21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF Summary

21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF SummaryFeeling unprepared for what lies ahead?

Yuval Noah Harari is here to teach you

21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Who Should Read “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”? And Why?

If you like Harari’s previous two books, Sapiens and Homo Deus, there’s no reason not to like this one too.

You know that he is capable of offering new perspectives and fresh insights into familiar topics, and this book proves this yet again.

Whether it’s history, politics, technology or biology – Harari knows just enough to paint the larger picture, “smashing together unexpected ideas into dazzling observations.”

A great gift for big-picture thinkers.

About Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah HarariYuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian, specializing in macro-historical processes and the history of war; he is a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the author of three bestsellers.

Harari’s first three books were published in relative obscurity though received acclaim among war historians: Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History and Identity, 1450–1600, Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1550, and The Ultimate Experience: Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450–2000.

Influenced by Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, and published in 2014, Harari’s fourth book, Sapiens, a sketch of the history of humankind, made him an international intellectual superstar; Homo Deus was written as a sequel to Sapiens, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century revisits some of the ideas analyzed in these two books.

Find out more at https://www.ynharari.com/.

“21 Lessons for the 21st Century PDF Summary”

21 Lessons for the 21st Century is, as suggested by its very title and described in a Guardian review, “a loose collection of themed essays, many of which build on articles for the New York Times, Bloomberg and elsewhere.”

Harari has chosen to group these into five parts, each of which includes a few (three, four or five) essays on different topics.

Part I: The Technological Challenge

The first part of Harari’s book consists of four chapters, covering the topics of disillusionment, work, liberty, and equality.

The gist of it is stated in the subtitle of the main chapter:

Humankind is losing faith in the liberal story that dominated global politics in recent decades, exactly when the merger of biotech and infotech confronts us with the biggest challenges humankind has ever encountered.

And the first four lessons are:

#1. The end of history has been postponed
#2. When you grow up, you might not have a job
#3. Big Data is watching you
#4. Those who own the data own the future

Harari is interested here into how and to what extent computer technology is disrupting almost every single sphere of our existence.

His main point is that up to recently, we used computers and robots to automatize some mechanical processes. And that was not bad at all.

However, we’re at a stage when automating cognitive processes is not anymore just a possibility, but also an inevitable part of the future.

Modern neuroscience has all but confirmed what we’ve feared for quite some time – namely, that even our brains maybe just machines. Exceptionally complex, but machines nevertheless.

And if that is the case, not much time will pass before we build a God-Brain, a supercomputer which will know much more than us.

In that world, human intuition will have no value whatsoever, and all important decisions will be made by AI.

Don’t believe us?

Just remember that back in the 1990s, nobody believed that computers will ever beat a human at chess. Nowadays, no chess player is capable of beating a computer. In fact, now computers are teaching humans to play chess.

So, prepare for a world ruled by AI.

Harari’s serious.

Part II: The Political Challenge

The second part of Harari’s book deals with the political climate of the 21st century, exploring the nature of present-day communities, civilizations, nationalism, religion, and immigration.

Once again, the main lesson is chilling:

The merger of infotech and biotech threatens the core modern values of liberty and equality. Any solution to the technological challenge has to involve global cooperation. But nationalism, religion and culture divide humankind into hostile camps and make it very difficult to cooperate on a global level.

The subtitles of the five essays which comprise this chapter say a lot by themselves.

#5. Humans have bodies
#6. There is just one civilization in the world
#7. Global problems need global answers
#8. God now serves the nation
#9. Some cultures might be better than others

To understand Harari’s analyses and opinions from this very important section of the book, you must first go back to Samuel Huntington and his “clash of civilizations” thesis, according to which, humankind “has always been divided into diverse civilizations whose members view the world in irreconcilable ways.”

In other words, the Western liberals and the Eastern Muslims are as different from each other as wolves and bears. “These incompatible world views make conflicts between civilizations inevitable… and only the fittest have survived to tell the tale.”

