Book List of 2020

Books read during Covid-19 with short summary

  1. Pilgrimage to eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith – Timothy Egan (Dec 2019 – Jan 2020) – Great travel log with self-reflection during his journey from England to Rome, Via Francigena, 1200 miles medieval route Canterbury to Rome. Very moving self-reflection with great facts on various Catholic churches’ history in France and various Saints. Saint Francis’s description was very moving so was many descriptions of various others. He shared his feelings toward a corrupted church with a long history of abuse and corruption and yet felt the pull of something “greater”. He ends with the word “Pilgrim’s progress: There is no way. The way is made by walking” we are all in this pilgrimage travel of life that we walk on….
  2. Life After College, Jeffrey J Selingo – Book about what to do after college but the author talked about 3 types of students, a motivator (who knows what they want and pursuing), an explorer/wanderer (not sure of what to study, and meandering type but arrives or focus on later), lost soul (who doesn’t know what to study and struggles through college). The author gives advice on what’s important in college and how it can help you pursue your career. Not just how to book but also give insights to how things have changed over the years w/ changing of the world.
  3. A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel – Amor Towles – A beautifully written book spanning 50 years long of a man in Russia. Very surprising ending and lots of wisdom shared in the book about life.
  4. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Yuval Harari, is another great book full of historical perspectives as well as thought-provoking arguments the author makes.  3-part series starting with Sapien book.
    • The world is changing too fast for some
    • Past experiences could be that they might be wisdom to share OR just outdated bias
    • Four Cs
      • Critical thinking -> Communicate -> Creativity -> Collaborate 
    • Instead of identifying traits in the group, look for common conflicts (or problems) to set up group identity. 
    • Will impact daily living and jobs – (AI/Big data algorithm/Bio-engineering)
    • What is Creative? – “finding a problem and then solving them”
  5. Post Corona – Scott Galloway: A short book composed and organized mostly from his personal blog post. Has very good insights into post-covid-19 world.
    • Scarcity creates value
    • College =  (Education x experience x credential)/ Tuition. 1400% increase since 1980’s. Increase in price without Value = Failure
    • Conflating Luck and Talent is dangerous
    • Conflating Freedom with NOT Civic duty is STUPID. 
    • The franchise model made Uber take 20%, pay 4-8%
    • Conflate Gov’t into an entertainment product
    • Protect people NOT jobs, Protect jobs, NOT Corporation, Protect Corporation, NOT Share Holders. 
      • People (give highest protection) -> Job -> Corporation -> Shareholders
    • Kurt Vonnegut “Step backward, after making a wrong turn, it is a step in the right direction”
    • Product Age NOT Brand Age
    • Disruption – Education & Health Care
  6. A.I. Super Powers – China/Silicon Valley – Kai-Fu Lee
    • AI needs 1. Abundant data, 2) tenacious environment 3).well train AI scientist 4). favorite gov’t policy
    • The difference in the political system – US combative political system aggressively punishing missteps OR waste funding technological upgrade/China – techno-utilitarian approach rewards proactive investment and adoption
    • Four capabilities – 1)internet AI, 2) Business AI  3) Perception AI  4) Autonomous AI – car/machine 2 industries. 
    • Two categories of replacement threaten the jobs 
      • 1-on-1 replacement
      • Ground-up disruption
    • By 2030, reduce 20-25% of labor reduced, and fewer employees need which translates to ~ 30 to 40 million people. 

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