Recommendations for reading: June 2020

2020-03-02 09.32.37
‘Business @ the Speed ​​of Thought’ (by Bill Gates) – the founder of Microsoft at the end of the last century in his book ‘Business @ the Speed ​​of Thought’ predicted a future in which there will be everything we use today (from mobile devices to comparison pages price). Gates predicted a pandemic ‘If anything kills more than 10 million people in the next few decades, it is likely to be a highly contagious virus, not a war; not rockets, but microbes, ‘Bill Gates told the TED Talks in 2015. ‘We have invested huge amounts of money in nuclear deterrents and very little in the system to stop the epidemic. We are not ready for the next epidemic. ‘He spoke about the danger that threatens us in 2018 at a panel organized by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine. Gates then referred to a simulation by the Disease Modeling Institute that determined that some new flu like the one that killed 50 million people after World War I would most likely kill 30 million people within six months. He said then that such a pandemic could happen in the next decade: ‘The world must prepare for pandemics in the same serious way as it prepares for war’.
Many people at the time thought that Gates was exaggerating, and on the eve of the outbreak of the pandemic and even when the first recordings of Wuhan sufferers began to spread around the world. There will be nothing for us, it is happening far away, in China. As the virus spread, Gates’ words suddenly gained weight.
‘We had epidemics like Ebola in Africa, which needed to prepare us,’ he explained what he meant when Ellen DeGeneres reminded him of a 2015 performance on her show. ‘Then we had Zika. But a respiratory pandemic that is spreading like this, we haven’t seen it for 100 years. ‘Man has enough money, knowledge and free time to be able to dedicate himself to what interests him. Books that the founder of Microsoft recommends we read next year have suddenly fallen into oblivion. Other of his prophecies began to be drawn from mothballs. It turned out that Gates obviously knows what he’s talking about and doesn’t stab blindly, just to amaze us. In fact, some of his predictions were so accurate that they compared him to Nostradamus. flipped through the book ‘Business @ the Speed ​​of Thought’, published back in 1999. In that work, Gates made 15 predictions that at the time might have sounded, to put it mildly, unbelievable. The future soon showed that Gates was right.
Gates then, in the 20th century, predicted the emergence of websites comparing the prices of the same or similar products from different suppliers. He announced an era in which people would wear small devices that would allow them constant contact and e-business wherever they were. They will be able to check the news on the go, see the flights they have booked, get information from the financial markets and do whatever comes to mind, all thanks to the devices we use today, from smartphones and watches to Microsoft’s HoloLens. Get about your finances and communicate with your doctors online, he wrote then. All our devices will be connected and synchronized (at home or in the office) They will exchange data. Gates has provided software that will recognize that you have booked a trip and will use that information to suggest what to do and where to go when you arrive at your destination, various discounts and special sales items. There will be services that will allow you to comment live on live broadcasts and bet on results. Television will offer links to websites with relevant content that will complement the content of what you watch, Gates predicted in 1999. The man who built the $ 90 billion business empire has, of course, also predicted devices that will use smart advertising. They will know your shopping trends and show ads tailored to your preferences. The TV show will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you watch, and people will be able to discuss issues that affect them online, such as local politics, city planning or security, while the information you receive will not be related to your location, but to your interests.
As a businessman, Gates knew that jobs and employees would be sought online. He then prophetically announced the coming era of the gig economy: ‘Companies will be able to bid for jobs, whether they are looking for a construction project, a film production or an advertising campaign. This will be effective for large companies that want to outsource work they do not normally face, companies looking for new clients and corporations that do not have a provider for the requested service. ‘
It is difficult to predict the future down to the smallest detail. Gates thought it would all take place through ‘private websites’. The future took a slightly different direction, so instead we got Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and a number of other apps that offer you the ability to keep in touch with people.
