Monday, April 13, 2020

Book Report: Factfulness

Lately, in today's world, society seems to to have a distorted view of the world which has been caused by the rise of new media sources. In Hans Rosling's book, Factfulness, Rosling explains ten reasons why people are wrong about the world and why things are actually better than we all tend to believe. In his own way, Hans elaborates on the many mistakes that humans tend to make in our daily lives.

In his book, Rosling describes ten distinct human instincts that we all have and follow. For me, they were all inspirational and very eye opening, but the ones that really had me interested are as followed. Number one is the gap instinct and this talks about how we tend to divide certain things into two groups and believe that there is a gap between the two. The second instinct is known as the negativity instinct where people have a tendency to notice the bad in their everyday lives rather than the good. Another instinct is the fear instinct and this is quite a good example for the world we live in today because this concept talks about how we tend to perceive the world to be scarier than it actually is in reality. As humans, we tend to shove the blame onto something or someone else when things don't go our way and that is called the blame instinct. Another human instinct that I found to be quite eye opening was the urgency instinct because it talks about how people often rush into a problem or an opportunity with fearing that they will run out of time without fully understanding the situation yet just so they are not too late. All of the five distinct human instincts were the most interesting to me because I feel as though these are the concepts that I have seen, and caught myself, taking part in from time to time.

Personally, one of the most enjoyable and intriguing parts of the book was in chapter two when Hans Rosling talked about how to control the negativity instinct. Nowadays, people tend to expect the worst in people when they first meet them or when they first wake up in the morning, which is understandable to an extent. However, Rosling explains that the best ways to keep this instinct at bay is to keep two thoughts in your head, expect bad news, and accept the past in which you cannot change. Keeping two thoughts in your is explained by Hans as, "I am certaintly no advocating looking away from the terrible problems in the world. I am saying that things can be both bad and better." Meaning you should always accept the bad things that happen but also look for the good in them too. Expecting bad news, especially from the media, is a good idea and the way to do this is to think of an equally big or larger positive news story when you hear about a negative one. The past is the past. It is forever behind us and we will never be able to go back and make changes to it. That is why Rosling suggests accepting what has happened and move on to the present.

Last spring semester, I remember choosing to write about a TED Talk in one of my classes. I did not realize it at the time, but the speaker of the talk was the author of Factfulness, Hans Rosling and he talked about similar things that are brought up in his book. The TED Talk he gives is comical yet truthful about how the world seems to think about things in our lives.

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