Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Book - 2018
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"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. But Factfulness 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

Factfulnes s: 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.

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.


"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.

Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250107817
Characteristics: x, 342 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Dec 09, 2018

How statistics can give you a completely wrong view of the world, if they are misinterpreted.

NFreaderNWPL Nov 23, 2018

A bunch of books on a similar theme came out this year. What sets this one apart is the emphasis on intellectual humility. (Stephen Pinker's latest, by contrast, has been faulted by reviewers for overreaching when it comes to the history of the Enlightenment.) Rosling (who died in 2017) had a talent for explaining things well, and as a result this book flies by. At the same time, he does an exceptional job here of using his own past mistakes to show the value of modesty in forming one's beliefs about where the trends around us are heading.

SkokieStaff_Steven Nov 14, 2018

Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think” is really two books in one. On the one hand, it teaches us what to think, specifically that the world is improving by almost every measure of well-being that can be statistically analyzed. On the other hand, it teaches us how to think, that is, how to avoid those lazy habits of reasoning that falsely buttress our most gloomy or fearful assumptions. Rosling has spent much of his life speaking to diverse audiences throughout the world, and this is reflected in his breezy writing style, amply supported by anecdotes from his life. Anyone trying to make sense of our complicated world is likely to benefit from Rosling’s tutorial in clear thinking, while even I, a confirmed pessimist, found his analysis of global trend lines to be both enlightening and encouraging.

Oct 16, 2018

Don't believe everything you read - approach the world with a factful outlook as outlined by author Hans Rosling, and resist your instinctive responses and beliefs which may not be based in reality! This book gives you a dose of hope about the world.

Oct 02, 2018

Worth reading. I would suggest combining it with The Opposite of Hate by Sally Kohn

Sep 17, 2018

Very well written book with good information, humour and pacing. The author is definitely intelligent and I like how everything is evidence-based. Everyone should read this book to get an accurate perspective of the world.

Sep 07, 2018

Hans Rosling shows us how much the world has actually improved and how badly most people are wrong about their assumptions on its current status.

ArapahoeJohanna Jul 24, 2018

Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Ronnlund weave together anecdotes and data to paint a picture of a world full of progress and hope. Even better, the world they're describing is the very one we live in! Decades ago, Hans Rosling noticed that his students were prone to extreme pessimism when it came to evaluating the current state of the world. Influenced by media reports of death, disease, and disaster, people tend to assume that things are bad and getting worse. The data says differently, though, and he spent decades trying to find ways to illuminate the gap between reality and perception. This book is the culmination of his efforts, laying bare all of the ways in which the world is alright and only getting better. He makes the case for hope and optimism, showing that global poverty, disease, and violence are all on the decline, while quality of life continues to improve. While suffering still exists in every country, the situation is far from hopeless.

Personally, I found this book refreshing and inspiring. It can be difficult to wade through constant news stories about human suffering without feeling the situation is so bleak as to be beyond hope. This book puts that suffering in perspective, showing that measurable benefits can come from even small improvements. Our global problems are not as insurmountable as they seem, and anyone who feels overwhelmed by hopelessness should read this book!

May 21, 2018

One of Bill Gates' top 5 recommended books for summer 2018


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Oct 02, 2018

Canada's per capita CO2 emissions are still twice as high as China's and eight times as high as India's. pg 215

Jul 28, 2018

"Keep track of gradual improvements. A small change every year can translate to a huge change in decades." page 184


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