21 lessons for the 21st century / Yuval Noah Harari.

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  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Shares insights into such present-day issues as the role of technology in transforming humanity, the epidemic of false news, and the modern relevance of nations and religion.
    • Content Notes:
      Part I: The technological challenge -- Disillusionment: the end of history has been postponed -- Work: when you grow up, you might not have a job -- Liberty: big data is watching you -- Equality: those who own the data own the future -- Part II: The political challenge -- Community: humans have bodies -- Civilization: there is just one civilization in the world -- Nationalism: global problems need global answers -- Religion: God now serves the nation -- Immigration: some cultures might be better than others -- Part III: Despair and hope -- Terrorism: don't panic -- War: never underestimate human stupidity -- Humility: you are not the center of the world -- God: don't take the name of God in vain -- Secularism: acknowledge your shadow -- Part IV: Truth -- Ignorance: you know less than you think -- Justice: our sense of justice might be out of date -- Post-truth: some fake news lasts forever -- Science fiction: the future is not what you see in the movies -- Part V: Resilience -- Education: change is the only constant -- Meaning: life is not a story -- Meditation: just observe.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 329-356) and index.
    • Other Titles:
      Twenty one lessons for the twenty first century.
    • ISBN:
      9780525512172
      0525512179
    • LCCN:
      2018013856
    • OCLC:
      on1029771757
      1029771757
    • Accession Number:
      fay.579429

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2018 September #1

*Starred Review* Convinced that change constitutes the only constant, Harari, author of the award-winning Sapiens (2015), draws from his deep knowledge of the planet's history a wealth of reasons to doubt inherited ways of thinking. What, after all, could customary wisdom ever teach us about how to forge viable twenty-first-century identities in a world where computer algorithms are rendering human skills irrelevant, where political cynicism imperils liberal democracy, and where biotechnology is transforming brain and body? In articulating the 21 lessons he considers essential in facing such unprecedented challenges, Harari focuses on issues likely to frustrate those committed to traditional religious doctrines and conventional political ideologies. In the debates over how much control over their lives humans should cede to artificial intelligence and how many environmental regulations we should accept in devising our modes of transportation, for instance, Harari sees religious orthodoxy—Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Islamic—only obscuring the key issues. Similarly, Harari finds the usual precepts of democratic liberalism quite inadequate for negotiating the inevitable merger of biotech and infotech. Harari believes that his radical skepticism will clarify readers' vision as they contemplate rapidly mutating dilemmas. But the skepticism runs so deep—undermining even stable conceptions of the freely choosing self—that some readers may finally feel not enlightened but paralyzed. A sobering and tough-minded perspective on bewildering new vistas. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2018 September #1

Having achieved worldwide success canvasing humanity's past and future, Harari (world history, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem.; Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind) now turns his insightful gaze to the problems of the present day. In this timely, lucid volume, Harari tackles major global challenges from the conquest of the algorithm and the impending loss of free will to our quest to find political and intellectual stability in a posttruth world. Along the way, the author eschews any bold claim-making in the way of solutions, instead focusing on defining the most pertinent questions humanity faces today. Many of these questions involve the educational and economic response to automation, the political ramifications of the forces of nationalism in the face of immigration, and the continued push of Enlightenment against the imposing wall of ignorance and superstition. However, reiterating previous prognostications for the conquest of liberalism, Harari questions current political arrangements to solve the issues at hand and in our immediate future. VERDICT Readers of Harari's previous works will find this volume uniquely engaging in its application of those larger contours of history and future to contemporary society. Highly recommended for general readers and academics alike.—Brian Odom, Madison, AL

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 June #4

Magnificently combining historical, scientific, political, and philosophical perspectives, Harari (Sapiens and Homo Deus), a Hebrew University of Jerusalem history professor, explores 21 of what he considers to be today's "greatest challenges." Despite the title's reference to "lessons," his tone is not prescriptive but exploratory, seeking to provoke debate without offering definitive solutions. An early chapter is headlined with the lesson, "When You Grow Up, You Might Not Have a Job." Not only will many jobs be lost to machines, but, Harari speculates, humans might not even be necessary to fulfill the role of consumers: "Theoretically, you can have an economy in which a mining corporation produces and sells iron to a robotics corporation, and the robotics corporation produces and sells robots to the mining corporation." A chapter beginning with the lesson "Those Who Own the Data Own the Future" discusses how the improved human understanding of mind and brain, and the ability to manipulate both, raises the threat of control by those with access to one's data, making the regulation of data ownership perhaps "the most important political question of our era." Within this broad construct, Harari discusses many pressing issues, including problems associated with liberal democracy, nationalism, immigration, and religion. This well-informed and searching book is one to be savored and widely discussed. (Sept.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.