Some Book Recommendations
Over the years, one of the most frequent questions I get is “what books would you recommend I read?” So, from time to time I give readers a selection of stimulating, mind expanding books to consider reading. Consider this my summer list for 2022.
Now, in the depth of summer, we all like a good “beach read”, which usually translates into a thriller or mystery, a “page-turner” in publishing parlance. These books recommended below are non-fiction and force the reader to think, perhaps to think differently, which is the point.
So, all of these books relate to big trends, dynamics and forces that are and will shape our world in the future.
Novacene: The Coming Age 0f Hyperintelligence James Lovelock. A beautiful, lyrical book about the next stage of human evolution, written by the scientist who invented the concept of Gaia. A unique vision that combines humanity, artificial intelligence and the climate crisis into a serene view of our future. This book was published to coincide with Lovelock’s 100th birthday in 2019. Unfortunately, he just died at age 103 in July. I think this a jewel of a book and highly recommend it.
LIFE 3.0 Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence Max Tegmark. The future of humanity and Artificial Intelligence. Tegmark, an MIT professor is one of the leading thinkers on AI and this book is breathtaking in its scope. I feel much better about the future of super intelligence with people like Tegmark at the epicenter of the global community collectively creating this evolutionary new technology. Read this and have a solid understanding about what our future might be like as super intelligence is created this century.
A Planet of 3 Billion Christopher Tucker This book altered my thinking on what humanity has to do in the face of the catastrophic global warming. The quote from Jane Goodall on the cover states it well: “Essential reading for anyone who cares about the fate of our planet and our species.” Tucker, as Chairman of the American Geographical Society, uses a beautiful maps approach to explain the multiple climates on earth. This book will change your thinking about population.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Yuval Noah Harari. Harari is one of the biggest brains on the planet today. Best known for his recasting of history with his first book “Sapiens”, I think that of his three books, this is the most profound, as it looks into this century with insight and vision. This book will change how you think about a lot of things. If you love this book – and take as many notes as I did- take a look at his follow-up book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”
Post Growth : Life After Capitalism Tim Jackson. One of the hardest things that humanity will need to do this century is to move to a post-growth form of capitalism. Given that we have never lived in non-growth economies, this is an extremely difficult idea to comprehend. But our survival might well depend upon it. This is a good introductory primer on what lies ahead as capitalism gets reinvented in a time of catastrophic global warming.
The Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail Ray Dalio Dalio is one of the most successful hedge fund managers in history. His first book “Principles” was a global best seller. He is a true thinker. The genesis for this book is that he realized that things were happening that he had never experienced. He wanted to look back at the last 2,000 years of civilization – with a focus on the last 500 years-to see how nations succeed and fail. If you are wondering whether we are living in the late stage of the American Empire, this book will be a profound read.
All of the above of course are available immediately from Amazon, and I assume, from local libraries.
The last entry on this short list is from a local Sarasota resident, Roy Wysnewski. [Note: I live in Sarasota and have met the author]A Tale of Four Graphs : An Essay About Sarasota, Florida’s Changing Climate. This book is exactly that, a short essay with four charts. The good news is that it is free if you set up a Smashwords account.[ Or you can purchase from Amazon for $.99]. This being given free is a public service as everyone reading this column can download this, and should. In four charts – history of human population over 12,000 years, carbon dioxide over 800,000 years and global average temperature over the last 2,000 years and finally a chart that shows the warming temperature of Sarasota since 1900. Read this book and it becomes clear why global warming is occurring and why this is a unique time in planetary history. It is free folks, get it and read it!
Any one of these eight books will change your thinking. Read them all and transform how you will look at the future. If you like my writings here, you might like to also read “The 2020s: The Golden Age of Design and Redesign” written by James Fathers and yours truly. This is Book 3 in the 2020s book series, and shows why almost everything in our lives will need to be either redesigned or designed anew.
The future is now. The 2020s decade is a true historical transition from what was to what will be. The future we will share in the next 20 years will be incredibly disruptive and transformative. The books listed above will help you anticipate and prepare for it