If you have not already tested your knowledge of the world. Go here to answer the 13 questions. There is a timelimit of 45 seconds per question so it will not take too long to complete the test.
After you have done the test, please, read the blog post about Factfulness.
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund is as the title clearly says about Facts and this was one of the main reasons why I stopped reading the book after having read the first five pages of the introduction.
I rarely read books about Facts and after having completed the knowledge test at the beginning of the book, I thought there was little point in continuing so I focused my attention on the other book that I had purchased about the hidden life of trees. A book that challenged me and my conceptions of the world. Not entirly sure what I thought the book Factfulness would be about but something that challenged me and my view of the world.
But first impressions can sometimes be wrong. This is a fascinating and indeed important book that Gijs and I warmly recommend.
The next day, curiosity took over and I started to read the book. My main reason for picking up the book again was to discover how I, who rarely read about health and watch the news, have managed to change my view of the state of the world and global health while so many people clearly have not. Only one person out of 12 000 Swedes answered all but one question right in the Knowledge test. Many people get a couple of questions right.
It seems that many people see the world through glasses that are 20 or even 30 years old! Teachers, health expert, doctors, journalists. . . they all struggle to answers the questions about global health.
While reading the book I began to feel the authors’ frustration about how difficult it is to get people to update the view of the world. And for innovators and companies, it is extremely important to update the view of the world.
The terms developed and developing are outdated and meaningless since they do not represent the world today. In the book, a new way to describe the world is presented with four different levels. Moreover, the book describes ten instincts that prevent us from seeing the world factfully. For example, the fear instinct where we pay more attention to scary news keeps us from seeing the world as it is based upon facts. Many of these instincts, as they are called in the book, have been explored in this blog, for example, posts about data.
There is no news in the media when “Poverty Rates Drop Drastically”, however, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut by half the last 20 years. This is great news but of course, there is still a lot of work to be carried out to make the world a better place.
It is crucial to note that facts about the world are constantly changing and it is in some cases extremely difficult to get accurate data. The Gapminder is an organisation that strives towards presenting accurate data about our world. The answers in the book is based upon the statistics that should be fairly accurate.
There is a systematic bias in the answer to the questions about global trends. Overcoming these instincts are not easy but it is as vital as making sure that you update your computer and phone. By embracing a worldview based on facts we can focus on designing things to stop things that threaten us the most. We can focus on solving the real problems.
Happy Think Diving into the world of global health.