in Books ~ read.

Factulness - Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Factfulness was a great read and I didn't realize how much I needed this personally and professionally-- Personally because my environment has lately been causing me to slowly become bitter, jaded and ungrateful; Professionally because I need to shake off instincts and what remains of the cognitive biases I have to be more effective at what I do and just create better.


"Developing Countries" vs. "Developed Countries"; "West" vs. "the rest" and "Us" vs. "Them" are all false dichotomies. If you really want to understand the world you have to understand that people's behaviors and motivations are all rooted in their income levels, of which there are four:

Level 1: Extreme Poverty you survive on less than $2 a day and get around by walking barefoot. Your food is cooked over an open fire, and you spend most of your day traveling to fetch water. At night, you and your children sleep on a dirt floor.

Level 2: You live off between $2 and $8 a day. Level 2 means that you can buy shoes and maybe a bike, so it doesn’t take so long to get water. Your kids go to school instead of working all day.

Level 3: You live off between $8 and $32 a day. You have running water and a fridge in your home. You can also afford a motorbike to make getting around easier. Some of your kids start (and even finish) high school.

Level 4: If you spend more than $32 a day, you’re on level 4. You have at least a high school education and can probably afford to buy a car and take a vacation once in a while.

Think about these levels before you ask "Why do [large category of people] _always_ do [generalization]" as you sit comfortably in your level 4 Ivory tower.

The world has made very steady progress moving people away from level 1 and towards level 4. Majority of the world's population are actually on levels 2 and 3 contrary to the bleak portrait of the world the media paints for us. The people in the world living in extreme poverty are the minority.

The world has objectively become better decade over decade across all relevant indicators and there is plenty to be grateful for and _yet_ a vast number of people remain unhappy and unappreciative of the progress the world has made or their position in life. I personally am grateful to be at level 4 despite not being ridiculously wealthy.

Also relevant to me on a personal level: Shaking off the 'blame instinct'

Look for causes, not villains. When something goes wrong don’t look for an individual or a group to blame. Accept that bad things can happen without anyone intending them to. Instead spend your energy on understanding the multiple interacting causes, or system, that created the situation.