Business 141(Thu,Sat) – Michael Milken Reviews ‘Factfulness’ : Forbes All-Star Book Club

Amazon | Factfulness: Ten Reasons We'Re Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think | Rosling, Hans, Rosling, Ola, Roennlund, Anna Rosling | Economics

Warm up

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  1. What industry do you work in and what is your role?
  2. What are your responses in your role / position?
  3. Can you describe to the function of your workplace / company?
  4. How many departments, how many offices. National or International?
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General discussion about your workweek:
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  2. Anything of interest happening?



1. When the Swedish physician, author and global health advocate Hans Rosling was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in 2016, he vowed to complete one final book. It would be, he said, “a last battle in my lifelong mission to fight devastating ignorance.”

2. The result, written with help from his son and daughter-in-law, was published posthumously and has become an international bestseller. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (Flatiron Books, 2018) is an argument against outdated assumptions. Many well-educated people still believe that “developingnations are mostly inhabited by large families living with poor sanitation and unvaccinated children who go to sleep hungry.

3. In fact, only 9% are that impoverished. That’s too many, of course, but merely a fifth the level of 50 years ago. Globally, three out of four people live in middle-income countries, neither rich nor poor. At a minimum, they have adequate food, clean water and nearly universal access to basic health services and primary education. Some have much more. Overall human suffering continues to decline, as it has for two centuries despite wars, pandemics and other setbacks.

Do you agree with the authors stance that the living conditions around the world are much better than many people realise? Is it helpful to assume otherwise?

4. Rosling celebrates this as “the secret silent miracle of human progress.” He refuses to divide the world into developed and developing nations. Instead, he sees four more-nuanced income strata, each continuously advancing. The poorest of the poor, mostly in Africa, subsist at Level 1; but even their unfortunate lot is rapidly improvingwithin 20 years most of them will enjoy the relative comforts of Level 2’s lower-middle-class life.

5. By mid-century, most Level 2 countries will advance to Level 3, where people have savings, a variety of consumer products, secondary education, even annual vacations. At Level 4 (that’s you, fellow Forbes readers, and about a billion other people), the affluence and conveniences of modern life already exceed anything our great-grandparents could have imagined.

6. Rosling says we fail to see these positive trends because of ten human instincts that blind us to the facts. One such instinct is negativity. If no airplanes crashed yesterday, that fact won’t make today’s headlines. Only the crashes are news. Positive trends evolve slowly and are little noted:

assuming that we can eventually erradicate things like starvation and many diseases, what are 3 things you think humans should collectively focus their resources into? Why?

7. Worldwide since 1800, the percent of children who die before age 5 has steadily declined from 44% to 4%. Over the same period, global literacy grew from one in ten to nine in ten.

・Just since the 1970s, the undernourished share of the population has dropped by two thirds, while children surviving cancer diagnoses have increased more than a third, to 80%.

・Today, 90% of primary-school-age girls around the world are enrolled in school.

8. Widely recognized for his eye-opening TED talks, Rosling never denied that major problems remain to be solved. He was, for instance, greatly concerned about climate change. His solution? Deploy facts, not fear. More realist than optimist, he wrote, “When we have a fact-based worldview we can see that the world is not as bad as it seems—and we can see what we have to do to keep making it better.”

The author suggests that there is an ingonarance or even pessimistic view of humanity by many people, why do you think this is?

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