The World on its Knees

April 14, 2020

Predictions about the disasters are useless, unless someone take a note of such predictions beforehand and be well prepared for the devastation or more effectively, prevent them from happening.

Yuval Noah Hariri is the celebrity author of the popular science bestsellers Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016), and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018).

In Sapiens he surveys the entire length of human history, from the evolution of Homo sapiens about 70000 years ago along with other human like species Homo neanderthals and Homo erectus, the development of their cognitive abilities, up to the political and technological revolutions of the 21st century.

Where as in Homo Deus he is examining possibilities of the future of Homo sapiens. The book's premise outlines that, in the future, humanity is likely to make a significant attempt to gain happiness, immortality and God-like powers. The book goes on to openly speculate various ways this ambition might be realised for Homo sapiens in the future based on the past and present. He predicts the possible consequences of a futuristic biotechnological world in which intelligent biological organisms are surpassed by their own creations. He speculate that we as a species will mutate ourselves into new God-like species, Homo Deus.

And we all believed that with its technological advancements in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), bio technology and nano technology, human race is going to achieve that in the near future.

The scientific advancements in the field of AI predicted that by the year 2040, we would achieve technological singularity. Intelligence explosion, in which an upgradable intelligent agent will eventually enter a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new and more intelligent generation appearing more and more rapidly, causing an 'explosion' in intelligence and resulting in a powerful superintelligence that may achieve self-awareness and qualitatively far surpasses all human intelligence.

The advancements in the field of medicines, bio technology and nano technology predicted that the death will be optional for us by the year 2040.

Advancements in space science and technology predicted that we will be capable of colonizing Moon, Mars and beyond.

We believed we have the best of the political systems governing the different parts of the world. Every system, be its communist, democratic, imperialistic or some other, boasted its own superiority over the other and claimed to be the best equipped to manage its population to the best of its knowledge. Most advanced countries boasted the best of the medical facilities that equipped to face any kind of medical problems, and ridiculed the others, the less privileged.

Our Gods and religious systems did not stay behind in this race and claimed the solutions to the each of the problems faced by the humanity and offered answers to the questions of our existence and purpose. Every God, every religion claimed its supremacy over the other and we did not hesitate to kill each other in the very name of the Gods supposed to protect and bring peace to humanity.

Then it hit us…

It’s not even a living thing. Just a few RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) strands covered with a protein sheath, so small that normal microscopes can’t see it. It was there all along, but novel because of its new avatar or strain. It requires a living cell to start its activities and all it does is replicate itself. Nevertheless, in this process, it created havoc and chaos and succeeded to bring down the whole, mighty world down on its knees without any discrimination. The powerful, highly developed nations, their poor counterparts, democratic, communist or imperialistic, it treated them all the same. It did not see the religion, language, qualification, financial status, economical background or the geographical location and easily be termed as a great equalizer.

Yes, novel coronavirus.

We had several warnings. We had so many pandemics those wiped off millions of lives in the history. Apart from that, Bill Gates and former US President George W Bush and many others scientists and visionaries have warned well in advance about such out breaks and suggested the ways to be prepared.

There are few pictures and videos in social media going viral now about some books and movies, which predicted about the pandemics.

Funny thing about such predictions, including that of the famous Nostradamus are that they all surface after the event and everyone jumps into the bandwagon to say, ‘Look, I told you so’.

Predictions about the disasters are useless, unless someone take a note of such predictions beforehand and be well prepared for the devastation or more effectively, prevent them from happening.

Interestingly, in his latest book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Hariri discusses about challenges and possible solutions for 21 different things like Work, Liberty, Equality, Religion, Immigration, Terrorism etc., but misses a Health Pandemic.

Our Gods, religious, political, technological and medical systems did not know what hit them. Its proved beyond doubt that all Gods and religious systems, all kinds of political systems, scientific advancements have failed in their current avatars and they are not equipped to face a pandemic of this kind.

There is not a solution in the horizon. We have not reached a plateau as of today and the number of positive cases and deaths are steadily rising all over the world. Moreover, nobody knows for sure if there will be a solution and if at all, when.

And if we survive this pandemic, and I don’t know how many would survive, the world as we know will change. A change like never seen before. However, a change that’s the need of the hour.

The survivors of this new world order need to sit together and retrospect about the way we ran our world so far. They should determine if they need Gods and Religions, and if yes, in which format? They need to revamp all the political, technological, economical and medical systems in their current avatars and design totally new effective systems which are well equipped to run the world in a just and fair way.

A new world that gives every human being an equal opportunity of existence and well-being.

