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Saturday, April 14, 2018

The author of one of Bill Gates' favorite books says the world isn’t as apocalyptic as you might think - here are five of his top reasons why | Business Insider

Photo: Hilary Brueck
"Bill Gates' favorite Swedish doctor and statistician, Hans Rosling, died of pancreatic cancer last year at the age of 68. Rosling's new book, published posthumously, is now here to tell you life on Earth isn't as bad as it might seem" writes Hilary Brueck, science reporter at Business Insider.

Swedish statistician Hans Rosling on September 7, 2015.
Photo: TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery via REUTERS

His new book, 'Factfulness,' was published Tuesday with the help of his son and daughter-in-law, who finished up the final chapters of the book.

The non-fiction pick is already on Bill Gates' unofficial list of must-reads of 2018. Gates praised the title as "One of the most important books I've ever read ― an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world."

Like any good statistician, Rosling uses the tools of his trade (namely, graphs, charts and lots of questionnaires) to argue we're doing too much feeling and not enough thinking when it comes to assessing the world.

He says our highly-emotional take is making us see the world in inaccurate and dire ways that don't reflect all the progress that's been made by modern improvements like vaccines, family planning, and widespread income and education gains for some of the world's poorest people. His global surveys show that we tend to see the world in fatalistic ways, overestimating how many people are in poverty, assuming violent crime rates are skyrocketing, and thinking that many more people are dying in natural disasters than is actually the case.

Rosling thinks there's one simple reason this is true: we're operating under perspective-distorting, emotion-fueled "instincts" about how the world works, causing us to pretty much always assume the worst.

His goal is to change the way we see the world, by arming us with what he calls a "set of simple thinking tools."

Take a look at a few of the reasons that the Roslings say we're not actually barreling towards a terrible, horrible, apocalyptic future: 

Source: Business Insider