Please read Factfulness by Hans Rosling! Although I was already familiar with quite some of his work, Hans does a great job of showing how the world really is. And it’s middle-class, more equal (at least in education) than expected, more beautiful than you see on the 6 o-clock news. Through misconceptions we have, interspersed with personal anecdotes, the book is a perfect (and not too long) read to get you seeing the world in a new light.
Here are the misconceptions, but before that, his TED Talks.
- Gap: Look for the majority (they are at level 2 instead of 1)
- Negativity: Expect bad news (even if the trend is positive)
- Straight line: Don’t always assume a straight line as the trend (it can curve in many ways)
- Fear: Calculate the risks (don’t only trust on gut feelings)
- Size: Get things in proportion
- Generalisation: Question your categories (think not Muslim and terrorist)
- Destiny: Slow change is still change
- Single: A hammer needs a nail, you can see things from different perspectives
- Blame: Resist pointing your finger (and as with single, don’t seek one simple explanation)
- Urgency: Take small steps!
And this is what Bill Gates has to say:
” My late friend Hans Rosling called the labels “outdated” and “meaningless.” Any categorization that lumps together China and the Democratic Republic of Congo is too broad to be useful. But I’ve continued to use “developed” and “developing” in public (and on this blog) because there wasn’t a more accurate, easily understandable alternative—until now.”