Review Blog

Oct 03 2018

Factfulness: ten reasons we're wrong about the world - and why things are better than you think by Dr Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund

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Hachette Australia, 2018. ISBN 9781473637467
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) The main premise of the book is that people in the western/developed world have a pessimistic view about the world (widening gap between rich and poor, poverty, lack of education and health in the developing world, etc). This was surmised from the responses to 13 questions by Gapminder .
Rosling, spends most of the book attributing the poll results to ten human instincts: gap, negativity, straight line, fear, size, generalization, destiny, single perspective, blame and urgency. He postulates that being aware of and using facts or 'factfulness' is the antidote. This would then help towards a better understanding of the world and peaceful achievement of global aims.
Where statistics and diagrams are included, it is frustrating that the source of such data is in such small and faint print, that it is almost impossible to read. The sources are given as notes to chapters at the end of the book rather than as footnotes. The end chapter summaries are very useful.
The most readable parts of the book are those relating to Rosling's many and varied experiences working as a medical doctor in third world (or level 1 as he prefers to call them) countries dealing with diseases such as Ebola outbreaks.
While the author's enthusiasm for his subject and his efforts to convert the world to his point of view, are strongly evident, I found the book somewhat repetitious and did not really appreciate the point of his major premise.
It would probably be of use for IB Theory of Knowledge and possibly Psychology students.
Ann Griffin

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