We are misusing technology

Technology ought to help people know themselves better and augment their abilities. Many free services today are built to hack and manipulate people rather than empowering them. They are value extraction machines to benefit a few.

Brief Answers To The Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

Brief Answers To The Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

Those of you who’ve read the books A Brief History Of Time and The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking, you know that he had an incredible ability to explain complex scientific topics in a simple language so the public could comprehend them. Brief Answers To the Big Questions contains frequently asked questions from him and some personal notes. The short answers are about ten pages long each, and for some, you may need at least first-year college-level knowledge of math and physics.

There is a chapter about whether there is a God or not. He doesn’t explicitly say that there is no God, but he explains why the presence of a deity and creator is redundant for a universe to come into existence.

Hawking’s books sound like philosophy to some; that’s because he strips them from his mathematical proofs and formulas. If you were ever wondering about the mathematical proofs, you could try reading his published papers instead. The rest of us with feeble scientific minds may just read his books.

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari

If you have finished reading Sapiens and experiencing withdrawals, fear no more! Homo Deus is the continuation of Sapiens, except that it is focusing on the future of humanity. The first half of the book covers historical topics about theology to humanism and science. Then it goes to discussing Data Religion, Artificial Intelligence, and genetically enhancing humans towards their next evolutionary stage. This book is rich and engaging. I think if I mention any more here, it will spoil it for you. Enjoy this read.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens A brief history of humankind

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that was hard to put down. I enjoyed every page of this book and was longing for more once I finished it. Harari is an Oxford historian and globally known intellectual who does a good job of connecting the dots. In this book, he talks about how Sapiens managed to accomplish a lot and do a lot of damage at the same time.

Sapiens covers the history of money, religion, corporations, war, technological revolution, and different ideologies. I particularly liked how he studies homo sapiens as an alien anthropologist would. Considering the current political atmosphere in the world, Sapiens answered a lot of my questions and brought clarity about how we managed to get here.

This book is an easy and engaging read. I’ve heard that Yuval has gained quite a following in Silicon Valley, especially for his next book after this called Homo Deus, which is a meditation on the future of humanity.

An Unquiet Mind – A memoir of moods and madness

This is an autobiography of Kay Redfield Jamison, a well accomplished clinical psychologist who has done plenty of research on bipolar disorder and manic depression as well as her own challenges of dealing with this type of mental illness. I have loved ones who suffer from bipolar disorder so this book was a bit emotionally intense to read for me. In the meantime, it is the best description I’ve read about the day-to-day experiences of someone suffering from BP. She also has a great sense of humor and her writing is engaging.