Homo Deus

Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow

Book - 2017
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"Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style--thorough, yet riveting--famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonald's than from being blown up by Al Qaeda. What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century-- from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Harper, [2017]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062464316
0062464310
Branch Call Number: 909.83 H2125H 2017
Characteristics: 449 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm

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byoneoka
Aug 27, 2019

First off, this is a voluminous work that should be cut down by at least half. This editing would allow more focus on the themes, and more room to elaborate on what are very important areas of perspective and thought.

The discussion about the three dominant social movements in the 20th C-- liberalism, socialism and humanism-- and their inter-relationships was useful. These all have strengths and weakness despite ones values and beliefs. Harari argues that their influence is waning by the end of the 20th C.

The author suggests that the 21st C will be one of two possibilities -- what Harari calls techno-humanism and/or dataism. Data becomes the new religion, replacing the traditional ones. Information replaces individualism. undercutting the humanism of the Enlightenment and the institutions we know and rely on.

I am not sure I'm ready for the Data Revolution. It is developing at a breakneck speed. What will arise? How will we function in it? Nobody really knows. These are the pondurables that make this an important topic.

r
rbergman1
Jul 29, 2019

This is a challenging book to read. Be prepared to have your roots rocked. Come with an open mind. There are questions to ponder. Over all I found this to be an excellent book, lots of good thoughts.

s
stewstealth
Jan 03, 2019

The author provides an excellent narrative that is engrossing though the complexity of predicting the future is always flawed ( as the author admits). The author does not have perfect knowledge of the subjects and the conclusions are subjective. Despite the books flaws it is definitely readable and provides many points worth contemplating. Worth it if you are interested.

a
arunothia
Oct 25, 2018

I really love Yuval Noah Harari's writing <3 Here are some interesting thoughts from this book that I would like to learn more about -

(1) Is human mind or consciousness just a by-product to the complex biochemical brain network? If yes, then it is probably too dangerous (or too silly) to take our thoughts seriously. If no, then probably the mind needs a LOT more understanding.
(2) Is "I" an imaginary story, just like gods, nations and money? If no, what is I? If yes, then that changes a LOT of things and probably we should equip ourselves more for this possibility.
(3) It is really very very alarming to think of the kind of changes we humans are making to the world around us. All the best minds of our time are focused on making machines process large and countless data that's inscrutable to human brain. Will this really lead to dataisms and a dystopian ending? If not, what are the alternatives? What can we do to steer this scientific curiosity in the right direction? If that is not in our hands, what else are we to do?

I highly recommend this book to everyone! Though, I would suggest that you read Sapiens before you start on this, that way you'll get more context to the author's writings.

e
ele81946
Jul 22, 2018

Most convincing alternative outcomes of the future of homo sapiens from past to the future, as Juval leads the reader of its evolution to its demise. This book ends with three questions for readers to ponder:
1. Are organisms just algorithm and life just data processing?
2. What is more valuable, intelligence or consciousness?
3. What will happen to society, politics and daily life when highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?

f
flygt
Jun 22, 2018

Prof. Harari is clearly the product of a feminist indoctrination centre, err I mean university. I think it's well written but I think he's out in left field on most of his points. He praises feminism though it is cancer and worries about climate change though it is fantasy. These are both pc dogma that he presents as undeniable facts. He equates science with religion which is nonsense. Science is self correcting and always challenging and updating its understanding of nature whilst religion is divine revelation, accepted on faith, that cannot be challenged. Although I can buy that religion and political affiliation are cut from the same cloth. Tell me where someone was born and raised and I've got a pretty good shot at guessing their politics and religion correctly. He plays with semantics a lot and words have a very fluid meaning. Music and poli sci are science. Wha??? He displays a very shoddy understanding of economics and doesn't understand why one wouldn't be happy to sit on a hundred grand. That's easy, inflation. What you'll get for that hundred grand will be far less in 25 years or whatever than you'll get today. I think he's overly optimistic about science and technology fixing all humanity's problems. I think gynocentrism and economics will play the largest role in the immediate future. Gynocentrism has led to poor birth rates in the 1st world, misandry is driving men underground, and the welfare state is unsustainable. I think what's coming isn't a god-like state but rather, collapse.

Cynthia_N Feb 12, 2018

A good read but I did not enjoy it as much as Sapiens. Homo Deus presents a grim view of the future.

a
advicenurse
Jan 18, 2018

Like "Sapiens" an unreadible Mishmash-rehash History of western civ; an unoriginal farce, like "exit through the gift shop" mockumentary mishmash art to trash its intellectual value as it juxtaposes disney and di vinci . Who is the intended reader? 14 year olds who know nothing of world history? Or is this intended mirror for our dumbed down contemproary moment when fools are elected president of the US and the end of the enlightment's hopes social of evolution. While the mockumentary film was humorous for a moment, history is too real to be reduced to nothing but "light bulb" jokes

s
saracsmith
Dec 02, 2017

Recommendation from Wash Post 2017 Summer Beach Reads. Social Science book about three scenarios: 1. Humans are expendable 2. The elite upgrade themselves 3. Humans see everything else as expendable

k
kneice
Nov 21, 2017

Wonderful read. But doesn’t live up to the front-flap hype that, “The main products of the 21st century economy will not be textiles, vehicles and weapons but bodies, brains and minds.” And, “The industrial revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the useless class.” Or that humans will be treated by superhumans the way animals have been treated by us. Or that democracy will collapse once Google and Facebook know us better than ourselves through networked algorithms. There are no real details unveiled about those themes by the end of the book, but it does pick up where Sapiens lets off and presents data as a new religion, and algorithms as a new bible. That may scare off a few folks, but he successfully describes modern humanism as a religion where we believe ourselves to have individuality, the answers within us, freedom and other myths that don’t come out through the scientific wash, even Darwin’s theory of evolution has no room for souls. The theme I think is to provoke thought about how our “truths” about ourselves will be challenged over and over in the coming decades, and that those who don’t change will probably be left behind. The author deftly shows us how far we’ve come in the past 100-plus years compared to the 5,000 or so years of “civilization” before that, when we could not move faster than a galloping horse unless falling off a mountain. I like the part where algorithms build out the solar system, galaxy and beyond, taking humanity’s discoveries and sharing them into eternity long after human extinction! Book seeks to broaden the view of possibilities over the next few decades, not predict an imminent data takeover or foretell doom for humankind. I was hoping for more detail about “bodies, brains and minds” being the next big products and the creation of the "useless class," but I will settle for this huge vision and keep on the lookout for new information like this.

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