Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.
When asked simple questions about global trends―what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school―we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.
Factfulness offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. It reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective―from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).
Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases.
It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think.That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.
Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is a new thinking habit that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to challanges and opportunities of the future.
“This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance…Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” – Hans Rosling, February 2017.
Said about the book
“One of the most important books I’ve ever read―an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates
“A genuine antidote to negativity and hopelessness…” – Nature
“Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.” ―Melinda Gates
“Authors who describe the remarkable decline of poverty, hunger and disease in the developing world anticipate such incredulity that they often flaunt the word “great” in their titles, such as Nobel laureate Angus Deaton’s The Great Escape and Steven Radelet’s The Great Surge. More modestly, Charles Kenny tells us how the world is Getting Better. As does Factfulness by the late TED star Hans Rosling, who liked to quiz his audiences on trends in wellbeing and show that they did worse than chimpanzees.” – Steven Pinker in The Guardian
“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. ” – Christine, Goodreads