The World is Doing Great!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Right now, as the world experience the worst pandemic in many years, the title of this post might seem like an inappropriate exaggeration. Nevertheless, reading Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness will leave you with a feeling that things aren’t so bad after all.
A Life’s Work
The book sums up Hans’ lifework of teaching us how we systematically misinterpret the world. It explains the paradox that we all think the world is getting worse, while it is actually getting better.
Sadly Hans passed away in 2017, but the lifework continues as his son and daughter-in-law are still running the Gapminder Foundation which “fights devastating misconceptions about global development”.
Statistics With Context
Hans loved statistics, but rather than just listing the raw data that proves his points, the books is filled with anecdotes and analogies that provide context.
It is not just a book about what you are wrong about; it is a book about why you are wrong and how you recognise and control the instincts that made you wrong in the first place.
Passion in Writing
Hans had an incredibly passion for these subjects. To understand, you ought to see one of Hans’ TED talks, or how he during an interview throws his shoe on the table to prove a point:
That same passion is found in every chapter of the book. It feels as if Hans is reaching his arms out through the pages, grabbing you by the shoulders, and energetically trying to shake some sense into you.
At this point you might assume that Hans is a naive optimist, that thinks there are no problems in the world; he prefers to describe himself as a “possibilist”.
And he does indeed also have his concerns; the last chapter is spend explaining the world’s 5 biggest risks. The number 1 entry on the list? A Global Pandemic...
An Injection of Positivity
All in all, watching his talks, and especially reading his book, is an injection of positivity—something which I think we can all use right now, while we wait for the vaccine.