Factfulness – A really great book from so many angles.
It is full of good news, or at least better news than most of us think. We have a bias toward thinking bad news is more common and we underestimate progress. A few generations ago, even the richest countries were poorer than the poorest countries are today. Violence is dropping. More girls are in school. Most people are vaccinated against deadly diseases. The list goes on.
Throughout the book, the author gives mini-tests multiple choice. He has been giving these tests at his talks, often to high-level audiences. There are usually three choices. Random chance would mean that 33% would get the answers right. But real performance is usually well below that and always with a negative bias.
Rosling identifies a couple reasons for the negative bias. Journalists report on problems. News consumers start to think the problems are normal. And activists want to scare people or at least to move them to action, so they emphasize dangers and urgency.
I recommend this book very highly.
Han Rosling was a very reasonable man and we need to be more reasonable. Life is better than we think most of the time and we can make more progress if we know to build on it.