factfulness by hans rosling

Factfulness - Hans Rosling

Rating: 10/10

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Factfulness doesn't require you to have any prior knowledge of data or numbers to read it. Rosling does an extraordinary job at making data easilly digestible to anyone.

A great book that makes you understand the importance of data, but admits that data and numbers on its own are not enough to have a complete understanding of the world.


As humans, we tend to have a negative outlook, and we notice more negatives than positives. Just think about yourself, are you more inclined to remember criticisms or compliments? 

We suffer from a bias based on three principles: 

  • we misremember our past, 
  • we are presented by the media only a chosen selection of news, 
  • as humans, we believe it is cruel to say things are well when things are going terribly. 

Moreover, we tend to forget past negative events. We do this to our own and to those we love.

While today we have an abundance of information we can mostly access this freely; this does not automatically make us knowledgeable. 

Critical thinking, in general, is difficult for us to implement. It is impossible to adopt though when we are scared. If we are afraid, our mind is invaded by terror, and we cannot cope with analysing the facts because our primordial instinct is that of dealing with fear first.

Data is instrumental but has its limits. Data should be loved and is incredibly useful only when it helps us interpret the reality behind the numbers, therefore allowing us to understand our lives. 

The world cannot be understood without numbers, but it also can’t be understood only through numbers.