Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Authors: Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling
A couple years ago I watched some of Hans Rosling’s TED talks and found them captivating. He was a Professor of Public Health, and had an amazing way of bringing statistics about the world to life. He focused on busting commonly-held but outdated myths about the world. He passed away near the completion of this book, and luckily his collaborators (his son & daughter-in-law) were able to press on to its publication.
Factufulness means having a fact-based world view. Because humans take so many mental shortcuts (see: cognitive bias), we often fall into patterns of thinking that are just plain wrong. The authors break down our errors into 10 human instincts, some of which are pseudonyms for commonly-documented heuristics (The Straight Line Instinct, The Generalization Instinct), and others are cousins (i.e. The Blame Instinct, The Urgency Instinct).
The surface message of the book is that globally the world has been improving at a rapid pace. The deeper message is that we should acknowledge evidence of how our world is evolving and update our world view (i.e. practice Factfulness)!
The best way to decide if you should read this book is the 3-minute quiz below: