For fans of Freakonomics and Thinking, Fast and Slow, here is a book by Hans Rosling, the scientist called "a true inspiration" by Bill Gates, that teaches us how to see the world as it truly is.
Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of carrying only 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 longtime 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Hans Rosling’s book will change the way you think about the world—and make you feel a lot better about it. The physician and author was renowned for his ability to understand data. This audiobook shows how his approach will not only make you smarter, but make you happier. That’s because Rosling's entire philosophy rests on the idea of forming an opinion about something only when you have hard facts to back it up. And trust us: This cuts a tonne of worry out of your life! Rosling explains how many of our most stress-inducing preconceived notions aren't even true. For example, dire headlines often make us think that issues like poverty and women’s rights are only getting worse, yet data prove that they’re massively improving—worldwide! Narrator Richard Harries has a hint of quirkiness to his warm voice, which perfectly captures Rosling’s exuberance (particularly when he explains how he became a part-time sword-swallower). You don’t need to be a wide-eyed optimist to feel better—you just have to think like a scientist.