TIL: Facts don't care about your feelings

in til •  5 months ago


Actually this headline is not true, as I did not learn this today. But I (again) confirmed it today. I found this picture here and thought, that I should share it with the community. What the author has to say is quite short, but fitting, so there is no need in rephrasing it. Here is the quote:

In some cases, they’re following the headlines instead of the trend lines: people in the news know that pessimistic narratives attract more clicks than heartening long-term trends. As the saying goes, “If it bleeds, it leads.” And, of course, many in the media share the broader public’s ignorance of the progress that humanity has made in its fight against world poverty. We at HumanProgress.org will continue to do our part to correct mistaken perceptions about the state of humanity and advocate for a realistic, empirically-based view of the world.

From the picture you can directly read how good / bad informed people are in the different countries regarding facts. And also how perfectly mindbending effective our Media is working.

I KNOW that in the last 20 years there was an enormous blast forward regarding the overall "success" of the world population, still I would probably have answered B.

What would you have answered? Be honest please!


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It made me look into this because I knew the most powerful warlords and their cronies keep congratulating themselves they are reducing the world poverty while in truth empowering themselves at the expense of everyone else.

A few weeks ago the World Bank changed the international poverty line from $1.25 to $1.90 per day. Normally, changes to the poverty line slide by without attracting much attention, but for some reason this time people got excited. At first glance, it looks as if the bank has finally admitted that the old line was just too low, and has raised it to a more meaningful standard.

But the reality is closer to the opposite. The World Bank didn’t raise the poverty line at all – it simply “rebased” the old line to adjust for depreciation in the purchasing power of the dollar. The bank claims that the new poverty line is roughly equivalent to the old line, in real terms. But in effect it is actually significantly lower, and therefore makes it seem as though there are fewer poor people than before.

This is why the bank has suddenly announced that the global poverty headcount has decreased by 100 million people overnight, and that the poverty reduction trend has been declining more rapidly than we used to believe.

Nothing has actually changed in the real world, of course; there are just as many poor people as there were before. But the development industry has been happy to take the new story on board, claiming gains against poverty that haven’t actually happened. The NGO community is celebrating the fact that, according to the bank’s new line, the poverty rate will dip below 10% this year. Jim Yong Kim has called this “the best story in the world today.”

It’s a PR coup for the World Bank: the poverty line appears to have been raised to a more humane level and the number of poor people is lower than before.

Obviously, no one is free from pressures by these warlords and The Guardian is no exception.



Thank you a lot for the additional useful information.


After also digging some deeper, I have to come to the conclusion that the term "extreme poverty" is a poorly chosen indicator. Also pegging poverty to a currency average is much too vague. In Germany you can "survive" with 2 $ / day, while there are countries where 2$ / day is quite above average income per day (Afghanistan).
Much more interesting are other indicators as:


After my research the numbers dropped from 1 billion people to short above 500 million in the last 20 years. (although numbers of overall humans living are rising).

ability to read and write:

in the last 200 years the number got from 10% to now almost 90 %

average life expectancy.

In the last 20 years this number on average was raised by 9 years in third world countries. ( a lot of influences that are very hard to calculate, I know => infections, child birth rates, Hiv etc. )


The case I'd like to make is not semantics, but the fact that things got much better, not worse.
There is still a ton "to fix" and nothing is really "god". But it's on a promising way.

Some further information to my initial source.
The website Humanprogress is run by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank founded by Murray Rothbard in 1974. Sure not free from bias, I see this site as a quite good and reliable source in general. The guardian is quite left leaning, liberal progressive. If we try to cut the pushed narrative of both, we probably come closer to "the truth"

That's awful with misinformed news that people believe. :-( It is hard out there! I would of said stayed the same or maybe a little more but I have too much experience with Government agencies and have seen what little is available for disabled people,etc. It is unbearable for some.

great post

Maybe it is not true but it looks reliable source.

I am also going with the answer B.

hhahahah,I just love the heading..indeed facts really do not care about the feeling of anyone...thanks for this @pollux.one