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Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World
2021/09/06 11:54:17瀏覽646|回應1|推薦4

Writer:

Fareed Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist, political commentator, and author.  He is the host of CNN’s flagship international affairs show, Fareed Zakria GPS, a weekly columnist for the Washington Post. 

Story:

Lesson #1 Buckle Up

The human race has been developing at an extraordinary pace, expanding into every realm at a rate we’ve never thought was possible. It is as if we’ve built the fastest sports car ever imaginable and are driving it into the unknown. 

The problem is we’ve never bothered to equip the car with airbags. We didn’t purchase insurance. We’ve not even put on our seat belts. The engine runs hot. Parts get overheated sometimes. There have been some crashes along the way with each crash getting worse than the last.

So we occasionally stop the vehicle, tune up the suspension, redo the bodywork and fine tune the engine. But as we continue the race and get faster and faster into the unmarked terrain, it’s getting equally riskier and riskier. Maybe it’s time to install the airbags and buy some insurance. Above all, it’s time for everyone to buckle up.

 

 Lesson #2 What matters is not the quantity of government, but the quality

America was once thought to be powerful enough to never collapse. The pandemic has proven us all wrong. America could slowly edge downward muddling along with a mix of dynamic economics and dysfunctional politics that follow. 

It’s true the military still outranks all other nations on the planet, but the lives of the normal citizens continue to slip behind. The country becomes more parochial and less global, losing influence and innovation. For many years, the world needed to learn from America, but now it’s time America learns from the rest of the world. Probably what America needs most is to learn about its government – not big or small – but a good and stable government.

 

Lesson #3 Markets are not enough

Regulations, when probably tailored, ensure the level playing field for the market. Tax policies can be geared to help workers more and capitals less. The government must get back to injecting major investments into science and technology. Education also needs more funding.

The biggest challenge perhaps is to make it possible for American citizens to face that environment of global competition and technological dynamism. In staying open to the world and empowering its people, the Northern European countries such as Denmark, have found a path that’s not only secure but also dynamic and democractic. They understood that markets were amazingly powerful and needed support, buffers and supplements. America should learn from Europe, adapt their best practices to its own national realities. As the author says, there really is no alternative.

 

Lesson #4 People should listen to the experts, and experts should listen to the people

The world has gotten into chaos. We need more experts to navigate the uncertainties through these times. Experts are becoming an elite of some kind, a group whose knowledge lends them power and authority. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll see a government by gut and celebration of ignorance. America, Brazil and elsewhere have proven these results have been dismal. 

Experts are great but they must connect with people and keep their needs at the forefront. The most destructive thinking is the belief that your success makes you superior in your society. After all, in democracies, at least, the peoples’ wishes are the ultimate source of authority. So, let it be clear that as we navigate through this pandmeic, citizens need to listen to the experts and the experts need to listen to the people.

 

Lesson #5 Life is digital

As artificial intelligence (AI) is leapfrogging itself, people worry that we’ll rely too much on our computers and end up thinking of them as our friends and unable to function without them. But the truth is we’re already there (almost). Our phones can give more information than any person could. It can solve complex tasks in nanoseconds. Despite all of that, you might have never mistaken it for a friend. In fact, artificial intelligence might make us value our human companions even more, for their creativity, warmth and intimacy. For the most part of our history, we’re thought to have many qualities other than our power to calculate – bravery, loyalty, generosity, faith and love.

“The movement to digital is fast and broad and real. But perhaps one of its deepest consequences will be to make us cherish the things in us that are most humans.”

 

Lesson #6 Aristotle was right, we’re social animals

Humans build cities and cities make humans – these are two sides of the same coin. We are the reason our cities grow and sustain. Even when our cities face catastrophes, humans are naturally drawn to participate and collaborate. No global pandemic will short-circuit this human hard-wiring. In fact, the isolation following the lockdown will cause the opposite effect. 

“COVID-19 remind human race of the simple yet profound insight that by nature, we’re social animals.”

 

Lesson #7 Inequality will get worse

The most glaring inequality that the most infectious diseases have created is between the healthy and the ill. The divide between the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick is so great that one’s worldview can change permanently when crossing it.

While sometimes, a disease can erase inequalities, most of the time, it exacerbates them. If we face another pandemic, which is very likely at this point, we must recognize the need to keep everyone safe, both the rich and the poor. That’s the kind of equality we’re striving for.

