Found in 15 comments on Hacker News
blompa · 2020-02-11 · Original thread
As an alternative to "2nd/3rd" or "developing" countries, I really like the "Four Levels of Global Income" model[0] that Hans Rosling put forth in his book Factfulness[1] (a must-read IMO).

It gives a much clearer perspective on how people live (and as you mentioned, how similarly people live across the world amongst the same income levels)

[0]: [1]:

Balgair · 2019-04-12 · Original thread
The late Dr. Hans Rosling's Factfullness is a great read.

Spoiler: The world is actually getting a lot better really fast.

If you're looking for a more global outlook on the longer term future, then this book is a great place. You can read it for free, per Bill Gates' donation to graduated of the class of 2018, here:

I'd buy it for an easier reading experience here:

Here's a quick quiz for you to test if your knowledge of the world is better than a chimp's:

eddyg · 2022-05-01 · Original thread
Came here to mention “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think”. Definitely worth a read/listen.

Too · 2021-09-18 · Original thread
Source? According to the book Factfulnes by Hans Rosling, poverty has decreased significantly the past decades.

haswell · 2021-05-06 · Original thread
The book "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" [0] brings a different perspective to this conversation. I strongly encourage folks to read it, but if I had to summarize the point that feels relevant here, it'd go something like this.

Relative to the whole of human history, the time we're living in right now is by far the most neutral, even OK, (in some cases, even good) things have ever been.

You are correct that the divide between privileged/lucky and not is still wide. But arguably this is more about the uneven distribution of progress, and ignores the fact that poverty has significantly gone down, deaths from disease are significantly lower now than even 10-20 years ago, and so on.

This does not minimize or invalidate the fact that many do live in dangerous or "not OK" environments, but it's worth looking at the broader historical context to help contextualize that.

Yes, more change must happen. There is much progress to be made. But much progress has been made, and that should be acknowledged.

- [0]

spacemark · 2021-03-24 · Original thread
For sure. You'll find that our notions of our own world and societies are also very outdated on average due to how rapidly they're changing (and by and large improving).

A wonderful, easy to read book on this that I recommend is Factfulness.

Sorry, I don't know which companies are contributing "something good" to the world.

But I do know. A wide array of positive changes are taking place in the world and the world is getting better at most of the metrics.

> Please read...

The biggest theme discussed in the book is that over the past few decades, the planet has made tremendous change, but most people are oblivious to the possibility because they have warped opinions.

brownbat · 2019-06-13 · Original thread
Question was flagged before I could read it, but based on responses citing the birth rate, the premise of the question might have been along the lines of whether or not it's worth saving lives in areas with high birth rates if we're concerned about overpopulation.

Hans Rosling provides an exhaustive rebuttal to that question in Factfulness:

Here's a speech he gives on the topic:

To make it as short as possible: if you're concerned about family sizes, the best path forward is, counterintuitively, improving health and reducing infant mortality, not the opposite. Parents seem to compensate for high infant mortality and high poverty with larger families, but naturally adjust family sizes downward as conditions improve. That trend seems to hold in countries all around the world, dozens of examples so far without counterexamples. (I.e., Malthus was wrong, according to all the data we have.)

But his book is still really worth reading, it bolsters his argument with much more data.

grecy · 2019-02-12 · Original thread
One of the most amazing things I learned reading the excellent "Factfullness" by Hans Rosling [1] is that the poorest countries in the world are currently improving faster than any country ever did, at any point in history.

That's correct - countries like Lesotho and Central African Republic are improving faster than his home country of Sweden ever did, at any time. In only his lifetime Sweden went from having an infant mortality rate similar to that of the poorest countries today, to being one of the world leaders. Those poor countries are improving faster than Sweden ever did... so in just one more lifetime they'll be where the world leaders are today.

The book makes it plainly clear that the world is improving much, much, much faster - even for the poorest - than the mainstream media would have anyone believe.

[1] - full title is great "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think"

grecy · 2018-12-25 · Original thread
Without a doubt Factfulness by Hans Rosling [1]. It gives a better factual basis for the state of the world today than everything else I have read in my life, combined!


grecy · 2018-10-31 · Original thread
"Without a determined political action, within few decades China will be the leading global economic and political power. EU/US and others must join muscles to stop the economic domination of China by econ-political means, before it's too late".

Whenever I read statements like that, it's as if somehow the EU/US think they have a right to be the dominant global economic and political power, and somehow it's their moral right to stop anyone else from ascending to that position.

China has over a billion people. So does India, so does the continent of Africa. They are all developing much, much faster than the vast majority of people realize [1]

Anyone who thinks the EU/US will remain the dominant global economic and political power in the next decades is severely deluded.

[1] Checkout the fantastic "Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think " by the master Hans Rosling, where he clearly demonstrates using irrefutable stats that the poorest countries in the world today are developing faster than for example Sweden ever did, at any point in history.

grecy · 2018-10-21 · Original thread
I'm in the middle of reading "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling, which does an excellent job of clearly demonstrating that not only are billions of people living better lives than they did 20 years ago, but that also we're conditioned not to believe that good news.

The world is a lot different than many people think.

I highly recommend it.

[1] Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think -

sien · 2018-09-21 · Original thread
Released April 3 this year according to Amazon.

mhb · 2018-08-26 · Original thread
Hans Rosling says no:

But you're in good company thinking that.

walkingolof · 2018-06-30 · Original thread
Yes! Reading tip for the the pessimist:

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.