NEW DELHI :
The humdrum predictability of life on which we all thrive—though we are always loath to admit it—has been eroded so rapidly in the past few weeks since the worldwide coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic. We’ve been left anxious, frightened, confused, defiant—or panic buying kilos of rice and instant noodles that we hope we will never have to eat. At a time like this, Margaret Heffernan’s Uncharted: How To Map The Future Together may seem like the last book you want to read—except that it addresses the idea of accepting fundamental unpredictability of life.
In her previous book, Willful Blindness, Heffernan examined the pervasive cognitive behaviours and beliefs that blind us to what matters most. In this new book, she challenges the idea that technology will rule and asks how we can find in ourselves the freedom and imagination to create the futures we want. Drawing on history and science, her own personal experiences—she’s a serial entrepreneur, a mentor for senior executives and an award-winning author—and from the stories of celebrities, she looks at ways in which we can draw on our collective humanity and creativity to prepare for the future. Worrying that automation and AI are going to take away jobs is counterproductive; instead accept that no one knows the future—that’s when we’re most creative and empathetic, and possibilities proliferate.
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