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Factfulness. Zece motive pentru care interpretăm greșit lumea și de ce lucrurile stau mai bine decât crezi

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Când ni se adresează întrebări simple despre tendințele globale – ce procent din populația lumii trăiește în sărăcie sau de ce crește populația globală ori cum se face că procentul de fete care își finalizează studiile este mai mare decât cel al băieților? – răspundem greșit sistematic. Atât de greșit că până și un cimpanzeu care alege răspunsurile la întâmplare le nimerește mai bine decât unii profesori, jurnaliști, bancheri și laureați ai Premiului Nobel.

În Factfulness, Hans Rosling, fenomen internațional TED și specialist în domeniul sănătăţii globale – împreună cu doi dintre vechii săi colaboratori, Anna și Ola –, oferă o explicație nouă și radicală a motivelor pentru care se întâmplă acest lucru. Cei trei autori prezintă zece instincte care ne distorsionează modul de a privi lucrurile – de la tendința de a împărți lumea în două tabere (de obicei noi și ei) până la felul în care percepem informațiile oferite de media (dominat de teamă) și la modul în care ne raportăm la progres (credem că majoritatea lucrurilor merg din rău în mai rău). Problema noastră este că nu știm ceea ce știm și că inclusiv presupunerile pe care le facem sunt determinate de biasuri inconștiente și predictibile.

Se dovedește că lumea este într-o stare mult mai bună decât ne-am imaginat, în ciuda tuturor imperfecțiunilor sale. Asta nu înseamnă că nu există îngrijorări reale. Dar când ne facem tot timpul griji în loc să alegem o viziune asupra lumii bazată pe fapte, ne putem pierde abilitatea de a ne concentra pe lucrurile care prezintă cea mai mare amenințare. Captivantă și revelatoare, plină de anecdote și de povești emoționante, Factfulness este o carte esențială de care ai mare nevoie, pentru că îți va schimba modul în care vezi lumea și pentru că te va ajuta să reacționezi la crizele și oportunitățile care vor apărea în viitor.

400 pages, Paperback

First published April 3, 2018

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About the author

Hans Rosling

9 books1,212 followers
Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017) was a Swedish physician, academic, statistician, and public speaker.

He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software. He held presentations around the world, including several TED Talks in which he promoted the use of data to explore development issues.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 13,685 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,945 reviews292k followers
December 11, 2018
It is not easy to say anything bad about this book. Not because there aren’t issues with it - there are - but because this was Rosling’s last passion project that he completed while battling through his final months with pancreatic cancer. If you are unmoved by his son’s final words, then you are a much stronger person than I am.

Mr Rosling is indeed passionate about his work. Factfulness is a highly-accessible, informal read in which the author frequently delights at the progress made across the globe. And progress has definitely been made. Perhaps the most shocking fact this book reveals, for me, was how many people truly seem to believe the world is in a worse state than it was decades, or even centuries, ago.

Rosling constantly reminds us - a little condescendingly, if I'm honest - that even the smartest of smart folks get his little questionnaire about the state of the world completely wrong.

Factfulness has a very similar premise to Pinker's Enlightenment Now, though Rosling's work seems much more rooted in numbers and solid facts. I like numbers. Numbers do not lie. However, the way they are presented, the emphasis placed on certain numbers over others can be misleading. Despite cautioning against certain misconceptions, Rosling et al often uses these misconceptions to their own advantage.

One example is this question:
In all low income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school?
A: 20 percent
B: 40 percent
C: 60 percent

There are a few problems with this. You can probably guess that the answer is C. The way this question is written is deliberate: Is it 20%? No! Is it 40%? No! Oh my goodness, it's a whopping 60%?!

But let's take a second look at this. Firstly, what is a "low-income" country? We are never told. I combed through the notes and appendices at the back to make sure it wasn't clarified somewhere. It could be what Rosling refers to as "Level 1" but, as he already told us, even some people at Level 3 are below the U.S. poverty line, so who knows exactly what constitutes "low-income"?

Secondly, what is "primary school"? This differs from country to country. In some countries with middle schools, primary schooling might only be up to 7 or 8 years old. And, thirdly, the deliberate format of the question seeks to play up the 60% statistic. This still means that hundreds of millions of girls in "low-income" countries (40% is HUGE) receive no or incomplete primary education, and we can only know that 60% finish some kind of primary schooling of unspecified length.

The book is split into sections, dismantling various kinds of misconceptions based on human instincts to generalize, fear and blame. What's strange, though, is how the authors often fall prey to the same instincts. Rosling cautions us to not give weight to averages - because they often hide a spread of values - but the majority of his graphs and charts use averages. The argument is built on averages.

Additionally, he spends a whole page discussing the limitations of Wikipedia, noting a particular case where Wikipedia was missing 78% of a list of terrorism deaths in 2015. He then proceeds to use Wikipedia as a source ten times.

The book's argument is far stronger when it focuses on things being BETTER rather than good. It might be difficult to convince me that 60% of girls finishing primary school is a positive statistic, but showing an increase in the numbers over time - slow or otherwise - is much more convincing. And, as the Roslings conclude, things are getting better by most measurable standards across the globe.

I do also think something huge is missing from this book and it is an integral part of the misconception and misrepresentation of the state of the world. It seems like Rosling was a good, kind person. Which is possibly why he failed to consider a little something called motive. Why might someone want to present the "developing" world as terrible and backward and incapable of ever modernizing? Perhaps some do indeed wish to believe that western hegemony is “natural” and that the rest of the world is backward. Could it be that part of the misconception is rooted in the old imperialist notion that the rest of the world can't possibly be as good? Isn't America held up by the insistence that it is "the greatest country on earth"?

Rosling suggests that the western dismissal of "developing" countries as destined to stay the way they are because of their "culture" is caused by mistakes made by innocent human instincts. A skeptic might wonder if it is really all an innocent mistake.

I've said more than I meant to here, but I guess it's the kind of book that encourages you to think about things. For that, at least, it deserves three stars.

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Profile Image for Bill Gates.
Author 12 books507k followers
May 20, 2018
I talk about the developed and developing world all the time, but I shouldn’t.

My late friend Hans Rosling called the labels “outdated” and “meaningless.” Any categorization that lumps together China and the Democratic Republic of Congo is too broad to be useful. But I’ve continued to use “developed” and “developing” in public (and on this blog) because there wasn’t a more accurate, easily understandable alternative—until now.

I recently read Hans’ new book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. In it, he offers a new framework for how to think about the world. Hans proposes four income groups (with the largest number of people living on level 2).

This was a breakthrough to me. The framework Hans enunciates is one that took me decades of working in global development to create for myself, and I could have never expressed it in such a clear way. I’m going to try to use this model moving forward.

Why does it matter? It’s hard to pick up on progress if you divide the world into rich countries and poor countries. When those are the only two options, you’re more likely to think anyone who doesn’t have a certain quality of life is “poor.”

Hans compares this instinct to standing on top of a skyscraper and looking down at a city. All of the other buildings will look short to you whether they’re ten stories or 50 stories high. It’s the same with income. Life is significantly better for those on level 2 than level 1, but it’s hard to see that from level 4 unless you know to look for it.

The four levels are just one of many insights in Factfulness that will help you better understand the world. I’m excited that Hans’ publisher Flatiron Books plans to donate 5,000 copies to Books for Africa and Reader to Reader—two organizations that encourage reading in underserved communities. Hans worked on the book until his last days (even bringing several chapters with him in the ambulance to the hospital), and his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna helped finish it after he passed.

The bulk of the book is devoted to ten instincts that keep us from seeing the world factfully. These range from the fear instinct (we pay more attention to scary things) to the size instinct (standalone numbers often look more impressive than they really are) to the gap instinct (most people fall between two extremes). With each one, he offers practical advice about how to overcome our innate biases. Gates Notes Insiders can get a free preview of the gap instinct chapter.

Hans argues that these instincts make it difficult to put events in perspective. Imagine news coverage about a natural disaster—say, a tornado that kills 10 people in a small town. If you look at only the headlines, you’ll view the event as an unbearable tragedy (which it is). But if you put it in the context of history, you’ll also know that tornadoes today are a lot less deadly than they used to be, thanks to advanced warning systems. That’s no consolation to the loved ones of those who died, but it matters a great deal to everyone who survived the tornado.

In other words, the world can be both bad and better. That idea drives the work Melinda and I do every day, and Hans articulates it beautifully in Factfulness. It’s a great companion to Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now (although Hans is a little less academic than Pinker is). With rare exceptions, most of the miracles of humankind are long-term, constructed things. Progress comes bit by bit. We’ve cut the number of people living in extreme poverty by half over the last twenty years, but there was never a morning when “POVERTY RATES DROP INCREMENTALLY” dominated newspaper headlines.

Another remarkable thing about Factfulness—and about Hans himself—is that he refuses to judge anyone for their misconceptions. Most writers would beat people up for their ignorance, but he doesn’t. Hans even resists going after the media. Instead, he tells you about the history of his own ignorance. He explains that these instincts make us human, and that overcoming them isn’t easy.

That’s classic Hans. He was always kind, often patient, and never judgmental. He spent his life not only understanding how global health was improving but sharing what he learned in a fun, clear way with a broad set of people. If you never met Hans or watched one of his many TED talks, Factfulness will help you get a sense of why he was so special. I wish I could tell Hans how much I liked it. Factfulness is a fantastic book, and I hope a lot of people read it.
Profile Image for Radiantflux.
427 reviews405 followers
January 30, 2023
78th book for 2018.

I hate TED talks. This book is mostly like an extended TED Talk. Ipso facto I mostly hated this book.

Rosling's central thesis is that in most measures of human development the World is much better than we'd think. That part of the book I enjoyed, though the data backing this up could have been presented in a far shorter book.

Rosling spends a lot of time talking about the important people (e.g., bankers, Davos, bankers at Davos, TED talks) that he's presented this findings too. And he repeats and repeats and repeats his horror that people are so so ignorant not to know "basic" facts about the World (like probable demographic shifts over the next 100 years). This is all tedious and doesn't really help. He also gives a series of annoying tips about how to read statistics.

The central problem with his optimistic World view is that it ignores all the declining global environmental indicators. This is not a side issue. Environmental indicators are declining precisely because the World is developing and consuming more and more;—which is not to say that most of the damage is done by those most to still gain by development. It is an impossibility that most people in the World can reach Rosling's Stage 3, let alone Stage 4, with current technologies. The World couldn't even survive the World population eating meat at the same rate as people in Europe, the US, or Japan, let alone adopting the rest of their lifestyle.

