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? 

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