Things are truly bad, although things have never been better?

I came across Ian von Memerty’s review of the book “Factfulness”written by Hans Rosling recently. Because of the ongoing contest between ‘not bad news’ in addition to ‘bad news’ inside work I do, I ordered in which immediately in addition to found in which a fascinating read, in which makes the fundamental point in which we divide the entire world into two distinct sides; not bad vs bad, because in which is actually:

  1. a) simple in addition to intuitive,
  2. b) dramatic because in which implies conflict, in addition to
  3. c) something we do all the time.

Hans Rosling, writes “Journalists know in which. They set up the narratives as conflicts between two opposing people, views, or groups. They prefer stories of extreme poverty in addition to billionaires to stories about the vast majority of people slowly dragging themselves towards better lives. Journalists are storytellers. in which’s easy to report on all the bad things happening inside entire world, in which’s much harder to report on the not bad things, billions of improvements in which go unmentioned. Do people have a worldview dated to the time when their teachers left school? Do teachers promote a fact-based worldview in their classrooms?”

‘Factfulness’ explains why being negative is actually in our DNA in addition to is actually always a default position – although if you choose a fact-based framework you will begin to see the entire world as a very different, in addition to much more positive place – Steuart Pennington.

 Ian writes “Factfulness is actually a fascinating read in addition to, if you accept Rosling’s arguments, in which is actually a book in which cannot help although shift your perception of the entire world in addition to help calm your reaction to the daily onslaught of looming disaster.

During Roslings long in addition to varied career he realised in which experts in many fields were routinely operating on assumptions in which were completely at odds with the data. By the end of his life he had lectured at the United Nations, the Davos World Economic Forum, multibillion-dollar corporations, the leading financial in addition to education institutions around the globe in addition to had changed the way the United Nations assessed the financial status of individuals in addition to countries.

Everywhere he lectured he might also test the audience about the facts (data) which might affect the decisions in their fields of speciality. The results were gobsmacking – women’s activism groups, finance ministers, documentary filmmakers, statisticians got the answers wrong by massive margins – between 52% in addition to 94% of their answers were wrong, across a whole range of topics. These were highly educated, intelligent in addition to informed experts, in addition to they were scoring worse than chimpanzees on multiple choice questions.

One example: inside last 20 years, the proportion of the entire world population living in extreme poverty has:

  1. Almost doubled
  2. Remained more or less the same
  3. Almost halved

The correct answer is actually 3, although in their online polls, in most countries, less than 10% of respondents got the answer right. (Likewise, in SA we claim in which poverty has worsened over the past 20 years, the facts tell a different story)

The two major questions he faced were – First – Why? Answer, our human intuition is actually informed by personal bias, outdated facts in addition to news bias. Our negative view of the entire world is actually essentially misinformed bias.

Second – How do we change in which? In an easy-to-read in addition to well-thought-out way he presents his conclusions. in which is actually a detailed in addition to comprehensive book, which I cannot attempt to summarise, although I have four main takeaways by in which book.

 The first takeaway is actually in which the “negativity bias” which we read in addition to swallow daily is actually an evolutionary redundancy which has not yet been able to adapt to the massive developments of the last two centuries. In our very recent past, all humans had to be wary, fearful in addition to sceptical, otherwise you were far more likely to be killed, attacked, in addition to robbed of both your food in addition to your family. in which is actually in our DNA in addition to influences the way we see the entire world, in addition to the way we assess media articles in addition to online in addition to television stories which have no possible chance of affecting us immediately. (So for example the swine flu epidemic of 2009 killed 31 people in two weeks, in addition to generated roughly 8,000 articles per death. inside same period 63,000 people died of TB, in addition to those deaths passed by without comment, so we didn’t notice! Likewise the French were asked to estimate what percentage of their population was Muslim, the average answer was 40%, the fact is actually in which in which is actually 4%.)