“COVID-19 is forcing us to live up to a piece of wisdom that in the most fundamental and moral sense, human beings are all equal.”

 

Lesson #8 Globalization is not dead

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, the saying goes. While we’re living in a new age of technology and globalization, we’re seeing the return of one of the oldest stories in international relations – the rise of a new great power and the uneasiness this creates in the existing hegemon. Hard-edged realpolitik might be back with the rise of China and the intensifying great-power competition between it and the United States – the two largest economies on the planet.

One can confidently say that, given the levels of interdependence between the two countries, sustained conflict would be wrenching, costly and ultimately – for the average citizen of both countries – hugely counterproductive. In short, globalization isn’t dead but we could kill it.

 

Lesson #9 The world is becoming bipolar

As tense as US-China bipolarity may become, it remains embedded in this enduring, powerful, multilateral world, to which we will turn next. Looking at the shape of the international policies in the future, it’s clear – bipolarity is inevitable. A cold war is a choice.

 

Lesson #10 Sometimes the greatest realists or idealists

On the whole, the liberal international order of our time has improved the lives of more people than any previous system humans have lived with. And it has done so because it is based not on some dreamy delusion of a world in which evil is abolished and virtue reigns.

The idealism underlying liberalism is simple and practical. If people cooperate, they’ll achieve better outcomes and more durable solutions than they could acting alone. If nations could avoid war, their citizens will live longer, richer and more secure lives. If they become intertwined economically, everyones lives are better off.



Highlights vs self- reflection:

1.p6:From death and horror came science, modernity, and growth. With Covid-19, thankfully, we do not face the same mass mortality. But might our era’s pandemic provoke a similar spirit of societal introspection, an equivalent shock to our complacency?

2.p.2:We are often advised to think big. But maybe we need to start thinking small.

3.p.3: There are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks when decades happen.

4.p.9: They are all asymmetric shocks-things that start our small but end up sending seismic waves around the world.

5.p.10: The second shock was entirely different, a financial crash of a kind familiar in history. Economic anxiety breed cultural anxiety, hostility to immigration, and a nostalgic desire to return to a familiar past. Right-wing populism gained strength across the West.

6.p.10: The third shock is the one we are living through. It may be the biggest of them all, and it is certainly the most global. What began as a health-care problem in China soon became a global pandemic.

7.p.11: We now all recognize how a tiny viral particle, circulating in a bat in China’s Hubei Province, has brought the world to its knees-a real-life example of the butterfly effect. Whereby the flapping of a butterfly’s wing might influence weather patterns on the other side of the world. Small changes can have big consequences.

8.p.168:The urge to view a pathogen as coming from abroad is strong, but of course, those dieseases have rarely been known by those monikers in the places they’re named for.

9.p.169: The enterprising microbe has travelled with speed. We must pay the price of our advantages.

10.p.209: Looking at the shape of international politics in the future, it’s clear-bipolarity is inevitable. A cold was is a choice.

11.p.215: It is now common to view these kinds of lofty aspirations with cynicism. Today, many leaders proudly advocate for a narrow vision of their nations’ interests.

12.p.229: If is works, an international system that gives greater voice to more countries would result in a more vibrant democratic system.

13.p.235: Things are already changing, and in that atmosphere, further change becomes easier than ever.

14.p.242: In our times, this ugly pandemic has created the possibility for chage and reform. It has opened up a path to a new world. It’s ours to take that opportunity or squander it . Nothing is written.

 

Golden Sentence:

1.p.185:The technological revolutions that drove the era were stunning-telegraphs, telephones, redio, trains, steamships, automobiles, and electric lighting. Trade had swelled to unprecedented levels.

2.p.145:For him, humans are unusual animals in that they are not fully formed at birth. They must be shaped by their environment, and the surroundings that are best at molding them into fully formed adults is the city.

3.p.78: The reality is that science does not yield one simple answer, especially not with a new phenomenon like the coronavirus

4.p.186:History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.

Conclusion:

1.We used to cost more for a three-minute long-distance call. Everything is more convenient, even for the virus. Rose is beautiful , we also need to accept his thorn.

2. “History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.”, we must listen to it carefully.

3.Economic growth, one world, two powers. We need to reconsider what is most important to our life.

