Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 435
In his book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari again roams far beyond his nominal discipline, as he continues to develop many of the themes introduced in such earlier works as Sapiens and Homo Deus. The question which runs throughout the book is that of mankind's ability to adjust to a world in which environmental, technological, political, and social change is unfolding at an ever faster pace. As he puts it, "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?"
Among the subjects he covers are the waning of religion and nationalism as foci of human loyalty, and the possibility that they'll be replaced by individual human gurus. He explores the creative power of AI, its potential threat to human labor, and the forthcoming hegemony of the algorithm and the control of Big Data. He conjectures that "How do you regulate the ownership of data?" may become the central political question of the future.
In the realm of politics itself, he believes that liberalism offers the only alternative to global self-destruction and emphasizes the need for a global politics in place of the divisiveness of the current nationalist fever. Nationalist politics also present an obstacle to the repair and preservation of the environment, problems which clearly demand a global solution.
Instead of concentrating on imparting information, Harari urges educators to focus their teaching on the four Cs: critical thinking, communications, creativity, and collaboration. In a fast-changing world, the need to learn to adapt and be resilient should also become an educational imperative.
He sees the global...
(The entire section contains 435 words.)
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