I agree entirely with Rosling's point that people will want to reach Stage 4—and have a right to do so—but his sort of glib analysis of how everything is getting better, allows decision makers in the West to continue to ignore this issue and live in the vague hope that a techno-fix will arrive just in time. I have no doubt this was why Rosling was so popular at Davos.

Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
769 reviews3,507 followers
April 23, 2020
To me, this is the prime example of why the replication crisis is the next big thing and how biased some fields of sciences have already become to culminate in such extremely suspicious examples of: “Go on, everything's great, here, look at the facts and studies I collected and did to proof what I think is true.“

This thing is really dangerous because it uses instrumentalized science towards a certain consensus, nothing more than hiding an agenda behind manipulated facts out of context, it does nearly anything criticized in the debate about the replication crisis good science shouldn´t do.
It´s both my first and possibly last 1 star rating and my farewell from reading anything heavily influenced by politics, economics, statistics, faith,… because it destroys the reputation of and trust in science by misusing methods because of egoistic interests.

The conversation about it has become so toxic and useless that I quite kind wanted to draw a final line, after I had to do the same with many political and economic themes to avoid waste of energy in useless debates, and will focus instead on the true, natural sciences, where nobodys´ beliefs to have the ultimate solution and is instead modest, self-reflecting, open to criticism, and grateful to be part of a line of giants that built the modern world. Instead of inventing BS theories to destroy it.

Shall people debate, fight, and finally kill over theories that are not proven if they wish, I see much more sense in exploring the wonders of nature and awakening interest in them instead of continuing the debates of narcissistic, egomaniac old man who believed they invented theories of everything. Each one of them for themselves, without even recognizing that there can´t be so many absolute truths. No physicist, mathematician,… would ever do something like that because they know that the rules of nature are not fully understood and that they could do research about a theory that could turn out wrong. See the difference?

One of the craziest things about it is that so many facts are ignored and that alternative government and economic models never mentioned, his whole work looks like a status quo advertisement with avoiding any kind of criticism and that he was adored in Davos and similar circles should say the most about what his main fans intended with spreading his words. The frightening thing is that onesided propaganda like this has read such a widespread, penetration rate, and overrepresentation in biased mainstream news media and books, that both alternatives and solutions to the real, massive problems are ignored. Remember nature destruction, social inequality, developing countries, incarceration rates, the sixth mass extinction, radicalization, opioid crises, climate change, weakening of democracy all over the world,…

Rosling is driveling about inequality, habitat destruction, climate change,... and how huge these problems are while he is exponentiating them by delaying and preventing change and cementing the bad status quo. The sad thing is that I am sure that he thought about himself as a good person, that he didn´t understand the mechanisms of power that influenced his work, how he was instrumentalized himself. He certainly was no bad human because he did work in healthcare in Africa, quite kind of split personality that didn´t know and understood that his agenda caused the suffering he tried to reduce. The objective worldview he imagined having and spreading is a symptom of that problem. It would interest me how people that haven´t been born in wealthy nations see this.

That poor people in Africa now have 50 to 75 cents more per day or that we gave them some drugs and contraceptives after refusing it for decades, that´s the big deal. Not mentioning why they are poor in the first place included or why more and more people are poor in the rich, industrialized countries impoverished from the point on Keynesian economics was weakened with the rise of neoliberalism in the 70s. Looking at the statistics, the time between WW2 and the beginning of the destruction of welfare state, social justice, functioning democracy,.. in the 70s, those were the best time for many humans who could earn a living, weren´t incarcerated or so indoctrinated that there was even an open debate about those things, not like nowadays where nobody mentions any alternative to the system of self destruction.

Many were shocked by Friedman and Hayek before they became famous and influential, because their ideas were so sick and inhuman, giving predators license and help against the weaker and poorer ones with the help of the same state they want to be crushed. It´s as if one has kids and finds it completely ok when the strongest and the smartest kids of the whole school form a kind of oligarchy, control the teachers and principal by lobbying, and grade themselves, while bullying more and more basic, before normal, rights out of the oppressed majority, killing some of them in the process or making their lives so miserable that they can´t survive without basic human needs. What is still the difference between a dictatorship and neoliberalism except that the goddess/god emperor is not such a dishonest lier and openly says what she/he thinks and that everyone making problems will be exterminated instead of doing as if she/he is a good person? But as so often, the stupidest and most destructive ideas are the most successful.

The character question is especially interesting in this one, because I like to listen to TED talks, etc.during everyday activities and housework and it´s amazing how much arrogance and self-importance, many seem to see as charisma, can float out of one persons voice. This is Ayn Rand always smiling and with friendly fairytale teller style or Officer Barbrady with his trademark „Move along people nothing to see here“ or any government in the history of humanity telling people that they are competent, all is fine, there is nothing to worry, and certainly no problems because all is getting better.

I´m sick of this stuff, it made me quit mass media and news a few years ago, quit friendships with humans who are sadly part of the problem and became ignorant to a level that was unacceptable and dangerous, and meanwhile, it infiltrated so many humanities that I can´t even read a few pages without getting confronted with this BS. He was a regular speaker at Davos, the world economic forum, anything neoliberal and anti-welfare state possible, who do people think benefited the most from his appeasing, condescending drivel and lying with statistics? Anyone except for the already rich and mighty? Come on, this dude did nice, but he is like Milton Friedman, such a gentle, calm, always smiling, never angry guy, so friendly to his students. Humankind, what´s wrong with you…

I would be so interested to see how future history in a few centuries will talk about this era and if they would extrapolate how many people have been killed by this kind of economic policy we are practicing for over half a century now and that is destroying the planet.
Sorry folks, this is one of my last rants, I am sick and tired of this and want to focus on true science and great fiction instead, not this disturbed fairytales for adults who never had the chance to built a free opinion because most of the media they consume to stay informed and get educated avoids any criticism of the current economic system.

Because of much talk and discussion about the replication crisis with friends and in general, I will add these thoughts to all following nonfiction books dealing with humanities in the future, so you might have already seen it.

Sorry folks, this is one of my last rants, I am sick and tired of this and want to focus on true science and great fiction instead, not this disturbed fairytales for adults who never had the chance to built a free opinion because most of the media they consume to stay informed and get educated avoids any criticism of the current economic system.

Without having read or heard ideas by Chomsky, Monbiot, Klein, Ken Robinson, Monbiot, Peter Singer, William McDonough, Ziegler, Colin Crouch, Jeremy Rifkin, David Graeber, John Perkins, and others, humans will always react to people like me, condemning the manipulation Rosling was practicing with terrifying success, with anger and refusal.

These authors don´t hide aspects of the truth and describe the real state of the world that should be read instead of epic facepalms like this. They don´t predict the future and preach the one only, the true way, ignoring anything like black swans, coincidences or the, for each small child logical, fact that nobody knows what will happen, and collect exactly the free available data people such as Rosling wanted to ignore forever.

Some words about the publication crisis that even have some positive points at the end so that this whole thing is not that depressing.

One could call the replication crisis the viral fake news epidemic of many fields of science that was a hidden, chronic disease over decades and centuries and has become extremely widespread during the last years, since the first critics began vaccinating against it, provoking virulent counterarguments. I don´t know how else this could end than with nothing else than paradigm shifts, discovering many anachronisms, and a better, fact- and number based research with many control instances before something of an impact on the social policy gets accepted.

A few points that led to it:

I had an intuitive feeling regarding this for years, but the replication crisis proofed that there are too many interconnections of not strictly scientific fields such as economics and politics with many humanities. Look, already some of the titles are biased towards a more positive or negative attitude, but thinking too optimistic is the same mistake as being too pessimistic, it isn´t objective anymore and one can be instrumentalized without even recognizing it.

In natural sciences, theoretical physicists, astrophysicists, physicians… that were friends of a certain idea will always say that there is the option of change, that a discovery may lead to a new revolution, and that their old work has to be reexamined. So in science regarding the real world the specialists are much more open to change than in some humanities, isn´t that strange?

It would be as if one would say that all humans are representative, similar, that there are no differences. But it´s not, each time a study is made there are different people, opinions, so many coincidences, and unique happenings that it´s impossible to reproduce it.
Scandinavia vs the normal world. The society people live in makes happiness, not theoretical, not definitive concepts.
One can manipulate so many parameters in those studies that the result can be extremely positive or negative, just depending on what who funds the study and does the study wants as results.

One could use the studies she/ he needs to create an optimistic or a pessimistic book and many studies about human nature are redundant, repetitive, or biased towards a certain result, often an optimistic outcome or spectacular, groundbreaking results. Do you know who does that too? Statistics, economics, politics, and faith.

I wish I could be a bit more optimistic than realistic, but not hard evidence based stuff is a bit of a no go if it involves practical applications, especially if there is the danger of not working against big problems by doing as if they weren´t there.

A few points that lead away from it:

1. Tech
2. Nordic model
3. Open data, open government
4. Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, quantum computing, to make each financial transaction transparent and traceable.
5. Points mentioned in the Wiki article
6. It must be horrible for the poor scientists who work in those fields and are now suffering because the founding fathers used theories and concepts that have nothing to do with real science. They worked hard to build a career to just find out that the predecessors integrated methods that couldn´t work in other systems, let's say an evolving computer program or a machine or a human body or anywhere except in ones´ imagination. They are truly courageous to risk criticism because of the humanities bashing wave that won´t end soon. As in so many fields, it are a few black sheep who ruin everything for many others and the more progressive a young scientist is, the more he is in danger of getting smashed between a hyper sensible public awareness and the old anachronism shepherds, avoiding anything progressive with the danger of a paradigm shift or even a relativization of the field they dedicated their career to. There has to be strict segregation between theories and ideas and applications in real life, so that anything can be researched, but not used to do crazy things.

I´ll add some replication crisis points in the comments, because there is no space left here.
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,547 reviews6,642 followers
January 15, 2023
A very good book, with a very important message about finding facts from data, and more importantly finding the truth in all the information fed to us.

This is the a last effort from Hans Rowling, and him long time contributors (family). It contains real stories and new ways of looking at world data as well as new ways of thinking.

The message I really took away from this book is the world is not perfect. We have a lot of work to do, but to not forget all we have achieved, to take encouragement from this, to continue to improve.
July 29, 2020
This is either a very cruel book or a very fair one, and I'm not sure which one.

On the one hand, the author is extremely sharp in that he realizes that bisection of the world is severely crippling to rational thinking process. When it becomes 'us' and 'them', most of our thinking processes will be black and white colored, or rather discolored. What we keep missing is that this world is complex and multifaceted enough to fit into no nice and tidy boxes. So, understanding that there are more than 2 ways to live and more than 2 types of countries and more than 2 political parties and more than 2 ways to have a prospering state governance and ... and ... and ... is precious. And it's hindered by the tribal 'us'/'them' classification.