The very existence of such cross-cultural creations such as the European Union is evidence enough that this thesis is misleading. However, the current state of affairs unravels the dualistic existence of the modern world.

On one side, the great issues of this century – such as, for example, climate change and nuclear weapons – require a global community; on the other, immigration and nationalism form the basis of the defense mechanism of those threatened by globalization.

Is there a way out?

Read ahead!

Part III: Despair and Hope

The five essays which comprise the third part of Harari’s book try to answer some of the questions posited in the first two parts of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Aptly titled, the “Despair and Hope” chapter treats – in five essays – subjects such as terrorism, war, humility, god, and secularism, and ultimately boils down to this:

Though the challenges are unprecedented, and though the disagreements are intense, humankind can rise to the occasion if we keep our fears under control and be a bit more humble about our views.

#10. Don’t panic
#11. Never underestimate human stupidity
#12. You are not the center of the world
#13. Don’t take the name of God in vain
#14. Acknowledge your shadow

As far as Harari is concerned, the best way a human being can keep its fears under control and be a bit more humble about his or her views is secularism, something which “can provide us with all the values we need.”

Unlike dogmatic stories – political or religious – secularism presupposes doubt and critical mindset, as well as a coherent set of values, such as equality, compassion, freedom, truth, courage, and responsibility.

It also allows us to make these kinds of analyses.

During the past 17 years – meaning: since the 9/11 attacks – no more than 50 people are killed by terrorists in the European Union on a yearly basis. During that same period, 80,000 Europeans have died in traffic accidents.

So why are we talking so much about terrorism?

Simply put, because we’re stupid and we’re playing the game terrorists want us to play.

They are proverbially nothing more than flies on the bulls in a china shop. Unable to cause much damage themselves, they merely create a buzz so that the bulls cause it in their stead.

Part IV: Truth

If you ask us, this fourth part may be the most important one of the whole book, encompassing four enlightening essays on ignorance, justice, post-truth and science fiction.

The main lesson:

If you feel overwhelmed and confused by the global predicament, you are on the right track. Global processes have become too complicated for any single person to understand. How then can you know the truth about the world, and avoid falling victim to propaganda and misinformation?

The four sub-lessons:

#15. You know less than you think
#16. Our sense of justice might be out of date
#17. Some fake news lasts forever
#18. The future is not what you see in the movies

Harari’s starting point is one he has already analyzed in detail in Sapiens. Namely, that much of what we do and have accomplished is the result of our capacity to believe in fictions.

Comparing religion to what Donald Trump named “fake news,” Harari notes sarcastically that, “when a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that’s a religion, and we are admonished not to call it fake news in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath).”

The point is simple: it is difficult nowadays to distinguish between facts and fiction, because every single aspect of our existence is so intricate and complex that not many people are able to understand it.

Embracing our ignorance is the only road towards salvation.

Because you’re helping nobody if you are talking about the war in Ukraine or climate change even though you are not that interested into politics and don’t know a single thing about meteorology.

Part V: Resilience

The fifth part of Harari’s book is the shortest one, comprising only three essays on education, meaning, and meditation.

And instead of a lesson, it is framed by a very thought-provoking question:

How do you live in an age of bewilderment, when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has yet emerged to replace them?

The final three lessons are also pretty short:

#19. Change is the only constant
#20. Life is not a story
#21. Just observe

What lies beneath them is an exploration of Harari’s personal understanding of how should one act in this age of bewilderment.

“Having criticized so many stories, religions and ideologies,” he writes, “it is only fair that I put myself in the firing line too, and explain how somebody so skeptical can still manage to wake up cheerful in the morning.”

Completely aware of the fact that what works for him might not work for everybody, Harari shares his love of meditation and advocates it as an antidote to the chaotic world of today.

In his eyes, there are no more over-arching stories to guide us through our day, but there have always been – and always will be – feelings that define our experience.

And they stream through us.

And it’s about time that we get to know them.

