21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Part B

The book by Yuval Noah Harari.

This is a personal commentary/opinion/summary, it may be affected by my personal bias; after all if you’re interested, go read the book.

(I’lll edit as i further revise the book back and forth)

Despair and Hope

  • Terrorism : Minimal impact, maximum result. Fear is the factor, statistic doesnt matter. Media to be blame as co-cospirators?
  • War becomes digital, traditional warfare just doesnt work anymore, besides everyone clearly knows that the nuclear will obliterate all of us/them
  • Humility : All religion, culture, country believe that they’re the center of the world — but its not, more often then not, our genetics have already ‘build’ what is right, a chimpanzee will care for the young without god’s teaching.
  • God : Believing in God doesnt make you a moral person, on the other hand, not believing in god does not make you an amoral person.
  • Secular : Committed to truth and compassion, but always ask yourself the tough question, such as “what was the biggest mistake of your ideal/belief/worldview committed?”.
  • Ignorance : Our brain has not evolve to the urban life, our brain still thinks like hunter gatherer. Do you know how a zip works? Human are group thinking animals, we think in group; individuality is a myth.
  • Justice : Justice is not as simple as 10000 years ago, are you at fault for buying a shoe that is made in sweat shop with horrible conditions? The world is too complicated for us to judge what is right or wrong, there’s 3 commonly used but flawed, if not base-less method.
    • 1st: to boil everything down to simple – rudimentary equation; good vs evil, Assad regimes vs Rebes = Good vs Bad.
    • 2nd: a touching human story, a tragic story of a girl is likely to win over hearts (and purse) of a statistical ones.
    • 3rd: To use conspirasy; 20 Billionairs controls the world.
  • Post truth: Since beginning of time, we’ve use stories (often lies) to sell a news, to sell a story, ‘post-truth’ has never really leaves us. If you believe a fictional news for a month people will call it ‘fake-news’; If you believe a fictional news for a thousand years, people will call it ‘religion’. Fiction is not necessary bad, it can be ugly but also beautiful and inspiring. Truth and Power can only travel hand in hand so far, if you pursue the truth, sooner or later you will have to renounce power because you have to admit your wrong doing, and hence losing followers, losing unity. On the other hand, if you pursue power, fiction often works way better then truth, crafting a fictional story is often what unites people.
  • Science fiction: The role of science fiction shouldnt be underestimated, its a starting point of how humans understand AIs and highly technical topics.

To be continue…

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