He's also very right about our usage of outdated statistics and our lack of understanding of how data works.

He's very wrong about diminishing the role of mass media in development of generations of people who
- know next to nothing on the scientific way of thought, cannot think for themselves, cannot see neither the big picture nor the small one;
- are gullible (i.e. my 'friend' writes anything on Facebook and I go on to believe it...);
- cannot distinguish between horrible, questionable and reliable sources of info (feel free to use your own classification here), i.e.: Facebooks posts, World Bank data, blog entries, articles from around the web, research of different types and other stuff - everything gets lumped in these modern heads and become a congealed mass of truth, lies, wishful thinking, misrepresented info, incomprehensible blabber...
Basically, people don't know how to use healthy skepticism for the info they are being spoon-fed. The don't even realize they have this option. Some guy or gal with PHD and a bunch of publications supposedly said this and that to some blogger or journalist and this becomes the new evidence of anything:
- hackers, Russian or otherwise,
- chemical weapons of varied countries,
- health benefits of anything,
- freethinking and progressive nature of [place your religion/persuasion/political inclinations here],
- bloodthirsty and dated and inhuman nature of [place your religion/persuasion/political inclinations here]...
... and this becomes the new truth, right until the new information fad comes in vogue.

I don't get the reason why the author suggests chucking the 'developing'/'developed' countries significators in favor of 'Levels' 1 to 4. Probably I should read way less trash but I immediately had a flashback to Districts in Hunger Games. Anyway, why 4 groups? Why not 5? Maybe 3 would have been less confusing? Or could it be that 10 might have allowed us to explore the shades of human misery and else in more relief? Why 4?

Also, the author is making a big deal out of the fact that most world's population seems to be living in the middle class... To me, the author's description of the 'middle class (Lvls 2 and 3) sounded like something not exactly from Dante's Hell but very close to it. Basically, he proves that 6 bln out of our current 7 live in various shades of misery, from abject to hopeful, which is not as ground-shaking realization as he might be thinking. The difference is that when we think of middle class, we almost never think of it in terms of his Lvls 2 and 3... Our perception is strongly rooted in what he puts in the Lvl 4 bucket. So, we are not really always thinking of the middle class, when we are thinking of it, and our perception should be more humble and terminology more precise.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,531 reviews793 followers
August 14, 2022
Swedish doctor, lecturer, researcher, data analysts, TED Talker etc. Hans Rosling with support from his son and daughter-in-law leaves the legacy of this really important book. Let's put something out there straight away, it's not about politics, economics, ideology, inequality etc. so if you're looking for that, please walk on by... please

It's a book about one of my favourite things facts and data and how the sharing of eschewed global facts is misinforming everyone from the media and those with the means of production, through to our world bodies, and people all over the planet. It comes to the heart of one of my strongest beliefs, that to get understanding and maybe support say, for Malawi, you don't show images of extreme poverty, violence, deprivation etc.. you should show images of what changes and improvements support and understanding can, and have done. Essentially this book shows that the world is, and always has continued to progress regardless of the Western-centric viewpoints the world insists on sharing. This book is a great read for the data collated alone, and also includes personal experiences in the field with Rosling and some of his personal interactions with (not so?) shockingly ignorant Western based audiences. A recommended read. :)

2020 read
Profile Image for Andy.
1,353 reviews462 followers
April 28, 2018
Rosling writes about the most important things in the world and does so in an accessible and entertaining style. He busts myths using facts. This is what non-fiction is supposed to be.

Much of what "everybody knows" and that we read in the news every day is wrong, because hardly anyone bothers to do reality-checking. This is a recurring problem in non-fiction books, including ones about science. So, when finally someone is exposing ignorance, clarifying truth, and exploring logical implications, I am going to give him 5 stars.

Gapminder and this book are great gifts to the world. Rosling will be missed. Viva facts!
Profile Image for Mehrsa.
2,234 reviews3,659 followers
April 28, 2018
Why I am right and everyone is wrong. I gave a bunch of really smart people a quiz and they all got it wrong --how could they be so dumb? The book proceeds in this way. The point is taken--things are way better than they seem. I get it. I believe his facts (though I dispute some of his rosy conclusions about the world), but I could not get over his condescending cockiness.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,869 reviews421 followers
June 4, 2021
“Factfulness’ is about you being convinced to view through rose-colored lenses each metaphorical cup of water provided by NGO/government/charity is half-full! The respectably-sourced graphs and charts included show the economic, health, and wealth status of the people of earth are ever climbing higher and higher statistically, so the author concludes it is logical to project that the wealth, education, and health of even the lowliest, most impoverished, most despised and ignorant classes of people will be in the future equal to that of Bill Gates some day!

Hallelujah! Smart mansions will be in all of our futures! Each of us will be smart and educated as Ph.D. graduates of a college with the stature of Yale or Harvard or MIT! There will be unlimited electricity, pure water on tap, elaborate heating and air filtering and and robotic devices to make all of us as comfortable as rich men are today! All of us will have walk-in closets the size of ballrooms, filled to the brim with hundreds of dresses and suits and shoes each costing $50,000 (current dollars) a piece because of the couture sewing and materials! We all will be able to possess gorgeous works of art, and the most rarest of food delicacies with exotic ingredients, with music in the background provided by musicians of spectacular skill! All of us can fly and visit foreign countries on private jets, experiencing exotic cultures, foods and sights with beautiful healthy companions serviced by the best plastic surgeons and doctors giving the best preventive dental and healthcare!

Oh, wait. Snap! These graphs are about what percentage of people sleep under a roof even if it is only tin or plastic, or eat at least once a day, or whether they earn at least enough money for a couple of buckets of water, and some electrical power a day or a visit from a traveling nurse once in awhile. Some school at least was available for most kids for up to nine years, whether books and pencils and computers were there or not. People do not really need to know more than basic reading and writing, right? That all counts as a higher quality of lifestyle, if surviving on the minimums required for happiness and health are met, right? Besides ignorance is bliss! It has been proven over and over people are happy with just the basics of life. The elites are successfully eliminating poverty, misery, and ignorance! These poor folks (by Western standards, but not by local standards) have twenty-four hour reliable electricity to look forward to someday, right? even if not now. Some day all third-world middle-class folk (by local third-world standards) will always have clean water on tap, garbage pickup and recycling, consistently supplied twenty-four hour power for refrigerated foods and medical serums, and top world-quality health care like all of the upper classes all over the world.

I answered the author's questions in the beginning of the book about factual world knowledge all correctly, so I guess I understand and have retained what I have learned from studying past UN surveys correctly similar to the author, and perhaps more knowledgeably than most. However, confidence about the future of Mankind seems much more uncertain to me than what the authors or elites believe.

Elites and many in the more privileged middle-classes, at least based on this book, think underplaying suffering and lack of resources is a good thing! It is a Good if you have electricity four hours or less a day! It is a Good if you were allowed to go to school for nine years! It is fantastic if you have something to eat at least once a day or someplace to call home, even if it doesn’t have a legal title or plumbing! Who cares if you prefer medical care based on home remedies and witchcraft because of your 9th-grade education and lack of money for extras like a real hospital with working MRI’s or antibiotics or medicines? Or that the roads are full of holes, if they exist at all, the air is unbreathable, dead animals lie in gutters everywhere alongside garbage? You are better off than last year, and you are certain to have improvement next year, despite global warming and growing environmental degradation. Statistics don’t lie! Especially projections made on the most positive of guesses, ignoring many other ongoing conditions like the environment and government instability and culture wars.

If you can’t finish your homework because the power is unreliable or goes off at 7:00 pm, not to return until 1:00pm tomorrow, well, be happy, don’t worry! You got a few hours of juice for refrigerators or light! If your food is simple without much varied nutrition, hey, you ate something filling! Maybe the droughts will stop instead of slowly getting worse year after year. Elites will for sure provide something, whatever it may cost you to get. If you live in one of the millions of shacks without a house address, running water or a toilet, at least you got a tin roof or a plastic sheet which keeps the mud floor from flooding more than a couple of inches! Maybe the NGO surveyors will find your ‘house’, or whatever, next year along with the garbage collectors, plumbers, and professional construction workers!
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books890 followers
May 31, 2019
It's a shame I rarely pick up nonfiction, because I always enjoy it when I do. The premise of this one is to debunk common misconceptions people have about the world and explain how a mindset shift toward facts solves a lot of everyday problems. It's mostly optimistic, because that's what the facts are saying, but he addresses the woes too. The problem is, when asked about important world trends, nearly everyone has the wrong viewpoint. Even experts. His mission is to examine why this is and help get people out of the funk.

I'm an analytical guy, so I rarely jump to extremes or find myself enraged by the news. But still, when quizzed, I also answered most of the basic fact-based questions incorrectly. It's a big world out there and so much of the good news isn't dramatic enough to break through the headline stories about plane crashes and murders.

Having read this book, I feel like I have a better understanding of the power of small improvements over time and how to filter out the theatrics from the facts. He also provides some great resources where you can go if you actually want to look for facts and not narrative.

Recommended for sure, but giving 4 stars instead of 5 because around the halfway point I did feel like he began beating a dead horse. The examples became too similar and lost their zeal compared to the eye-opening punch of the earlier segments. Still, it's a well-written, short book that made me feel more educated. Can't ask for much more than that!
3 reviews4 followers
May 12, 2018
In the last decades of his life Hans Rosling (1948 – 2017) made a world-wide career lecturing to large corporations, Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and gatherings of Nobel laureates and heads of states such as in Davos, about the statistics of the world. Rosling´s son invented a software so that you could present statistics with moving, shrinking and growing bubbles in different colors, which made an otherwise boring subject highly entertaining. The program could even be sold to Google.
Now, if you want to make a lot of money with people like this, you better tell them what they want to hear, or the invitations may dry up. Rosling´s message is that everything is getting better. Did you know that the number of extremely poor people have halved in the last 20 years? Did you know that the majority of the world´s population do not live in poor countries but in middle-income countries? Did you know that 80% of the world´s 1-year-olds have been vaccinated (against “some” disease)? Everything is getting better. At a slow pace, but it is getting there, so there´s no need to worry. Unless there is an outbreak of Ebola or some such thing.
Rosling is not lying. Everybody can check these statistics themselves on the internet. But, as it is with statistics, you pick some and leave others out. And then there are those less-than-scientific value judgments. What is a “middle-income country”? If you look closely, if you make more than 2 dollars a day you are already there, according to Rosling. Now, if you are lucky, you might even be able to buy a bicycle and go into town and maybe even get a job in one of the garment factories! Imagine that! Progress is there! That progress is so slow that your generation and the next few ones may not live to see it should be of no concern.
Why do the Africans risk their lives as refugees in the middle of all this progress? Because the EU won´t allow them to come by plane. Yes, that is a small part of the answer, but just a very small part and it does not explain why people leave their countries in the first place when there is no war.
In the middle of the book Rosling has two honest pages about an African woman who talked to him after one of his lectures. She said Rosling was a good talker but he had no vision, which he found unfair. Then she said “Do you think Africans will settle with getting rid of extreme poverty and be happy living in only ordinary poverty?”
She said his attitude was the same old European attitude Africans had lived with for centuries. Now, it honors Rosling that he mentions this, but he did not learn anything from it, obviously. On the very next page, as on all the others, he keeps going on as before.
The over 1000-year-old nordic Edda says “One thing I know that never dies – the judgment over a dead man”.
Hans Rosling was born in a working class family. He did many great things as a doctor in Africa and India. But he should have closed his ears to the siren call of fame and Big Money. He became a tranquilizer for the ruling class.
Profile Image for Daniel Clausen.
Author 10 books456 followers
August 18, 2018
This is probably one of the most important books available today. Why? Because our world is desperately in need of a shared sense of reality, and it's very important that this reality has a solid grounding in science and reason. The book is not without its controversy. The charts and graphs mostly come from UN and World Bank statistics. Many people will argue about the "factfulness" of the various datasets presented in this book-- after all, your faith in the science and facts of these books also assumes your faith in the institutions collecting data (over and above other institutions like your local church).

