Nedávne knižky

Yuval Noah Harari: 21 lessons for the 21st century – 21 krátkych kapitol, každá na inú tému: vzdelanie, terorizmus, migrácia, náboženstvo, úpadok liberálnych demokracií, pokrok v umelej inteligencii a biotechnológiách, všetko s vyhliadkou na niekoľko desiatok rokov do budúcnosti. Harari je historik, ale v tejto knihe sa snaží interpretovať súčasnosť a poukázať, kam smerujeme a čo z toho vieme (a čo nevieme) ovplyvniť. Ak by ste mali čítať práve jednu knihu z tohto zoznamu, tak túto.

Most people who go on identity quests are like children going treasure hunting. They find only what their parents have hidden for them in advance.

If we are willing to make such efforts in order to understand foreign cultures, unknown species and distant planets, it might be worth working just as hard in order to understand our own minds. And we had better understand our minds before the algorithms make our minds up for us

Questions you cannot answer are much better for you than answers you cannot question

because liberalism is losing credibility exactly when the twin revolutions in information technology and biotechnology confront us with the biggest challenges our species has ever encountered. The merger of infotech and biotech might soon push billions of humans out of the job market and undermine both liberty and equality

You might object that people were asked ‘What do you think?’ rather than ‘What do you feel?’, but this is a common misperception. Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights

it would perhaps be helpful to view immigration as a deal with three basic conditions or terms:
Term 1: The host country allows the immigrants in.
Term 2: In return, the immigrants must embrace at least the core norms and values of the host country, even if that means giving up some of their  traditional norms and values.
Term 3: If the immigrants assimilate to a sufficient degree, over time they become equal and full members of the host country. ‘They’ become ‘us’.

I am aware that many people might be upset by my equating religion with fake news, but that’s exactly the point. 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)

On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some mythology. If you stick to unalloyed reality, few people will follow you 

Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate ways. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power

To run fast, don’t take much luggage with you. Leave all your illusions behind. They are very heavy.

[liberal narratives] assumed that as long as we give students lots of data and a modicum of freedom, the students will create their own picture of the world, and even if this generation fails to synthesise all the data into a coherent and meaningful story of the world, there will be plenty of time to construct a good synthesis in the future. We have now run out of time.

So what should we be teaching? Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things, and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations

Ernest Cline: Ready Player One – Približne pred rokom som čítala tri knihy od Suareza, v ktorých sa zaujímavo prelínal skutočný svet s virtuálnou realitou. Aj som ich odporúčala niekoľkým ľuďom, ktorí majú radi podobné čítanie a na oplátku som dostala tip na túto knihu. (Nedávno bol k nej aj film, ktorý sa ale knihy nejako veľmi svedomito nedrží.) Nepáčila sa mi. (Ani ten film.) Je taká… pre zarytých fanúšikov (starých) počítačových hier.

For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.

Ramez Naan: Nexus – Toto je úplne iné kafe. Tiež sci-fi, a tiež dosť akčné, ale veľmi zaujímavé na rozmýšľanie. Experimentálna nano-droga je schopná prepojiť ľudské mysle. Niektorí ju chcú vylepšiť a použiť na dobré účely, niektorí ju chcú zakázať a niektorí ju chcú zneužiť. Za povšimnutie stojí, že podobne ako v Suarezových knižkách, pokrok (nech už je definícia tohto slova akákoľvek) v tejto oblasti netlačí Amerika (ani Čína, ani Rusko), ale juhovýchodná Ázia. Je fajn, že má ešte dve pokračovania.

War between those who accept the limitations of “humanity” and those who embrace the power of the possible is inevitable.

Naomi Alderman: The Power – Náš vpodstate dnešný svet, ale niečo je v ňom iné. V mladých dievčatách sa zobudí sila. Dotykom môžu spôsobiť neskutočnú bolesť alebo aj smrť. Príbeh je porozprávaný z pohľadu štyroch postáv (troch žien a jedného muža) a prejde cez všeliake možné situácie, v ktorých sa muži, nie ženy, boja o svoju fyzickú bezpečnosť. Rozoberá aj terorizmus, náboženstvo, stereotypy. A na konci ukáže, že nevybalansovaná sila má nedobné dôsledky bez ohľadu na to, v koho rukách (doslovne) sa ocitne.

They’re doing it because they’ve been told to.’Tunde thinks, No, that’s not the reason. The reason is because they can


there are still places today where boy babies are routinely aborted, or have their dicks ‘curbed’. This can’t have happened to women in the time before the Cataclysm. We talked about evolutionary psychology before – it would have made no evolutionary sense for cultures to abort female babies on a large scale or to fuck about with their reproductive organs!

