When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will...more
GG&S is a brilliant book that explains the structural reasons that certain historical trends happened in certain places. This gives you a lens on history develop, but not so much about why there is a gap, but why certain geographies were more condusive to to cultural grows at different levels of technology.
You will find GG&S enormously helpful in understanding history. I don't remember the age of pottery being an important part of his main point and this fact check seems unimportant. I would not be surprised a few errors like that might be in any book, but I don't think it would detract from the main message.
You must read both.(less)
My late friend Hans Rosling called the labels “outdated” and “meaningless.”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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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, ...more
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 ...more
We need to learn to hold two ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Twenty seven thoughts raced across my mind. First, knights weren’t as advertised. Did this one really use the word ‘gonna’ instead of ‘going to’? And what about this contraction ‘we’re’? I would’ve been expecting something like, “We shall all perish!” Pfft. Dissapoint. Second, I hadn’t had my breakfast, and I’d always sworn not to die on an empty stomach. Third, I suddenly realized that stars were basically transmutation machines… did ...more
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 hate for the distortion of ...more
This book has much in common with a couple of books by ...more
His overall thesis, that we live in much better world than we imagine, is comforting, but “better” might still be “terrible” in some cases. I take from “Factfulness” a challenge to read any kind of surveys with a pinch of salt, don’t settle for averages or ...more
Factfulness is … recognizing when we get negative news, and remembering that information about bad events is much more likely to reach us. When things are getting better we often don’t hear about them.
- Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based ...more
― Steven Sloman, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never ...more
It reads a bit like the book "The art of thinking clearly."
The author lists 10 cognitive biases, or "instincts" as he puts them, and explains how these biases cloud our judgment and worldview.
Each chapter explains one bias, followed by real-world case studies.
It's a very well written book and I believe it makes people more literate on global issues. Furthermore, it helps the reader be familiar with these biases and think more clearly and effectively.
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 ...more