and Reader to Reader—two organizations that encourage reading in underserved communities. Hans worked on the book until his last days (even bringing several chapters with him in the ambulance to the hospital), and his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna helped finish it after he passed.The bulk of the book is devoted to ten instincts that keep us from seeing the world factfully. These range from the fear instinct (we pay more attention to scary things) to the size instinct (standalone numbers often look more impressive than they really are) to the gap instinct (most people fall between two extremes). With each one, he offers practical advice about how to overcome our innate biases. Gates Notes Insiders can get a free preview of the gap instinct chapter.Hans argues that these instincts make it difficult to put events in perspective. Imagine news coverage about a natural disaster—say, a tornado that kills 10 people in a small town. If you look at only the headlines, you’ll view the event as an unbearable tragedy (which it is). But if you put it in the context of history, you’ll also know that tornadoes today are a lot less deadly than they used to be, thanks to advanced warning systems. That’s no consolation to the loved ones of those who died, but it matters a great deal to everyone who survived the tornado.In other words, the world can be both bad and better. That idea drives the work Melinda and I do every day, and Hans articulates it beautifully in Factfulness. It’s a great companion to Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now (although Hans is a little less academic than Pinker is). With rare exceptions, most of the miracles of humankind are long-term, constructed things. Progress comes bit by bit. We’ve cut the number of people living in extreme poverty by half over the last twenty years, but there was never a morning when “POVERTY RATES DROP INCREMENTALLY” dominated newspaper headlines.Another remarkable thing about Factfulness—and about Hans himself—is that he refuses to judge anyone for their misconceptions. Most writers would beat people up for their ignorance, but he doesn’t. Hans even resists going after the media. Instead, he tells you about the history of his own ignorance. He explains that these instincts make us human, and that overcoming them isn’t easy.That’s classic Hans. He was always kind, often patient, and never judgmental. He spent his life not only understanding how global health was improving but sharing what he learned in a fun, clear way with a broad set of people. If you never met Hans or watched one of his many TED talks, Factfulness will help you get a sense of why he was so special. I wish I could tell Hans how much I liked it. Factfulness is a fantastic book, and I hope a lot of people read it.
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  • ☘Misericordia☘ ✺❂❤❣
    January 1, 1970
    This is either a very cruel book or a very fair one, and I'm not sure which one. On the one hand, the author is extremely sharp in that he realizes that bisection of the world is severely crippling to rational thinking process. When it becomes 'us' and 'them', most of our thinking processes will be black and white colored, or rather discolored. What we keep missing is that this world is complex and multifaceted enough to fit into no nice and tidy boxes. So, understanding that there are more than This is either a very cruel book or a very fair one, and I'm not sure which one. On the one hand, the author is extremely sharp in that he realizes that bisection of the world is severely crippling to rational thinking process. When it becomes 'us' and 'them', most of our thinking processes will be black and white colored, or rather discolored. What we keep missing is that this world is complex and multifaceted enough to fit into no nice and tidy boxes. So, understanding that there are more than 2 ways to live and more than 2 types of countries and more than 2 political parties and more than 2 ways to have a prospering state governance and ... and ... and ... is precious. And it's hindered by the tribal 'us'/'them' classification.He's also very right about our usage of outdated statistics and our lack of understanding of how data works.He's very wrong about diminishing the role of mass media in development of generations of people who - know next to nothing on the scientific way of thought, cannot think for themselves, cannot see neither the big picture nor the small one;- are gullible (i.e. my 'friend' writes anything on Facebook and I go on to believe it...);- cannot distinguish between horrible, questionable and reliable sources of info (feel free to use your own classification here), i.e.: Facebooks posts, World Bank data, blog entries, articles from around the web, research of different types and other stuff - everything gets lumped in these modern heads and become a congealed mass of truth, lies, wishful thinking, misrepresented info, incomprehensible blabber...Basically, people don't know how to use healthy skepticism for the info they are being spoon-fed. The don't even realize they have this option. Some guy or gal with PHD and a bunch of publications supposedly said this and that to some blogger or journalist and this becomes the new evidence of anything: - hackers, Russian or otherwise,- chemical weapons of varied countries, - health benefits of anything, - freethinking and progressive nature of [place your religion/persuasion/political inclinations here], - bloodthirsty and dated and inhuman nature of [place your religion/persuasion/political inclinations here]... ... and this becomes the new truth, right until the new information fad comes in vogue. I don't get the reason why the author suggests chucking the 'developing'/'developed' countries significators in favor of 'Levels' 1 to 4. Probably I should read way less trash but I immediately had a flashback to Districts in Hunger Games. Anyway, why 4 groups? Why not 5? Maybe 3 would have been less confusing? Or could it be that 10 might have allowed us to explore the shades of human misery and else in more relief? Why 4? Also, the author is making a big deal out of the fact that most world's population seems to be living in the middle class... To me, the author's description of the 'middle class (Lvls 2 and 3) sounded like something not exactly from Dante's Hell but very close to it. Basically, he proves that 6 bln out of our current 7 live in various shades of misery, from abject to hopeful, which is not as ground-shaking realization as he might be thinking. The difference is that when we think of middle class, we almost never think of it in terms of his Lvls 2 and 3... Our perception is strongly rooted in what he puts in the Lvl 4 bucket. So, we are not really always thinking of the middle class, when we are thinking of it, and our perception should be more humble and terminology more precise.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    Rosling writes about the most important things in the world and does so in an accessible and entertaining style. He busts myths using facts. This is what non-fiction is supposed to be. Much of what "everybody knows" and that we read in the news every day is wrong, because hardly anyone bothers to do reality-checking. This is a recurring problem in non-fiction books, including ones about science. So, when finally someone is exposing ignorance, clarifying truth, and exploring logical implications, Rosling writes about the most important things in the world and does so in an accessible and entertaining style. He busts myths using facts. This is what non-fiction is supposed to be. Much of what "everybody knows" and that we read in the news every day is wrong, because hardly anyone bothers to do reality-checking. This is a recurring problem in non-fiction books, including ones about science. So, when finally someone is exposing ignorance, clarifying truth, and exploring logical implications, I am going to give him 5 stars. Gapminder and this book are great gifts to the world. Rosling will be missed. Viva facts!
