Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Factfulness by Hans Rosling is an insightful novel that gave me a different perspective on my day-to-day reality.  The book's purpose was to explain, in a multitude of ways, how distorted our world view actually is when we do not look at cold hard facts, but rely only on previous knowledge. Rosling discusses the world in a newer, more accurate way than what we have been taught in school. He explains that the world as a whole is actually doing a lot better than we think through many facts and anecdotes about what he refers to as "level one" to "level four" countries around the world. Level one countries contain people that can not meet their basic needs, while levels two and three (which are the categories where most countries fall) have their basic needs met and start to have more solid infrastructure and healthcare along with some extra money for simple pleasures. Level four countries like ours, have a distorted world view of these lower level countries and we all just assume "poor is poor". In fact, though the differences between the lower levels, is far more important than we comprehend. His goal in writing this book was to help make people on level four understand that the idea of "developing" and "developed" countries is an antiquated way of discussing the world at this time. Each chapter breaks down why our general instincts about the world are wrong based on fear, blame and generalization to name a few.

I think one of the best points of the book is that while yes there are bad things that still go on in the world, its easy to forget that when we see news, or read it, they are always reporting about the worst things that can be going on while neglecting the "okay" or even "good" things that are going on. Some people understand the concept that journalists are doing their job and good news does not sell nearly as well as bad news, but many people don't. In the chapter on Blame Instinct, Rosling really dives into the idea that the media can fall into the same trap that the rest of us fall into pertaining to how misled everyone is about the world around us. We should not blame them for over dramatizing the news and we should be more understanding of the fact that they are also people. I personally despise watching any news channel because I do not trust them, and I have been trying to convince my grandparents to turn off Fox news for years now. The fact is though, its not that they are "bad", its that they are also being misled and there is no point in blaming them for constantly berating us with bad news, they are just doing what they think is right. I think this whole book related heavily to the idea of slow thinking and fair minded thinking because he shows that there are more ways to think about the world than how we are currently.

This is a Ted talk of a student talking about the ways in which we are trapped in our restricted world view through media.

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