By A Staff Writer
How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human?
How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news?
Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?
Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Published by Penguin Random House, Pages 370, Price Rs 799) is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.
In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books; untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?
Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.
The cover of the book features a painting of an iris by Marc Quinn, a British contemporary visual artist whose work includes sculpture, installation and painting. He was a notable member of the Young British Artists movement, which included Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst in the 1990’s.
One might infer that the iris on our cover, compliments the fingerprints on Sapiens and Homo Deus as a form of identification, or perhaps an observing eye, making a commentary on the world as we know it – and indeed whereas Sapiens told us where we came from, Homo Deus showed us a terrifying possible future – 21 Lessons guides us through the here and now, a time where humanity may need some guidance more than ever.
About the author: Yuval Noah Harari has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Oxford, and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His two books, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, have become global bestsellers, with more than twelve million copies sold and translations in more than forty-five languages