Friday, August 5, 2022

Book Report: Factfulness

 General Overview

Given the state of the world right now, the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling is a relevant work that everyone should read. The apparent overpopulation, crime, terrorism, pandemic  and many other world issues can leave society concluding that life as we know it was much better in the past. Although these issues may seem obvious, Rosling explores how with a difference in perception, the world may not be in as bad of a shape as it may seem. Rosling challenges the status quo of humanity's way of  thinking regarding the state of the world and reassures audiences that it is getting better . The book intends to give the audience hope not by just  spewing foundationless reassurance but instead with facts and statistics.

Favorite Part

My favorite part of the book occurred fairly early into the novel. It began on page 17 and spoke about the Overdramatic Worldview that we have as a society. This chapter was the one that truly grasped my attention and is where I started to enjoy what I was reading. In a nutshell this portion of the book summarizes what the entire premise of Factfulness is about. He speaks on the commonly addressed political issues and how many people in the media mislead the general public making everything seem much worse than it is. He touches on poverty and the misinterpretation on the amount of people affected by this and its extent. I also found this interesting because of how well it connected to our lecture about the way we think about things. In the lecture, it was stated that humans automatically and effortlessly use fast thinking in their everyday lives. Similarly,  Rosling speaks on the way the human brain was hardwired and how it helped our ancestors survive. He states “Our brains often jump to swift conclusions without much thinking, which used to help us to avoid immediate dangers.” This quick way of thinking that both the course and the book presented is a great explanation why people tend to overreact to situations that they shouldn’t. If more people took time to slow down and critically think about things they hear or read, there would be a lot less misinterpretation in the general population. 

Real-World Extension

This conclusion about critical thinking can be utilized in the world today, especially in recent memory. Through the past few years, there has been countless amounts of misinformation spread throughout the news and other forms of media regarding various topics. The biggest example of this I can think of is the vast amounts of lies that were spread about the COVID-19 vaccine and its effects on people’s health. Since they have been released to the public, numerous anti-vaccine people have misinformed about effectiveness to fight against the virus and side effects that will occur if the vaccination is received. The entire premise of the book Factfulness is about ignoring opinions and looking strictly at facts. Rather than instantly making a decision on the vaccine or any societal issue, the general public should critically think and do the research that is necessary to decide anything. Looking at the statistics and slowly reaching a conclusion would help many clarify all that they have misconstrued within the world. 

Rosling TED Talk About The Future State of the World

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