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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by…
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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2015)

by Yuval Noah Harari

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 60 mentions

English (31)  Catalan (4)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14529866 ( )
  aquamari | Jan 6, 2019 |
Loved it.
So many interesting facts that I wasn't aware of.
Thought provoking theories on society, politics, religion and ideology.
Some speculation I couldn't get behind - e.g. all cells being algorithms, but these disagreements did not reduce my interest.
Off to read Sapiens next! ( )
  MickBrooke | Jan 2, 2019 |
Few Thinkers today - have such a broad and deep grasp of where the future can go.
Harari is a MUST READ - even if you don't agree with him - he will deepen your understanding of the forces at work today that are shaping the future we are creating. His grasp of the future is based on a deep understanding of the past and the emergence of humans. ( )
  johnverdon | Dec 17, 2018 |
Sapiens was an excellent book: Harari is a good historian and able to generalize trends from historical events. His writing is engaging. He is a terrible scientist, however; knows very little about life sciences, psychology, even less about computer science. Yet he devotes much of the book debating them. He makes wrong assumptions, and generalizations based on superficial understanding, to support his pet ideas like humans want to upgrade themselves into gods and become immortal, and that organisms equal algorithms and algorithms will take over the world.

His ideas are certainly original and thought-provoking. They are also total bullshit. I do not believe any sciences would equate organisms with algorithms - even small kids nowadays are able to tell the difference between hardware (i.e. body) and software (i.e. behaviors). He confuses his metaphors, and spends much of the book discussing the differences between concepts he fails to define: soul, mind, consciousness, intelligence - just throws those words around, splitting hairs about them - but how can you split hairs about words that can be used interchangeably sometimes without defining what you mean by them? And don’t get me started on his theories about religion. He calls any ideology religion, and declares God dead, which is rather farfetched, considering that the majority of the world believes in some form of a deity.

This book is more science fiction than science. If you take it with a grain of salt, it gives you ideas to chew on. Just don’t believe anything he states as a fact - he has not done enough research. The only credible parts are history-driven - he knows his history, at least.

Sapiens is an excellent book, but you can skip this one. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Harari’s previous book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind gave a capsule history of human civilization in a spritely, and humorous manner. In this “sequel,” he explores what might be in store next for mankind.

He begins with the observation:

“For the first time in history, more people die today 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 combined.”

Thus, since we are mostly liberated from worrying about famine, disease, and war, we have to find new concerns. [But have we really moved on from war? See this dissenting opinion from historian Margaret McMillan. Harari doesn't deny wars are still being fought, but avers that because they are less profitable than they used to be, wars fought in the "traditional" way will continue to become less common as the conquering mechanism of choice.]

Harari, who has a PhD in history for the University of Oxford and now lectures on world history, offers a great many conjectures about where the trajectories of human behavior might take us next. In order to do so, he reviews the recent history of science and religion, and how both of them have evolved. Our new dominant narrative, he argues, is humanism, which he defines as a valorization of the inner self as a means both to understand the world and to evaluate what takes place in it and what we consider “good” or “bad.”

But religion remains a strong force all around the world, and Harari cites statistics to prove it, although the nature of religious belief has changed over time. Nevertheless, he argues that religion has always served to impose order on societies. It also confers power, by creating stories that unite human collectives and lead them to cooperate effectively.

He observes that one particular aspect of modern religions helps explain their tenacity: “The belief that humans have eternal souls . . . is a central pillar of our legal, political, and economic system….” This belief feeds the rejection by so many of the theory of evolution. According to the Pew Research Organization, only a minority of Americans fully accept the theory that evolution occurs through natural selection. Harari argues that objections to the theory of evolution ultimately stem from its denial of the existence of a soul, which threatens the whole edifice of religion, not to mention the plausibility of the wishful thought that life is actually eternal. (He points out that for both evolution and a soul be “true,” there would have had to be some actual moment in time in which souls entered the human body. When would that have been? Moreover, that first baby with a soul would have parents without a soul.)

Also, because the soul is limited to humans in most religious beliefs, this has meant humans have felt free to do what they wanted to animals. Harari goes into some depth on how egregiously humans treat animals, without regard for any pain they may experience or any needs they themselves might have. He asks, when upgraded humans rule the planet, how might they regard non-upgraded humans? Will they be treated as animals are treated now?

Such questions arise out of Harari's conjecture that one of humanity’s new concerns will be to confer immortality on humans via medical engineering and artificial intelligence. Thus will evolution by natural selection be replaced, at least, for those who can afford it. Already, one can buy a DIY gene-engineering kit for just $159 that uses the new discovery of "CRISPR" to manipulate DNA, according to a recent science article in "The Economist 1843 Magazine."

It won't be long, the article in 1843 argues, before a CRISPR baby will be born. Author Tom Whipple observes: "The technology is too easy." But mankind will need new collective myths to serve as guidebooks for the new reality. Does it matter if the narrative we come up with is "true"?

Harari explains:

As a species, humans prefer power to truth. We spend far more time and effort on trying to control the world than on trying to understand it – and even when we try to understand it, we usually do so in the hope that understanding the world will make it easier to control it. Therefore, if you dream of a society in which truth reigns supreme and myths are ignored, you have little to expect from Homo sapiens. Better try your luck with chimps."

Evaluation: This entertaining book is full of thought-provoking observations. You may not agree with all of them, but I think one can’t help being stimulated by them. This would make an excellent choice for book clubs. ( )
  nbmars | Oct 8, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harari, Yuval NoahAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giménez, Esther RoigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heijne, BasForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdorf, JürgenErzählersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Retzlaff, JoachimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ros i Aragonès, JoandomènecTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wirthensohn, AndreasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林俊宏Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
יהב, איציקיועץsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
Important places
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my teacher, S. N. Goenka (1924 - 2013), who lovingly taught me important things.
First words
The New Human Agenda

At dawn of the third millenium, humanity wakes up, stretching its limbs and rubbing its eyes.
Quotations
The study of the human mind has so far assumed that Homo sapiens is Homer Simpson.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"First published as A History of Tomorrow in Hebrew in Israel in 2015 by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir."
"Previously published in Great Britain in 2016 by Harville Secker, a division of Penguin Random House Group Ltd."--Title-page verso.
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Book description
Contents:

The new human agenda -- Homo sapiens conquers the world. The Anthropocene ; The human spark -- Homo sapiens gives meaning to the world. The storytellers ; The odd couple ; The modern covenant ; The humanist revolution -- Homo sapiens loses control. The time bomb in the laboratory ; The great decoupling ; The ocean of consciousness ; The data religion.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062464310, Hardcover)

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

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 McDonalds 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. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 13 Aug 2016 07:56:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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" --… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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