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.
“Wonderful . . . a passionate and erudite message that is all more moving because it comes from beyond the grave . . . His knack for presentation and delight in statistics come across on every page. Who else would choose a chart of 'guitars per capita' as a proxy for human progress?”—The Financial Times
“[Factfulness] throws down a gauntlet to doom-and-gloomers in global health by challenging preconceptions and misconceptions [and] is a fabulous read, succinct and lively . . . This magnificent book ends with a plea for a factual world view. Rosling was optimistic that this outlook will spread, because it is a useful navigational tool in a complex world, and a genuine antidote to negativity and hopelessness. A just tribute to this book and the man would be a global day of celebration for facts about our world. Perhaps Trump should lead the charge on that.”—Nature
"Like any good statistician, Rosling uses the tools of his trade (namely, graphs, charts and lots of questionnaires) to argue we're doing too much feeling and not enough thinking when it comes to assessing the world . . . His goal is to change the way we see the world."—Business Insider
"Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases."—Former U.S. President Barack Obama
“One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.”—Bill Gates
“Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.”—Melinda Gates
Reviews from Goodreads
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