21 Lessons From the 21st Century outlines the most compelling questions of the 21st century. But the problem lies in the fact that people don’t have time for these questions. We are so busy living our day-to-day life and finding solutions to those problems that we have forgotten about the bigger than life issues.
The author has placed strong emphasis on change and believes that it is the only constant. He believes that the Issues such as artificial intelligence, terrorism, mass unemployment can be resolved, if people decide to revolutionize their thoughts. And the practice of meditation will act as a catalyst in revolutionizing thoughts.
Harari’s last two books of the series Sapiens and Homo Deus gave us an insight into the past and future respectively. While 21 Lessons From the 21st Century talks about some worrisome issues of the present that have started to affect our life for the worst. These issues are: climate change, unprecedented rise in algorithms and Artificial Intelligence, terrorism etc. The author explains that though these issues are worrisome yet they are inevitable. So irrespective of what we want, we have to accept the change. The most important thing is to focus on the right things. This book is divided into 21 chapters that offer 21 lessons which will help us change and reshape our focus.
Rise in artificial intelligence and algorithms will simplify people’s life if they are willing to accept change
Yuval Noah Harrar starts the book by acknowledging the fact that computers and artificial intelligence are taking over normal human beings. He believes that these algorithms are slowly outdating a normal human brain and even the simplest of the problems are being taken over by computers. A revolution to replace human jobs with artificial intelligence and bots has begun and is rising at an alarming rate. Today more and more people feel outdated and technologically handicapped. They feel anxious and are battling depression because of globalisation, machine learning, and complicated algorithms which are very difficult to understand.
Though many scientists and researchers believe that the rise in artificial intelligence will create a new line of jobs for people. It is true that the current skill set will be outdated and of no use but that doesn’t mean that the new opportunities are not coming. In order to sustain in the new environment, a person will have to develop new skills, and should readily accept change. A person who will focus on developing a strong emotional quotient or EQ is more likely to have a job.
New discoveries made by scientists can also hijack our jobs
As it turns out, robots can take the jobs in the EQ department too. It is because of the discovery made by some those human emotions (decisions, desires and feelings) are not a result of free will or human intuition. Rather it is the result of multiple things that get stored in our brains which create patterns. It is when the brain starts identifying these patterns, we believe that they are intuitions. These observations and patterns if instilled in robots will outperform humans and will cause collateral damage.
The lesson to learn from all this is that the future is not that grim and dull. If taken in the right stride these shortcomings and challenges of artificial intelligence will turn into opportunities. These tools (algorithms, AI) can help us move away from regular boring tasks that people don’t want to engage in and can allow us to spend more time improving society.
If you want to learn more about securing your job, then you can read book summaries and audiobook summaries. They are available on various book summary sites.
Globalisation has caused major cross border conflicts
21 Lessons From the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari also talks about the impact of globalisation on immigration. Globalisation has made the world extremely small and conquerable. More and more people are realising their worth and leaving their countries in search of better jobs and better lifestyles. This issue is causing a major problem in European countries. People from all over the world move to these countries for better opportunities. They are expected to fully adapt to European culture and abandon their own. This is resulting in a major identity crisis for the people of different countries.
If you are interested in learning more about these issues, then you can read book summaries and audiobook summaries of this book on various book summary websites.
Europeans expect these people to give up their norms, practices, dressing sense, and taboos and become unified with the European culture. This issue is causing major conflicts between these two sets of people. To resolve this issue, both the perspectives should be considered equally without having any prior biases.