What I’m reading 📖 this week: Factfulness by Hans Rosling // Want to know what the state of the world really is like? Read on!
FACT OR FAKE?
The world is in such a state these days; terrorism, polarisation, fugitive crises, poverty. This makes you think: will it ever get better? Before you get totally depressed and don't want to get out of bed anymore, let's take a closer look at this 'the world is awful' storyline. What facts is the story based on?
This is the core of the book 'Factfulness'. It shows you that your world view is skewed and wrong. And not only yours, but also that of heads of states, global experts and the media. We all seem to have the same faulty world perspective. Author Hans Rosling explains why this is happening and what you can do to turn your world view around.
TAKE THE TEST
In his classes he would use tables with stats from sources like the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum and turned this into a quiz to confront his students.
Before reading any further, please take this test first to see what your view on the world is.
So.... how many questions did you answer correctly? And how did that make you feel? Mind blowing, right?! But again, you are not the only one. Let's take a look at why we are so wrong about the state of the world.
IT's OUR BRAINS FAULT
Hans argues that we have an overdramatic world view because our brain is hard wired to pay attention to dramatic information. It helped us survive as a species in the past millions years, because gossip and dramatic stories used to be our only sources of news and information.
“I produce a road map for the modern world. Where people want to drive is up to them. But I have the idea that if they have a proper road map and know what the global realities are, they’ll make better decisions.”
Another example which I find very interesting from a trend research perspective: The 'Destiny Instinct': this makes us think that things are as they are because of inescapable reasons and that they will never change.
For example, thinking that Africa will never catch up with the West because 'it's just not in their culture'. Or thinking that the Islamic world is fundamentally different from the Christian world. And this will always stay the same.
But societies and cultures are in constant movement. Step by step, countries are changing. According to Hans:
Wow! This sound exactly like doing trend research! :)
START SPREADING THE NEWS
After reading his book, I watched Hans Rosling's Ted talk (see below) and visited the Gapminder website. It contains many interesting tools, exercises and videos for free.
I feel that this Gapminder Test and this way of looking at the world should be shared more, starting in schools. So let's spread the news together: the world is better than ever before and we can make it even better!