4. Pandemic changes the world, but who changes faster wins the ticket to enter the new era.

5.A digital economy is coming. We need to learn our new life style.

6.Regulations can ensure that competition is free and fair. We need to have the new rules to set the new games.

7. We can only move forward.

 

Questions by Florence:

Dear All,

While we are reading this book, it has been a period of time since the book was published in 2020. There have been a lot of changes for the evolution of coronavirus for now.  In addition, this book was aimed at the president Donald John Trump, who was in power at that time. The author - Fareed doubted many deficiencies in Trumps  governance. 

Author: Fareed Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist, political commentator, and author.  He is the host of CNN’s flagship international affairs show, Fareed Zakria GPS, a weekly columnist for the Washington Post. 

 

Summary of Ten Lessons for Post-Pandemic World

Lesson #1 Buckle Up

The human race has been developing at an extraordinary pace, expanding into every realm at a rate we’ve never thought was possible. It is as if we’ve built the fastest sports car ever imaginable and are driving it into the unknown. 

The problem is we’ve never bothered to equip the car with airbags. We didn’t purchase insurance. We’ve not even put on our seat belts. The engine runs hot. Parts get overheated sometimes. There have been some crashes along the way with each crash getting worse than the last.

So we occasionally stop the vehicle, tune up the suspension, redo the bodywork and fine tune the engine. But as we continue the race and get faster and faster into the unmarked terrain, it’s getting equally riskier and riskier. Maybe it’s time to install the airbags and buy some insurance. Above all, it’s time for everyone to buckle up.

 

 Lesson #2 What matters is not the quantity of government, but the quality

America was once thought to be powerful enough to never collapse. The pandemic has proven us all wrong. America could slowly edge downward muddling along with a mix of dynamic economics and dysfunctional politics that follow. 

It’s true the military still outranks all other nations on the planet, but the lives of the normal citizens continue to slip behind. The country becomes more parochial and less global, losing influence and innovation. For many years, the world needed to learn from America, but now it’s time America learns from the rest of the world. Probably what America needs most is to learn about its government – not big or small – but a good and stable government.

 

Lesson #3 Markets are not enough

Regulations, when probably tailored, ensure the level playing field for the market. Tax policies can be geared to help workers more and capitals less. The government must get back to injecting major investments into science and technology. Education also needs more funding.

The biggest challenge perhaps is to make it possible for American citizens to face that environment of global competition and technological dynamism. In staying open to the world and empowering its people, the Northern European countries such as Denmark, have found a path that’s not only secure but also dynamic and democractic. They understood that markets were amazingly powerful and needed support, buffers and supplements. America should learn from Europe, adapt their best practices to its own national realities. As the author says, there really is no alternative.

 

Lesson #4 People should listen to the experts, and experts should listen to the people

The world has gotten into chaos. We need more experts to navigate the uncertainties through these times. Experts are becoming an elite of some kind, a group whose knowledge lends them power and authority. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll see a government by gut and celebration of ignorance. America, Brazil and elsewhere have proven these results have been dismal. 

Experts are great but they must connect with people and keep their needs at the forefront. The most destructive thinking is the belief that your success makes you superior in your society. After all, in democracies, at least, the peoples’ wishes are the ultimate source of authority. So, let it be clear that as we navigate through this pandmeic, citizens need to listen to the experts and the experts need to listen to the people.

 

Lesson #5 Life is digital

As artificial intelligence (AI) is leapfrogging itself, people worry that we’ll rely too much on our computers and end up thinking of them as our friends and unable to function without them. But the truth is we’re already there (almost). Our phones can give more information than any person could. It can solve complex tasks in nanoseconds. Despite all of that, you might have never mistaken it for a friend. In fact, artificial intelligence might make us value our human companions even more, for their creativity, warmth and intimacy. For the most part of our history, we’re thought to have many qualities other than our power to calculate – bravery, loyalty, generosity, faith and love.

“The movement to digital is fast and broad and real. But perhaps one of its deepest consequences will be to make us cherish the things in us that are most humans.”

 

Lesson #6 Aristotle was right, we’re social animals

Humans build cities and cities make humans – these are two sides of the same coin. We are the reason our cities grow and sustain. Even when our cities face catastrophes, humans are naturally drawn to participate and collaborate. No global pandemic will short-circuit this human hard-wiring. In fact, the isolation following the lockdown will cause the opposite effect. 