But if you do have faith in these institutions, then you'll see that just because the institutions and the data aren't perfect (just like many other things in modern life) they are improving. The relentless pursuit of progress also extends to our statistical understanding of the things around us. For my part, one of the most striking things about the book is how uncontroversial its assertions are...and how simple the statistical facts of the world can be rendered.

At one point in the book, the author asks harder epistemological questions. For those who have a more mystical understanding of vaccinations, chemicals, and even modern science, the author asks "What evidence would make you change your mind?". Regrettably, for most of the world, the answer is this: "If the answer benefits my tribe and its particular world-view, then yes, easily accepted....oh, and by the way, I'll use the open-mindedness of non-tribal people against themselves by sewing the seeds of skepticism while continuing to build walls to protect my tribe's worldview."

Will you ever be able to convince a climate change skeptic to accept climate change? My own very controversial answer is this: Only if you can co-opt their tribe. That is very different than getting a tribe to buy into the shared world of factfulness.

My best guess is that this method of argument works within a worldview of competing tribes: Your tribe will have beneficial treatment, jobs, and prestige within this world and protection from other tribes. (Notice how the language of shared humanism is absent and the language hierarchy of tribes is emphasized).

A true understanding of science requires that we always regard truths as provisional and that we look for falsifying evidence. My fear is that eventually the world will become so polluted by tribal world-views that all forms of shared factfulness will become polluted by tribalism. Zero-sum competition will lay waste to the public utility that is a shared fact-based world.

There is one very controversial assertion in this book that I would like to reflect on. At several points, the author asserts that our current methods of pursuing progress are working. Child mortality rates are falling, crime is falling, battle deaths are falling, and national economies are rising out of poverty. I don't doubt the assertion within the framework of the book, but I do wonder about our current moment in history. A time when:
1- populism
2- social media enhanced sectarianism
3- the displacement of localisms by globalization
4- and discontent with the vast changes in technology
are leading to the most difficult problem of our time: tribalism.

As tribalism increases, our modern scientific tools for tackling climate change, political violence, disaster relief, and the fragility of the global economy deteriorate. As they deteriorate, zero-sum competition between tribes looks more logical. The tools of tribalism are becoming more visible: demonization and humiliation of enemies, the hoarding of resources, and the use of conflict over cooperation.

This is not a problem I'm ready to answer right now, but Rosling's thesis that public education may restore our confidence in these tools and roll back tribalism does provide some hope if not a sufficient political answer to our current moment in history.
Profile Image for Maede.
266 reviews384 followers
January 27, 2023

واقع‌نگری: ده دلیل که ثابت میکند اوضاع دنیا آن قدرها هم که فکر می‌کنیم بد نیست

انتظار می‌رود که طالبان دولت جدید را معرفی کند
حداقل ۱۸ کشته در شمال شرق آمریکا به دلیل باران و سیل ناگهانی
میلیون‌ها کودک در گروه‌های مذهبی در ویلز و انگلیس در خطر سواستفاده

این تیتر اخبار روزنامه گاردین در روزیه که دارم این ریویو رو می‌نویسم. چطور چنین دنیایی می‌تونه خوب باشه؟ خوب که اصلاً هیچ، می‌تونه حتی بهتر از گذشته باشه؟
تصور اینکه ما انسان‌های قرن بیست و یکم در جهانی زندگی می‌کنیم که از خیلی جهات از قبل بهتره سخته. شاید مثل من سریع فکر کنید که «اون‌ها» بهتر زندگی‌ می‌کنند اما «ما» نه. به دنیا اومدن در کشوری در قلب جنگ و خون‌ریزی، در کشوری که باهاش مشکل ایدئولوژیکی داری و فساد سر تا پاش رو گرفته درک این مسئله رو خیلی سخت می‌کنه

اینکه وضع دنیا بده، ولی از خیلی جهات بهتره
دنیای ما مثل بیماریه که هنوز حالش خیلی بده اما از م��گ یک قدم فاصله گرفته

تغییر جهان‌بینی اصلاً کار آسانی نیست. شاید عجیب باشه ولی برای خیلی از ما زندگی‌کردن در دنیایی که فکر می‌کنیم افتضاحه راحت‌تره. چرا؟ اول اینکه تمام دردهایی که می‌کشی یا می‌بینی رو توجیه می‌کنه و مجبور نیستی کار خاصی بکنی چون...خب چیکار میشه کرد؟ دنیا افتضاحه و داره روز به روز بدتر میشه

تصور اینکه در صلح آمیزترین برهه‌ از تاریخ بشریت زندگی می‌کنی که انسان‌ها تقریباً در همه‌ی کشورهای جهان (از جمله ایران) کمتر از همیشه از بلایای طبیعی، جنگ و فقر می‌میرند، بیشتر از همیشه سالمند، عمر می‌کنند و در مجموع افراد بیشتری زندگی بهتری دارند کار آسانی نیست. دانستن این‌ها به این معنیه که دردی که می‌بینی و می‌کشی درمان داره و شاید سخت‌تر از همه...تو به سهم خودت مسئولی چون تغییر ممکنه

هانس روسلینگ سال‌ها در کنفرانس‌های مهم جهانی، تدتاک‌ها و کلاس‌های درسش سعی می‌کرد که همین رو با آمار و ارقام و مثال‌ها از تجربه زیستی انسان‌ها ثابت کنه. این پزشک سوئدی که بخش زیادی از زندگیش رو محروم‌ترین کشورهای جهان و در سخت‌ترین شرایط کار کرده بود، معتقد بود که تغییر و پیشرفت اتفاق افتاده، هر چند که اوضاع ‌جهان هنوز بده و راه زیادی در پیش داریم

همونطور که از یک کامپیوتر انتظار نمیره که با برنامه‌ غلط به نتایج غلط نرسه، ما هم نمی‌تونیم از ذهنمون انتظار داشته باشیم که با وجود خطاهای فکریمون، به نتایج درستی برسه. اینجاست که این کتاب با نشان دادن این خطاهای فکری و توضیح دادنشون با داستان‌های ملموس و چارت‌های واضح بهمون یاد میده که چطور در این چاله‌ها نیافتیم. بعضی از این چاله‌های فکری نتیجه‌ی مغز تکاملی ماست و بعضی رو هم از محیط یاد گرفتیم. خوبی کتاب اینه که ابزارهای تفکر انتقادی رو به دستت میده و بهت میگه که حالا خودت برو و دنیا رو با چشم‌های بازتری نگاه کن

نقدهای منفی زیادی به این کتاب وارده که تعداد زیادیشون رو خوندم. در موارد زیادی فکر می‌کنم که این نقدها از اینجا نشأت می‌گیرند که منظور نویسنده اشتباه برداشته شده. در هیچ کجای کتاب گفته نشده که ما دنیای خوبی داریم، همه مشکلات برطرف شدن و اقدامات بیشتر لازم نیست. موضع روسلینگ کاملاً برعکسه. «آدم‌ها تغییراتی که اتفاق افتاده رو ببینید و بفهمید که تغییر ممکنه، حتی در بدترین و فقیرترین کشورها. پس اگر به تلاش و همکاری ادامه بدیم اصلاحات ممکنه» اینکه چه پیامی از نویسنده بگیرید به نظرم به طرز فکر خودتون خیلی بستگی داره. از این کتاب و این نثر میشه برداشت‌های خیلی متفاوتی داشت

اما در دو مسئله با منتقدان تا حدی موافقم. اول در مورد مسائل محیط‌زیستی و اکولوژیک که کتاب درباره‌‌ی وضعیت بغرنجشون اصلا به اندازه کافی صحبت نمی‌کنه. البته که ذکر می‌کنه که حل کردن این مشکلات مستلزم صلح‌ جهانی و شیفت تمرکز از مشکلات نه چندان مهم به این مسائل هست که واقعاً درست میگه. مسئله دوم تکیه و طرفداری از بازار مصرف و سرمایه‌ست. دلیل این اتفاق شاید اینه که روسلینگ زمان زیادی رو صرف صحبت‌کردن با سرمایه‌دارانی از جمله بیل گیتس کرده و خواه و ناخواه به زبان اونها صحبت می‌کنه

در کل به نظرم کتاب بسیار خوبی در زمینه تفکر انتقادیه و کمک می‌کنه که از حبابی که برای خودمون درست کردیم خارج شیم

کتاب و صوتیش رو هم مثل همیشه اینجا گذاشتم
M's Books
Profile Image for Apoorva.
163 reviews680 followers
December 12, 2018
Factfulness is written by Hans Rosling, a doctor, a researcher, and a lecturer in global health along with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling, both of whom were responsible for compiling the data. The data is presented in the form of bubble charts, graphs and it’s verified by international organizations.

The aim of the book is to fight ignorance and dramatic worldview with well-researched facts and global statistics. This book starts off with a quick 13 question quiz to test how you see the world in general. The author then proceeds to explain the world and banish misconceptions using different instincts.

Key points :

When you use the GPS in your car, it is important that it is using the right information.

It’s obsolete to divide the countries into developed and developing countries. The majority fit into developed countries. It’s proper to classify countries into 4 income levels starting from Level 1 that has poorest countries to Level 4 that has richest countries.

The majority of people live in the middle and the author explains how life looks like on all levels based on his interviews with people on all levels. This new way of classification helps to understand the world in a practical way without any prejudice and misconceptions by dividing the world into two categories.