Gates foresaw many other things that had already come true to a greater or lesser extent. He predicted mass automation of work that would replace millions of human workers with robots, various intelligent and automated systems. The matter will heat up so much in this field that Gates became a proponent of taxing the introduction of automation. Seven years ago, answering questions on Reddit, Gates argued that robots would become a serious threat to humanity; that if they continue to evolve at such a rate, they will soon become more intelligent than humans and make them unnecessary. Speaking of the jobs of the future, Gates advised young people in 2017 to turn to jobs in clean energy research, biotechnology and artificial intelligence development. 2016 predicted that by 2030, most energy would come from clean sources, (wind or solar). He believes so much in a cleaner future that back in 2012, he founded a billion-dollar investment fund. The fund is focused on researching clean energy and preventing further global warming.
Gates doesn’t just see the picture of the future in pink. He predicted a pandemic. We need to take seriously his prediction that in 2030, bio-terrorists could kill millions of people in an expected attack by some sort of synthetic virus. Optimistic predictions about the world’s outlook for 2030 were written by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda in a 2015 letter.
Child mortality will also halve the number of children who die before the age of five. The number of women who die in childbirth will be reduced by two thirds. Polio will no longer haunt the world, nor will river blindness, elephantiasis and dazzling trachoma, diseases that now attack millions of people around the world. Until then, we will discover a way to stop the appearance and spread of malaria and curb HIV. Africa will become a continent that can feed all its inhabitants. Mobile banking will help the poor to radically transform their lives. Better software will change the way we are educated. This is how our life should be in ten years, if we are not all taken away by this or some other pandemic before that, which Gates also spoke about loud and clear. Gates ’guidelines are clear.

The Boy on the Bridge (by Mike R. Carey) -Cordyceps is the fungus / cause of the pandemic. It turns all infected people into aggressive gluttons. It cut the human race to a few survivors. They gathered in only a few fortified centers on Earth. One of these centers is the Lighthouse. The spread of the pandemic is being observed (with apprehension) from the Lighthouse. After many failed missions, twelve top scientists are tasked with trying to find a cure or vaccine against a vicious disease. Scientists embark on a new mission in an armored vehicle Rosalind Franklin. Twelve people each carrying their own fears, hopes and ambitions. The most distinctive among scientists is a fifteen-year-old boy. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Greaves is a member of the expedition thanks to his exceptional intelligence and gel discovery. His invention (gel) masks the smell of the human body. This prevents gluttony attacks. Stephen has difficulty communicating with the other members of the expedition. The conflict escalates among the members of the expedition when Stephen decides to hide his remarkable and incredibly important discoveries from the rest of the team.
About the author: Mike R. Carey is a distinguished British author of prose and comics. Carey began his writing career in comics. Among other comics, he wrote for the award-winning series Lucifer and X-men. The Boy on the Bridge (by Mike R. Carey) is a dystopian treat from the pen of M. R. Carey. The Boy on the Bridge is a book from 2017, also the forerunner of the author’s bestseller about the girl Melanie, according to which the film was made (starring Gemma Arterton and Glenn Close). This is a terrifying and emotionally tense story with masterfully crafted characters. This is also a book that is hard to drop. Carey is the author of the famous novels Fellside, Re-gifters, All His Engines and others.
„Lord of All the Dead“ by Javier Cercas
Javier Cercas is a novelist and columnist whose books include Soldiers of Salamis, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide; Lord of All the Dead; The Impostor; The Speed of Light; The Anatomy of a Moment; Outlaws; and the novellas The Tenant and The Motive. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have received numerous international awards. He lives in Barcelona.
Javier Cercas excels in the coordinates of a factional novel or documentary prose. Cercas tries to understand the heroes of his novels better, although he sometimes succumbs to the temptation to abolish or condemn his heroes. Cercas has the rare virtue to do a double reconstruction (life and motif) of the heroes of his novels.
