Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, both recommend reading the same book on meditation for dealing with stress and insecurity: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari.
The book contains essays on the “future of mankind” and how society is challenged and influenced by technology and information. Harari’s suggestion is to use meditation to address the many worries or fears we may have about the future, including topics such as climate change, terrorism, artificial intelligence, and privacy.
“The trick to put an end to our fears [Harari] suggests we don’t stop worrying, “Gates wrote in a 2018 blog post.” It’s about knowing what things to worry about and how much to worry about them. “For example, you should focus on the challenges of the day and think about what problems really require our attention.
“Of course, he doesn’t suggest that the world’s problems will go away if enough of us start sitting in the lotus position and singing Om,” wrote Gates, who meditates for about 10 minutes per session two or three times a week Blog. “But he insists that 21st century life requires mindfulness – getting to know each other better and seeing how we add to the suffering in our own lives.”
For people who have never meditated before, this strategy may sound a bit far-fetched.
In a recent episode of The Artificial Intelligence Podcast with Lex Fridman that aired on April 26th, Dorsey explained how this philosophy can be applied to some of the problems people encounter when using technology in everyday life.
For example, Harari believes that young children growing up on Google may learn to shift self-esteem to computer programs and algorithms that can do the thinking and decision-making for them, Dorsey said on the podcast.
“His concern is that we lose that self-esteem because the self-esteem is now outside of us and that way it helps us better guide our decisions,” said Dorsey of Harari.
How does meditation fit in here?
“He sees meditation as a tool to build self-awareness and bring the focus back to the subject: ‘Why do I make these decisions? Why do I react this way? Why did I have this thought? Where did that come from?” Dorsey said.
Both Harari and Dorsey practice Vipassana meditation, or “insight meditation,” a technique that focuses on observing and understanding thought patterns.
“I do two hours of meditation every day,” Harari told GQ in 2018. “I go to many retreats, up to 60 days a year, and it works for me. I’m not going to say it will work the same way.” for all. Different techniques work differently for people. “
Dorsey also meditates two hours a day and has completed 10 days of silent meditation retreats.
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