Thursday, December 23, 2010

200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes: Nothing more clearly demonstrates the story of progress than this exuberant Swedish guy

Hans Rosling begins this video by saying, "Having the data is not enough. I have to show it in ways that people both enjoy and understand." And boy, does he ever. Really, Rosling is amazing. Just watch this 4-minute video.

I can't think of a better way to encapsulate the gist of The Secret Peace than with this video. It clearly and creatively shows the progress of the world, at least in terms of two of the most compelling facets of the story, wealth and health.

Other facets are available on Rosling's web site, Gapminder. This is a list of indicators - a long list - that includes everything from countries' birth rate, to unemployment, to the average marriage age, to cell phone adoption, to working hours. On any of them, by selecting "Visualize", you have control to move the slider and advance forward and back through the decades at a whiz, watching the countries of the world dance like carbonation, all slowly drifting toward peace.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What is the secret to happiness?

I didn't write The Secret Peace to try to make everyone happier. I did it to reveal information that I think is the truth; as a corrective to a common sense view and media perspective that I think is incorrect because it is too pessimistic. If my research had revealed that the media is often too optimistic, I would have written in the opposite direction. Thankfully, it didn't.

Nevertheless, if world peace is the goal, and one way to define that is a world where everyone is happy, it's certainly worthwhile to work toward our own and others' happiness. Lots of good research is coming out now (some of it counter-intuitive) that is finally shedding a light on just what makes us happy, and author Dan Buettner is at the forefront of it.

Listen to this 6-minute clip of Dan being interviewed on NPR. He's traveled to some of the happiest places on earth to discover their secrets: the security of Singapore, the tolerance and humility of Denmark, and the good weather and environmental consciousness of San Luis Obispo. In all the places, researchers have discovered that things like socializing, less commuting, getting married, and spending money on experiences rather than objects tend to make people happier. Listen to the interview for more great obvious-in-hindsight advice on happiness.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Secret Peace is now available on the Kindle!

The Secret Peace reveals the hidden history of current events: that the world is heading toward peace, believe it or not. Now you can find out all the good news on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and more!

Buy the Kindle edition on

And if you prefer good ol'-fashioned paper books, follow the link below to Amazon. (Makes a great, uplifting gift for the holidays, too!)

Buy the Book on

Read the book already?

If you liked it (or even if you didn't, but you have some useful feedback), why not add a review on Amazon? It only takes a minute and it's much appreciated. The link below goes directly to the review page; you can just start typing.

Write a review on Amazon

- Jesse