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  • Marilla
    January 1, 1970
    I got this as an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways (do you know happy that made me? It is true I had a 20% chance of getting it, as opposed to the 0.0118% chance most of these giveaways have, but still. My first ARC! All the imperfections and missing dates and awkward formatting was very endearing).Anyway, I'm not usually a reader of nonfiction, but this seemed interesting, and I obtained it, so obviously I read it. It was actually really good. Rosling was a very interesting narrator, which I decided I got this as an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways (do you know happy that made me? It is true I had a 20% chance of getting it, as opposed to the 0.0118% chance most of these giveaways have, but still. My first ARC! All the imperfections and missing dates and awkward formatting was very endearing).Anyway, I'm not usually a reader of nonfiction, but this seemed interesting, and I obtained it, so obviously I read it. It was actually really good. Rosling was a very interesting narrator, which I decided pretty early on (as in, page three), because he starts out with talking about sword swallowing and then goes on to tell us about how he occasionally does it at the end of his lectures. That immediately was very endearing, considering the last nonfiction book I read was Outliers by the esteemed but irritatingly condescending Malcom Gladwell, and Rosling did nothing to take away my respect throughout the book. He is very passionate about his subject, and he brings in tons of experiences he's had as examples, which adds both interesting details and credibility.I just like his voice, okay?This may be because I did agree with him on a lot of topics. (Okay, that probably plays a rather prominent role.) I'm big into looking at all the facts and evidence available first before jumping to conclusions, and one of the things that irritates me the most is when people are presented with absolute evidence and still go on pretending it doesn't exist. The facts are right there, people.(To quote Tamora Pierce (in a review for a nonfiction book (shh)): "You can smack some people in the face with a haddock and they’ll still call it a mouse if a mouse is what they want to see.")I'm also very interested in the environment and consumer trends and could connect this book a lot to one of my classes, in which we learn about such things, so it was interesting to get a perspective on the same topics we were studying that was a lot more in-depth and a lot more interesting than my textbook.(The Gapminder website is pretty cool too.)One of my favorite concepts from Factfulness was "possibilist"."People often call me an optimist, because I show them the enormous progress they didn't know about. This makes me angry. I'm not an optimist. That makes me sound naive. I'm a very serious 'possibilist.' That's something I made up. It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview. As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that future progress is possible. This is not optimistic. It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are. It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful." Also, another favorite quote:“Educating girls has proven to be one of the world’s best ideas ever.”I would highly recommend this book. I already have, actually: "Oh, you should read this book! In April. When it comes out. Or you can borrow my copy if you simply cannot wait that long!"I had lots of feelings with this book - not the fiction pull-the-heartstrings feelings and more the this-is-good-and-logical-and-makes-me-happy feelings. Why is logic so hard for some people to understand?The most helpful view presented, actually, was the view that things can be "both bad and better". The world can be improving, but that's not to say there is nothing negative in the world and that there are not terrible things and people are not struggling. Things can be bad. But they can also be getting better. I feel like that kinda sums up the book itself.
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  • Shalini Sinha
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone has a list of 5, 10 or xx books which come along every once in a while and completely change your perspectives on some of the convictions you've held for long. Factfulness is one such book; it has the prospective to challenge the orthodox views we have had since forever.In my opinion, "Factfulness" is one of the most influential books published in 2018. The greatest deal about it is not the facts or fancy numbers & graphs (I still love them) it has, but that how it teaches one to th Everyone has a list of 5, 10 or xx books which come along every once in a while and completely change your perspectives on some of the convictions you've held for long. Factfulness is one such book; it has the prospective to challenge the orthodox views we have had since forever.In my opinion, "Factfulness" is one of the most influential books published in 2018. The greatest deal about it is not the facts or fancy numbers & graphs (I still love them) it has, but that how it teaches one to think logically by taking everything to the basics rather than already starting with an opinion or using analogies to reach a conclusion. Hans Rosling wrote this book when he was on his deathbed, diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer. The only thing that made this drastic change in his personal life bearable was the book. He didn't live long enough to read the final draft, to get the book published, to see it become a massive success or to bliss over people reading it generations after generations. Being a doctor, Rosling spent his whole life working for the underprivileged and the unfortunate ones in different countries of the world. He was a visionary who saw the world different from us; and this is a chronicle of the success stories, experiences as well the failures that he shared with the world.STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for everyone who exists.If you want to understand the world or improve your rational thinking, this could be one of the books to start with.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This is honestly one of the most eye-opening, opinion changing books I have ever read. Especially in today’s political climate, everything feels like the worst case scenario and it can be hard to know what to do without losing hope. Factfulness gives real, data-based information about how we use information and how to do that better. It is frank and it is real and I have never felt so empowered in my life. The tips and explanations in here are I won a copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This is honestly one of the most eye-opening, opinion changing books I have ever read. Especially in today’s political climate, everything feels like the worst case scenario and it can be hard to know what to do without losing hope. Factfulness gives real, data-based information about how we use information and how to do that better. It is frank and it is real and I have never felt so empowered in my life. The tips and explanations in here are so useable and so relatable and so simple, I can start using them right now and I feel like I’ll have need to use them forever. Seriously, this feels right now like a must read book.
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  • Tanja Berg
    January 1, 1970
    The first time I saw Rosling, he was explaining on television that most of the Syrian refugees are displaced in their own country, and not on their way to Europe. He had so many bright ideas. I was deeply saddened to hear of his death and I immediately shied from the postmortem released books. I did not want to be reminded. Eventually I realized my foolishness and this week I've been reading "Factfulness" while at the same time listening to Rosling's memoir on audio.We need to learn to hold two The first time I saw Rosling, he was explaining on television that most of the Syrian refugees are displaced in their own country, and not on their way to Europe. He had so many bright ideas. I was deeply saddened to hear of his death and I immediately shied from the postmortem released books. I did not want to be reminded. Eventually I realized my foolishness and this week I've been reading "Factfulness" while at the same time listening to Rosling's memoir on audio.We need to learn to hold two thoughts in our head at the same time: the world has gotten a lot better, and some things are still really bad. At the start of the book is a quiz with 13 questions, on which most people across the world score worse than if they had guessed at random. As an example, question 2: where do the majority of people live? A. Low-income countries B. Middle-income countries C. High income countries.Although I managed a high score, much because I grew up in a poverty level 2 country and saw it move to 3 within the span of a decade, this was still an incredibly insightful and useful book. It is one that everyone should read. It presents facts and anecdotes, and most of all, tools to better understand the world.Tools for factfulness:1. Gap - check for the majority2. Deterioration - expect bad news3. Linearity - not all lines are straight4. Fear - evaluate risks5. Size - put things in the right perspective6. Generalization - question your categories7. Fate - observe slow changes8. One-sidedness - get more tools9. Blame - avoid pointing fingers10. Emergency - take small stepsThe world is no longer divided into rich and poor. This category is no longer meaningful. Rosling identifies four categories depending on income. The people in the different categories live in a similar way regardless if it's China or Nigeria, Egypt or USA.Don't stress. Check your facts. The world is better than it's ever been. This does not mean there are no things to combat, it simply means that fewer people die from preventable disease than before. Mortality and births are down. Read this book, your life will be better for having done so.If you only read one book this year, or in a decade, or your life, let it be this one.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:Why are people convinced that the world is more frightening than it really is? Hans Rosling thinks he has the answer.Professor Hans Rosling was 'the man in whose hands data sings'. He was dubbed 'a true inspiration' by Bill Gates and became a viral celebrity thanks to his popular TED talks which broke down the statistics behind global health and economics.Before his death in 2017 Rosling spent years asking global audiences simple questions about basic trends. From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:Why are people convinced that the world is more frightening than it really is? Hans Rosling thinks he has the answer.Professor Hans Rosling was 'the man in whose hands data sings'. He was dubbed 'a true inspiration' by Bill Gates and became a viral celebrity thanks to his popular TED talks which broke down the statistics behind global health and economics.Before his death in 2017 Rosling spent years asking global audiences simple questions about basic trends. How widespread is extreme poverty? What is life expectancy today? How many children in the world have been vaccinated? He quizzed everyone from medics to lecturers, bankers, political decision makers - even Nobel Laureates. And the results were always the same."Everyone seems to get the world not only devastatingly wrong, but systematically wrong. By which I mean, that these test results are worse than random. They are worse than the results I would get if the people answering my questions had no knowledge at all."Identifying key evolutionary instincts that prevent us from seeing the world as it really is, Rosling asks us to fundamentally shift our view of the world - but we have an engaging and entertaining guide on our journey.Abridged by Anna MagnussonRead by Adrian RawlinsProducer Eilidh McCreadie.https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09x...
