The cover of the book Factfulness itself says,” 10 reasons we are wrong about the world and why things are getting better than you think”. It helps us clear about all the wrong perceptions we have about the world.
What is Factfulness?
Factfulness is the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.
The perceptions we have created by watching those kinds of news which is always filled with negativity which makes us anxious.
A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases.
Authors of Factfulness
In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and a man who can make data sing, Hans Rosling, together with his two collaborators Ola and Anna( Hans’s son and daughter in law respectively), offers a new way of explanation of why this happens and reveals the ten instincts that change our perspective.
Hans dedicated his last years of life to creating this book.
One of the most important books I’ve ever read – an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.
Content of Factfulness
At the start of the book, the author has put out a number of Multiple choice questions for the readers to check themselves that how wrong they are about the world. Some of the questions are: How many people in the world have some access to electricity? In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school? Where does the majority of the world population live? What is the life expectancy of the world today?
As one proceeds with the reading of each chapter, it enlightens them with new ideologies and beliefs. He has also dedicated a page on how one can practice Factfulness in everyday life. By reading those one will be able to really differentiate between facts and opinions; the trends and the actual news.
The author has divided the entire population into four levels. Level one consists of poor people and the fourth level consists of the privileged people who have shelter, formal education, food to eat, and all necessities in life.
Negativity Instinct: Our tendency to divide things into two distinct and often conflicting groups with an imagined gap between them (e.g. us and them). People’s tendency to notice the bad more than the good (e.g. believing that things are getting worse when things are actually getting better).
The Size instinct: The tendency to look at individual figures without putting them in perspective.
Generalizing instinct: Everyone automatically categorizes and generalizes all the time but generalizing can also distort our worldview.
Fear instinct: A logical analogy is people who die of terrorism are 1 percent whereas people who die of a disease. The hype is what misleads us and terrorism terrors us.
All the information is from facts, figures & charts. The chapters will give a clear idea and understanding of seeing the world.
What did I like about the book?
1. Rosling tells you to believe that the world is getting better. This is a real world view, where you celebrate the progress and keep working on improving the things that need attention.
2. The book basically imbibes a more realistic (if positive is too strong a word here) outlook towards the world.
3. You learn to look at data cautiously, trying to overcome your bias and instincts.
4. One learns to look at media publications, news, etc with a pinch of salt and would know better than they prefer showing ‘bad’ stuff rather than ‘good’ stuff. The media blows everything out of proportion and unfortunately, most people believe it.
The most important point
You learn about your 10 instincts and would be more aware of them whenever you hear any news or information that talks about how bad the world has become. Also, you learn to look at things from multiple perspectives, suppress these instincts, and eventually be more rational.