Our systems of education should mirror this thirst for self-discovery and teach us to critically analyze the world instead of merely teaching us to memorize facts and trivial data.

The man of the future is the Skeptic, an always curious Socrates aware of his ignorance and ready to get to the bottom of it.

Key Lessons from “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”

1.      The World Is Changing Faster Than Ever, and We’re Failing to Acknowledge This
2.      The Age of Bewilderment: Do We Have a Story?
3.      The 22nd Lesson: Be a Socrates

The World Is Changing Faster Than Ever, and We’re Failing to Acknowledge This

21 Lessons for the 21st Century tries to make sense of many political, social, and technological changes humankind faces at the moment.

In the opinion of Harari, many of these changes are as inevitable as death and taxes, and yet very few people acknowledge that they are happening.

For example, automation all but guarantees a very recent future in which many people will be left without jobs, and, for some reason, neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton discussed this problem during the 2016 presidential campaign.

What they chose to talk about most was, say, terrorism, even though, essentially, this is basically unimportant topic and is, in fact, what terrorists want to achieve.

They are much more marginal than hundreds of groups of people, and yet, fighting against terrorism is the focus of American – nay, world – foreign policy ever since September 11.

In the meantime, Facebook has gathered data of just about everybody on the planet, automated cars are on the verge of eliminating the need of human drivers altogether, and religion has stopped being an important part of the lives of most Europeans.

So why are we still talking about free will, open jobs, and God?

The Age of Bewilderment: Do We Have a Story?

As stated above, the subtitle of the fifth part of Harari’s book posits a very important question: “How do you live in an age of bewilderment, when the old stories have collapsed, and no new story has yet emerged to replace them?”

As Harari explained all too well in Sapiens, our species exists precisely because of these stories, fiction being “among the most effective tools in humanity’s toolkit.”

Everything – from money to religion to laws – is, in its essence, a big lie; but since these lies come with a story, and we are storytelling chimpanzees by our very nature, we’ve chosen to believe them.

And we’ve made a good choice, since this has helped us create communities and civilization itself.

However, at present, we have a fairly serious problem: a large number of people are uninterested in believing these stories.

Considering the fact that some of them – be that fascism or communism, nationalism or almost every single religion – have wreaked havoc on the world for millennia, this, according to Harari, may not be such a bad thing after all.

“So,” he notes something Jordan Peterson would probably sign as well, “if you want to know the truth about the universe, about the meaning of life, and about your own identity, the best place to start is by observing suffering and exploring what it is.”

“The answer is not a story,” he adds.

The 22nd Lesson: Be a Socrates

So, what is it?

Of course, Harari’s book doesn’t include a 22nd lesson; however, inspired by the Guardian review quoted at the very beginning of our summary, we felt compelled to add it, meshing a few of Harari’s insights into one very actionable advice.

And we feel that it’s good if we start explaining Harari’s point by quoting this passage from the 18th chapter of the book:

Unlike the creators of The Matrix and The Truman Show, Huxley doubted the possibility of escape, because he questioned whether there was anybody to make the escape.
Since your brain and your ‘self’ are part of the matrix, to escape the matrix you must escape your self. That, however, is a possibility worth exploring. Escaping the narrow definition of self might well become a necessary survival skill in the twenty-first century.

In other words, we are our brains and it is impossible for us to escape them.

So, in order to not be brainwashed, doubt everything!

Admit your ignorance before yourself and be skeptical.

Listen to each and every story – coming from many different people – and try to find cracks as often as you can.

Understand your mind before the algorithms of tomorrow start making your mind up for you.

Contemplate, reflect, ruminate, muse, meditate.

