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.
“Rosling doesn’t claim that humanity has solved its problems and can now relax, but he aims to nuance our greatest challenges as a species so that we understand where best to expend our resources, where best to focus our time, and where best to look for opportunity.”—Quillette
““Factfulness, like a healthy diet and regular exercise, can and should become part of your daily life” says Rosling. And this inspiring, entertaining and counter-cultural book will set you on your way.”—Make Wealth History
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Everyone I ask thinks the world is more frightening, more violent, and more hopeless than it really is.
The human brain is a product of evolution, and we are hardwired with instincts that helped our ancestors to survive in small groups of hunters and gatherers.
To understand the world as it really is, you have to realize the instincts that help shape our overdramatic worldview. Then, you will make better decisions, stay alert to real changes and possibilities, and avoid being constantly stressed about the wrong things.
The misconception that “the world is getting worse” originated from the negativity instinct. The negativity instinct is our tendency to notice the bad more than the good.
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The destiny instinct is the idea that things are as they are for ineluctable, inescapable reasons: they have always been this way and will never change.
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Being always in favor of or always against any particular idea makes you blind to information that doesn’t fit your perspective.
Don’t claim expertise beyond your field: be humble about what you don’t know. Be aware too of the limits of the expertise of others.