Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and he has written many popular books. The book of his I just read, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, is an interesting read that covers topics ranging from religion to AI to meditation.
After reading his book, it is obvious that he is an incredibly intelligent person, and he is super articulate and well thought out when making his points. I found myself agreeing with quite a few of the lessons that he touched upon, but even if I didn’t agree with them, I could at least understand all of the research and logic behind them.
As the title indicates, the book touches upon 21 topics that Harari has identified as crucial to the future. For example, one topic he touches upon is AI, and how the relationship between humanity and computers will determine our future. It is definitely scary hearing his thoughts on the future, as it is clear that the rest of the 21st century will be nothing like the centuries before. Rather, the 21st century will be one that undergoes an incredible amount of change, and people will have to learn how to adapt quickly (or they will begin to be phased out).
It is also frightening to hear that AI will likely lead to even greater inequality in the world, as the have nots will have even less, while the rich will grow even more. I think it is important for people to realize this now though, as we can better prepare for it in the future.
I also thought Harari had some extremely insightful points about religion, money, and sports; Harari goes into detail about how all of these 3 things are just constructs that humans created, and even if we don’t tend to group them together, they have many similar characteristics. For all of them to work successfully, it takes humans to believe in and support them. I have never categorized these topics together, but this is another great point Harari mentions.
Overall, I think this book is a great read, and I would love to see how many of his predictions will come true in the future. Still, just hearing his reasonings behind them is a great way to learn about the way the world may change in the coming years.
21 Lessons Recommendation Rating: 3
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for