Our constitutional democracy seems currently as volatile as the dandelion. Permanently I have the feeling that politicians make a mountain out of a molehill.
In times of COVID19 a person of sharp whits like Hans Rosling* are needed more than ever. Unfortunately, he passed in 2017: I would have loved to ask him about his view of this mess of data surrounding us, a condition I feel like suffocating by not having any outlet to express my concerns.
Factfulness is ••• recognizing when a decision feels urgent and
remembering that it rarely is. To control the urgency instinct, take small steps.
Take a breath. When your urgency instinct is triggered, your other instincts kick in and your analysis shuts down. Ask for more time and more information. It’s rarely now or never and it’s rarely either/or.
Insist on the data. If something is urgent and important, it should be measured. Beware of data that is relevant but inaccurate, or accurate but irrelevant. Only relevant and accurate data is useful.
Beware of fortune-tellers. Any prediction about the future is uncertain. Be wary of predictions that fail to acknowledge that. Insist on a full range of scenarios, never just the best or worst. Ask how often such predictions have been right before. Be wary of drastic action. Ask what the side effects will be. Ask how the idea has been tested. Step by step practical improvements, and evaluation of their impact, are less dramatic but usually more effective. . .
Hans Rosling, Factfulness; first published in Great Britain in 2018 by Sceptre
An Imprint of Hodder & Stoughton
An Hachette UK Company
Hans Rosling* (27 July 1948 – 7 February 2017) was a Swedish physician, academic, and public speaker. He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system.