Rebecca Solnit: Men explain things to me – Z feministických ešte táto. Malá knižka, zopár esejí, nie všetky rovnako dobré, ale tá prvá z nich by mala byť povinné čítanie pre všetkých.

but the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. Some men.

not to speak of the countless women who came before me and were not allowed into the laboratory, or the library, or the conversation, or the revolution, or even the category called human

Milena Holcová: Lidi aneb Cestování je série omylů, ale jeden je zajímavější než druhý – staršia knižka od mamy českej novinárky, ktorá spolupracovala s Kuciakom. Sú to príbehy a postrehy z ciest po Kube, Pakistane, Afganistane a niekoľkých afrických krajinách. O ľuďoch, kultúre, predsudkoch a všeličom inom. Páčila sa aj Mišovi.

Na cestách jsem nezčernala ani si neoblíbila hedžáb (povinné zahalení žen), ani nepropadla šarmu Fidela Castra. Nepřivezla jsem si žádné suvenýry a obávám se, že ani zmoudření. Zůstávám hluboce zakořeněna ve střední Evropě, jsem jen poněkud zmatenejší. Ráda bych vás touto knížkou přesvědčila, že právě pochybnosti jsou to nejcennejší, co je možno si z cest přivézt.

Pak [Martina] čeká zoufale nudný den v mužské společnosti. Posedávání ve stínu a hledání důvodů, proč nic nejde.

Charles C. Mann: The wizard and the prophet – Dva prelínajúce sa životopisy a svetonázory. William Vogt, jeden z prvých ľudí, ktorí začali šíriť ekologické zmýšľanie, a pracovať na tom, aby rýchlo rastúca ľudská populácia nezdevastovala planétu. On a jeho nasledovníci sú v knižke pracovne nazvaní prophets. Na druhej strane Norman Borlaugh, človek ktorý dostal Nobelovu cenu za mier a odhaduje sa, že vďaka nemu miliarda ľudí nehladovala. Trpezlivo pracoval na tom, aby prekonával limity dané prírodou a veril, že ľudstvo má šancu na prežitie práve preto, že dokáže vymýšľať nové riešenia (wizards).

Moreover, the ship is too large to turn quickly. If the Wizardly route is chosen, genetically modified crops cannot be bred and tested overnight. Similarly, carbon-sequestration techniques and nuclear plants cannot be deployed instantly. Prophet-style methods—planting huge numbers of trees to suck carbon dioxide from the air, for instance, or decoupling the world’s food supply from industrial agriculture—would take equally long to pay off. Because backtracking is not easy, the decision to go one way or the other is hard to change.


middle section of this book, I invite the reader to put on, as it were, Vogtian and Borlaugian spectacles and look at four great, oncoming challenges: food, water, energy, and climate change. Sometimes I think of them as Plato’s four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Earth represents agriculture, how we will feed the world. Water is drinking water, as vital as food. Fire is our energy supply. Air is climate change, a by-product, potentially catastrophic, of our hunger for energy.


Why and how did humankind become “successful”? And what, to an evolutionary biologist, does “success” mean, if self-destruction is part of the definition? 

Dovolenkové čítanie

Artemis (Andy Weir) – Druhá kniha chlapíka, ktorý napísal Marťana. Tentokrát je hrdinkou mladá žena a dej sa odohráva na Mesiaci. Rýchle a ľahké čítanie, ale ani zďaleka nie také dobré ako Marťan. Príliš akčný film pripravený na sfilmovanie.

By the way, we also hate it when people . . . call Artemis “the city in space.” We’re not in space; we’re on the moon. I’m mean, technically, we’re in space, but so is London. 

On a scale from one to ‘invade Russia in winter,’ how stupid is this plan?

Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb) – o tom, aký vplyv majú veľmi nepravdepodobné veci. Človek odchovaný na klasickej štatistike (na to mám aj nejaké papiere) a gaussových krivkách povie, že malý. Ale Taleb hovorí, že treba dávať veľký pozor na takúto intuíciu. Dá sa na ňu spoľahnúť pri číslach týkajúcich sa výšky, váhy, v prírode merateľných vecí, ale zlyháva, keď sa bavíme o akciových trhoch, sociálnych sieťach, predajoch kníh a iných moderných vymoženostiach. Zaujímavé, pár dobrých odporúčaní, ako si dávať pozor na čierne labute a profitovať z nich, ale knihe by určite prospelo zoškrtanie na asi tretinu objemu (text a argumenty sa príliš opakujú) a keby autorovi niekto vysvetlil, čo je to sebareflexia (tak samoľúby a arogantný text, ako bol tento, treba hľadať).

