Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates

“Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.” Melinda Gates

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases.

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.

Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

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“This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance...Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” Hans Rosling, February 2017.

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About the author

Hans Rosling was a medical doctor, professor of international health and renowned public educator. He was an adviser to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and co-founded Médecins sans Frontières in Sweden and the Gapminder Foundation. His TED talks have been viewed more than 35 million times, and he was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. Hans died in 2017, having devoted the last years of his life to writing Factfulness.

Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans's son and daughter-in-law, were co-founders of the Gapminder Foundation, and Ola its director from 2005 to 2007 and from 2010 to the present day. After Google acquired the bubble-chart tool called Trendalyzer, invented and designed by Anna and Ola, Ola became head of Google's Public Data Team and Anna the team’s senior user experience (UX) designer. They have both received international awards for their work.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Flatiron Books
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Published on
Apr 3, 2018
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781250123817
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Science / Cognitive Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Major New York Times bestseller
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
“If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this—the most inspiring book I've ever read."
—Bill Gates (May, 2017)

Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year

The author of Enlightenment Now and The New York Times bestseller The Stuff of Thought offers a controversial history of violence.

Faced with the ceaseless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, one could easily think we live in the most violent age ever seen. Yet as New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows in this startling and engaging new work, just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millenia and we may be living in the most peaceful time in our species's existence. For most of history, war, slavery, infanticide, child abuse, assassinations, programs, gruesom punishments, deadly quarrels, and genocide were ordinary features of life. But today, Pinker shows (with the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps) all these forms of violence have dwindled and are widely condemned. How has this happened?

This groundbreaking book continues Pinker's exploration of the esesnce of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly nonviolent world. The key, he explains, is to understand our intrinsic motives--the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away--and how changing circumstances have allowed our better angels to prevail. Exploding fatalist myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious and provocative book is sure to be hotly debated in living rooms and the Pentagon alike, and will challenge and change the way we think about our society.  
"Det här är en bok som innehåller ytterst få siffror. Istället handlar den om möten med människor som öppnat mina ögon." - Hans Rosling

Det var fakta som hjälpte honom att förklara hur världen fungerar. Men det var nyfikenhet och engagemang som gjorde Hans Rosling till vår tids mest folkkära forskare.

Hur jag lärde mig förstå världen är Hans Roslings egen berättelse om hur en ung man från enkla omständigheter kunde använda vetenskapen för att ta sig ut i världen och förklara den på nytt. Han skriver öppet och personligt om sitt liv och sina svåraste beslut - oavsett om de fattades på akutmottagningen i Moçambique, med makthavarna i Davos eller i den egna familjevardagen.

I samarbete med journalisten Fanny Härgestam har Hans Rosling skrivit sina memoarer med samma berättarglädje som fick en hel värld att lyssna när han talade.



UR HANS ROSLINGS FÖRORD
Ett telefonsamtal den 5 februari 2016 gjorde det bråttom att skriva böcker. Min läkare ringde och berättade att jag hade bukspottkörtelcancer. Jag var förberedd på de dåliga nyheterna. Samtalet den eftermiddagen var bara bekräftelsen på vad som gradvis blivit uppenbart för mig under de senaste dagarnas läkarundersökningar. Prognosen var dålig. Jag hade ungefär ett år kvar att leva.

Jag grät största delen av den fredagskvällen. Som tur var hade jag Agneta, min ungdomskärlek och fru. Med henne som tröst, och med våra barns och vänners stöd, kunde jag anpassa mig till den nya verkligheten. Jag skulle inte dö kommande månad. Livet skulle fortsätta trots den dödliga sjukdomen. Jag skulle kunna njuta av livet åtminstone under våren och sommaren.

Cancern har gjort min dagsform oförutsägbar. Därför har också mitt arbete förändrats. Bara några dagar efter sjukdomsbeskedet ställde jag in samtliga föreläsningar samt film- och TV-produktioner. Detta var ledsamt att göra, men jag hade inget val. Dessutom kunde jag stå ut med den dramatiska förändringen av en specifik anledning. Någonting annat stod nämligen överst på min önskelista: att få skriva boken Factfulness tillsammans med min son Ola och hans fru Anna. Vi har jobbat ihop med folkbildning i 18 år och tillsammans grundat stiftelsen Gapminder.

Det var under hösten 2015 som Anna och Ola kom på bokkonceptet och titeln. Boken var redan tänkt att skrivas av oss tre under kommande år, parallellt med vårt pågående arbete för Gapminder. Min cancer gjorde det bara än mer brådskande för mig.

Snart visade det sig att materialet skulle räcka till två böcker. Medan Factfulness handlar om varför vi människor har så svårt att förstå utvecklingen i världen, handlar den här boken om mig och hur jag kom att förstå världen. Det här är alltså en bok som innehåller ytterst få siffror. Istället handlar den om möten med människor som öppnat mina ögon. Fått mig att tänka om.

Hans Rosling, januari 2017

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