The world is fucked *but* it is the least fucked it has ever been

Here’s 3 ways to get through it — from Factfulness by Hans Rosling

7 min readSep 30, 2022


This book is written by Hans Rosling — a doctor, statistician and science communicator. Look at him go here:

The thesis is that our world view froze 60 years ago in the west, and we need to learn new methods to understand facts.

First things first

The book makes you take a quiz before reading it — to survey your perception of the planet right now. Take it here:

DON’T SKIP THIS. Click above. Spend less than 3 minutes. You will learn about yourself.

Some definition notes

  • We should know our brains jump to conclusions because our brains are risk-averse always expect risk
  • Hans uses child mortality often — it helps give an idea of general health and living and for all countries.

Comparison is a mother-fucker

As the song goes. We as humans love binary ideas — good or bad, right or wrong. We are less good at seeing a scale, categories or blends. For example…

The view 60 years ago…

… was of the developed and developing countries. You are in one set or the other. This was true in 1960. It ain’t anymore. See the comparisons below

A comparison of child mortality across the world. Source:
More starkly from Hans looking at birth rate and child mortality

The developing world label is meaningless now. Instead the author suggests there are 4 levels. Each step is a 4x increase in earnings.