Pasteur said, like all great discoverers, he knew something about accidental discoveries. The best way to get maximal exposure is to keep researching. Collect opportunities

Look into your own existence. Count the significant events, the technological changes, and the inventions that have taken place in our environment since you were born and compare them to what was expected before their advent. How many of them came on a schedule? Look into your own personal life, to your choice of profession, say, or meeting your mate, your exile from your country of origin, the betrayals you faced, your sudden enrichment or impoverishment. How often did these things occur according to plan?

Almost everything in social life is produced by rare but consequential shocks and jumps; all the while almost everything studied about social life focuses on the “normal,” particularly with “bell curve” methods of inference that tell you close to nothing. Why? Because the bell curve ignores large deviations, cannot handle them, yet makes us confident that we have tamed uncertainty.

One useful trick, I discovered, is to avoid listening to the question of the interviewer, and answer with whatever I have been thinking about recently. Remarkably, neither the interviewers nor the public notices the absence of correlation between question and answer.

Deamon a FreedomTM (Daniel Suarez) – takéto knihy väčšinou nečítam: príliš krvavé, zbytočne explicitne hnusne násilné. Ale tento dvojdielny thriller ma chytil na zaujímavý základ. Mŕtvy programátor začne sofistikovane vraždiť. Dokáže preniesť do skutočného sveta počítačovú hru. A v druhej časti to podať tak, že možno je práve toto je to, čo (my, ľudia) potrebujeme… Desivé, uveriteľné, na rozmýšľanie. Chystám sa prečítať si ešte Suarezovu knihu o CRISPR Change Agent.

Now combine an application like that—a widely distributed entity that never dies—with tens of millions of dollars and the ability to purchase goods and services. It’s answerable to no one and has no fear of punishment.

Humanity had always trafficked in oppression. Before the corporate marketing department got ahold of it, it was called conquest. Now it was regional development. Vikings and Mongols were big on revenue targets, too—but Leland had dispensed with all the tedious invading, and had taken a page out of the Roman playbook by hiring the locals to enslave each other as franchisees.

We basically used oil and aquifer water to temporarily boost the carrying capacity of the land, all for economic growth demanded by Wall Street investors. It’s a crazy system that only makes sense when you foist all the costs onto taxpayers in the form of crop subsidies that benefit agribusiness, and defense spending to secure fossil fuels. We’re basically paying for corporations to seize control of the food supply and dictate to us the terms under which we live.

Playful Parenting (Lawrence Cohen) – Často ma nebaví hrať sa s deťmi. Alebo som unavená a nechce sa mi. Táto kniha bez akéhokoľvek obviňovania alebo moralizovania hovorí, prečo a ako sa deti potrebujú hrať, dáva konkrétne príklady a ukazuje, ako hranie sa rodičov deťmi môže pomôcť prekonávať rôzne ťažkosti a konflikty. Inšpiratívne pre rodičov detí od škôlkárov po prvý stupeň základnej školy. (Toto bola jediná papierová, ktorú som mala v Thajsku so sebou.)

Children don’t say, “I had a hard day at school today; can I talk to you about it?” They say, “Will you play with me?

If they don’t think we will play, they may not even ask. They just go about their business, and we go about ours, and we all miss chance after chance to reconnect.

Using Playful Parenting, we can help children release all this emotion in ways that aren’t hurtful to others. We do this by just spending lots of time giggling together, but also with some specific techniques. To help children with fears, for example, it often helps to play as if you are the one who is scared, and really exaggerate it. Make sure they don’t feel mocked or humiliated. It helps if you don’t imitate them exactly, but just take the general idea and exaggerate it.

The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson) – Sanderson je môj obľúbený autor. A toto je prvý diel trojdielneho fantasy eposu. Nie je nejako úžasný, je celkom rozťahaný a je o svete so zvláštnou mágiou, dlhou históriou a komplikovanými postavami. Dobre sa číta a dobre sa pri ňom zaspáva (mala som ho rozčítaný už asi od septembra, lebo vždy dám len pár strán pred tým, ako zaspím).

Ignorance is the natural state of human mind.

Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.

Words are not meant to be kept inside. They are free creatures and if locked away, they will cause trouble inside.