You can look at the lives of people on different levels by visiting Dollar Street, a project where lives of about 300 families in more than 50 countries have been photographed and documented.

Warning: Objects in Your Memories Were Worse Than They Appear.

The author dispels the negativity instinct i.e. ‘Things are getting worse’ by presenting the improvements that happened and those that are taking place actively. Some improvements are happening so gradually that they’re inconspicuous so it’s easier to dismiss them.

Small advances go unreported by the media but these changes add up in a long run. Also, people tend to glorify their pasts. I’m sure you’ve come across people who start the sentence with ‘In those good old days’, this only strengthens the negativity bias.

There’s no room for facts when our minds are occupied by fear.

The attention-grabbing news is the one that generates fear in our mind. The author explains why and how our fear instinct is invoked and urges us to understand the difference between what’s frightening and what’s dangerous as it leads us to shift our attention from something that’s risky to something that’s mildly harmful.

This can cause people to make rash decisions by calling on our urgency instinct. Thinking about the worst case scenarios only makes people take quick decisions without thinking critically.

The world cannot be understood without numbers. And it cannot be understood with numbers alone.

The size instinct leads us to get things out of proportion by shifting our focus to an individual entity. It’s important to compare a lone number with another to get a clear image for eg. We should compare data from the present with the past. Also, the most important thing is to understand what the numbers explain about the real world.

The generalization instinct leads us to group together things which are unrelated and on a large scale, it forms a stereotype that can cause people to draw wrong conclusions about a certain entity. The author also illustrated how the cultures, religious values, people and nations constantly changing and progressing.

If you really want to change the world you have to understand it.

The single perspective instinct leads people to conclude that all problems have a single cause and they blame a singular identity like the government or the management while reality is much more complex than that. It’s better to be open to different ideas.

Conclusion :

Still I’m possibilistic. The next generation is like the last runner in a very long relay race.

The author is candid while putting forward facts and he has used experiences from his life to present his ideas. He also admits the mistakes he made in the past due to ignorance and his instincts which make reading the book an interesting experience. While reading, you can just feel how dedicated he is to his work.

I don’t mean to be dramatic (!) but reading this book has really been an eye-opening experience as I got to see the world from a fresh perspective. Journalists and documentarians prefer to tell stories that create conflict and hence, they should not be relied upon to show the unfiltered picture of the world.

Despite explaining how media is responsible for presenting the distorted view of the world, the author does not blame them; he blames the different instincts that guide people. In order to break away from those instincts, he urges us to constantly keep updating our knowledge and changing our views in accordance with the newly discovered facts.

This book does not try to make us see the world through rose tinted glasses, far from it. The author admits that the world is still bad but there’s no denying that it has gotten better and it is getting better. This was a very insightful and informative book. I believe this book should be read by everyone.

29 reviews4 followers
May 5, 2018
This book came highly recommended by The Economist, amongst others, though to me it was unsurprising, lacked particularly interesting conclusions, and felt rather tedious.

The work begins with a quiz consisting of 13 questions. The author claims that a 2017 study asked the same questions to 20k participants, and on average respondents got a mere 2 of the first 12 questions right, with one participant of 20k getting 11 of the 12 correct. However, my own results showed 10 / 13, and when I shared the quiz with three friends, their scores were between 8 & 10 of 13 correct. So, perhaps continuing to read the book was a mistake - effectively what follows is a question-by-question review of the statistics behind the answers - perhaps enlightening if you manage only a couple of correct answers, but rather dull if the questions seem humdrum.

There are several points which dull the book:
1) assumption of linear progress - essentially the book assumes that the significant progress on key indicators is monotonically increasing with time into the future (i.e. the African middle class has increased by X over the past Y years, and at current growth rates the middle class will be Z).
2) abuse of averages - the author notes the danger of using averages to describe populations without understanding the underlying distributions, then proceeds to barrage the reader with averages while offering little sense of the underlying distributions, and so failing to address key underlying questions (is the progress indicated the result of economic growth? Mass migration to cities? Other factors?)
3) correlation is not causality - there seems to be a consistent tendency to obscure when the discussion is seeking to illustrate correlation and when he argues for a causal relationship, and as a result, it is fails to offer a compelling case for causal factors and, in many cases, even to consider underlying drivers of progress (and, therefore, to consider risks to such progress).

In summary, if you score poorly on the quiz and could use a summary glance at key development statistics and how they have evolved in recent decades, this can be a useful primer. Otherwise, flip through the summaries at the end of each chapter, understand his argument that data is a better indicator of reality than media, and call it a day.
Profile Image for Tanja Berg.
1,833 reviews412 followers
June 30, 2018
The first time I saw Rosling, he was explaining on television that most of the Syrian refugees are displaced in their own country, and not on their way to Europe. He had so many bright ideas. I was deeply saddened to hear of his death and I immediately shied from the postmortem released books. I did not want to be reminded. Eventually I realized my foolishness and this week I've been reading "Factfulness" while at the same time listening to Rosling's memoir on audio.

We need to learn to hold two thoughts in our head at the same time: the world has gotten a lot better, and some things are still really bad.

At the start of the book is a quiz with 13 questions, on which most people across the world score worse than if they had guessed at random. As an example, question 2: where do the majority of people live? A. Low-income countries B. Middle-income countries C. High income countries.

Although I managed a high score, much because I grew up in a poverty level 2 country and saw it move to 3 within the span of a decade, this was still an incredibly insightful and useful book. It is one that everyone should read. It presents facts and anecdotes, and most of all, tools to better understand the world.

Tools for factfulness:
1. Gap - check for the majority
2. Deterioration - expect bad news
3. Linearity - not all lines are straight
4. Fear - evaluate risks
5. Size - put things in the right perspective
6. Generalization - question your categories
7. Fate - observe slow changes
8. One-sidedness - get more tools
9. Blame - avoid pointing fingers
10. Emergency - take small steps

The world is no longer divided into rich and poor. This category is no longer meaningful. Rosling identifies four categories depending on income. The people in the different categories live in a similar way regardless if it's China or Nigeria, Egypt or USA.

Don't stress. Check your facts. The world is better than it's ever been. This does not mean there are no things to combat, it simply means that fewer people die from preventable disease than before. Mortality and births are down. Read this book, your life will be better for having done so.

If you only read one book this year, or in a decade, or your life, let it be this one.
56 reviews52 followers
March 23, 2019
"Factfulness" is one of the most influential books published in 2018. The greatest deal about it is not the facts or fancy numbers & graphs (I still love them) it has, but that how it teaches one to think logically by taking everything to the basics rather than already starting with an opinion or using analogies to reach a conclusion.

Hans Rosling wrote this book when he was on his deathbed, diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer. The only thing that made this drastic change in his personal life bearable was the book. He didn't live long enough to read the final draft, to get the book published, to see it become a massive success or to bliss over people reading it generations after generations. Being a doctor, Rosling spent his whole life working for the underprivileged and the unfortunate ones in different countries of the world. He was a visionary who saw the world different from us; and this is a chronicle of the success stories, experiences as well the failures that he shared with the world.


If you want to understand the world or improve your rational thinking, this could be one of the books to start with.
Profile Image for Monica.
584 reviews612 followers
November 1, 2020
Why do I get the feeling that I was just reading a book about the wealth gap posing as a book touting good news about the world? Hans Rosling was a doctor who spent his life working on world health. He has travelled the world and met all manner of people and determined that the world isn't nearly as bad off as it feels. He studied the reasons behind that and thus created a foundation to get the word out. He did several TED talks and worked with one of his sons and daughter-in-law to write the book.

Rosling et al are so frustrated about the narratives around the world that they made up a word and determined that the reason for this misinformation is based upon basically the lack of will of the wealthy nations to logically think about, analyze and vet the information it receives about the world. Rosling breaks it down to 10 reasons

In general, I liked the book and Rosling points out things that should be pretty obvious to folks who can look at things outside of their own bubble. Basically, he asks that we look at things in perspective. Most of what people know about the world is based upon when the information entered their consciousness. If you recieved information about the world in the 80s, it tends to stick there no matter what has happened in those 30 years. For those of us who live in wealthy countries, we tend to look at things through our own framework and perspective. What poverty looks like in for example the United States and what poverty looks like in less wealthy parts of the world are two very different things. Rosling urges that we get rid of ideas like "developed" and "developing" countries and use a different measure. He recommends a hybrid from the world bank and divides the world in 4 categories based on income. Level 1-Extreme poverty <$2/day Level 2 Between $4-$16/day Level 3 Between $8-$32/day and Level 4 Wealthy Above $32/day. Rosling does a good job of describing each of these categories and what it means to live within them. The way these categories are laid out makes sense in worldwide terms and by these measures you can see how things get perceived etc. By these measures Rosling says that about 1 billion people the world live in extreme poverty and even that measure is steadily decreasing. Rosling says Level 2 and Level 3 represent middle income status and anything at Level 4 and above is a wealthy country. And thus you have a guideline to how Rosling concludes that the world really is better than people believe. Rosling is trying to explain to vastly wealthier countries (even he acknowledges that if you are reading his book you are probably in Level 4 country), that the world is not as awful or backward as we think. And he's right about that (as demonstrated with numerous examples in the book such as education, vaccination, access to clean water, safety, access to electricity, access to internet and telephones etc).

I have a few issues with the book. First is cherry picking statistics. Granted he is writing a book about perspectives and it just doesn't invite trust when he specifically states that "only 9 percent of the world lives in low income countries". See what he did there? As a reader you are supposed to assume that everyone that lives in a low income country is extremely poor and that people who live in middle income countries all live above the poverty line. But a few pages later he says that one billion people live in extreme poverty. I would guess that is because that adds up to a little over 14% of the world population; a rather dramatic contrast to 9% live in low income countries. But truthfully, statistics are used to influence perception or to help move people towards their point of view. Rosling is betting that you did not learn anything from his book. In order to accept a lot of what he is positing, you cannot analyze some of his stated statistics too closely. It's a bit of a slight of hand.

