Wednesday, August 5, 2020

(Book Report) Factfulness - Hans Rosling

        Factfulness is a unique book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The book doesn't force the reader to read its entirety to understand its content. This method of writing enhanced my knowledge intake of each chapter and all 11 chapters discussed something different. However, as Hans Rosling would go in depth on a detailed argument, sometimes he would start to get repetitive. Hans would repeatedly use the same arguments for a couple of different topics and that stands out to the reader. Overall, the majority of the book was excellent. Hans's three topics that I enjoyed the most was generalization, fear, and negativity.
        In chapter six, Hans went into deep detail about the generalization instinct. He noted how people generally try to compare things that favor the persons own opinion. For example, if I liked lemons better than limes and wanted my friend to agree with me, I would instinctively compare a lime to something bad like an artificial piece of candy. This comparison would put the thought of limes being bad into my friends head, when limes are truthfully not that bad. Another great point in this chapter is the stretching of words that one can use when in an argument or discussion. Words and phrases like "for the most part" and "majority" are commonly used in opinionated debates. This happens because even if the person is wrong, they still want to fight for what they like based on their own experience or opinion.
        Chapter four talked about the fear instinct. Fear effects us in a couple of different ways. For example, there are two twin brothers that live in Wyoming and both of them have never seen or have been near an ocean. Both brothers look at the same article about oceans, but they each interpret that article in completely different ways. One brother focused on all of the negative circumstances of the ocean, such as sharks and rip-curls. The other brother focused more on the positives about the ocean, such as a fun time at the beach or surfing. The brother that focused on the negatives just developed a great fear of oceans, while the that focused on the positives did not. This development of fear can happen with almost anything. Some fears weigh more on a person than other fears do, but that's dependent on the amount of exposure that fear has on the person.
        My third favorite chapter was chapter two, which was on the negativity instinct. Hans explained how it is more instinctive for people to see things in a negative light, rather than positive. What happened to my girlfriend over the past weekend is a perfect example of this. Her car broke down and the engine light in her car turned on. Automatically, she assumes that she's going to have to pay a lot of money for an engine repair or replacement. As it turned out it was a very cheap fix, due to a antifreeze leak. People would rather focus on the worst case scenario, so they don't get disappointed in the future.
        To conclude, I'm glad that I've gotten the chance to read Factfulness. This book allows me to see things that are happening constantly, more clearly. It also taught me a few things along the way, such as knowing why people think the way they do and why fears aren't easy to overcome. If future pseudoscience and the paranormal students are reading this, I highly recommend this book. It will not disappoint!

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