Hey, what’s up guys? Stan here.
This is week three, book three, Shift by Hugh Howey.
So, let me just dive straight into my key takeaway. So, my key takeaway of the first book is that theme around powerful men making decisions for the greater good, I suppose, and that without proper checks and balances in place, and over a long enough period of time, that they turn into these real cruel systems of oppression and genocide, I guess eventually.
In this book, they had a few men who created a system to ensure that no one person knew the whole story. And they ended up building fifty silos to house a few thousand people each. And whilst everyone was inside these silos, a war was raging out throughout the world with nanotechnology where they all were getting wiped out. This process was going to take roughly five hundred years to happen and so they needed these fifty silos to be able to survive for that period of time. And then at the end of it, one of them would survive, come out, and take the world back for humans and “save” the human race. There’s a line in the book I guess that really summed this up and really sunk in. And that was:
“Donald was verging on the sad realization that humanity had been thrown to the brink of extinction by insane men in positions of power following one another, each thinking the others knew where they were going.”
Now, it seems pretty far-fetched for something like this to happen where a few men can come up with a system that can completely change the world, completely upset the status quo, and for everyone around them to just let it happen and slowly fall into place and play their part, without realize what they were doing or what their part was to play in this creation of evil and oppression and genocide.
However, this has happened so many times in the history of humanity. You know, you’ve got Hitler, Pol Pot, the apartheid regime. At the beginning of all these hugely destructive events in human history there was just a few men creating a system that, over time, brought other people in, innocent people, who started to do very evil things. Not because they were evil, but because the system allowed them to act that way and not feel any remorse or any of those emotions.
Another line from the book that really resonated with me around that topic was:
“His discovery was that evil men arose from evil systems, and that any man had the potential to be perverted. Which was why some systems needed to come to an end.”
In my opinion, this is exactly what happened a lot of the times throughout human history.
You had a few men, who created the system, who then swallowed up everyone else who was so deep into it, that they committed all these evils that they did. What’s scary I guess right now, is that it can still happen.
You have sort of seen it now in Venezuela, with everything that is happening there. And, with someone like Donald Trump for instance, he is rocking the foundations that the US is built upon. There are three branches of government that are supposed to keep checks and balances of each other and, he has rocked that to its core.
You know, he’s been able to do whatever he wants without consequence. Now, I’m not saying that Donald Trump is an evil man, But I’m not either saying he’s good or bad at being a president.
What I think he’s been able to do is that how can one man come into a country, whose whole premise is built on not letting one man have too much power, do whatever he wants, and have no consequence?
I guess what this book has reminded me is to stand up for what is right, to vote, to have a voice, to be a member of society, to not let a few men make decisions for the rest of us. Now democracy is an amazing construct, creating by humans, and for it to work successfully, we need to participate.
We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch it happen and give power back to a few men. We all need to be a part of this.
In summary, I think this book has reminded me, or should I say, reinvigorated my passion for politics, for understanding the world around me, that my vote is important, and that if I want to see change in this world, I need to stand up and do something about it. I need to be the change that I want to see. All right, so, that was my takeaway from Shift- an amazing book, I think in my opinion, the best one of the three books of the series. As I said, I’m a little late with this video but, I’ve already read the third one and I think this is my favourite of the three.
The next book that I went on to read was Ego Is The Enemy.
Now, if you haven’t read it, I’ll put the next review up for that tomorrow. Go read that book before you watch my next video it’s a fantastic book, it’s by Ryan Holiday. I hadn’t heard of him prior to reading his book but he’s got a great writing style, they’re nice short and easy books to read, but really powerful and impactful and really dense. A lot in that small book.
Anyway, I hope you liked my takeaway from Shift, if you haven’t read it, please go read it. It’s a great book. It is worth the read, it does get you thinking. Feel free to put something down in the comments about what your key takeaways were, did you like it the same way I did? Did you think anything about what I thought about?