Books to understand today’s and tomorrow’s world
I am often asked for reading recommendations to better comprehend the world and its evolution.
For this purpose, I find that Science Fiction books often provide insights into the future in an easily digestible and sometimes even thrilling format.
So here are my 3 reading recommendations, super easy to read, and which I believe offer a more than interesting perspective on our current world as well as its future.
I’ve truly selected captivating books that are very easy to read… even for those who read little or not at all.
So, be warned, after a few pages of reading, you might find it hard to put the book down as it’s so engrossing and you might become a bit antisocial for a few days!
Nexus by Ramez Naam is a novel that explores, among other things, brain-linking technologies called “nexus.” Ramez Naam is an Egyptian-American scientist, entrepreneur, and author. He has worked on innovative projects in the technology sector, including at Microsoft.
In a near-future setting, Kaden Lane and his friends develop an enhanced version of Nexus, allowing for communication and mental connection without any devices (even better than your mobile phone!).
This breakthrough raises ethical, political, and societal questions, while the government and radical groups attempt to control or regulate this technology. The book delves into themes of individual identity, surveillance, freedom, and moral responsibility, all while blending action and contemplation on the boundaries of technology and humanity. It’s one of my favorite books.
AI 2042 is a collaboration between Kai-Fu Lee, a Chinese AI expert, former executive at Google, and Chen Qiufan, a renowned Chinese science fiction writer.
The book presents, in the form of short stories, a forward-looking vision of AI’s evolution, its impacts on society, and its role in daily life in 2042. By combining the perspectives of an AI expert and a science fiction writer, the book offers a contemplation on the intricate interactions between humans and machines in the near future. Reading it reminded me a lot of the “Black Mirror” series.
The Circle by Dave Eggers tells the story of Mae Holland, a young woman who lands a job at “The Circle,” a powerful technology company… that everyone recognizes as Google within 3 pages!
Initially, Mae Holland is captivated by the company’s emphasis on total transparency and constant connectivity through technology. However, she quickly uncovers the dark implications of this relentless pursuit of control and surveillance. The novel explores themes of privacy, technological ethics, and the loss of intimacy in a hyper-connected world, shedding light on the personal and societal dilemmas Mae faces. All of this is done in a humorous manner.