Homer's Travels: Book: Yuval Noah Harari's "21 Lessons For The 21st Century"

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book: Yuval Noah Harari's "21 Lessons For The 21st Century"

The first book of the year for me was an interesting read with a disappointing wishy-washy end.

Harari's "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" looks at eighteen issues that are/will become important to us as the 21st century progresses.  I kind of agree with most of his issues including things like nationalism, the nature of work in an automated world, religion, God, and secularism, and immigration amongst others.  The author's discussion of many of these topics is thought provoking and, often, anxiety inducing.

The last three issues are more of an attempt to come up with ways to fix the other eighteen issues.  These three chapters (education, meaning, and meditation) are a bit weak and unfocused in my opinion but I don't completely blame the author.  The eighteen issues he laid out in the book are not easy to solve.  Many we have very little control over as individuals.  Many are intractable.

Today's world in a bit unpredictable and I suspect the actual twenty-one lessons we will learn will be quite different from Harari's list.  I mean, who would have predicted the rise of nationalism, Brexit, and Trump even ten years ago.  But I have to say the author's list is a good start.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads mainly for the first eighteen chapters.   This book made me think.

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