Hans Rosling

The overdramatic worldview in people’s heads creates a constant sense of crisis and stress. The urgent “now or never” feelings it creates leads to stress or apathy. “We must do something drastic. Let’s not analyze.” 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.
**
We are subjected to never-ending cascades of negative news from across the world: wars, famines, natural disasters, political mistakes, corruption, budget cuts, diseases, mass layoffs, acts of terror. Journalists who reported flights that didn’t crash or crops that didn’t fail would quickly lose their jobs. Stories about gradual improvements rarely make the front page even when they occur on a dramatic scale and impact millions of people.

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2 Responses to Hans Rosling

  1. shinichi says:

    Factfulness

    by Hans Rosling

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    It was data—the data showing that suspected cases were doubling every three weeks—that made me realize how big the Ebola crisis was. It was also data—the data showing that confirmed cases were now falling—that showed me that what was being done to fight it was working. Data was absolutely key. And because it will be key in the future too, when there is another outbreak somewhere, it is crucial to protect its credibility and the credibility of those who produce it. Data must be used to tell the truth, not to call to action, no matter how noble the intentions.

    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 or 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.

    **

    Selective Reporting

    We are subjected to never-ending cascades of negative news from across the world: wars, famines, natural disasters, political mistakes, corruption, budget cuts, diseases, mass layoffs, acts of terror. Journalists who reported flights that didn’t crash or crops that didn’t fail would quickly lose their jobs. Stories about gradual improvements rarely make the front page even when they occur on a dramatic scale and impact millions of people.

    And thanks to increasing press freedom and improving technology, we hear more, about more disasters, than ever before. When Europeans slaughtered indigenous peoples across America a few centuries ago, it didn’t make the news back in the old world. When central planning resulted in mass famine in rural China, millions starved to death while the youngsters in Europe waving communist red
    flags knew nothing about it. When in the past whole species or ecosystems were destroyed, no one realized or even cared. Alongside all the other improvements, our surveillance of suffering has improved tremendously. This improved reporting is itself a sign of human progress, but it creates the impression of the exact opposite.

    At the same time, activists and lobbyists skillfully manage to make every dip in a trend appear to be the end of the world, even if the general trend is clearly improving, scaring us with alarmist exaggerations and prophecies. For example, in the United States, the violent-crime rate has been on a downward trend since 1990. Just under 14.5 million crimes were reported in 1990. By 2016 that
    figure was well under 9.5 million. Each time something horrific or shocking happened, which was pretty much every year, a crisis was reported. The majority of people, the vast majority of the time, believe that violent crime is getting worse.

  2. shinichi says:

    (sk)

    ネガティブや焦りといった本能に飲み込まれてはいけない。

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