I just finished The Patterning Instinct: A History of Humanity's Search for Meaning, by Jeremy Lent
which lays out how our cultures developed and how they inform our perception. I found this a deeply fascinating book that encompasses human experience from biological development over language to cultural developments and the formation of core ideas informing our actions today. It explains how modern systems theory lets us consider how everything is connected to each other and we need to weave a web of meaning in this fabric by searching for patterns, which so deeply within human nature that it appears to be indeed an instinct.
It explains how the dualistic view of the world developed in indo-european traditions and how different the culture in ancient China developed.
Now I started with There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee
We have the chance to live better than ever. But, as humans become ever more powerful, can we avoid blundering into disaster? Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first?
A book that wants to point toward an exciting future, that is worth fighting for:
The air is fresher. Life is healthier, longer and more relaxed, more fun and more exciting. Our diets are varied, tasty and healthy. More of us get out as much as we want to, both socially and physically. Travel is easier - but we spend less time in transit. We feel freer to live life in whatever way seems meaningful to each of us at the time, in negotiation with other people's equal right to do likewise. There is less violence at every level. Cities are vibrant whilst the countryside teems with wildlife. Our jobs are more interesting, and the pressures are more often self-imposed. We expect, insist on and get higher standards of trust and truth, in politics, in the media and in fact everywhere. We are better connected to the people around us and to our sens of the global community. We give mor of our time and attention to others and we notice and enjoy more of what is going on around us. We might compete with each other for fun but where it really matters we collabarate better than ever before.
Both books feature connectedness and collabaration as important themes that fundamentally characterizes human nature. The Patterning Instinct was published in 2017, but I only stumbled upon it now. There is no planet B is from this year.