Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022

The Medical Futurist's Top Ten Books to Read

I read a book every day, finishing, on average, one book /week. But this doesn’t mean I’m not picky about what I read – quite the opposite, really, I ..

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I read a book every day, finishing, on average, one book /week. But this doesn’t mean I’m not picky about what I read – quite the opposite, really, I am a demanding reader and I want my books to be both well-written and have a good storyline.

I also think a good story is exactly what we all need after this year. Immersing in a good story is also a way to keep your brain fit and your mind off the hook. And as I am happily sharing my reading experiences, I can wholeheartedly recommend a few among the many I have read this year – I promise, these are well worth your time. This is a handpicked list specialising in quality fiction and non-fiction books: all the good reads connecting to medicine, digital health, A.I. or science fiction.




My favourite non-fiction books in 2021

THINK AGAIN by Adam Grant

In two words: mind blown. Clearly, a masterpiece; in this book author Adam Grant examines the critical art of rethinking, how you can learn to question your opinions, and how you can change your old ways of thinking, and open other people’s minds, “which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life.” I learned a lot from this book, how to be a better futurist and forecaster, following these methods.



CHATTER: THE VOICE IN OUR HEAD, WHY IT MATTERS, AND HOW TO HARNESS IT by Ethan Kross

This extraordinary book has helped me a lot in regulating my inner chatter. Ethan Kross is an award-winning psychologist. In this book, he reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how to harness it to combat anxiety, improve physical and mental health. The book even comes in handy to deepen our interpersonal relationships. In fact, I would even make this book into the schools’ curriculum.



PERFECTLY CONFIDENT by Don A. Moore

I’ve been calibrating my confidence since finishing this amazing book. Author Don A. Moore, an expert on the psychology of decision making at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, argues that the generation of parents that made sure they would raise over-confident kids who could do whatever they wanted in their lives made a mistake. Over-confidence often results in bad decisions.

On the other hand, under-confidence doesn’t allow people to give a shot to their dreams. The solution for us lies in calibration.



MAN VS. MACHINE by Karsten Müller & Jonathan Schaeffer

A book all physicians who want to understand A.I. should be reading. This amazing book describes the evolution of chess machines, starting from Wolfgang von Kempelen’s The Turk, and goes all the way to the first chess software and finally the Leela Chess Zero, the world’s best chess player. My favourite quote from the book is by Monroe Newborn, computer chess developer and event organizer: ,,Masters used to come to computer chess tournaments to laugh. Now they come to watch. Soon they will come to learn.” This is exactly what physicians can expect from A.I.



NON-OBVIOUS MEGATRENDS by Rohit Bhargava

If you want to understand how single trends form the bigger picture – and our world. For the past ten years, Rohit Bhargava created his annual trend reports, including trends that are not so obvious but have a high-level effect. He didn’t focus on technology or changes, rather tries to collect them and see how they form the bigger picture. ‘Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future’ is the 10th-anniversary edition of his annual reports.

The author helps in understanding high-level trends: it is not about how one single digital health technology impacts our lives, but how having several types of digital health technologies will.



My favourite science fiction books in 2021



THE KINGDOM by Jess Rothenberg

Happily ever after, but with robots. And murder. And Disneyland. I loved it.

This book’s genius is about the viewpoint: it’s told through a robot’s perspective. Essentially, for me this story was about how Ava, the robot developed a sense of consciousness. Plus it’s set in a kind of ‘evil robot Disney world’ run by wicked scientists, which was quite interesting to peek into.



PROJECT HAIL MARY by Andy Weir

Not because we’ve shared a podium recently but because Andy Weir is a genius. An ode to science, puzzles, and, of course, to saving humankind.

Project Hail Mary is Andy Weir’s third book, after The Martian and then Artemis. “This book is part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian – while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.” But this time, our protagonist has to go all-in: if he fails, humanity, and the Earth itself, will perish.



KLARA AND THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro

Wonderful writing on artificial intelligence, the fragility of humans, love, life …and death.

Klara and the Sun by Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro is a strong and disturbing story about artificial friends (robot companions) and what kind of relationships we could build with them. If you have seen the movie The Skin I Live In by Pedro Almodóvar, you know the feeling you will have while reading this book. It’s absolutely worth your time – but it’s not a simple story to digest.



READY PLAYER TWO by Ernest Cline

If you have read the first one, you’d surely want to return to the Oasis. I do.

Ernest Cline is, without a doubt, my favourite contemporary writer. I’ve read all of his books so far and will certainly read each upcoming one. Maybe because I loved ‘Ready Player One’ so much, I didn’t really need this sequel, although it does include some brilliant technologies.



A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. by Becky Chambers

The books by author Becky Chambers are absolutely amazing: smart, well-written and emotionally considerate. These are the best kind of science fiction I have read over the past years. I call her books intercultural science fiction; I find the ways she can describe alien races and how their entirely different cultures meet each other really peculiar.

The world needs such books now more than ever, to prepare people emotionally for a technology-filled planet, where human values should remain the same even a century from today.



Hope you’ll find the time to read some of these books in 2022!

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The post The Medical Futurist’s Top 10 Books To Read appeared first on The Medical Futurist.

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By: Judit Kuszkó
Title: The Medical Futurist’s Top 10 Books To Read
Sourced From: medicalfuturist.com/books-to-read-in-2022
Published Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2022 09:00:00 +0000

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