If you only read one book this year, make it this one! Hans Rosling spent the last years of his life writing this book, which was published in 2018, the year after his death. In it, he described ten reasons we’re wrong about the world — and why things are better than you think.
We each have a perspective or a world view that is based on what we “know” to be true. We’ve gathered our knowledge over the years and we apply the lens of what we believe to be true, when viewing the world around us. Sadly, though, the world around us changes when we’re not looking. Yesterday’s fact becomes today’s fiction. Rosling suggests that a fact-based world view — based on today’s facts — would serve us better.
The book is divided into ten different instincts that most people use to think of the world around them. For example, it starts with the “gap instinct”, which is our tendency to see everything in two extremes — rich vs. poor, developing vs. developed — with a huge gap in between. In fact, he provides the data to show that the true picture is one with a broad range of results. And he shows that most of our overdramatic conclusions are no longer true, even if they might have been so at some distant point in the past.
The narrative is readable and engaging, the data is startling, and the book is filled with graphs and charts to make even the most complex data clear and understandable. Most of us truly are wrong about our worldview. Things really are better than we think!
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