“COVID-19 remind human race of the simple yet profound insight that by nature, we’re social animals.”

 

Lesson #7 Inequality will get worse

The most glaring inequality that the most infectious diseases have created is between the healthy and the ill. The divide between the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick is so great that one’s worldview can change permanently when crossing it.

While sometimes, a disease can erase inequalities, most of the time, it exacerbates them. If we face another pandemic, which is very likely at this point, we must recognize the need to keep everyone safe, both the rich and the poor. That’s the kind of equality we’re striving for.

“COVID-19 is forcing us to live up to a piece of wisdom that in the most fundamental and moral sense, human beings are all equal.”

 

Lesson #8 Globalization is not dead

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, the saying goes. While we’re living in a new age of technology and globalization, we’re seeing the return of one of the oldest stories in international relations – the rise of a new great power and the uneasiness this creates in the existing hegemon. Hard-edged realpolitik might be back with the rise of China and the intensifying great-power competition between it and the United States – the two largest economies on the planet.

One can confidently say that, given the levels of interdependence between the two countries, sustained conflict would be wrenching, costly and ultimately – for the average citizen of both countries – hugely counterproductive. In short, globalization isn’t dead but we could kill it.

 

Lesson #9 The world is becoming bipolar

As tense as US-China bipolarity may become, it remains embedded in this enduring, powerful, multilateral world, to which we will turn next. Looking at the shape of the international policies in the future, it’s clear – bipolarity is inevitable. A cold war is a choice.

 

Lesson #10 Sometimes the greatest realists or idealists

On the whole, the liberal international order of our time has improved the lives of more people than any previous system humans have lived with. And it has done so because it is based not on some dreamy delusion of a world in which evil is abolished and virtue reigns.

The idealism underlying liberalism is simple and practical. If people cooperate, they’ll achieve better outcomes and more durable solutions than they could acting alone. If nations could avoid war, their citizens will live longer, richer and more secure lives. If they become intertwined economically, everyones lives are better off.


Questions of the Book

 

1. Three great crises of the 21 century - 9/11, the financial crash, and Covid-19, one political, one enomic, and one natural, now, what is the critical crisis that the earth now faces, apart from the existing disease Covid-19?

Nature creatures? War? Water resources? Soil erosion? Carbon emission? Climate changes?

p.169: The enterprising microbe has travelled with speed. We must pay the price of our advantages.

 

2. Do you think the United States is a great country in history? Compare the past and Now?

p.229: If is works, an international system that gives greater voice to more countries would result in a more vibrant democratic system.

 

3. According to the Author’s view, the Danish model embraces the dynamism at the heart of the modern, globalized world and yet eases the anxieties it produces. Do you think America is that kind of country? What other countries?

 

4. “War is not just an act of policy but a true political instrument”.  Do you believe that "war is too important to be left to the generals"?

p.215: It is now common to view these kinds of lofty aspirations with cynicism. Today, many leaders proudly advocate for a narrow vision of their nations’ interests.

p.209: Looking at the shape of international politics in the future, it’s clear-bipolarity is inevitable. A cold was is a choice.

 

5. From the development of technology to the transformation of AI, we apply it to biology and computers.  Is such a major change helpful to the significance of human survival? With AI, we should understand what survival value humans should have for the time being?

.p.235: Things are already changing, and in that atmosphere, further change becomes easier than ever.

 

6. As we know from the book, the author Fareed criticized Trump for many shortcomings of his administration policies, can you describe his character?

p.215: It is now common to view these kinds of lofty aspirations with cynicism. Today, many leaders proudly advocate for a narrow vision of their nations’ interests.

 

7. According to the author’s point of view, America is an inequality country, especially in Trump’s age.  Do you think their societys wealth flows to only the top 10% of the country?  Why? Does social welfare take care of most people in America?  Do we have this phenomephy in Taiwan? No matter rich or poor, what are the essential policies that the government needs to take care of the people while the coronavirus pandemic strikes the world?

A digital economy is coming. We need to learn our new life style.

Regulations can ensure that competition is free and fair. We need to have the new rules to set the new games.