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  • Erik
    January 1, 1970
    “We’re all gonna die,” whispered the young knight next to me.Twenty seven thoughts raced across my mind. First, knights weren’t as advertised. Did this one really use the word ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’? And what about this contraction ‘we’re’? I would’ve been expecting something like, “We shall all perish!” Pfft. Dissapoint. Second, I hadn’t had my breakfast, and I’d always sworn not to die on an empty stomach. Third, I suddenly realized that stars were basically transmutation machines… did “We’re all gonna die,” whispered the young knight next to me.Twenty seven thoughts raced across my mind. First, knights weren’t as advertised. Did this one really use the word ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’? And what about this contraction ‘we’re’? I would’ve been expecting something like, “We shall all perish!” Pfft. Dissapoint. Second, I hadn’t had my breakfast, and I’d always sworn not to die on an empty stomach. Third, I suddenly realized that stars were basically transmutation machines… did that mean stars could be considered philosopher stones? The other twenty four thoughts involved a menagerie of cat gifs, black holes, machine learning, and other such miscellanea. But most importantly, one of them involved a plan.I stepped forward to the Bridge of Death, before this wizened creature who had ejected several previous knights over the edge. In his craggy voice, he challenged me: “Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.”Plan in mind, I boasted: “Ask me the questions bridge keeper, I’m not afraid!”“What is your name?” he spoke.“Sir Erik, of Goodreads.”“What is your quest?”“To write thoughtful, yet entertaining book reviews, for the titillation and cogitation of my fellow Knights of the Round Library.”“What is your favorite color?”“What do you mean favorite color? Favorite color of an apple? Favorite color shirt? Favorite color of hair? –And would this be the hair color of a man or a woman? And if a woman, what is her age, what is her nationality, and what is her relationship to me? And, indeed, what is my mood upon viewing this hair color – for if in depressive mood, the color must be bright, but in manic mood, it must instead be something earthy to ground me?”The bridge keeper looked at me, confused, and said,And *pooft* off he went over the side of the bridge. Plan: Successful.When my students ask me this question about my favorite color (or some other overly simplistic query), and I offer a similar response to the above, they look at me annoyed and say, “Jeez, why do you have to be so extra?”I look at them with a raised eyebrow and reply, “Why do you have to be so simple?”#If there’s any one theme to Factfulness, it’s this: Neither people, nor the world, are simple. So don’t treat them as simple. Instead, learn to see and embrace the complexity in both yourself and the world at large.In particular, Factfulness aims to disabuse readers of the simplistic notion peddled by the media (news, film, TV), politicians, and even well-meaning activists that the world is far worse than it is and is getting worse. It isn’t. Point in fact, human civilization – on average – is probably the best it’s ever been. Yes, ever. Chances are high, if you’re reading this, you live in a part of the world experiencing a golden age of peace, technology, and plenty.The way Factfulness accomplishes this is by (essentially) advocating for a scientific mindset that relies on data rather than instinct. Specifically, Factfulness identifies TEN instincts (or biases) that lead us astray. These are…The Gap Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to polarize categorization (aka the fallacy of false dichotomy). Good or evil. Rich or poor. Correct or incorrect. In reality, most things fall somewhere in the middle.The Negativity Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct, which was evolutionary useful for survival, to find negative events more dramatic and interesting than positive ones. And thus our news and stories tend to be skewed towards the negative rather than the positive. Good business, maybe, but not an accurate depiction of the state of humanity.The Straight Line Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct, what David Hume once invoked when he discussed his famous Problem of Induction, to assume that past trends continue into the future unchanged. However, this is false. The world is always changing, and majority of trends are best modeled with non-linear curves.The Fear Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to magnify the dangers of the things we fear and minimize the dangers of the things we do not fear. For example, in the US, terrorism has resulted in 3,662 deaths in the past 36 years – or about 100 deaths per year. On the other hand, traffic accidents result in 40,000 deaths per year, or 400 times the deaths due to terrorism. So why this weird conservative push to ban immigrants from terrorism hotspots? If safety is our goal, wouldn’t it make way more sense to ban immigrants from countries with poor driving records?The Size Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to think we understand numbers better than we do. In particular, single numbers are far less useful than rates. For example, did you know that India puts out 1.6 BILLION tonnes of Carbon per year? That’s 320 million elephants worth of carbon! Clearly, India is problematic when it comes to climate change.But are they?India’s carbon usage PER CAPITA is only 1.2 tonnes. The US carbon usage is fifteen times that, at 16.6 tonnes per capita. So between these two countries, who really should be expected to reduce their emissions? Who shares a greater blame for climate change and needs to lead the wold by setting a better example? [On this note, I would direct anyone serious about doing their part to UN's Climate Neutral Now program. Choose to be the hero, not the villain.].The Generalization Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to create excessively large categorizations or draw conclusions from insufficient data. We might well call this the ‘-ism’ instinct, as it’s responsible (with help from confirmation bias) for maintaining racism, sexism, and all the other -isms of the, um, I was gonna say rainbow but somehow that doesn't fit... what's the opposite of a rainbow? A big pile of unicorn turds? Yeah. That'll do.The Destiny Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to view the world as unchanging, or destined to be the way it is. For example, many Westerners assume Africa is somehow destined to be a war-torn, impoverished continent. Not so. By the middle of the century, Africa will almost certainly house some of the fastest growing economies – and business people would be fools to miss the investment opportunities.The Single (Perspective) Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to extend expertise beyond its domain or to assume that just because a solution worked in one instance, it will therefore work in all. For an example of the former, take this quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children.”Now I like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but he's an astrophysicist and I'm pretty sure child psychology isn't part of the astrophysics curriculum. Maybe he's right, maybe he isn't. But there is absolutely no reason to believe any part of that quote just because he's a celebrity scientist who knows a lot about astronomical phenomena.P.S. He isn't right. The only adults I've ever seen who limit the creativity of children don't do it unwittingly. They do it on purpose, and often for the best of intentions. For example, parents teach their children they cannot leap off a building and fly away like a bird. Generally, this is a good thing to know: human beings don't fly with our bodies, we fly with our minds, as true of adults as it is of children.The Blame Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to assign blame (or credit) to individual people or initiatives. For example, many US voters vote out (or in) a president on the basis of the health of the economy. In reality, the president has little to no control over it. The systems of our civilization are ultra-complex and interconnected, and they function (or fail to function) because of the deeds of the many, not the few.The Urgency Instinct: This is the simplistic instinct to believe quick action is better than no action. In reality, and to borrow one of my favorite quotes, “The easiest way to do something is properly.” Taking the extra time to do something right is nearly always the best way to do it.And those are the ten instincts, each of which has its own chapter. Obviously, Factfulness goes into far greater detail, and each chapter is further spiced up with interesting charts and graphs, as well as anecdotes from the author’s time as a doctor and a lecturer.Now I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction. Too often, I find it lacks voice, which makes the reading experience rather sterile. Not so here! There’s a distinct feeling of the author speaking to you, personally, and he’s not afraid to reveal his own fears and motives. Because of this, Factfulness manages that fine line between informative and entertaining, making