Next it feels like he lets the Western world off the hook. No need to be too concerned about what's going on in other countries they are doing better than you think . His example of an Ebola outbreak in the Congo was an example. Written as a success story about how these countries are more than capable of handling these things; even better than wealthier countries. It smacks of "We've done our job here, no need to look harder (or further invest)". Also, thank goodness the wealthy invested here so they are no longer need. Additionally, Rosling fan waves income disparity. He implies that the vast income disparity between nations is no real problem at all. Just look at it differently. For me there was an immediate comparison to the 1%. In the "Western" world by Roslings measures (which are similar to the classifications in the World Bank), we are so much more wealthy than Rosling's "middle income" countries, that it is not a gap, it's a chasm. And that same chasm exists between middle class in the US and wealthy. There is so much more wealth in the US than in Level 2/3 countries that it is nearly impossible to imagine what the middle class life is (as defined by Rosling) and how to survive/thrive in that environment. Among the extremely wealthy are good people who are helping worldwide. Medicines Sans Frontier, Gates Foundation, Clinton foundation ect. Unspoken but subliminal is "Don't ask much more of the rich (like and additional 2% tax for example), they are giving their fair share in philanthropy". And also unspoken but a corollary is that poor people in wealthy countries aren't poor (regardless of the fact that to survive in the significantly more expensive, wealthy country $16/day is extreme poverty) because look the rest of the world is considered middle class at $8/day. Bah. I didn't fall for it. Just a different bubble.

On the whole a very mixed bag. I think he is right about a lot of his thoughts about how to look at the world. He makes great points about the corporate media shapes the narrative; and that the view is very different due to income disparity; and that humans seek bipolar understanding so that it's "us and them", "right or wrong", "true or false" so that we can take sides conflict; and humans tend to see things with a negative bent; and that comfortable people rarely bother to analyze or update the sources of their beliefs. Truthfully there is no doubt that the contributions and donations by the extremely wealthy people, corporations, organizations, foundations, and countries worldwide has elevated the standard of living around the world in very significant ways. They have made the world a better and safer place. But I don't respond well to what began to feel like subliminal persuasion about "all the good things the wealthy folks are doing and we should not judge them; its all helping the world" vibe. In the end Rosling comes across more as a capitalist than a world health worker. And the omitted analysis (and statistics) is as telling as the ones that are included.

Almost 3.5 Stars

Read on kindle.
Profile Image for Christine.
945 reviews12 followers
February 26, 2018
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways.

This is honestly one of the most eye-opening, opinion changing books I have ever read. Especially in today’s political climate, everything feels like the worst case scenario and it can be hard to know what to do without losing hope. Factfulness gives real, data-based information about how we use information and how to do that better. It is frank and it is real and I have never felt so empowered in my life. The tips and explanations in here are so useable and so relatable and so simple, I can start using them right now and I feel like I’ll have need to use them forever. Seriously, this feels right now like a must read book.
Profile Image for Mora.
540 reviews17 followers
July 15, 2021
I got this as an ARC from Goodreads Giveaways (do you know happy that made me? It is true I had a 20% chance of getting it, as opposed to the 0.0118% chance most of these giveaways have, but still. My first ARC! All the imperfections and missing dates and awkward formatting was very endearing).

Anyway, I'm not usually a reader of nonfiction, but this seemed interesting, and I obtained it, so obviously I read it. It was actually really good. Rosling was a very interesting narrator, which I decided pretty early on (as in, page three), because he starts out with talking about sword swallowing and then goes on to tell us about how he occasionally does it at the end of his lectures. That immediately was very endearing, considering the last nonfiction book I read was Outliers by the esteemed but irritatingly condescending Malcom Gladwell, and Rosling did nothing to take away my respect throughout the book. He is very passionate about his subject, and he brings in tons of experiences he's had as examples, which adds both interesting details and credibility.

I just like his voice, okay?

This may be because I did agree with him on a lot of topics. (Okay, that probably plays a rather prominent role.) I'm big into looking at all the facts and evidence available first before jumping to conclusions, and one of the things that irritates me the most is when people are presented with absolute evidence and still go on pretending it doesn't exist. The facts are right there, people.

(To quote Tamora Pierce (in a review for a nonfiction book (shh)): "You can smack some people in the face with a haddock and they’ll still call it a mouse if a mouse is what they want to see.")

I'm also very interested in the environment and consumer trends and could connect this book a lot to one of my classes, in which we learn about such things, so it was interesting to get a perspective on the same topics we were studying that was a lot more in-depth and a lot more interesting than my textbook.

(The Gapminder website is pretty cool too.)

One of my favorite concepts from Factfulness was "possibilist".
"People often call me an optimist, because I show them the enormous progress they didn't know about. This makes me angry. I'm not an optimist. That makes me sound naive. I'm a very serious 'possibilist.' That's something I made up. It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview. As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that future progress is possible. This is not optimistic. It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are. It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful."
Also, another favorite quote:
“Educating girls has proven to be one of the world’s best ideas ever.”

I would highly recommend this book. I already have, actually: "Oh, you should read this book! In April. When it comes out. Or you can borrow my copy if you simply cannot wait that long!"

I had lots of feelings with this book - not the fiction pull-the-heartstrings feelings and more the this-is-good-and-logical-and-makes-me-happy feelings. Why is logic so hard for some people to understand?

The most helpful view presented, actually, was the view that things can be "both bad and better". The world can be improving, but that's not to say there is nothing negative in the world and that there are not terrible things and people are not struggling. Things can be bad. But they can also be getting better. I feel like that kinda sums up the book itself.
Profile Image for Amin.
333 reviews321 followers
October 21, 2019
نظریه تکاملی، بجای استفاده ای رایج که برای توصیف هر چیز از ابتدای تاریخ تا دوران مدرن بکار میرود، می تواند به شیوه ای هوشمندانه دنیای مدرن را در مقابل غریزه ها قرار دهد و هم باورپذیرتر باشد و هم، به حوزه ای تخصصی تر بپردازد. روسلینگ با این شیوه ده مورد از غرایز بشری را که با تجربه وسیع خودش بدانها صحه گذاشته، و برای بقای نسل بشر لازم میدانسته، مبنای بحث خودش قرار میدهد تا نشان بدهد چطور همان غرایز حال راه را برای فهم واقعیت محور ما از جهان می بندند، چرا که هنوز عادت داریم با همان عینک غریزی به دنیا بنگریم

اما این تنها نقطه شروع کتاب است، کتابی که با اشاراتی تامل برانگیز به فهم نادرست سیستماتیک ما از دنیا، فارغ از تحصیلات و سطح رفاه و دانش آغاز می شود و برای متهم کردن ما هم از خودش شروع می کند. راه حل را هم البته عرضه می کند، در دنیای پیشرفته امروز که دسترسی به اطلاعات و داده ها و تکنولوژی های ارتباطی ساده است، فهم بهتر و داده محور از دنیا هم ساده تر و البته مفید تر خواهد بود. نقد صریحی هم بر ژورنالیسم رایج دارد، گرچه تمام و کمال تقصیر را به گردن آنها نمی اندازد و به آن به چشم فرصتی برای ژورنالیسم نگاه می کند که تنها بر روی موج استفاده ما از غرایز سوار شده و برای آنها موقعیتی مناسب ایجاد کرده تا توجه ما را به کسب و کار خودشان جلب کنند

ممکن من خواننده با تمام استفاده ها از داده ها و نتایجی که از آنها می گیرد موافق نباشم، یا برای افراد آشنا با تفکر سیستمی و خطاهای ادراکی، برخی از فصل ها حالتی تکراری یا مشابه با بحثهای سایر محققان داشته باشند، اما مطالعه دوباره همین فصل ها نیز همچنان خواندنی و مفید هستند، با چاشنی طنز و شیرین زبانی نویسنده، کوله باری از تجربه و خاطراتی خواندنی از ماموریت های کاری در دشوارترین شرایط. این زندگی پربار که کمی پیش از چاپ این کتاب برای نویسنده به پایان رسید، با جانشین پروری فوق العاده ای هم تکمیل شده که کمتر این روزها در فضای آکادمیک سراغ داریم. یعنی خویشاوندان نزدیک وی که نه تنها در نگارش کتاب با وی همکاری کرده اند، بلکه بعد از فوت وی به خوبی توانمندی لازم برای ادامه کار را دارند
Profile Image for Tom LA.
591 reviews224 followers
June 23, 2021
I knew I would have enjoyed Factfulness but it’s even better than I thought.

Rosling sounds a bit like Steven Pinker but without all the philosophical and historical bias that ruins Pinker’s books.

The core message though is the same: the world is getting better, not worse. This is NOT a half-glass-full view. In fact, Rosling repeats over and over that he does not see himself as an optimist. Rather, he wants to help people see the world through data and facts.

Given my personal disgust for the distortion of reality operated on a daily basis by the media (always done - decades before “fake news”) I loved Rosling’s main point which is encouraging people to THINK properly and factually about our world, in a way that is not polluted by the screams of the media, by bias or by artificial narratives.

And that is very, very difficult for everyone today.

To think straight when the media are using all the possible techniques to make us think in a twisted and superficial way is difficult.

Here is a quick summary of our “10 Dramatic Instincts” as listed by Rosling (and 10 reasons why we are wrong about the world):

• The Gap Instinct: We tend to divide things into 2 distinct groups and imagine a gap between them.
• The Negativity Instinct: We tend to instinctively notice the bad more than the good.
• The Straight Line Instinct: When we see a line going up steadily, we tend to assume the line will continue to go up in the foreseeable future.
• The Fear Instinct: We tend to perceive the world to be scarier than it really is.
• The Size Instinct: We tend to see things out of proportion, over-estimating (a) the importance of a single event/person that’s visible to us, and (b) the scale of an issue based on a standalone number.
• The Generalization Instinct: We tend to wrongly assume that everything or everyone in a category is similar.
• The Destiny Instinct: We tend to assume that (a) the destinies of people, cultures, countries etc. are predetermined by certain factors, and (b) such factors are fixed and unchanging, i.e. their destinies are fixed.
• The Single Perspective Instinct: We tend to focus on single causes or solutions, which are easier to grasp and make our problems seem easier to solve.
• The Blame Instinct: When something goes wrong, we instinctively blame it on someone or something.
• The Urgency Instinct: We tend to rush into a problem or opportunity for fear that there’s no time and we may be too late.

What surprises me in reading some negative reviews here is how much many people LOVE to cling to their negative and pessimistic view of the world — they can’t stand a book like this because they find the author too hopeful and optimistic. Which is missing the point of the book (and of being human, in my view).

Rosling had a larger than life personality. You can see his energy in his TED talks, but it’s something that clearly comes through even from the pages of this book.

You can’t help but laugh at the monkey face symbol that’s present on many of his graphs, to indicate the point where a chimp would have scored in a survey (of course, by giving a random answer out of three).

Some reviewers took offense “Oh, he thinks everyone is an idiot!”. No no no no, again, you’re missing the mark by a mile: this is not about dissing or even about ego-mania. Sure everyone likes to toot their own horn, but this is clearly done in good spirits, it’s the product of a very playful, child-like and enthusiastic personality.

Here is a quote from the book that I found powerful:

“Forming your worldview by relying on the media would be like forming your view about me by looking only at a picture of my foot. Sure, my foot is part of me, but it’s a pretty ugly part. I have better parts.”

