And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. In this time of graphs and bar charts coupled with emotional appeals that support so many diverse narratives in a world of “no normal,” this is one book that has given me new insight on numbers and human bias. For those of us who have taken a stat class or two, we know sometimes it can depend on how you slice and dice the data. A self-proclaimed “possibilist” Hans Rosling’s research, in collaboration with his son Ola and daughter-in-law Anna, left us with a new way of critical thinking. Even if you are an avid learner and forever curious, his worldview will help you to dig deeper and embrace facts that aren’t part of your current experience. Hans uses the power of data analysis to explain the ten human instincts that can distort meaning and usefulness in making decisions and creating solutions. His approach has also helped me to more rigorously assess when media, activists, friends, or your husband are “triggering dramatic instincts with overdramatic stories.”) My favorite part was Factfulness in Practice. In this chapter, he shared applications for education, business, journalism, politics, and activism.
Hans was a great storyteller. Audible, coupled with the book, was an excellent way for me to capture both the human side of his experience and the statistics. He died from pancreatic cancer in 2017 before the book published in 2019. Ola and Anna carry on his legacy. He would agree that there is still work to do in our world, in our countries, and our communities. The idea of being a possibilist gives me hope, which we can all use right now. You can order the book or audio version through Amazon. Here is a short video Bill Gates discussing the book. He thinks everyone should read it.
How can you use Hans’s worldview lessons and the ten human instincts in your life? How can you share and discuss it with others?