Monday, August 8, 2022

Book Report: Factfulness


Factfulness by Hans Rosling is a book that goes into detail about what people tend to worry about. Rosling describes situations, such as poverty, population growth, and other world-related problems. Everything that people think they know of these situations is wrong. Rosling explains that the way people see the world is exaggerated and not actually what it seems. In a way, it gives off a comforting feeling to know that some situations are not as bad as the normal person makes them out to be. He uses charts, diagrams, and photos to statistically prove his points to explain how things are not what they seem. 

            The book is split up into common ‘fears’ that the human population has. Each chapter is named after an instinct. Rosling then goes into his stories, data, and charts to explain his claims. He also uses different levels (one, two, three, and four) to explain whether or not something really is as bad as it is. For example, he goes into detail about what makes a person a level one. A level one may consist of someone of low wealth. The levels then work their way up to four. Four is the highest rank (in terms of money, a level four would be seen as rich). 


Favorite Part:

            My favorite part of Factfulness was the chapter called “The Generalization Instinct”. I think that this chapter talks a lot about something that is really common in everyday life. Rosling mentions that we (people) make generalizations about groups of people based on only a few instances (Rosling 146). These generalizations then turn into stereotyping, which automatically groups a certain group of people into one category. A lot of stereotyping involves race and religion. With the way the United States has been recently, I think stereotyping is causing a lot of problems. People are blaming other people for things that they had nothing to with. 

            We categorize things because it makes us more comfortable and makes it easier for us to make decisions. The problem withing categorizing and generalizing things is that they become misleading. For example, the terms “developed” and “developing” can be very misleading when placing different nations into these categories (Rosling 150). We hae to look at the different levels (as mentioned before), and the only way to properly place nations in certain categories is to physically go there. I liked this concept because I think it is so relevant to today. People judge without doing any real research, and it can cause real problems. 


            I think that the first lecture “ways of thinking” really compliments the ideas that Factfulness talks about. The whole book is about why we think certain things. The lecture describes different thinkers and the way that they think. I specifically think that Naïve thinkers play a big part with the way we think. A lot of people will read something, whether it be true or not, and immediately believe it. They will use that to then make an opinion of different topics. They believe what they see and that’s that. 


This is a quick YouTube video that explains why we stereotype. I really liked this part of the book, so I really wanted to focus on why we stereotype people and how it becomes a problem.


            I think that Factfulness cab absolutely help the world in some way. I think that people live on fear, and they use fear to determine how they live life. This book really opened my eyes a bit more about the world. Some things that I was worried about, like population growth, I understand better now that I have thought about the actual facts. I am still worried about it, but not to the amount that I was before. I think if others read this book, they would take a step back from their lives and readjust themselves based on some of the things that Rosling mentions in this book. It is eye opening, and I really think that humanity all together would benefit from this book. The lessons that it teaches would make people think differently about the world. 

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