Also, for something a bit deeper:

“Being always in favor of or always against any particular idea makes you blind to information that doesn’t fit your perspective. This is usually a bad approach if you like to understand reality.”
Profile Image for Ross Blocher.
429 reviews1,359 followers
July 6, 2019
Factfulness joins the ranks of worldview-changing books I heartily recommend to everyone. It offers an updated global perspective on economic development, health, and other key markers of wellness. One of the myths Rosling (and his co-authors Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund) sets out to dispel is the notion of "developing nations" versus "the developed world". Those categories cause us to picture the world as a collection of "haves" and "have-nots" with a large gap in between. This might have been the case in 1965, but is not relevant to today's world, and the media have done a poor job of updating our understanding. Rosling demonstrates this progress with data and recommends an alternate model, parsing populations in terms of four economic levels, irrespective of which country they exist in:

- Level 1 is extreme poverty, barely surviving on $2 per day or less. At this level you are likely barefoot, eating a diet of a simple dietary staple that lacks the full complement of nutrition you need. You walk long distances for dirty water, you cook your food on a basic wood fire, and sleep on a mat on the ground.
- Level 2 finds you still in poverty, but with $4 per day you enjoy a markedly different daily experience. You'll have basic shoes and can even save up for a bike, you'll be cooking with gas, will have a slightly varied diet, your family will have a toothbrush to share and and a mattress to sleep on.
- Level 3 (up to $16 per day) allows you to access running water, the chance at saving up for a motorcycle, cooking on a basic stove, enjoying a varied diet and a lack of food insecurity, a frame to put your mattress on, and everyone in the family gets their own toothbrush.
- Level 4 (up to $32 per day and beyond) membership means you can buy a car, have water running in your own house, your stove and oven are fixed appliances, you have a nutritious and varied meals, sleep in a nice bed, and your family's toothbrushes might even be electric.

These levels are consistent no matter where you live, and each country has a mix of residents from these levels, though the averages change. Only a billion of the world's population suffer in level 1 conditions (terrible, but a marked improvement from the past), some 3 billion live in level 2, 2 billion in level 3, and 1 billion in level 4. If we start to think in these categories, we can be more strategic in our aid, but also in supporting growing markets: many companies don't realize there's so much room for expansion in these "undeveloped" countries.

Rosling begins the book with a 13-question quiz to gauge your knowledge of global vaccination, literacy, health, education, etc, and this review may already have primed you to perform better than most audiences he has encountered (and if you're familiar with Steven Pinker's excellent book Enlightenment Now you'll be even better primed). Funny enough, it's often the most educated audiences that have the worst intuitions about the world in these terms. Rosling regularly compares everyone's performance to that of chimpanzees, just to show that our intuitions are often worse than blind guesswork.

The book is organized into chapters addressing instincts that lead us to think wrongly about the world, and Rosling uses data and anecdotes from his decades of work as an international doctor/researcher to reset our intuitions. There are ten instincts addressed: gap, negativity, straight line, fear, size, generalization, destiny, single perspective, blame, and urgency. I will resist spelling them out here, but they are valuable heuristics for evaluating what we see and hear. Rosling is hoping that, by being aware of our limitations and knowing which questions to ask, we will live lives based on "factfulness": the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

Sadly, Hans Rosling died of pancreatic cancer before this book was released. It was written as a joint effort with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna, co-founders of the Gapminder Foundation that pulled together many of the statistics used here. They completed it after his death, but it is written in his voice: serving as a final message to the world from a remarkable educator and human being.

Silly side note: In my Christian upbringing, there was a popular praise song, Take My Life, with the lyrics: "Faithfulness, faithfulness is what I long for / Faithfulness is what I need / Faithfulness, faithfulness is what you want from meeee...." As you progress through the song, you swap out holiness, righteousness, and anything else your worship leader feels like throwing in. Every time I see this book, my mind starts automatically singing this song with "Factfulness". My friend Carrie (who gifted the book to me) said she did the same thing.
Profile Image for عبدالرحمن عقاب.
672 reviews754 followers
May 18, 2019
كتاب رائع! ‏
يناقش كاتبه الأسس التي نبني عليها أحكامنا عن حال البشرية المعاصر، وعن ما نتوقعه لها ‏لاحقًا.‏
يدور الكتاب حول أهمية توفّر البيانات قبل إصدار أحكامنا وقراراتنا وتنبؤاتنا. ثمّ يعرض لما قد ‏يعترينا من أخطاء معرفية في قراءة تلك البيانات أو تجاوزها بسبب ما يسميه الكاتب "نزعات" ‏ذاتية تنطوي عليها بنية الإنسان الفكرية. (أميل إلى اصطلاح "نزعة" بدلاً من "غريزة" الذي ‏اختاره المترجم)‏
جاء الكتاب على شكل دروسٍ سلسلة واضحة وعملية تطبيقية في فنّ التعامل مع المعل��مات ‏التي قد تتخذ شكل بياناتٍ أحيانًا، أو شكل مقولات عامّة في أحيان أخرى. وللكاتب أسلوبٌ ‏أخّاذ في عرض أفكاره وأمثلته واستخلاص نتائجه ودروسه التطبيقية.
‏ وإن بدا الكتاب بثًّا لروح التفاؤل-المبرّر - بما وصلت إليه البشرية وما ينتظرها إلا أنّ المخاوف ‏الخمسة وسادسها التي سردها سريعًا في آخر الكتاب كانت كافية لردّ التفاؤل إلى حدود الأمل ‏والرجاء.
ترجمة الكتاب ممتازة، وإن جانبت الدقّة في ترجمة بعض المصطلحات، لكنها في غالبها ‏ممتازة. وهناك خطـأ في ترجمة بيانات إحدى الصور بسبب الانتقال من اليمين إلى اليسار.

كتابٌ ممتع مفيد ويستحقّ القراءة!‏
Profile Image for Indra Nooyi.
Author 5 books17.1k followers
June 10, 2021
With so much information at our disposal today, it often seems that there is no single version of the truth. “Factfulness" by Hans Rosling sheds light on this and teaches us how to interpret facts. A fascinating read that's helped me view the world through a more discerning lens.
Profile Image for Michael Perkins.
Author 6 books344 followers
August 27, 2021
“I really do believe that our attitudes are shaped much more by our social groups than they are by facts on the ground. We are not great reasoners. Most people don't like to think at all, or like to think as little as possible. And by most, I mean roughly 70 percent of the population. Even the rest seem to devote a lot of their resources to justifying beliefs that they want to hold, as opposed to forming credible beliefs based only on fact.”

― Steven Sloman, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone


It's a constant challenge to get our facts straight. Like most readers and others the author has challenged, I flunked the test at the beginning of the book.

Early in the book, he makes it clear he is not an optimist, never mind an idealist. He simply demonstrates what accurate data shows us about the world and the good news is that the world is improving. This does not mean, the author makes clear, that there are not serious issues in terms of politics, racism, and climate change. But we shouldn't be pessimists, but stay after these problems.

As readers learn what they don't know, the author explains why. He calls them instincts that can get in the way of finding out what's real: opting for melodramatic explanations, the "us vs them" gap perspective, negativism, seeing all data as a straight line, allowing fear to cloud our judgment, over-generalizing, seeing everything through a single ideological lens, blaming.

In the pursuit of educating others, he does not agree that the means justify the ends. He articulates something about Al Gore's mode of presentation that I agree is wrong. I have seen two polar opposite and unfortunate reactions to Gore's worst case approach in "An Inconvenient Truth"----backlash skepticism and defeatism. I recall Gore being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN. Anderson showed the documentary animation of the worst case flooding of the entire state of Florida. Anderson was skeptical and I thought it made Gore look absurd.

Rosling writes:

“We need to create fear!” That’s what Al Gore said to me at the start of our first conversation about how to teach climate change. It was 2009 and we were backstage at a TED conference in Los Angeles. Al Gore asked me to help him and use Gapminder’s bubble graphs to show a worst-case future impact of a continued increase in CO2 emissions.But I couldn’t agree to what he had asked. I don’t like fear.

Fear plus urgency make for stupid, drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects. Climate change is too important for that. It needs systematic analysis, thought-through decisions, incremental actions, and careful evaluation. And I don’t like exaggeration.

Exaggeration undermines the credibility of well-founded data: in this case, data showing that climate change is real, that it is largely caused by greenhouse gases from human activities such as burning fossil fuels, and that taking swift and broad action now would be cheaper than waiting until costly and unacceptable climate change happened. Exaggeration, once discovered, makes people tune out altogether.

I insisted that I would never show the worst-case line without showing the probable and the best-case lines as well. Picking only the worst-case scenario and— worse— continuing the line beyond the scientifically based predictions would fall far outside Gapminder’s mission to help people understand the basic facts. It would be using our credibility to make a call to action. Al Gore continued to press his case for fearful animated bubbles beyond the expert forecasts, over several more conversations, until finally I closed the discussion down. “Mr. Vice President. No numbers, no bubbles.”

To be absolutely clear, I am deeply concerned about climate change because I am convinced it is real— as real as Ebola was in 2014. I understand the temptation to raise support by picking the worst projections and denying the huge uncertainties in the numbers. But those who care about climate change should stop scaring people with unlikely scenarios."


Profile Image for Mohy_p.
274 reviews109 followers
October 26, 2021
فکر می کنید جهان رو به بهتر شدن می ره یا بدتر شدن ؟
این کتاب با دلایل و استناد به آمار و ارقام بین المللی به ما نشون
میده که جهان آنقدر ها بد که به ما القا شده پیش نمی رود

این کتاب از اون مدل کتاب هایی هست که دوست دارمشون
کتاب هایی که موقع خوندنشون حتما باید یه مداد دستم باشه که حاشیه نویسی کنم و زیر بعضی جملات خط بکشم .