In the novel “Lord of All the Dead”, the protagonist of the book is the author’s great-uncle Manuel Mena. Mena was killed at the age of nineteen in one of the bloodiest battles of the Spanish Civil War. He was an ardent phalangist and a volunteer. Mena is a five-time wounded lieutenant of the elite First Moroccan Sagittarius Battalion of Ifni, a hero. Mena is a martyr who has become a family icon.
Cercas ’family was on Franco’s side which (in their view) was logical and the only possible choice. In their remote village in Extremadura, the locals were divided only into the smaller and larger poor. As the Cercas proudly belonged to the first category (so proudly that they clung to the village patricians), they tied their sympathies to a man who promised to rule with a firm hand.Javier Cercas has always been ashamed of his ancestors and their political preferences. From childhood he felt repulsion towards a man from whom one photograph has survived and the oral tradition that he was a wonderful person.
The novel is a double chronicle – the writer’s deliberations, refusals and agreeings to grapple with the biography of a man to whom the family attributed almost saintly qualities, and key episodes in the life of a young man who became a national hero without ever sleeping with a woman. It was relatively easy to understand the motives that brought Manuela Menu to the wing of the party that would tear the Republic apart:
“The Phalanx was a party prone to overthrowing a system that, with its nonchalant prestige of utter innovation, its irresistible halo of semi-illegality, its rejection of the traditional division between right and left, its proposal to synthesize both tendencies, its perfect ideological chaos, its parallel and impossible with her appealing demagoguery, as if tailored to a student who had just left his village and who, at barely sixteen, dreamed at that decisive historical moment of ending the fear and poverty that lurked in his family and hunger with one saving move, the humiliation and injustice he saw daily on the streets of his childhood and adolescence. ”
Manuel Mena had no one near him to open his eyes in those delicate times and explain what content is hidden behind the attractive, romantic facade of rebellion. Everything he needed to learn and understand he could only do with the most expensive method, through his own skin. And the big question is whether he lived long enough to realize the true nature of the force he enthusiastically agreed to serve. Searching for rare documents and even rarer witnesses to those long-gone times, often in the company of his friend, director and writer David Trueba, Cercas a mosaic of the life story of Manuel Mene. Cercas realizes that his great-grandfather still had time to turn from a zealous, fanatical phalangist into a bitter, disappointed a veteran who became painfully aware of his own stupidity. He was stuck in a trap from which he was no longer able to escape alive.
At the heart of this book is the question of whether one can remain a good man and become, moreover, a hero fighting on the side of evil in the company of criminals. The author’s answer is far more complex than the expected “yes” or “no”, which most people would choose. That is why this layered, nuanced book should be most heartily recommended.
A Thousand Ships (by Natalie Haynes) – this is a novel about the heroines of the Trojan War. The novel is composed of chapters about mostly neglected or lukewarmly portrayed women who did not lose their lives in the war. However, they occasionally wished for such a fate. The heroines of the Trojan War were faced with what they got. Natalie Haynes is a writer, radio host and classical philologist. The novel A Thousand Ships was written from a purely female perspective. Haynes possesses a confident tone, insightful descriptions, and sometimes bitter wit. Haynes is a bit like the muse Kaliopa with whom he introduces us to the story, Natalie Haynes brings a turn to the mythological world that has been a sovereign male realm for centuries. Get to know mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and goddesses better. All these women raised, loved, destroyed and mourned the widely known heroes. Reading the novel, find out if Penelope was as gentle as we know her? Find out if Helen’s beauty was the cause of the war. Find out if motherly love is the most sincere force in the world. Impressively narrated from an overpowering female angle. The novel finally provides a voice to magnificent women and goddesses. These women were voiceless for a very long time and almost silenced. We know the stories of many women in this book as fragments of an epic tradition. In their depiction, the author perfectly balances between the Iliad and the Odyssey. Haynes shows that warfare is not the only kind of heroism. Haynes proves that sometimes mere survival is an equally heroic act.

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