it a light yet thought-provoking read.On the other hand, I would be failing Factfulness's affirmation of complexity if I let its flaws pass without comment. For example, the book begins with - and is structured around - a questionnaire meant to demonstrate the average person's ignorance of the world, but some of the questions are suspect. Here’s one: “Where do most of people live in the world?” [A: Low income countries B: Middle income countries C: High income countries.]”It’s a problematic question because the definitions of “low” / “middle” / “high” are ambiguous. Are they being defined statistically along a normal curve? That can’t be, because that would make the question pointlessly tautological: the answer would, by definition, be 'middle.' So how are they being defined? The author claims the “correct” answer is B – but relative to basically anyone reading the book, the real correct answer is A. Because how he defines “middle” income, as $2/day to $32/day is AT ITS HIGHEST ($11500 a year) below the poverty line for higher income countries – which is how the vast majority of respondents would define low income.In another example found within the Urgency Instinct chapter, the author makes a rather poignant confession. He admits to panicking and instituting a quarantine that causes a group of accidental deaths, the results of which he witnesses first-hand. He realizes he's to blame and thinks he made the wrong call. In fact, he's engaging in a bit of hindsight bias. Easy enough, looking back after he learns there was no actual need for the quarantine, that he should have chosen otherwise. But in the moment, with the information that was available? He chose to play it safe, and that was probably the best decision. I daresay most readers, unburdened as we are by any sense of guilt, would agree. This muddies the chapter as a whole. It's important to realize that it's true that many bad decisions are made because "leaders" are trying to avoid the appearance of inaction. But it's also important to realize that essentially every decision you ever make will be made with incomplete information and that there truly do exist situations in which doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.These are of course not the only do issues the book has, but there really aren't that many other flaws. Even with the rare stumble, the author makes a clear, intelligent, humble case that most of us (including leaders and experts) simply don’t have an accurate view of the world. In this age of the internet, globalization, and science, we can and should do better.
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  • ScienceOfSuccess
    January 1, 1970
    TL;DR People as not as rich, and not as poor as we expect them to be. We can blame media and education for this, but we can't change it.
  • Mats Mehrstedt
    January 1, 1970
    In the last decades of his life Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017) made a world-wide career lecturing to large corporations, Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and gatherings of Nobel laureates and heads of states such as in Davos, about the statistics of the world. Roslings son invented a software so that you could present statistics with moving, shrinking and growing bubbles in different colors, which made an otherwise boring subject highly entertaining. The program could even be sold to Google. In the last decades of his life Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017) made a world-wide career lecturing to large corporations, Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and gatherings of Nobel laureates and heads of states such as in Davos, about the statistics of the world. Rosling´s son invented a software so that you could present statistics with moving, shrinking and growing bubbles in different colors, which made an otherwise boring subject highly entertaining. The program could even be sold to Google.Now, if you want to make a lot of money with people like this, you better tell them what they want to hear, or the invitations may dry up. Rosling´s message is that everything is getting better. Did you know that the number of extremely poor people have halved in the last 20 years? Did you know that the majority of the world´s population do not live in poor countries but in middle-income countries? Did you know that 80% of the world´s 1-year-olds have been vaccinated (against “some” disease)? Everything is getting better. At a slow pace, but it is getting there, so there´s no need to worry. Unless there is an outbreak of Ebola or some such thing.Rosling is not lying. Everybody can check these statistics themselves on the internet. But, as it is with statistics, you pick some and leave others out. And then there are those less-than-scientific value judgments. What is a “middle-income country”? If you look closely, if you make more than 2 dollars a day you are already there, according to Rosling. Now, if you are lucky, you might even be able to buy a bicycle and go into town and maybe even get a job in one of the garment factories! Imagine that! Progress is there! That progress is so slow that your generation and the next few ones may not live to see it should be of no concern.Why do the Africans risk their lives as refugees in the middle of all this progress? Because the EU won´t allow them to come by plane. Yes, that is a small part of the answer, but just a very small part and it does not explain why people leave their countries in the first place when there is no war.In the middle of the book Rosling has two honest pages about an African woman who talked to him after one of his lectures. She said Rosling was a good talker but he had no vision, which he found unfair. Then she said “Do you think Africans will settle with getting rid of extreme poverty and be happy living in only ordinary poverty?” She said his attitude was the same old European attitude Africans had lived with for centuries. Now, it honors Rosling that he mentions this, but he did not learn anything from it, obviously. On the very next page, as on all the others, he keeps going on as before.The over 1000-year-old nordic Edda says “One thing I know that never dies – the judgment over a dead man”.Hans Rosling was born in a working class family. He did many great things as a doctor in Africa and India. But he should have closed his ears to the siren call of fame and Big Money. He became a tranquilizer for the ruling class.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    This book came highly recommended by The Economist, amongst others, though to me it was unsurprising, lacked particularly interesting conclusions, and felt rather tedious. The work begins with a quiz consisting of 13 questions. The author claims that a 2017 study asked the same questions to 20k participants, and on average respondents got a mere 2 of the first 12 questions right, with one participant of 20k getting 11 of the 12 correct. However, my own results showed 10 / 13, and when I shared t This book came highly recommended by The Economist, amongst others, though to me it was unsurprising, lacked particularly interesting conclusions, and felt rather tedious. The work begins with a quiz consisting of 13 questions. The author claims that a 2017 study asked the same questions to 20k participants, and on average respondents got a mere 2 of the first 12 questions right, with one participant of 20k getting 11 of the 12 correct. However, my own results showed 10 / 13, and when I shared the quiz with three friends, their scores were between 8 & 10 of 13 correct. So, perhaps continuing to read the book was a mistake - effectively what follows is a question-by-question review of the statistics behind the answers - perhaps enlightening if you manage only a couple of correct answers, but rather dull if the questions seem humdrum. There are several points which dull the book: 1) assumption of linear progress - essentially the book assumes that the significant progress on key indicators is monotonically increasing with time into the future (i.e. the African middle class has increased by X over the past Y years, and at current growth rates the middle class will be Z). 2) abuse of averages - the author notes the danger of using averages to describe populations without understanding the underlying distributions, then proceeds to barrage the reader with averages while offering little sense of the underlying distributions, and so failing to address key underlying questions (is the progress indicated the result of economic growth? Mass migration to cities? Other factors?) 3) correlation is not causality - there seems to be a consistent tendency to obscure when the discussion is seeking to illustrate correlation and when he argues for a causal relationship, and as a result, it is fails to offer a compelling case for causal factors and, in many cases, even to consider underlying drivers of progress (and, therefore, to consider risks to such progress). In summary, if you score poorly on the quiz and could use a summary glance at key development statistics and how they have evolved in recent decades, this can be a useful primer. Otherwise, flip through the summaries at the end of each chapter, understand his argument that data is a better indicator of reality than media, and call it a day.