The Risen Ape is yet to find its ground in the larger schemes of things.



By Kishoo, Barkur
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Comment on this article

  • Ganesh Kanchan, Udupi

    Thu, Apr 16 2020

    Dear Kishoo,

    Gone through whatever you have penned down on Novel Covid -19 (THE WORLD ON ITS KNEES). Deeply impressed with an in depth introspection of the pandemic Covid -19. For me it is not just “Novel”, but noble, unique, sacred and special for many reasons best known to the world by now. When we talk about today’s technology, world has become so small and reachable that with a tip of finger anybody can talk to or see their near one and dear one through a small smart phone in hand. Similarly the advancement in the field of medical science is such that everyone is claiming that we are second to none in the world. So the race is on in each and every filed inside the border and across the border as well. In this race to reach the supremacy we have reached a point of no return. At this point if we look back, no one is there with us except our ego. We do not get better time than this to introspect oneself, including me for the reasons best known to one self. Our life style has changed so much that we don’t have time to talk, think, discuss, smile, share, care and of course to retrospect. Life has become so mechanical, open, careless and jovial that we don’t have the patience to sit and relax with our own people. We are chasing somebody, something, and someone subtle to introspect. There is popular saying ‘forget the mistakes but remember the lessons learnt from it”. Public memory is poor for the reason that volume, content and size of the universe is too large to remember. Here I would like to make mention of Influenza pandemic (popularly known as Spanish Flu) that killed half a million people in our state in 1918. We seem to have no sense of history and learnt little from it. We dread in these grim circumstances to quote what philosopher George Santayana famously said about those who forget their history lessons. Therefore it is only appropriate here to recall the unprecedented devastation suffered by our forefathers just over a hundred years ago, in 1918, when the Influenza pandemic – better known as Spanish Flu broke out. The virus made an unexpected retreat after a third wave of attack in early 1919.

    Even Mahatma Gandhi, who was gaining recognition among intellectual circles as a future leader, came down with the flu in its second wave. “All interest in living had ceased,” he later wrote in his autobiography. For a variety of reasons, the second wave proved particularly fatal for India. Across the globe it took 500 million lives. While exposing the deep vulnerabilities that existed across colonial India, the flu left some long-lasting effects as well. The 1918 flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before swiftly spreading around the world. At the time, there were no effective drugs or vaccines to treat this killer flu strain. Citizens were ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended its deadly global march. By the summer of 1919, the flu pandemic came to an end, as those that were infected either died or developed immunity. So lock down is only a pause button and not a solution to the pandemic. Look at the Wuhan city as of now – they are yet to come back to normalcy. Social distancing is in place even now wearing mask is compulsory. So the lock down is not the real solution to the problem. Only hope is a vaccine is developed soon to mitigate the problem and safer earth is ensured. Really worry is how to mitigate the problem once the lock down is withdrawn and restriction on social distancing is removed. Can anybody ensure complete blockade of pandemic virus spread or re-occur once again? Time only tell the answer. One has to closely watch the development in China (especially Wuhan city) at least for next 365 days or so to have a sigh of relief.

    In the context of finding out a powerful solution to Novel Covid-19, the graphic of infections, recoveries, deaths, quarantine cases across the globe, medicos are clueless to invent powerful vaccine. In this context one of my doctor friends informed me that sufficient amount of awareness and education is required for the public about the course of action to be followed. Most of us are aware that the COVID-19 presents with symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. However recent scientific data suggest that nearly 50% of the Covid-19 patients present with predominant digestive symptoms as their primary complaint. As the disease progresses in severity, digestive symptoms also increase. Scientific studies have proved that apart from nasal and respiratory secretions, the Covid 19 virus is actively shed in the stools of infected patients. This shedding may continue to occur for as long as five weeks after the patient recovers from the respiratory symptoms. In this regard besides already known measures such as avoidance of close contact, social distancing, observing cough/sneeze hygiene etiquette and wearing personal protective gear, the importance of a proper hand washing protocol, especially after bowel movements must be stressed. Also that since there is a likelihood of bioaerosols being released in the air during flushing of the toilet (toilet plume), it is advisable to ensure that the commode lid is closed before flushing. He also added avoiding the lavatory immediately after it has been used by another may also reduce exposure to the virus.

    Noble Covid -19 proved beyond doubt that Big brother USA is no longer the world’s leading country and China has won the Third World war without using any Missile…! Unique contributions of Covid -19 is uniting of family, threading values of relationship without discriminating poor and rich, sense of togetherness, environment friendly (global warming), regeneration power of earth without the presence of human agency, living hygiene is possible without enforce of any law, media is bullshit, acting fraternity are just entertainers but no more heroes, no priest, ustaad, astrologers capable of saving human life and finally how animals ‘feel’ in zoo. Hats off to it for uniting the whole mankind for a single cause - its Novel Covid -19.