 

8. While the information digitized, technology, AI, accelerated the world change, global commerce connected together into globalization. The author is worried about globalization creating the rise of a new country, China. Do you think China will be the hegemon in this century? Do you think China will be back to the hard-edged realpolitik and intensify great-power competition with the United States? Will the two largest economies be interdependent? sustain conflict? set off a world war?

p.209: Looking at the shape of international politics in the future, it’s clear-bipolarity is inevitable. A cold was is a choice.

 

9. While the two US & China countries compete for world hegemony, What is the result if the international system becomes as tense as US-China bipolarity? How do the world face the situation?

p.209: Looking at the shape of international politics in the future, it’s clear-bipolarity is inevitable. A cold was is a choice.

 

10. From the Ten lessons for a post-pandemic world, the author tells us we need to understand the international system in order to be peaceful. What do you think of the systems?

p.229: If is works, an international system that gives greater voice to more countries would result in a more vibrant democratic system.Dear All,


After three months of a novel coronavirus pneumonia attack in Taiwan, it has gradually returned to normal, but it still maintains at level two, so there are still some bottlenecks in gathering place.  This time, we will change our meeting to Hi-Lai Cafe 1 floor.  We also have some new guests online to discuss with us, so we will use the function of Google Meet to contact online friends.  Lily will help me to do the connection. We will send you the code of google meet before the meeting starts.


Our Sept. Activity
Book:    Ten Lessons For a Post-Pandemic World
Author:  Fareed Zakaria
Leader: Florence Cheng
Food:    Available 
Time:    1 p.m. Sept. 6, 2021
Place:   Hi-Lai Cafe 1 floor.  1F, No. 767,  Bo-Ai 2 Road, Zuo Ying District, Kaohsiung.  
                 Tel:07-3459477  高雄市左營區博愛二路767號, ( enter from Nan-Bing gate)
Parking: 1. Hanshin Arena Shopping Plaza, 漢神巨蛋購物廣場
              2. parking lot at Nan-Bing Road (just across from 1Fl. Hi-Lai Cafe) 
We can have a luncheon before the meeting starts, we look forward to seeing you soon.  Please let me know if you cant attend the meeting.

Florence Cheng - Correspondent

Book Club Meeting                           

Sep. 6th 2021.  

Fareed Zakaria, Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World

Led by Florence

 

In Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World, Fareed Zakaria render us the inspiration to face more than death and horror but also asymmetric shocks and introspection. With Covid-19, thankfully, we do not face the same mass mortality. But might our era’s pandemic provoke a similar spirit of societal butterfly effect, an equivalent shock to our complacency. A huge thanks to Florence, a great leader filled with wits and outstanding organization. Carol, set the best positive attitude to face the Post-Vaccination Syndrome. And all the other participants: Ming-li, Joe, Laura, Lydia, Lily, Cathy make our discussion turn out so excellent.

“The enterprising microbe has travelled with speed. We must pay the price of our advantages.” We need to cultivate more for all our best personality to face together against the invisible enemy. It’s the worst time but also the best time to see our inside out, never be so arrogant but more humble to appreciate what we have.

“Humans must be shaped by their environment, and the surroundings that are best at molding them into fully formed adults is the city. The reality is that science does not yield one simple answer, especially not with a new phenomenon like the coronavirus, History doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.” We only can walk forward, so we need to stick together. Don’t be synical, it’s a time to cooperate again!

“Don’t take stone to hit yourself! To see Taiwan from the world, don’t see the world from Taiwan” Ming-li remind us again and again, and we keep nodding our heads hardly.

“There are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks when decades happen.” Cherish the time that we can share our thought. Next month our meeting will be held on Monday 4th Oct, and the novel will be “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng led by Carol. It will be so much joy to hear her witty thoughts. so please come if you can! 

Human Life and economic activities are interdependent and intertwined.  Each country cannot survive alone.  Countries can compete with each other but need to cooperate with each other, too. (by Florence)


October Activity

Book:    What I didnt see

Author:  Karen Joy Fowler

Leader:  Clive Hazell 

Time:    1 p.m. October 4, 2021

Place:   uncertain              

We can have lunch at the restaurant before the meeting, but the meeting place still needs to be reconfirmed.  Take Care of Yourself during the epidemic period.

 

 

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2021/09/07 12:15
This article is way too long for a good read. The key lesson of Pandemic is not trusting the Taiwan government nor the President. 崇拜
Bifröst Kærlighed(readingclub) 於 2021-09-07 17:15 回覆:

thank you for your truehearted sharing

best regards!