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  • Bettie☯
    January 1, 1970
    BOTWhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09x...Description: Why are people convinced that the world is more frightening than it really is? Hans Rosling thinks he has the answer. Professor Hans Rosling was 'the man in whose hands data sings'. He was dubbed 'a true inspiration' by Bill Gates and became a viral celebrity thanks to his popular TED talks which broke down the statistics behind global health and economics.Before his death in 2017 Rosling spent years asking global audiences simple question BOTWhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09x...Description: Why are people convinced that the world is more frightening than it really is? Hans Rosling thinks he has the answer. Professor Hans Rosling was 'the man in whose hands data sings'. He was dubbed 'a true inspiration' by Bill Gates and became a viral celebrity thanks to his popular TED talks which broke down the statistics behind global health and economics.Before his death in 2017 Rosling spent years asking global audiences simple questions about basic trends. How widespread is extreme poverty? What is life expectancy today? How many children in the world have been vaccinated? He quizzed everyone from medics to lecturers, bankers, political decision makers - even Nobel Laureates. And the results were always the same."Everyone seems to get the world not only devastatingly wrong, but systematically wrong. By which I mean, that these test results are worse than random. They are worse than the results I would get if the people answering my questions had no knowledge at all."Identifying key evolutionary instincts that prevent us from seeing the world as it really is, Rosling asks us to fundamentally shift our view of the world - but we have an engaging and entertaining guide on our journey.Just another way of framing Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, and I didn't buy into that either.
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  • Romanas af Wolfsborg
    January 1, 1970
    I have had the opportunity of seeing professor Hans Rosling live at one event. He was giving one of his classic presentations enriched with his famous interactive diagrams. Hans was hastily bouncing around the scene and by using an oversized stick as a prop he was lively explaining how the world works. Which is not how many people think it does. The speech was impressive. The life of professor Rosling was even more impressive, and he shared a great deal of it throughout the years by using his un I have had the opportunity of seeing professor Hans Rosling live at one event. He was giving one of his classic presentations enriched with his famous interactive diagrams. Hans was hastily bouncing around the scene and by using an oversized stick as a prop he was lively explaining how the world works. Which is not how many people think it does. The speech was impressive. The life of professor Rosling was even more impressive, and he shared a great deal of it throughout the years by using his unique technique and tireless enthusiasm making the World a less ignorant place. As with many of his other great endeavors, professor Rosling greatly succeeded of accomplishing his last work, an autobiography of a special kind, written with the ink of factfulness, right before he was hastily forced to leave the stage of life. This is the book that will continue making the impact for generations to come and inspire new thinkers to whom a fact-based approach is central to life and research.Hans Rosling was one of the greatest fighters against ignorance, an impressive educator, a clear thinker, a doctor solving major health crises, Ebola included, and a man with many other astonishing achievements. The book compiles many of those great undertakings. It begins with a quiz where the reader would check the level of his ignorance. Then, based on the quiz results, the less unaware one is about some facts of how the World is functioning, the more important is this book to read. The book is well organized, and naturally for the subject, very rich with facts, which are thoroughly analyzed and augmented with the personal stories from the professor’s life journey. It is a very lively, pedagogic, and important work. By using a clear thinking, sound reasoning, and hard facts, Rosling in each chapter deeply reasons and busts different kinds of our biased instinct. Each chapter ends with the factfulness arguments and important key points, which should be put on the wall and used as a guidance navigating our complex and ignorant World.Hans Rosling's Factfulness, as well as his material on YouTube, is a very important legacy, and a must read for everybody.
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  • Michael Perkins
    January 1, 1970
    It's a constant challenge to get our facts straight. Like most readers and others the author has challenged, I flunked the test at the beginning of the book. Early in the book, he makes it clear he is not an optimist, never mind an idealist. He simply demonstrates what accurate data shows us about the world and the good news is that the world is improving. This does not mean, the author makes clear, that there are not serious issues in terms of politics, racism, and climate change. But we should It's a constant challenge to get our facts straight. Like most readers and others the author has challenged, I flunked the test at the beginning of the book. Early in the book, he makes it clear he is not an optimist, never mind an idealist. He simply demonstrates what accurate data shows us about the world and the good news is that the world is improving. This does not mean, the author makes clear, that there are not serious issues in terms of politics, racism, and climate change. But we shouldn't be pessimists, but stay after these problems.As readers learn what they don't know, the author explains why. He calls them instincts that can get in the way of finding out what's real: opting for melodramatic explanations, the "us vs them" gap perspective, negativism, seeing all data as a straight line, allowing fear to cloud our judgment, over-generalizing, seeing everything through a single ideological lens, blaming.In the pursuit of educating others, he does not agree that the means justify the ends. He articulates something about Al Gore's mode of presentation that I agree is wrong. I have seen two polar opposite and unfortunate reactions to Gore's worst case approach in "An Inconvenient Truth"----backlash skepticism and defeatism. I recall Gore being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN. Anderson showed the documentary animation of the worst case flooding of the entire state of Florida. Anderson was skeptical and I thought it made Gore look absurd. Rosling writes:“We need to create fear!” That’s what Al Gore said to me at the start of our first conversation about how to teach climate change. It was 2009 and we were backstage at a TED conference in Los Angeles. Al Gore asked me to help him and use Gapminder’s bubble graphs to show a worst-case future impact of a continued increase in CO2 emissions.But I couldn’t agree to what he had asked. I don’t like fear.Fear plus urgency make for stupid, drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects. Climate change is too important for that. It needs systematic analysis, thought-through decisions, incremental actions, and careful evaluation. And I don’t like exaggeration.Exaggeration undermines the credibility of well-founded data: in this case, data showing that climate change is real, that it is largely caused by greenhouse gases from human activities such as burning fossil fuels, and that taking swift and broad action now would be cheaper than waiting until costly and unacceptable climate change happened. Exaggeration, once discovered, makes people tune out altogether.I insisted that I would never show the worst-case line without showing the probable and the best-case lines as well. Picking only the worst-case scenario and— worse— continuing the line beyond the scientifically based predictions would fall far outside Gapminder’s mission to help people understand the basic facts. It would be using our credibility to make a call to action. Al Gore continued to press his case for fearful animated bubbles beyond the expert forecasts, over several more conversations, until finally I closed the discussion down. “Mr. Vice President. No numbers, no bubbles.”To be absolutely clear, I am deeply concerned about climate change because I am convinced it is real— as real as Ebola was in 2014. I understand the temptation to raise support by picking the worst projections and denying the huge uncertainties in the numbers. But those who care about climate change should stop scaring people with unlikely scenarios.======I know I resent it when I see someone is trying to manipulate me through fear. We have a lot of that in our country right now. Even if it's for a good cause, people will tune out, become indifferent, even feel hopeless.
