FF’s Star Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Some of the problems we face in life are truly hard to solve with our normal way of thinking alone. Sometimes the answer we’re looking for is right there in our own heads, sitting and waiting to be plucked, but then life’s distractions, various barriers, and our own egos make it impossible for us to know what it is. Project Bodi: Awaken the Power of Insight by Hosein Kouros-Mehr is more than just some future tech science fiction novel. This book, divided into three parts, challenges successful individuals to look within their own minds for solutions to help the world in whatever way they can while achieving wonders at the same time.
In 2025, Shiv Patel became Google’s CEO. Four years later, he aims to do what Google couldn’t do yet and that is to replace the smartphone entirely. Google Vision smartglasses, if Project Bodi proves to be a success, will be the next big technological gadget, and a revolutionary one at that. He has Dr. Bethany Andrews, who quickly rose to the ranks of Vice President of Google and became the head of the company’s Artificial Intelligence department, at the helm of Project Bodi. For Beth to pull this off, she has to make some readjustments to her team because one of her team members is not being productive. What makes matters worse is Project Bodi’s short deadline.
A company like Google obviously has to rely on people who can come up with new and groundbreaking ideas so that it can stay ahead of everybody else in the tech development world. Throughout the story line, Shiv composes and edits a document to help his employees. “He wanted to help foster their innovation and unleash their mind’s full potential as Google employees”. Ironically, composing this document turns out to be for a reason much bigger than the company. “Shiv was tapping into the key mental health problem of modern society and using ancient healing methods to offer a solution.”
Shiv’s wife had passed away of pancreatic cancer and he has two daughters named Tara and Malia. Malia, the older sister, has gotten into trouble at school and her grades are falling. She is also constantly on her smartphone. As Shiv reflects, the youth are “a distracted generation that” spend “their entire lives on their smartphones, constantly obsessing about social media and not able to focus on anything else”. I liked Shiv because he runs a mega company and his thoughts are only filled with ways to help people become less distracted and more clear minded so that they can receive valuable insights from their subconscious minds. Portrayed as a man who lives by the traits of “compassion, devotion, and innovation”, the author truly makes Shiv a man to admire.
Austin, a programmer that had gotten a job at Google straight out of graduation, only cares about music festivals, electronic dance music, the stock market, and doing drugs. At work, he’s not doing good. Beth knows that he is a genius, but she has no choice but to have him demoted. The author makes readers see how easily Austin gets distracted from making any progress at work. Hitting rock bottom is inevitable for him. Mindzone, a Google app with some bald guy teaching Austin mindfulness exercises so that he can become aware of his distractions, might just be the solution that saves him. Watching him rise again into his genius self was heavenly, but fascinatingly, his battle with distractions return in a different form: his own ego.
What I like about the author’s writing the most is that he made me experience the kind of atmosphere that I think Google employees of today must experience on a daily basis. There is this scene in which Shiv Patel looks down at the Golden Gate Bridge and I swear I’m standing in his shoes and looking through his eyes, also feeling the “wave of energy” that came over him. An atmosphere of limitless possibilities and technological wonder, I think.
I also liked the tension every time Dr. Bethany Andrews had to attend a committee meeting to update the Google big suits on the progress of Project Bodi. The author adds pressure to the whole project because Shiv wants to see results, Beth struggles with making the smartglasses work with eye tracking, and Austin has his own battle to fight before he can make any game changing breakthroughs.
Google, the real one, has made the lives of anyone who owns a smartphone a lot more easier and manageable. In this book, the company’s utilities include everything from ways to diagnose sickness, personal A.I.s, and an app to help you clear your mind. In this slightly more advanced technological age, people still face the problems they’ve always faced. In this scenario, we see someone who uses his position of being at the top of the biggest tech company in the world do what he can to change what he believes needs changing. I didn’t like this part about the book. I loved it.
For me, the whole 2029 deal seems unnecessary. If the author wanted to, he could’ve set this novel in our date and time and it would still have worked. Why? Because like today, there are people in this book who are addicted to almost all the same social media websites that people are addicted to today. Apart from a few futuristic Google features, the knowledge that we get that Google Glass and self steering cars were flops, the fall of Amazon, and Google’s being at the top of the ladder, there’s little to set 2029 apart from 2017.
Everyone who considers themselves major tech geeks will be hooked right from the start because a few pages in and your neurons are firing all over the place about what the future might have in store for us when it comes to innovative technology. The author tackles wonderful world issues in absolute need of tackling and he offers incontestable solutions for those issues that I believe would absolutely solve all of them if it were to be implemented. There is no denying that this book will make readers see the true power of insight, courtesy of their very own minds.
|Publisher: Hosein Kouros-Mehr
Date Published: June 11, 2017
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