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21 lessons to 21st century

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21 lessons for 21st century
Yuval Noah Harari
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.


Introduction:After reading the book Sapiens from the same author, I wanted to read the other books he has written as well. In this book called 21 lesson for the 21stcentury, the author writes about what to focus on the present moment and what are the factors that influences our daily lives from the past and in the future. It makes the reader to consider many things, especially how for example artificial Intelligence, climate change and politics can change our lives rapidly and many appealing theories about them. The book prepares mentally its readers to stay balanced for the upcoming storms. There were numerous learnings brought up in the whole book and in this essay I will write about the learnings that are the most relevant to me.

What is really happening right now?– what are today’s greatest challenges, what should we pay attention to? The book gives a lot of clarity to the world that we live in, helping to level the global issues we are/will be facing in the future. By giving many examples on how things have changed rapidly during the past time, the author writes about how that can continue to happen and if we don’t pay enough attention to our surroundings, we might not even notice what is really going on

What skills are important for the future? –As the book focuses on the lessons that are useful for the future and opens up what jobs are most likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence, the two things that are recommended to develop is mental balance and emotional intelligence. This is interesting as emotional intelligence is already highlighted as one of the key reasons for success in career and personal life nowadays and has gained recognition recently. Some of the jobs that the book highlighted that will most likely be replaced surprised me. For instance there is a chapter where the author writes about how doctors could be replaced in the future. It is a quite scary thought because I at least personally always thought that doctors would not be that easily replaceable.

‘’How do you live in an age of bewilderment when the old stories have collapsed and no new story has emerged to replace them?’’ – The author writes about different religions and how they have affected the world before and are losing their power to control slowly due to the technology. This is extremely challenging as people are used to have different beliefs as part of their lives and now they are losing their meaning in the world. The people will need to adopt to this change and some might get left behind during the process.

“Traditionally, life has been divided into two main parts: a period of learning followed by a period of working. Very soon this traditional model will become utterly obsolete, and the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives, and to reinvent themselves repeatedly. Many if not most humans may be unable to do so.”

I think this is one of the most important learnings for the future. It is important to keep learning all the time, especially now with the world of technology. In case one does not keep up with the learnings and everything else around will keep developing, that person will get left behind. One good example is the required IT-skills in many fields of work. More people study information technology and learn new skills in order to develop the skills needed for the future.

The most eye-opening factors for me from this book are the ones about artificial intelligence as I hadn’t done much research on the topic beforehand. Who owns the data?– We don’t know, but those people control the future of life. Data is the most important asset in the world. In case the data splits only to few people, Harari writes that humankind will not only split into classes, but to different species.

Why is data so important?– In the book, Harari writes about how data has become the most valuable asset. The reason for this is that with the help of data and computing power, one is able to hack the minds of humans. It is possible that the data will be even able to affect our choices and feelings for example when it comes to jobs and relationships. This needs enough of biology, bran science mixed with artificial intelligence, computer science and machine learning. By mixing the aforementioned and taking enough power of them, it is possible to understand what is happening inside the mind of human. This is a scary thought because due to this, those who own that exact data, will know yourself better than you do and are able to control almost anything you do in life.

One of the most interesting thoughts on the book was the fact that if the AI ends up in the wrong hands, it could end up destroying the world we live in or increase inequality a lot. AI could give a lot of power to a low percentage of humans and even make them super humans, whereas the ones living in poverty, will be left behind. This means that the level of inequality would be higher than ever in the history. Already now the humans cannot understand the complicacy of AI and it is developing day by day. There will be a day when AI is so developed that it will most likely make sense to humans.



The book pointed out very important factors to consider in the present and future. The author wrote about many things occurring that I had not paid too much attention to myself. After reading this book I have realized that it people should focus on the truth and developing themselves in order to prepare for the future. We are all overwhelmed with all the knowledge received daily and we have expertise for basically everything. It is exiting, but at the same time scary since back in the days the hunter-gatherers were able to find out the origin of all the things they eat and the stuff they were or use. Nowadays I don’t know who has made any of my items or sometimes can’t be bothered to check from where the food that I eat is originated. I want to focus on learning new skills as often as possible and keep myself updated better on the happenings in the world. This book was a real eye-opener.




21 Lessons for the 21stcentury – Yuvah Noah Harari (book)


Artificial Intelligence: A Modern approach – Peter Norvig and Stuart J.Russell


21 Lessons For The 21st Century Summary

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