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  • Pete
    January 1, 1970
    Factfulness : Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (2018) by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund is an absolutely outstanding book about the most important numbers in the world and how most people around the world, including researchers, do not know them.Everyone should read this book. It is superb. This review will try and say why. The book combines an engaging narrative with insight and a plethora of facts about our world.Hans Rosling Factfulness : Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (2018) by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund is an absolutely outstanding book about the most important numbers in the world and how most people around the world, including researchers, do not know them.Everyone should read this book. It is superb. This review will try and say why. The book combines an engaging narrative with insight and a plethora of facts about our world.Hans Rosling was a Swedish doctor who worked extensively in the developing world and realised that even he did not know much about how the world has developed. He then started studying the big statistics on the plight of the world. He established the Gapminder Foundation ( www.gapminder.org ) that is dedicated to showing the true state of the world through the big numbers on health, population and wealth. Rosling died last year after a truly remarkable life. This book, written with his son and his son's wife is his last act and completed by them is also a great credit to them as well.The book starts with a quiz, the first few questions of which are here:1: In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? A: 20 percent B: 40 percent, C: 60 percent2: Where does the majority of the world population live? A: Low-income countries B: Middle-income countries C: High-income countries3. In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has … A: almost doubled B: remained more or less the same C: almost halved4. What is the life expectancy of the world today? A: 50 years B: 60 years C: 70 yearsThe answers are at the end of this review.Rosling posed 13 such questions to various experts and laypeople around the world and found that people usually do worse than guessing at random. This is a truly terrible result. The book is another attempt by Rosling to get us to understand more about the way the world really is and why we have such a poor grasp of the big, basic statistics of our world.Rosling looks at his own life in Sweden, growing up with a mother who was delighted to have a washing machine that freed up so much of her time that in turn allowed her to read to her son who became a doctor. Rosling then intertwines his own life, and extensive experiences in the third world to show how the world has changed and how it really is. He uses his experience as teacher to doctors in Sweden who want to work in the developing world but know little about the reality of it.The book looks at why people are generally far too negative, how they see trends as straight lines rather than as things that change, how we fear things irrationally, how we generalize poorly, how we rarely think about how the past really was, how we don't get enough perspectives, how we then seek to blame and how people exaggerate negatives and proposes Factfulness rules of thumb so we can better understand our world and the fate of people on it.Factfulness is a deep, moving and fantastic book that really helps to educate people as to what the real state of the world is. It should be read by as many people as possible. Hans Rosling lived a remarkable life working to better humanity. The least the rest of us can do is read this entertaining book to educate ourselves better.( 1: C, 2: B, 3: C, 4: C )
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    Ale ano, dávám pět hvězdiček, to se skutečně nestává často. O knize jsem poprvé slyšela na blogu Billa Gatese, ale pak jsem ji pustila z hlavy. Až když jsem se vracela z dovolené a na pražském letišti jsem ji zahlédla při koupi lístku na autobus, řekla jsem si: „proč ne, koupím ji!“ Factfulness od Roslinga je z mého pohledu taková učebnice kritického myšlení pro začátečníky. V knize jsou srozumitelnou formou vysvětleny nejzávažnější problémy našeho rozhodování a popsáno, jak s nimi bojovat. Nedi Ale ano, dávám pět hvězdiček, to se skutečně nestává často. O knize jsem poprvé slyšela na blogu Billa Gatese, ale pak jsem ji pustila z hlavy. Až když jsem se vracela z dovolené a na pražském letišti jsem ji zahlédla při koupi lístku na autobus, řekla jsem si: „proč ne, koupím ji!“ Factfulness od Roslinga je z mého pohledu taková učebnice kritického myšlení pro začátečníky. V knize jsou srozumitelnou formou vysvětleny nejzávažnější problémy našeho rozhodování a popsáno, jak s nimi bojovat. Nedivím se Billu Gatesovi, že se rozhodl věnovat tuto knihu každému absolventovi střední školy, který tento rok opustí její brány. Něco podobného by se hodilo v naší kotlině. Všem vřele doporučuji. Pro mě osobně byla nejpřínosnější část o tom, jak náš pohled na svět, který dělíme na rozvojový a ten rozvinutý, je pokřivený a zkreslený. Dobrou zprávou na závěr je, že na podzim bude kniha k dispozici i v češtině, a to díky vydavatelství Melvil Publishing
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  • Richard Block
    January 1, 1970
    Just the FactsHans Rosling's Factfulness is the companion to Steven Pinker's recent Enlightenment Now - and having read Pinker, I got 100% on Hans Rosling's Factfulness test. To any rational person, I recommend both books without reservation.Like Pinker the late Rosling (died in 2017) wanted to know 'why' we are so wrong about our understanding of the world, and how to use facts to correct this understanding. Pinker goes further - he celebrates reason and science, and understands and utilises Da Just the FactsHans Rosling's Factfulness is the companion to Steven Pinker's recent Enlightenment Now - and having read Pinker, I got 100% on Hans Rosling's Factfulness test. To any rational person, I recommend both books without reservation.Like Pinker the late Rosling (died in 2017) wanted to know 'why' we are so wrong about our understanding of the world, and how to use facts to correct this understanding. Pinker goes further - he celebrates reason and science, and understands and utilises Daniel Kahneman's thinking to offer explanations. Rosling's theories are 'home grown' - they are good and commonsensical but not as scientific as these. The book is clear and well written, and simple to understand. The world is getting better, not worse and that we should be 'possibilists' not optimists or negativists.For me, this book is part of the trilogy I use to better understand the world today - Pinker (Better Angels and Enlightenment Now), Kahneman (Thinking Fast and Slow) and Rosling (Factfulness). It is essential reading.