My second takeaway is actually our inability to grasp in which central in addition to confusing fact – “things are bad although they have never been better”. The clearest example he gives is actually in which in 2016, 4,2-million babies died globally. In isolation in which is actually an horrendous figure. although as he puts in which , in which also a beautifully tiny number, because in 1950, 14.4million babies died in addition to the number has continuously dropped every year (most data is actually by United Nations in addition to GapMinder in addition to can be independently verified inside bibliography of the book).

He supplies an endless stream of global data about health, democracy, income, population, nutrition, disease – which prove in which a bigger percentage of people live better lives every day than the day before. in which does not mean we need to stop fighting to improve the entire world, although in which does mean in which we need to know in which we are succeeding – everywhere. (Bill Gates reminds us in which fewer people live in poverty today than ever in world history – TIME Jan 2018)

My third takeaway, is actually in which we still use the terms first world in addition to third world as valid definitions although they have been outdated since 1963. Every country inside entire world has people who live in four income groups:

  • group 1 live on less than $2 a day,
  • group 2 live on less than $8 a day,
  • group 3 live on less than $32 a day, in addition to
  • group 4 live on more than $32 a day.

Of the seven billion on the planet today,

  • one billion are in group 1,
  • three billion are in group 2,
  • two billion are in group 3,
  • one billion are in group 4,

The ‘middle’ is actually groups 2 in addition to 3, where several billion people live with most of their basic needs met. Every year the middle gets wealthier, healthier in addition to live better lives by every measurable definition. Which means in which tomorrow’s markets are not inside West, in which is actually those huge hordes of individuals who have more to spend today than they did yesterday. By 2030 rich consumers inside ‘third world ‘ will outnumber rich consumers inside ‘first world’. There will be ‘one world’.

in addition to my fourth in addition to most important takeaway is actually in which, in which as we swallow the news, we need to actively “not believe” the quickest simplest explanation which affects us viscerally in addition to emotionally – in addition to assume in which things are getting worse. We need to make sure in which we are seeking two measurements at least, two facts, in which will mean in which we can begin to see a bigger picture.

For example South Africa is actually still labelled:

  • the murder capital of the entire world,
  • the most unequal society inside entire world,
  • our education system is actually ranked 132/138 countries inside Global Competitiveness Report

The facts tell us in which murder has declined by 50% in SA over the last 20 years, in addition to is actually lower than some countries inside ‘measured’ world (150/235 countries don’t report the crime stats); if inequality is actually measured, not just by income, although by access to formal housing, fresh water, electricity, education, social grants, technology, in addition to healthcare SA as become a much more equal society; if the impact of the NGO sector on education was incorporated as well as the number of black matriculants entering tertiary institutions the measure might be very different.

As Hans points out over in addition to over again, the people in which complete the questionnaires in which give rise to these ‘labels’ make assumptions in which are simply wrong, in addition to not based on fact.

Ian gives an example “Recently the 50-year-old black old man who works for us one day a week had a psychotic episode (the first of his life). His friends among the shacks where he lived have cellphones in addition to so were able to phone for an ambulance, which took him to a hospital where he was treated for three weeks, before being assessed in addition to transferred to a state psychiatric facility. (When I visited him there in which was clean in addition to efficiently run by helpful staff.) He was treated in addition to he is actually given monthly medication – all of in which for free; which means in which he has been able to get back to work in addition to start reclaiming his life.”

I shudder to think what might have happened to him had he had in which breakdown in 1990.

The statistics alone did not tell the picture of how the life of in which poor community has enhanced. I needed both the local in addition to personal in addition to national perspective to get a more accurate picture.”

Things are bad – although they have never been better.

 Rosling became internationally famous that has a series of arresting visual displays on YouTube in which went viral proving in which we were ALL hopelessly out of touch with the facts. View those visuals Testimonials, here, here in addition to here. (Watch these they are terrific)

They are easy to watch in addition to give an easy kick start into the actual realities.

although his book intrigues. Buy in which in addition to try in which – if for no various other reasons than in which you will feel more in control, more hopeful in addition to better able to inform yourself. DM

 Visit www.gapminder.org

Getting better every day – despite the appearance of things

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Things are truly bad, although things have never been better?

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