Tag: opinion

Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World Book Review

Ten Intriguing Lessons

Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria is another library find for me. Obviously, the book is recently written. Much like The New Great Depression, the push to publish detracts from the author’s insights. Both writers and publishing houses are guilty. The Covid 19 pandemic is worthy of study. In depth study. Unfortunately, the publishing houses of the world fear a loss of interest in this topic. I believe they are wrong.

Well Organized Book

Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World is well organized in its presentation. First, the ten chapters are bookended by an introduction and a summation. The lessons range from What Matters is Not the Quantity of Government but the Quality, to Life is Digital. Zakaria is left of center, but not an extremist. He presents his ideas in a logical manner. The writing is concise. And insightful.

Naturally, my favorite chapters  revolve around my topics of interest. And in some cases agreement. For example, Lesson Four- People Should Listen to the Experts—and Experts Should Listen to the People covers a topic I harp on frequently. My noggin nodded up and down while reading this portion. A key take; mutual respect seems to be missing in many parts of the world.

Agree To Disagree

However, I could not  agree with many parts of the book. Personally, I believe the differences stem from locale. New York City is central to the author. But, I live in a very rural part of the country. Remote too. Since moving here three decades ago, I gained new insight. Rural life is a vast change from living in major cities. So, I now have a rural perspective. Yet, I still recall life in a big city.

One of the key ideas put forth by Zakaria revolves around urbanization. He sees a push globally for continued urbanization. Yet, he also sees a natural limit to population living in the cities. That natural limit is close to 90%. Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World supports a city-centered world. Thus, he posits the pandemic inspired “work from home” will be short-lived. I disagree.

Zakaria cites Aristotle often in Lesson Six, including the great philosopher in the title, Aristotle Was Right –We Are Social Animals. Yet, I believe the workplace will see some of the greatest changes post-pandemic. Again, my perspective is different. Young people are returning to the small towns dotting the High Plains in numbers not seen in over a generation. Covid-19 has accelerated this.  I hope Zakaria can agree to disagree.

Furthermore, education will be changed. Remote learning will replace snow days. Online and hybrid teaching will gain traction. These and other alternative instruction models will keep any future educational shutdowns at bay. Thus, the pandemic work-arounds will remain an option.

Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World

I found the book interesting. There are a few shortcomings. For example, the lack of widespread Covid-19 outbreak among the American homeless population was not addressed. Perhaps not enough space, or perhaps because this oddity is counter to one of the theories.

Another concern arises from the treatment of China and the U.S.A. in the lesson, The World is Becoming Bipolar. Perhaps it is misplaced patriotism on my part, but I felt this chapter was unequal. Furthermore, the premise leaves out both the EU and Russia. Economically neither may be on par with China and America, but both greatly impact the world. As do many other nations.

The publication of the book prior to the end of the pandemic impacts the analysis. For example, the vaccine rollout turns the analysis upside down. Countries lauded for their early action are lagging in vaccinating their populace. Other nations, stumbling at first, are now leading in the eradication of the virus. Thus, another reason for writers and publishers to either update publications, or better yet not rush to publish.

Recommendations

Fareed Zakaria is an accomplished writer. Ten Lessons For A Post-Pandemic World is well written and documented. I liked both the literary and historical references throughout. Readers interested in current topics will appreciate the book.

Politically, the writing is left of center. Those on the far right may not appreciate some of the writing. Neither will readers identifying with the far left. For the rest of us, there is merit to be found. I hope there are many of “the rest of us.” A divisiveness in culture is blamed for many of the pandemic failures. I concur.

Anyone tuning into major networks will recognize Zakaria.  His ideas are interesting. Even though studying in New Haven had an opposite impact (I became more conservative, Zakaria more liberal) I encourage the reading of his work. Regardless of ones political leanings, there is much to ponder. This latest best seller is available on audio as well as in print.

Fact Checking Ground Rules

Tree in full bloom with white blossomsIn the classroom, I insisted the students used good sources for fact checking. Some colleges frown on Internet sources but I think facts found on the web can be valid. The self-publishing trend incorporates non-fiction as well as fiction so the printed word now has the same pitfalls as computer research.

In an attempt to make Econogal a good source I have created some fact checking ground rules for the website. I plan to share those rules in this post so the reader gains some insight in my methodology. Naturally, a site like Econogal contains the opinion of the author. But I differentiate between facts and opinion.

In The Library Book Reviews

The book reviews are my opinion. Long time readers may have picked up on the fact that I do not write negative reviews. If you see a book reviewed on this site, I liked reading it. There are books I dislike and I see no reason to give the authors any publicity.

In The Kitchen

Recipes are factual. If the recipe is adapted from another source, credit is given even if the recipe is a variation. Some recipes I use have been handed down from one generation to the next. New recipes are tested before I share them. Much like science experiments, multiple trials are required.

In The Garden

Much of what I do in the garden is experimental. The reports are as accurate as possible. The produce is weighed in order to report the yields. I live in Zone 5 A and the average rainfall is in the mid-teens. Pictures help record the outcomes. There are crop failures from time to time and those are shared as well.

Hobbies

This section helps encompass the various creative outlets I engage in. Since it is winter, quilting is at the forefront. Any quilter can tell you the importance of precision. I am currently working on a panel quilt I call The Love Quilt and have already encountered a problem with inaccurate seam allowances. While not the exact case of fact checking, the preciseness runs along a concurrent theme. Furthermore, any quilt pattern or kit needs to have all measurements verified before presented as fact.

Travel

My travel posts are a combination of fact and opinion. Therefore, I try to clearly express when I share my opinion about a place. Fact checking is also an important part of travel. Distances between points can be verified through traditional maps as well as online websites. The availability of food, gasoline, and places to stay combine fact and opinion. Both are important.

Before hiking Diamond Head in Honolulu, I read several online sources that gave accurate descriptions of the trail. More than one gave an exact number of steps (yes I counted as I climbed) and good tips on the heavily crowded tourist site. My goal is to share accurate descriptions of the sites I visit. Then you will be ready for any steep climbs.