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  • Micke Goteman
    January 1, 1970
    When Hans Rosling passed away last year, he left behind an incredible legacy, and a bold cry for our world to challenge our own thinking and assumptions. The book he has written with his son and daughter in-law is so fitting to who Hans was, and probably represents one of the most important messages of our time. Just like Hans' teaching, the book is a mixture of incredible and hilarious stories, and with built-in lessons that shakes up the way we often think in the west.An easy read, and a power When Hans Rosling passed away last year, he left behind an incredible legacy, and a bold cry for our world to challenge our own thinking and assumptions. The book he has written with his son and daughter in-law is so fitting to who Hans was, and probably represents one of the most important messages of our time. Just like Hans' teaching, the book is a mixture of incredible and hilarious stories, and with built-in lessons that shakes up the way we often think in the west.An easy read, and a powerful message. Read it as soon as you can. Especially if you don't think you need it.
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  • Tristan Eagling
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of Hans Rosling since watching his Ted talks almost ten years ago, if you have not watched them stop reading this and go and do it now, you will thank me for it.The first few chapters revisit the same ground , but the rest of this book is more of his inspired take on the importance of data.The book makes you rethink your world view but more surprisingly from a book essentially about numbers is this book makes you well up with emotion. As well as being a clearly incredibility inte I've been a fan of Hans Rosling since watching his Ted talks almost ten years ago, if you have not watched them stop reading this and go and do it now, you will thank me for it.The first few chapters revisit the same ground , but the rest of this book is more of his inspired take on the importance of data.The book makes you rethink your world view but more surprisingly from a book essentially about numbers is this book makes you well up with emotion. As well as being a clearly incredibility intelligent man Hans was a great communicator and this shines through the pages. There is also a lot about himself , but this is not an autobiography (at one point he mentions getting cancer in his thirties and is it is given all of two lines) but he uses stories to emphasis points brilliantly. One story is so breathtakingly honest and self critical it could only have been written by a dying man and made me have to put the book down for a moment because it was so heartbreaking. I would say that this book should be read by everybody who works in development but it would be doing it a disservice , it should be read by everyone! At least for the next 5 years at which point it will be out of date in our ever changing world, and someone equally as brilliant should write a new version just as Hans would have wanted.
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  • Michael Austin
    January 1, 1970
    Factfulness is the last offering of Hans Rosling's public career. A Swedish medical researcher, Rosling was a special kind of Don Quixote. He believed that most Westerners badly misunderstood the non-Western world, that we were trapped in an early-Cold war narrative of a "Developed World" and a "Developing World," and that we were making atrocious public policy based on these bad assumptions.So he spend much of his life gathering data and finding ways to present it to people to disrupt the incor Factfulness is the last offering of Hans Rosling's public career. A Swedish medical researcher, Rosling was a special kind of Don Quixote. He believed that most Westerners badly misunderstood the non-Western world, that we were trapped in an early-Cold war narrative of a "Developed World" and a "Developing World," and that we were making atrocious public policy based on these bad assumptions.So he spend much of his life gathering data and finding ways to present it to people to disrupt the incorrect narrative. And be became a Ted Talk celebrity--mainly because he was funny, occasionally swallowed swords, and had really good data that he presented in really cool formats. One of the most important things he did for the world is popularize some very sophisticated data visualization techniques. But he had a passion to explain.This book is ostensibly about ten human instincts that make it hard for us to understand the world. But the "ten things" is really a marketing ploy. Some of them are really the same thing in a different costume, and they all really boil down to various instances of confirmation bias and availability heuristic, with some flawed intuitive probability reasoning thrown in for good measure.The book is not really about the ten ways we get things wrong. It is about the one thing that we are consistently wrong about: people in the West have a sort of visceral belief that people in "the Third World" or "The Developing World," all live with crushing poverty and unchecked population growth. Most of this is based on a very old view of the world, circa 1965, when it really was possible to see some wealthy countries as developed and the vast majority of other countries as lagging behind in almost every measure of human flourishing.This is not true any more. It has not been true for years. But most people in the United States and Western Europe believe it, and we make a lot of global policy based on these assumptions.Factfulness is all about changing the narrative with data. This is a start. Once people in "developed" countries realize that other countries are developed too, several things can happen:1. We can recognize that a lot of the things we have tried over the last 50 years to address hunger and poverty have actually worked--so we can do more of the same things to end the poverty (not unsubstantial) that remains.2. We can stop treading most of the world as a drain on resources and start taking advantage of the new, rich markets that have emerged all over the world in the last 20-50 years.3. We can address public policy issues like immigration and refugees with facts and data instead of the paralyzing fear that millions of poor people want to come into our lifeboat and sink it.4. We can stop being so damn gloomy all the time about the future, which, in many ways, is really rather bright.I enjoyed the book a lot. Sometimes, the author (authors really, as Rosling died in 2017 and his children completed the manuscript) was condescending, and other times he was gimicky. But the data is real, and the problem is serious, and the book has mostly the right answers to the most important questions.
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  • Nyamka Ganni
    January 1, 1970
    We need more facts, more data and little bit of compassion! Human race survived numerous disasters and who knows how many to come. One thing is certain that we made miraculous progresses along the way. World has become infinitely better place. Though, that doesn't mean everything's okay or there's nothing to be worried about. Far from it. We need to keep data oriented, cool-headed analytical mind most of the time. With that mindset, we can overcome anything. Be prepared for everything for no one We need more facts, more data and little bit of compassion! Human race survived numerous disasters and who knows how many to come. One thing is certain that we made miraculous progresses along the way. World has become infinitely better place. Though, that doesn't mean everything's okay or there's nothing to be worried about. Far from it. We need to keep data oriented, cool-headed analytical mind most of the time. With that mindset, we can overcome anything. Be prepared for everything for no one knows anything for sure. Be humble and expect mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Though improvement is possible however slow it may be. Be open-minded. Analyze before and act. Avoid extremists at all costs.Here are the 5 most important global issues we should be aware of and worried about (as suggested by author).* Global pandemic* Financial collapse (this is one seems inevitable. Question is when though?)* World war (I want to believe this one is not an issue so baddly!) * Climate change (this one is real!) * Extreme poverty (seems like education is the key in the long term.) ------ * Unknown threats (this one is always on the table!)
