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Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World and Why Things Are…

by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,769597,100 (4.4)30
INSTANTNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "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. ButFactfulness 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 "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 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. InFactfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offersa radical new explanation of why this happens. They revealthe ten instincts that distort our perspective--from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version ofus andthem) 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,Factfulnessis 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.… (more)
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» See also 30 mentions

English (52)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Jaunty Swedish professor updating us on the encouraging spread of health and prosperity globally, and the stubborn reluctance of people to conform to stereotypes. He’s an affable companion, and genially throws in anecdotes from many years as a medic in “developing” countries. The “Factfulness” questionnaires that Rosling sets up to debunk would seem to include some straw men, but the responses he tabulates here, from assorted international symposia, do suggest the need for a corrective to those still tempted to think of the Third World as a destitute, lawless, unsophisticated periphery. Practical, upbeat, and engaging. ( )
  eglinton | Apr 4, 2021 |
I started reading this before the Covid-19 pandemic; I was immediately impressed and gripped by this reasoned perspective; then I stopped as political responsibilities overtook me and have only recently returned to complete the book.

I must admit I was not looking forward to picking up where I left off. I felt that the pandemic may have so affected my views that I could not rediscover this optimistic worldview. I thought my timing was all wrong. I was wrong. I believe this is even more a message for our time than I originally thought. ( )
  letocq | Feb 6, 2021 |
This book is a must read for everyone! ( )
  paven | Jan 26, 2021 |
TL;DR: A must-read for everyone.

A close friend of mine remarked several times that I viewed the world in a negative light.
When I finally got hold of this book, I read it over a period of 7 weeks (too slow, I know), and took time to pause and think about what the author expects from the reader.
In the end, I feel I needed to the read this book and know about his experiences and learn and change mine, through proper fact-checking... obviously.
The book, and by in its extension the author, is not pretentious and superfluous about the reality and he acknowledges that the REAL world is bad but not that bad, that there are many issues we should care about.
Many reviewers here have pointed out that after reading such material that tells the reader not to worry, will make many people care less about the problems of our world, namely global warming....but..the author has mentioned global warming as a potential problem we should and are aware of.
The book also acknowledges that predictions can be wrong, that while intentions are good, the methods employed to achieve the goals should also be sincere.
All in All the book has the heart in the right place.
Do read. ( )
  abhigonsalves | Jan 16, 2021 |
One test that was overlooked, one that could be used to identify those who could benefit the most from reading this book. Simply spend 10 minutes to read and digest chapter 8 "the single perspective instinct". If you find yourself outraged at the claims the author makes about either the free market or equality, then you really need to read this book and adopt even a few of the suggested actions.
I found all chapters instructive to a varying degree but chapters 8, 9 & 10 made the biggest impact.

In Chapter 10 he identifies five severe global risks and states that two of them are underway. Well, make that three now (global pandemic) and it seems, so far, that many of the skills he identifies as being key to overcoming such challenges are apparently beyond the abilities of many governments.

One interesting aspect of how the latter might affect the lessons in his book is the effect the global pandemic will have on globalisation. The author regards globalisation as a fait accompli but that seems much less certain now. That in of itself is a prime example of one of the book's many suggested lessons (namely, being open to revisiting your beliefs) and that what can seem like irreplaceable institutions or ideologies can quite quickly become a lot less relevant. ( )
  syllabub | Jan 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hans Roslingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rosling Rönnlund, Annamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosling, Olamain authorall editionsconfirmed
Freundl, HansÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harries, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Remmler, Hans-PeterÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schreiber , AlbrechtÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seux, DominiquePréfacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summers, BenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teschner, UveErzählersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vesperini, PierreTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Annemie deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
À la courageuse femme aux pieds nus dont je ne connais pas le nom, mais dont les arguments rationnels m’ont protégé d’une foule d’hommes en colère et armés de machettes.
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I love the circus. (Introduction, Why I Love the Circus)
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It was October 1995 and little did I know that after my class that evening, I was going to start my lifelong fight against global misconceptions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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INSTANTNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "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. ButFactfulness 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 "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 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. InFactfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offersa radical new explanation of why this happens. They revealthe ten instincts that distort our perspective--from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version ofus andthem) 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,Factfulnessis 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.

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Contents:

Introduction -- The gap instinct -- The negativity instinct -- The straight line instinct -- The fear instinct -- The size instinct -- The generalization instinct -- The destiny instinct -- The single perspective instinct -- The blame instinct -- The urgency instinct -- Factfulness in practice -- Acknowledgements -- Appendix 1: How did your country do? -- Notes
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