«شروع کتاب»
کتاب شروع جذابی داره .
با 13 سوال سه گزینه ای شروع میشه و از شما می خواد به سوالات جواب بدید .
و تا پایان کتاب مباحث تا حدی به این 13سوال مربوط میشه

«موضوع کتاب»
کتاب درباره غرایزی صحبت می کنه که می تونند مانع واقعگراییمون بشند
مثل غریزه «شکاف» که تصویری با دو گروه به ما ارائه میده در حالیکه واقعیت دو قطبی نیست و معمولا اکثریت جایی بین دو قطبند
یا غریزه «اندازه» که بهمون یاد میده وقتی عدد بزرگی رو توی یک خبر یا موقعیت می شنویم دنبال اعدادی مربوط بگردیم و مقایسه کنیم یا نسبت بگیریم چون نسبت ها با معنا هستند
یا غریزه «سرنوشت» که باعث میشه فکر کنیم که ویژگی ذاتی کشور ها و مذاهب تعیین کننده سرنوشت اونهاست در حالیکه فرهنگ ها و جوامع بی تغییر نیستند و اگر با بزرگتر ها صحبت کنیم می بینیم که چقد ارزش های جامعه تغییر کرده اند

«درباره سطح سختی متن کتاب»
ناداستان بودن کتاب به هیچ وجه این فکر که مطالب کتاب سخت و غیر قابل فهم هستند رو بهتون القا نکنه . اتفاقا با مثال ها و نمودار های زیادی که نویسنده میاره و بیان ساده ای که داره مطالب خیلی قابل فهمند

«درباره کتاب»
چیزی که در مورد این کتاب دوست دارم این هست که تنها درباره غریزه هایی که ما رو به اشتباه می اندازند صحبت نمی کنه و «راهکار» هایی برای مقابله با این غرایز بهمون ارائه میده

یه قسمت هایی(ص 40 و 123) اینقدر مقایسه انواع نمودار ها و برداشت های خطایی که موجب می شند جالب بود با خودم فکر کردم حتما اگر معلم امار شدم یه روزی برای بچه ها توضیحشون بدم

کتاب در 2017 نوشته شده و تا حد زیادی اطلاعات و اماری که می ده به روز هستند

ی قسمت هایی در مورد بیماری های واگیردار صحبت میکرد و تو این روز ها که هنوز درگیر کروناییم خوندنشون جالب بود ، مثلا : :متخصصان جدی بیماری های واگیردار معتقدند هنوز هم نوع کثیف جدیدی از آنفلوآنزا خطرناک ترین تهدید سلامت جهان است

در قسمتی هم صحبت میکرد که ما برای جلوگیری از جنگ جهانی سوم نیاز داریم به افزایش ارتباط با ادم ها از کشورها و فرهنگ های دیگر که من و یاد یک سری استوری از پیج jannatkhah.ir انداخت که می گفت هر چی در یک جامعه ای ارتباطات بیشتر بشه رواداری اون جامعه هم افزایش پیدا میکنه

«کتاب های دیگر»
فکر می کنم اگر این کتاب رو دوست داشتید این دو کتاب رو هم دوست داشته باشید یا بالعکس : هنر شفاف اندیشیدن از نشر چشمه ، کی بود کی بود از نشر گمان

این کتاب رو میلکان ، نوین ، کرگدن ، کوله پشتی و خوب با نام های تقریبا متفاوتی ترجمه کردند . که البته من اطلاعی ندارم کدوم ترجمه بهتره و ترجمه میلکان رو هدیه گرفتم .
با اینکه چاپ هشتم رو داشتم اما غلط های نگارشی داشت ولی از ترجمه ناراضی نیستم

«کلمات مرتبط با این کتاب»
#واقعیت #رسانه #سلامت #منطق #اعداد

خیلی اتفاقی کتابی که توی لیست خریدم بود رو از پیج اینستا elhamabedini.70 هدیه گرفتم یه زمانی هر ماه دو بار کتاب هدیه میدادن

من این کتاب رو دوست داشتم و خوشحالم از اینکه خوندمش
(که البته ریویو های دوستای گودریدزم موجب اشناییم با این کتاب شد اگر نه جای دیگه ای ندیده بودمش قبل از اینکه هدیه بگیرمش)
مرسی که ریویو می نویسید

«قسمت هایی از کتاب »
*بهداشت دندان با حرکت مردم از سطح یک به سطح دو ، بدتر می شود و سپس در سطح چهار بهبود پیدا می کند. (نویسنده سطح مالی مردم جهان رو به جای دو قسمت در حال پیشرفت و پیشرفته به 4 سطح تقسیم می کنه )
دلیلش این است که مردم به دلیل برخورداری از استطاعت مالی ، شروع می کنند به خوردن انواع شیرینی ها ، اما دولت ها تا قبل از سطح سه. به لحاظ مالی نمی توانند... (اموزش پیشگیرانه بدهند)
*غریزه شکاف جهان را به «ما» و «آن ها» تقسیم می کند و غریزه تعمیم باعث می شود «ما» همه ی «آن ها» را یکسان تصور کنیم.
*از اکثریت آگاه باشید ... به خاطر داشته باشید که «اکثریت » فقط یعنی بیش تر از نصف . پس هم پنجاه و یک درصد ، اکثریت است و هم نود و نه درصد . در صورت امکان درصد را بپرسید .
*در بین ده کشوری که سریع ترین رشد اقتصادی سال 2016 را داشته اند ، نه مورد نمره پایینی در دمکراسی می گیرند
Profile Image for David Rubenstein.
801 reviews2,521 followers
December 5, 2018
This is a fascinating book about how we think about the world, and many of the ways in which we think incorrectly. To start off, the reader is encouraged to take the Factfulness quiz. It consists of thirteen multiple-choice questions. Most people do worse than pure chance, i.e., a chimpanzee could achieve a better score! It goes to show how our thinking about the world is stereotypical, and not in accordance with the world as it really is.

This book has much in common with a couple of books by Stephen Pinker; The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined and also Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Hans Rosling argues that the world is a much better place, in many ways, than it was just a few decades ago. Not better in all respects, but in many important aspects. The problem is that most people do not realize just how much better it has become--we still have stereotypical views of most of the world's population, and the trends that are happening now.

The author offers advice on how to think more clearly, for example, "avoid lonely numbers." That is to say, do not place much emphasis on single numbers, because without some context, they do not say much without at least one other number for comparison. Rosling gives many concrete examples of things to keep in mind, when trying to make sense of trends, statistics, and numbers. The book is filled with anecdotes that show how generalizations can lead to faulty thinking--I just love the story about a student rushing to an elevator, stretching out her leg to keep the doors from closing. That is a perfectly OK thing to do in Sweden--but not necessarily in India.

And, the author relates some anecdotes where he, himself was thinking incorrectly. He is humble enough to show that he sometimes makes these very mistakes, as illustrations of faulty thinking.

While the book is fun to read, and very engaging, it does have some problems. It seems to be a bit repetitive at times, and maybe even a bit preachy. Nevertheless, it is worth reading, and probably everyone can learn a great deal from this book.
Profile Image for SeyedMahdi Hosseini.
117 reviews67 followers
October 12, 2018
نظر شما چیست؟ جهان آینده را چگونه تصور می‌کنید؟ سوالات ذیل را مرور کنیم.
- امروزه در تمامی کشورهای با سطح درآمد پایین در جهان، چند درصد از دانش‌آموزان دختر تحصیلات ابتدایی را به پایان می‌رسانند؟ الف) 20 درصد ب) 40 درصد ج) 60 درصد
- در بیست سال گذشته، درصد جمعیت جهان که در فقر شدید زندگی می‌کنند ...
الف) تقریبا دو برابر شده است ب) تقریبا همان اندازه، بیشتر یا کمتر باقی مانده است ج) تقریبا به نصف کاهش پیدا کرده است
- امروزه در دنیا 2 میلیارد کودک بین سنین 0 تا 15 سال وجود دارد. طبق گفته سازمان ملل متحد در سال 2100 چند کودک در جهان وجود خواهند داشت؟
الف) 4 میلیارد ب) 3 میلیارد ج) 2 میلیارد
- در سراسر جهان، آقایان دارای سی سال سن به طور متوسط ده سال از عمرشان را در مدرسه گذرانده‌اند، خانمهای همسن‌شان به طور متوسط چند سال از عمر خود را در مدرسه گذرانده‌اند؟
الف) 9 سال ب) 6 سال ج) 3 سال

بهتر است پاسخ را در کتاب factfulness نوشته هانس رزلینگ پیدا کنید. (برای اینکه کنجکاوی که نویسنده می‌خواهد در ابتدای کتاب ایجاد کند باقی بماند و به قولی اسپویل نشود)
کتاب را هنگامی برای مطالعه انتخاب کردم که دیدم بیل گیتس تعداد زیادی از نسخه‌های آن را به فارغ‌التحصیلان کالجها و دانشگاههای آمریکا هدیه داده است. او می‌نویسد: «این کتاب یکی از مهمترین کتابهای آموزشی است که تاکنون مطالعه کرده‌ام.»
تاکنون به فارسی توسط حداقل 6 انتشارات مختلف ترجمه شده که البته من ترجمه‌ی بهار رحمتی نشر نوین را مطالعه کردم. عنوان فرعی آن هست: «ده دلیل برای اینکه ما درباره جهان اشتباه فکر می‌کنیم و چرا اتفاقات جهان از آن چه به نظر می‌رسند، بهترند.»
مدتی قبل مطلب کوتاهی درباره اینکه خیلی وقتها از اطرافیان می‌شنویم قدیمها بهتر بود، نوشته بودم. اینکه خیلی وقتها حواسمان نیست که قدیم‌ها فاجعه بود. حکومتهای استبدادی و جنگها زیاد بودند و کشتار وحشیانه تعداد زیادی از مردم را به فلاکت می‌انداخت؛ اکثریت جامعه بی‌سواد بودند و هرگونه خرافات را باور می‌کردند؛ مردم بدون برق و اینترنت چه می‌کردند؛ سرما را چطور تحمل می‌کردیم؛ از کودکانی که به دنیا می‌آمدند چه تعدادی زنده می‌ماندند و چه بسیار مادرانی که سر زایمان جان خود را از دست می‌دادند.
ممکن است هدف اصلی هانس رزلینگ، ایجاد دیدگاه مثبت در مخاطب نسبت به آینده‌ی جهان و در پی‌اش آرامش ذهنی و انگیزه‌های مثبت برای تلاش در ساخت آینده‌ای بهتر باشد ولی از این که بگذریم، یکی از مهمترین دستاوردهایش، مصداقهای بسیار زیبا و اثرگذار در تفکر نقادانه است. درواقع اگر به دنبال تمرینهای خوب برای تفکر نقادانه می‌گردید، پیشنهاد می‌کنم حتما آن را مطالعه کنید.
یکی دیگر از فواید مطالعه‌ی این کتاب نیز یادآوری در جای جای آن هست که این اخبار بد هستند که به طور گسترده مورد توجه مخاطب قرار می‌گیرد و اگر خبرنگاران و رسانه‌های خبری، اخبار خوب را بیشتر از اخبار بد پوشش بدهند به بیکار شدن آنها یا تعطیلی آن رسانه می‌انجامد. لذا اثرات منفی روانی وابستگی به اخبار می‌تواند بسیار زیاد باشد و لازم است ضمن ایجاد تعادل در آن، نسبت به آنچه دریافت کرده‌ایم دیدگاهی نقادانه داشته باشیم.
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