Do you think that you have a good handle on what is fake news or not? According to Hans Rosling, there is a very high chance that you are misunderstanding the world around you. In “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think,” the professor of international health, along with the help of his son and daughter-in-law, works to reveal just how distorted most people’s perceptions are. From infant mortality statistics to the number of deadly snake bites in a year, it turns out that the outlook is a lot better than most people think that it is.
Rosling blames the instincts people have when processing information. Some of these 10 reasons may seem familiar to you, such as fear and generalization, so you may be surprised when they still apply to you. In fact, he uses the term “mega misconception” to explain how pervasive these ways of thinking are. He writes that people worry themselves into believing that the world is getting worse. The numbers that he gives show otherwise; most major issues in the world are improving. However, this book is anything but a plain factbook. Rosling provides fascinating anecdotes from his classroom and field research to back up the data.
The book guides readers to reassess everything that they know. Once you address the misconceptions, Rosling explains, it gets easier to identify and respond to the real threats that exist in the world. He even provides an illustrated cheat sheet at the end of the book to help you remember the 10 reasons and how to react to them. His hope is that everyone would be on the same page about improving the world even more upon understanding these concepts. He believes that it is possible for this “big change” to happen, and he wrote this book for exactly that purpose.