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Proof Your View of the World is Negatively Biased

We don’t hear a ton of hopeful messages in the world these days. But in many ways, our world is doing better than ever.

Swedish social scientist Hans Rosling is one of the best presenters in the world. Rather than try to come up with fancy adjectives about how brilliant and funny the 66 year old rockstar of stats is, I’ll just give you the greatest hits before showing you what he’s up to now.

Great Hans Rosling videos:

That’s enough to get you started anyway. Still can’t believe how he concludes New Insights on Poverty. But global health is important, so kudos to Rosling for bringing the issue to mass attention via such engaging methods.

Now Hans is back and joined by his son for their latest TED Talk entitled:

Everyone should watch this. Teachers must watch this. By the way, I classify a teacher as anyone who will ever influence at least one other human.

What you should love most about the Roslings is their optimism. Our world has enough horrible news. Happy then that men like these find positive trends, the good news, some reason to be hopeful.

At the heart of Ola’s remarks is the reality of our own skewed view of the world. We are biased in multiple ways. Three are especially significant.

Check out the video to learn more. If you don’t feel like watching now, bookmark for later when you have to eat lunch or do dishes. TED Talks are a great way to pass routine time away.

Quick highlights:

  • While we believe everything is getting worse, most things are actually improving.
  • The gap between rich and poor is not ever widening. Actually, data shows we are mostly lumped together in the middle.
  • We do not need a lot of money to improve social realities. Social improvements can happen in all sorts of economic situations, and improved education leads to economic advantage.
  • We always tend to exaggerate problems.

See? It’s not all bad.

By Clay Morgan

Clay Morgan is the author of Undead. Say hi on Twitter.