  • John Gonsalves, Barkur / Muscat

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Very well written article, thoughtful and eye opener. Yes surely the world will change, hopefully the change which is essential in the right directions. The survivors will have to get together and relook the way it is run to ensure a safe tomorrow.

  • Vinod philip, Cochin

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    An interesting article of relevance to read. Congratulate you for that.
    Personal immunity enhancement shall be focused on, which only seems to help over coming the pandemic like this and hence could reduce the mortality rate to a certain extend.

  • James Fernandes, Barkur Chicago

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Corona is telling that the rest of the creation is not subservient to Sapiens.

  • John Crasta, mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Thank you for highlighting the ambitions of Homo Deus.I do not know if you are a Christian. Nevertheless please permit to make reference to The Bible which narrates the happenings at the time of Tower Of Babylon (Genesis ch 11) . It does say how men wanted to equate themselves to God and tried to build a tower that will reach the sky to Heaven. God saw how foolish they were and made them speak different languages and dispersed them all over the world and broke the knowledge base .My view is that the example is figurative example . In fact as I understand it trying to tell us that how man was trying to equate himself with God by creating life and the consequences of man’s ambitions. Today because of advances in science espeally genetics we are trying to repeat it
    all over.
    Then Is God secretive? In fact He promises in Jer 33:3 to reveal His secrets to all those who approach him with a humble heart on their free will.

  • Sudhir Pais, Puttur/Dubai

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Dear Kishoo,

    Your article about this pandemic is an eye opener to many of us. You have rightly pointed out in your book the need of the hour.

    Everyone took this very lightly even the superpower countries & the world leaders. Now they are helpless & asking god’s mercy to rescue them & save them. Hope we will find a solution to all our questions & hope everyone will be saved before it takes full control over mankind. God save our world. I wish you all the best for your book & hope everyone changes their attitude towards each other & respect one another.

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Death would be optional by 2040😂!
    Yes I too had read it somewhere the advancements,the treatments that would stop the ageing process and what not !
    Give an option now it would be interesting to figure out what mankind would choose !
    The way things are going ,with world leaders literally crying,some giving up openly ..."The World on its Knees " would on the flip side vie for the understatement of the year !
    The most awaited as Kishoo pointed out as to what behavioral changes it would bring if any in mankind and the changes in its priority list.
    Interesting observations Kishoo Sir with ample Food For Thought ....
    Why don't you write more often ?

  • Melvia Fernandes, Barkur/Mumbai, Maharashtra

    Wed, Apr 15 2020

    Beautifully written.And it's true that the world was warned through the eminent personalities mentioned above,movies and novels too.Sad that none took it serious.And now we are facing this disaster management.

  • Francis(Joe) Martis, Barkur/US.

    Tue, Apr 14 2020

    Hi Kishoo,

    Your article is quite interesting and for many an eye opener. I agree with your observation, opinion &
    your message. For many of us Pandemic such as Corona Virus is an world order as we go finding new avenues in the field of science, technology, modern medicine and what not, while doing so there will be
    success and failures too which can be dangerous to human race. A cure will be found sooner, until then
    we all need to be prepared and be strong, in special those living in large cities around the world.
    We will overcome.

  • Dan M, Dubai / Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 14 2020

    God The Father on why this pandemic, Human agenda (New World Order or NWO?) and seek His Kingdom First.

    March 27, 2020

    Once again, I (Maureen) see a Great Flame that I have come to know as the Heart of God the Father. He says: "These days are most challenging to those who rely on their own resources instead of My Provision. Human agendas, calendars and plans have, of necessity, been set aside. It is unpredictable when normalcy will return. If you are using this time of trial to draw closer to Me, fear will take flight. Some have been given heavier crosses than others through all of this, such as, preexisting health conditions, medical tests which have been delayed, separation from loved ones - all of these are different aspects of the same cross. I see all and invite you to understand My Omnipotence. Every life - every soul is My faithful concern. Crosses are permitted by Me to bring humanity deeper into My Paternal Heart. When human efforts fail you, turn to Me. I am your strength."

    "This cross - this pandemic is transforming the heart of the world by showing mankind his weakness and his dependence upon Me. Sadly, it has taken such a crisis for some to turn to Me."

    Read Luke 12:29-31+

    And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

    * The Messages of Holy and Divine Love at Maranatha Spring and Shrine.

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