In an interview published in Time magazine earlier today, Bill Gates said that the late Hans Rosling's book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think was "one of the most important" he's ever read.

Like Bill Gates's  all-time favorite book, Steven Pinker's Enlightenment NowFactfulness uses statistics from a wide variety of reputable sources to show that the world is becoming a better place thanks to reason, science, and technology.

This opinion, widely shared in high tech, runs precisely contrary to the popular perception (often promoted by ultra-conservative billionaires who profit from the misconception) that the world is going to hell in the proverbial hand-basket.

This is not to say that Gates believes the world will improve itself automatically. Quite the contrary. Gates is arguably the greatest and most effective philanthropist the world has ever seen, in addition to being one of the greatest living entrepreneurs.

Because Gates is such a pivotal leader for our times, when he says that a certain set of ideas are important, it would be foolish indeed to ignore him. 

While researching Gate's connection with Rosling, I discovered that Gates once posted a link to one of Rosling's TED Talks. Rosling was a prolific TED talker, so here--in lieu of or in addition to reading Factfulness--are nine of his most popular talks:

1. The Best Stats You've Ever Seen

2. How Not to Be Ignorant About the World

3. Global Population Growth: Box by Box

4. Religion and Babies

5. Why the World Population Won't Exceed 11 Billion

6. The Magic Washing Machine

7. New Insights on Poverty

8. Asia's Rise: How and When

9. The River of Myth