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  • José Luis
    January 1, 1970
    Hans Rosling, um dos autores (os outros são um filho e nora) e mentor de todo o trabalho, é conhecido por excelentes palestras no TedTalks. Sempre usando a ferramenta que eles criaram, o Gapminder. O livro é interessante demais, mostra os nossos vícios humanos de interpratação de dados, de tirar conclusões apressadas e de tomar decisões erradas com base em primeiras impressões. O ponto principal de todo o livro é visão sistêmica, análise sistêmica, aprender a enxergar não apenas fatores isolados Hans Rosling, um dos autores (os outros são um filho e nora) e mentor de todo o trabalho, é conhecido por excelentes palestras no TedTalks. Sempre usando a ferramenta que eles criaram, o Gapminder. O livro é interessante demais, mostra os nossos vícios humanos de interpratação de dados, de tirar conclusões apressadas e de tomar decisões erradas com base em primeiras impressões. O ponto principal de todo o livro é visão sistêmica, análise sistêmica, aprender a enxergar não apenas fatores isolados, mas sim saber ter espírito crítico para conseguir enxergar mais do que os dados estão mostrando inicialmente. Mesmo quem sabe fazer análise sistêmica e usa ferramentas para enxergar contextos sistêmicos (meu caso com a dinâmica de sistemas), tira grande proveito das lições e insights proporcionados pelo livro. Uma leitura obrigatória para qualquer profissional que em algum momento, tem que interpretar resultados de gráficos, tabelas, planilhas, etc. Imperdível.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Opens your eyes to how things have really changed in the world in the last 20 -50 years. Gives you a good sense of how the information we "think" we are using to make assumptions about the world is not really how we are making our opinions.As someone who cares about having an accurate perspective of the world, I would recommend to anyone who thinks a lot about all kinds of global issues.
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  • Joseph Agunbiade
    January 1, 1970
    I just finished reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling and Ola Rosling.It is a memoir of the life of a man who saw the world differently, the way everyone else should see it. That with the right data you will always make the better Judgment. That despite our passions we can only make meaningful impact if the facts are true and not exaggerated. That the data of yesterday is not the same as that of today as such we must keep measuring. And lastly that the world is getting better and to I just finished reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling and Ola Rosling.It is a memoir of the life of a man who saw the world differently, the way everyone else should see it. That with the right data you will always make the better Judgment. That despite our passions we can only make meaningful impact if the facts are true and not exaggerated. That the data of yesterday is not the same as that of today as such we must keep measuring. And lastly that the world is getting better and to see it you must compare the past(accurate data) with the present.
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  • Devika
    January 1, 1970
    If you only have time to read one book, then let it be this one. It is one of the most charming, heartwarming, inspiring books I've ever read. Though rooted in public health, this book shares the common misconceptions we all have regarding our worldview. These misconceptions are called the ten 'instincts', and Rosling discusses these in a very accessible way by combining his research with anecdotal evidence. These 'instincts' can also potentially cause missed opportunities in business as we fail If you only have time to read one book, then let it be this one. It is one of the most charming, heartwarming, inspiring books I've ever read. Though rooted in public health, this book shares the common misconceptions we all have regarding our worldview. These misconceptions are called the ten 'instincts', and Rosling discusses these in a very accessible way by combining his research with anecdotal evidence. These 'instincts' can also potentially cause missed opportunities in business as we fail to realise the existence of markets. Rosling is that fun grandpa anyone would love to have, someone who teaches us how to think and shows off his love for the circus with his sword swallowing skills. The book is almost like a series of nice long lectures from Rosling, where he starts you off with a neat little quiz to help you see how further your perspective is from reality. He shows that things can be both 'bad' and 'better', which means that 4 million deaths of children is bad but it's definitely better than the earlier rate of 14 million. He teaches that our sole focus on the problems of the world sometimes heightens our dramatic instincts and makes us forget that some progress has been made. His book made me more hopeful.Fun fact: Bill Gates loved this book so much that he’s gifting a free ebook to all graduates from American universities in 2018. Check out his blog gatesnotes.com for details
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  • Harald Groven
    January 1, 1970
    Hans Rosling explains how media bias, ideological preconceptions and statistical illiteracy makes most people (in rich countries) believe in a gloomy and spectacularly wrong worldview. The book carefully explains by data and vivid examples how positive developments are systematically underreported, while disaster news are vastly over-reported. Rosling categorise the 10 most important sources of bias and misconceptions as well as explaining strategies on how to avoid them.This book is a treasure Hans Rosling explains how media bias, ideological preconceptions and statistical illiteracy makes most people (in rich countries) believe in a gloomy and spectacularly wrong worldview. The book carefully explains by data and vivid examples how positive developments are systematically underreported, while disaster news are vastly over-reported. Rosling categorise the 10 most important sources of bias and misconceptions as well as explaining strategies on how to avoid them.This book is a treasure trove of evidence based reasoning, global statistics and myth busting! I read it just after finishing Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. These books have a lot in common, both in goal and tone, but I enjoyed Rosling's book much more.Unless you have watched Roslings famous lectures (available on TED and Youtube), this book will forever change the way you understand global health, demography and development.
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  • Jennopenny
    January 1, 1970
    Det finns ju inte att ge den här något annat än en femma.
  • Balazs Faluvegi
    January 1, 1970
    A book that everyone should read. A very clear, practical and easy-to-understand panoramic picture about how the world stands today and how much most people misjudge it. If you've read Pinker's Enlightement Now, which is a good book by the way, this is even better and tells more in a shorter length, with great personal stories.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    Won from a Goodreads giveawayA lesson in critical thinking and optimism.Back in elementary school, I recall reading books and taking quizzes on them for a reading program, but the thing was the quiz always came after I had finished the book...not in the introduction where Factfulness has theirs. All the same, I gave it a go. Out of the 13 questions asked, I answered 10 correctly and one I missed because I thought of the wrong species of a creature. Not bad I thought, but also not great. Well, I Won from a Goodreads giveawayA lesson in critical thinking and optimism.Back in elementary school, I recall reading books and taking quizzes on them for a reading program, but the thing was the quiz always came after I had finished the book...not in the introduction where Factfulness has theirs. All the same, I gave it a go. Out of the 13 questions asked, I answered 10 correctly and one I missed because I thought of the wrong species of a creature. Not bad I thought, but also not great. Well, I came to learn that actually was pretty great.I was a bit incredulous when they explained the answers people normally chose. How could people get them that wrong? That didn't make any sense! I read on with more than a hint of skepticism, and found myself wondering if I was going to even finish this book. My rating is a bit of a spoiler as to how it turned out in the end.Factfulness explains how so many are wrong about things they believe to be common knowledge about the world. They go a step further though, by not only discussing the actual facts, but also examining how so many end up with wrong information, and ways in which you can find the facts yourself. For me, the initially incredulous reader, it ended up being perhaps a bit of a different learning experience than someone who might do poorly on the quiz. But it was a learning experience nonetheless, and one I will definitely keep in mind going forward in life. Author Hans Rosling may no longer be with us, but he certainly left his mark on the world through his teaching and this book.
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