You know, be a Socrates.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“21 Lessons for the 21st Century Quotes”

In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power. Click To Tweet Questions you cannot answer are usually far better for you than answers you cannot question. Click To Tweet Morality doesn’t mean ‘following divine commands’. It means ‘reducing suffering’. Hence in order to act morally, you don’t need to believe in any myth or story. You just need to develop a deep appreciation of suffering. Click To Tweet Silence isn’t neutrality; it is supporting the status-quo. Click To Tweet Humans think in stories rather than in facts, numbers, or equations, and the simpler the story, the better. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If we are perfectly honest, Harari is better at detecting the problems humankind is facing at the moment than offering appropriate solutions, so the title of his newest book may be a bit misleading.

In addition, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century recycles many of his past ideas, so don’t expect anything revolutionary here.

Even so, we think that Harari’s book feels like a breath of fresh air in an intellectual world where many people seem to know more than they do and many others predict the apocalypse without even understanding that this is the same as shouting fire in a crowdy theatre.

At least he’s also saying “don’t panic.”

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All About Kindle: What you need to know before buying one (+ hacks)

KindleCan you imagine carrying a suitcase full of books when you travel? We don’t think so. So, we want you to know everything about Kindle so you are more practical at these times.

As much as physical books have not completely disappeared, reading has become much more practical after the emergence of e-readers. Amazon’s Kindle is still the best known of all. Launched in 2007, the device has become indispensable for avid readers. With several versions available in the market, it can be a bit difficult to choose without first making some research.

For this matter, we make it easy for you and we prepare this complete guide with everything you need to know before you buy a Kindle!

Why side with Kindle?

In the era of tablet popularization, having an e-reader seems unnecessary. In fact, everything depends on your needs and goal. Tablets are functional for various actions, including for readings, but the Kindle ends up taking advantages over in other characteristics.

  • For those who enjoy spending hours reading, the battery of the Kindle is much longer. It can last for more than a month. You will not have problems, for example, in that longer flight you need to stop reading because the battery of the device died;
  • Everything on the Kindle is fit for reading, from the size and weight to one of the main features: the internal light;
  • Screen illumination. The illumination and colors of an e-reader are made for reading and are usually kinder to the eyes, avoiding the eye fatigue in longer uses. If you want to read in the open and very bright with a tablet is almost impossible.

You’ll find many other functions of the Kindle. See the tips of this video:

Now that you’ve discovered a little more of what is a Kindle, we want to present the models that are available in the market.

What is the best Kindle? Know the Kindle models

Amazon now offers 4 different Kindle models. At this time we want you to know everything about Kindle, knowing each one of them is essential. The reading power, durability, and functions differ slightly from one another.

Prices range from $ 299.00 to $ 1,149.00 and in addition to being available on Amazon’s website, the Kindle can be purchased at other major stores such as Ponto Frio and Walmart.

Screen size, storage capacity, and Wifi access are features present in all four models. Some other features change and we want to highlight them below.

Kindle – R$299

Amazon’s simpler model is no disappointing. Among the main characteristics, we’ve highlighted:

  • The device does not have a screen illumination, looking like real paper;
  • The battery of this model is one of the most durable;
  • The screen is touch sensitive;
  • It weighs only 161g.

Kindle Paperwhite R$ 479

Paperwhite hacks:

  • Paperwhite has a unique function free 3G;
  • It’s the heaviest model, with 217g in the 3G version;
  • The internal light has 4 LEDs;
  • The device has dimensions of 169 x 117 x 9.1 mm;
  • It has the differential that is the resolution of 300 ppi, against 167 of the New Kindle.

Kindle modelsKindle Voyage R$899

The Voyage version also comes with exclusive features:

  • It has more LEDs than Paperwhite – there are 6 light sources;
  • It is equipped with automatic lighting, which changes according to the environment;
  • To flip pages, it has the technology PagePress – just press the edge of the device to change.

Novo Kindle Oasis – R$1.149

The most expensive model of the four, the Kindle Oasis also has the most powerful battery plus other features:

  • The internal illumination is performed by 10 LED;
  • Has buttons to make it easier to change pages;
  • Its weight is 20% lower than the Voyage, with 131g;

Now that you’ve heard everything about Kindle, you need to consider, beyond the price range, what your needs really are. Don’t have access to WiFi networks often and will need the 3G connectivity function? Buy a Paperwhite. Want the lightest model possible? Choose Oasis.

