Book Sips #59 — ‘Factfulness’ by Hans Rosling, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
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Some days, I open my work calendar to find there are back-to-back meetings scheduled for the whole day. Are all of these truly relevant to improve the systems we build for our customers? Do we have enough focus time to look at the things that really matter to make processes, systems, products, and whatnot better for everyone? Probably not. This doesn’t just happen at work, it happens in our private lives as well and in society in general. There is so much interruption, so much content, so many issues that require a solution. But what should we focus on next? What actually matters? Hans Rosling with Ola and Anna, are looking at that issue by analyzing ten human instincts that influence how we see the world and make decisions, such as the negativity or fear instinct. Besides describing those, they offer methods on how to realize we are currently trapped in an instinct and how to overcome that to focus on what matters.
‘Urgent! Read This Now! Urgency is one of the worst distorters of our worldview. I know I probably said that about all the other dramatic instincts too, but I think maybe this one really is special. Or perhaps they all come together in this one. The overdramatic worldview in people’s heads creates a constant sense of crisis and stress. The urgent ‘now or never’ feelings it creates lead to stress and apathy: ‘We must do something drastic. Let’s not analyze. Let’s do something.’ Or, ‘It’s all hopeless. There’s nothing we can do. Time to give up.’ Either way, we stop thinking, give in to our instincts, and make bad decisions.
Beyond the book
Hans Rosling gave many Ted talks in his life about his experience and how data can be used to make better decisions, or at least direct the focus on specific topics. The talks can be found here.
If you are curious about the data that is used in the book, go and check out Gapminder. Choose a topic to test your own knowledge and see if you score better than the chimpanzees?
To access the Gapminder tools, follow this link.
Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World — And Why Things Are Better Than You Think
by Hans Rosing, with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
In a world where everyone can create content, the competition lies in getting your attention. Only if the content is consumed by us, will the author be heard as well as their message. We are overwhelmed by the amount of news, videos, or pictures that we could look at every day. How to still decide what to do next with so many options and so many challenges to solve? Hans Rosling looks at that challenge and explains why we may judge things the wrong way and what the impact is of that. He offers methods to find your focus again. In the end, things aren’t that bad.
352 pages, Sceptre 2018
Get this book here on Amazon!