Factfulness – Hans Rosling

This is data as you have never known it: it is data as therapy. It is understanding as a source of mental peace. Because the world is not as dramatic as it seems. Factfulness, like a healthy diet and regular exercise, can and should become part of your daily life. Start to practice it, and you will be able to replace your overdramatic worldview with a worldview based on facts. You will be able to get the world right without learning it by heart. You will make better decisions, stay alert to real dangers and possibilities, and avoid being constantly stressed about the wrong things.

The central idea of the book is that world is much better than you think and it is getting better. Hans Rosling presents with data how world improved over time and shows with surveys how pessimistic without cause the reader is. While not perfect, the world is indeed getting better and the author presents the pessimistic biases we have.

The book is structured in 10 chapters, presenting an instinct that we must be aware from:

  1. The Gap Instinct
  2. The Negativity Instinct
  3. The Straight Line Instinct Exercise: Question Your Assumptions
  4. The Fear Instinct
  5. The Size Instinct
  6. The Generalization Instinct Exercise: Getting the Full Picture
  7. The Destiny Instinct
  8. The Single Perspective Instinct
  9. The Blame Instinct
  10. The Urgency Instinct

The book was written in the last months of life of Doctor Hans Rosling and seems to encompass his last message to the world: that we should leave bias and look for data, which will help us to create a better world and be more successful in medicine, business and development.

The book is thoroughly entertaining, full of imagines and survey questions that make the read a pleasure. It challenges the reader to rethink the world around. What is really the masterstroke is presenting data in a way that is easy to understand and delivers a clear message.

One of the most thought-provoking, well-written books on the world and developing trends currently on the shelves.

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