For anyone you choose, be sure to buy a cover to protect your purchase. Only the Kindle Oasis already comes with one, but it is possible to purchase Kindle covers from the Amazon store.

Increase battery life

With a Kindle, you won’t need to keep the device plugged in or recharging constantly. As we mentioned before, the battery life of the device can be up to one month, depending on your reading frequency.

If you, for example, read 30 minutes a day, with the brightness at level 10 – for those devices with a bright screen – and with the internet turned off, the duration can reach 8 weeks.

Background lighting is not available on your Kindle. Newer versions of the other models have brought the lighting at the top of the screen, instead of being behind, which further avoids eye fatigue.

Supported formats and how to convert files

When you buy an e-book from the Amazon store, it already comes perfectly formatted for the Kindle. Within the site itself, you can send directly to the Kindle, without the need to connect the USB cable.

For those who already have books in other formats and want to view them in the e-reader, Kindle supports files of type .mobi, .prc, .txt, and .tpz. If your texts are in .epub or .pdf format, for example, you need to convert them.

The best program currently to do this is Caliber. In addition to the conversions, it is an e-book manager that works with almost all formats and for all available e-readers.

The program even offers a cloud library that you can access from anywhere, plus the ability to download articles from the web and turn them into an e-book.

Other ways to transfer files

In addition to buying Kindle eBooks in the Amazon store and transfer them with Caliber, you can download the texts to your Kindle with the USB cable or directly from the Amazon library.

But something that not everyone knows is that when your registration on Amazon is created an email from your Kindle. You can send files to this email and they are added to the library automatically. To find out which one is yours, click here.

The email also allows download from other platforms. 12Minutos has a library of microbooks that can also be read from your Kindle.

Free Library and Kindle Unlimited

Amazon still offers an affiliate club, Kindle Unlimited, where you pay only $ 20 a month and have access to a variety of titles, including free ones. In addition to this club, the site already has a free e-book collection for you to start putting together your Kindle library.

If you haven’t already checked out the free Amazon store listing, take a look there and you’re sure to find some amazing works. Works such as The Crowdfunding Bible by Scott Steinberg and How to Work for Yourself by Brian Cohen, all these can be read without paying anything.

There you also find works on the best-selling list at very low prices. For example The Daily Entrepreneur, S. J. Scott, for only R$ 1.99 and Master Focus, I. C. Robledo, for R$ 5.99.

Bonuses: Kindle hacks

Comics and manga

One of the advantages of Kindle is being able to view image files, such as manga and comics. Who is a fan should know that the Kindle is almost the same size of physical issues and its color also favors the artwork?

You can still optimize the experience with a program called Mangle. It formats the manga and comic files, in which you have to name each image to organize on the Kindle.

Custom screen saver

To customize your screen saver, you will have to unlock your Kindle. Some websites offer instructions for this, such as EbookBR. After doing this, you can select the screen saver you want. If you want to choose one, we suggest the Kindle Blog Wallpaper.

Kindle easter eggs

Do you think you’ve found out everything about Kindle? This tip just a few knows.

If you are reading a very dense book and need to relax a bit, the Kindle has some hidden games. In the main screen, press ALT+SHIFT+M and after opening the first game press G to load the other.

Read articles from the internet on Kindle, there are lots of amazing Kindle books

Caliber offers this option, as we talked about before, but the Kindle itself also has a function to read articles from the internet.

Go to Menu -> Experimental -> Web browser and place the link to the article you want to upload.

Reading will probably be better than reading on your phone, with images disrupting page loading.

All About Kindle

So, what did you think about everything you just learned about Kindle? Do you know how to buy Kindle? Any questions? Leave your comment!

And now, how about checking out a guide on how to find good books to read?

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