Robin (Zdena Frýbová) – Od Frýbovej som na strednej škole prečítala všetko, čo mali v mestskej knižnici. Najväčší dojem vtedy zanechala kniha Z neznámých důvodů. Taký, že sa síce chystám niekedy si ju prečítať ešte raz, ale trochu sa bojím do toho ísť, aby som nebola sklamaná. Robin vtedy v knižnici nebol. Kolegyňa mi ho pred vianocami požičala, po tom, čo som jej rozprávala, že náš Kubo nepije vpodstate nič okrem vody. Občas sa dá ukecať na džús a po celkom dlhom skúšaní sa mi podarilo nájsť konkrétny čaj (lipovo-šípkový), ktorý si dá. V knižke manželia, ktorých deti sa už odsťahovali z domu, dostanú foxteriéra Robina. A Robin má ku jedlu podobný prístup, ako náš Kubo ku pitiu. Plus ďalšie humorne zveličené príhody, ktoré zažívajú s tvrdohlavým psom.

Je s podivem, že jsme se nikdy nehádali ani kvůli dětem, ačkoli nám svým temperamentem dávaly pěkně zabrat. Já, jakožto psycholog hlásající, že duše dítěte je křehká a snadno zranitelná, proto se k němu musí přistupovat vždy s laskavým pochopením a vést klidný dialog, jsem na ně ječívala a mlátila je vším, co jsem právě měla v ruce. Honza mi dodnes připomíná, jak jsem ho jednou nakopla, čímž jsem prý doživotně narušila jeho zdravý vztah k ženám vůbec.
Rudolf, hňápajíci se v psychologii lidských vztahů jako slon v porcelánu a proklamující barbarský názor, že děti jsou sběř, kterou je nutno řezat a systematicky decimovat, na ně v životě hlas nezvýšil, natož aby na ně přiložil pravici. 
Normální děti by se v takové rodině před matkou třásly a otcem by zametaly. Naše zrůdičky se se mnou bouřlivě handrkovaly, mazlily, hádaly… a k Rudolfovi pociťovaly respekt. Vydal-li výjimečně nějaký příkaz, podrobily se mu, a když došlo na větší průšvih třeba ve škole, úpěly: „Maminko, prosím tě, jen ať se to nedozví táta.” Prostě naše manželství plynulo v pokojném souzvuku, který po odchodu dětí z domova nerušilo už vůbec nic.
To vše se rázem změnilo příchodem Robina. Začali jsme se s Rudolfem hádat.

Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (Sandra Steingraber) – Túto som nečítala na dovolenke, ale ešte niekedy na jeseň, len som sa nedostala k tomu, aby som si z nej odložila aspoň zopár viet. V každej kapitole sa prelína osobná materská skúsenosť s nejakým problémom týkajúcim sa životného prostredia. Strašidelné, veľmi dobre napísané, len miestami trošku iritujúce (too much privilege). 

Here was an interesting truth about entering motherhood for the second time: I was just having a baby; I wasn’t taking on a new identity. Furthermore, I now carried with me a skill set.

Nevertheless, I was now starting to suspect that having two children was going to require of me something that having only one didn’t. Of course, it went without saying that another baby was going to eat whatever was left of my solitude. That was an easy prediction.
I’d been a mother for fewer years than three. Being a nonparent still felt like my normal state. It was still a surprise to wake up and find a child in my house. But I wasn’t nostalgic. In my experience, a happy single life was like an exotic orchid with particular moisture, light, and temperature requirements. It required a lot of tending. You had to make weekend plans, have a therapist or a pet, and keep track of how many days had passed since you had last dined with someone. Small disappointments had to be monitored lest they balloon into despair.
When you are by yourself, surreal things can happen: You could get lost in a rainforest while hiking to a study site and then step on a snake at the precise moment you realize that you had neglected to tell anyone where you were going. Or an infected salivary gland could send you to the ER on Thanksgiving morning. Five hours later, you might find yourself shivering with fever in a check-out line at a Walgreens, a scrip for antibiotics in one hand, a can of condensed mushroom soup in the other, and a homeless guy in front of you kindly offering to give you, the girl with the puffed-out face, his can of tuna fish. Which makes a nice story but you have no one to tell it to. (Until now.)

Entire regulatory systems are premised on the assumption that all members of the population basically act, biologically, like middle-aged men. The laws and rules so generated by those systems are thus blinded to the unique characteristics of children that should be obvious to everyone.
S Kubinom sme prečítali Zošidlo a s Kikou asi polovicu Anny zo Zeleného domu. S tou Annou to bolo výborné, lebo na Koh Libong sme sa zoznámili s troma Austrálčanmi (spoločne sme na ostrov docestovali loďkou) a keď potom jedného dňa videli Kiku s knižkou, tak sa jej pýtali, že čo číta. Stačilo ukázať obálku, niektoré knihy sú okamžite rozpoznateľné. (Spýtali sa aj Kuba, ale o Zošidlovi nikto z nich dovtedy nepočul.)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...