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Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

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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.

450 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2015

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About the author

Yuval Noah Harari

65 books33k followers
Professor Harari was born in Haifa, Israel, to Lebanese parents in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2002, and is now a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

He specialized in World History, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?

Prof. Harari also teaches a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) titled A Brief History of Humankind.

Prof. Harari twice won the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality, in 2009 and 2012. In 2011 he won the Society for Military History’s Moncado Award for outstanding articles in military history.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 15,567 reviews
Profile Image for Emma.
986 reviews1,005 followers
October 25, 2020
This is a profoundly shocking piece of writing- a tactic which Yuval Noah Harari uses to great effect- aimed at getting readers to think about the now, not just what comes next.

Harari’s second book claims to be about the future of mankind, but works more as a means of discussing the state of current trends in science, tech, and human ‘progress’. While he offers suggestions about how things may proceed, the more significant aspect of the book is the way his arguments make us think about how we want things to go- and how we don’t. It's philosophy, not science. That big question that has been posed throughout the ages: how should we live? He makes clear that his hypotheses are only potential futures, but there’s no doubt the text comes across as a warning as much as anything else.

For me, the most interesting and thought-provoking was his argument for the better treatment of animals. While we have placed ourselves at the top of the species ladder, new advents in technology may bring about computer technologies which replace us in the number one spot. Considering we may well end up in the unenviable position of the underdog, perhaps we should take more care of those who, like us, may well depend on the goodwill of this higher in the chain. Not only that, modern technology has increasingly allowed us to understand the emotional and intellectual complexity of animals in a way that should make it difficult to treat them as lesser beings. This is an issue that has been playing on my mind for some time. It seems like every week now we are getting news reports of another animal ripped from its habitat for a selfie and dying as a result. Pictures of intensive farming that have animals in cages so small they can't lay down. My social media newsfeed of animals mistreated, dumped, abused, given no more thought than a piece of trash. Harari is a vegan and his specific set of beliefs come across in the text. Yet, as a current meat eater, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify my position. I don't know what to do that can help and the book doesn't offer any concrete plans for change, but it has added another dimension to the considerations I have been struggling with myself.

Overall though, it is Harari's style which is the most engaging. I rushed though this book because even the most complex issues are dealt with in accessible language and an approachable tone. It's fun and despite the subject matter, doesn't take itself too seriously. It felt like the starting point of a conversation, somewhat controversial of course, but isn't that the best way to get a debate going?
Profile Image for Andrej Karpathy.
110 reviews3,657 followers
July 31, 2017
This book reads like the author read a number of popular science articles, watched some sci-fi movies, attended a transhumanist meetup, got just a bit high on weed and then started writing.
11 reviews14 followers
June 10, 2016
Harari is a fantastic historian: he writes effortlessly and fascinatingly about historic trends, and has a great big picture perspective of the revolutions and contexts of historical progression.

Harari, however, is not a good futurologist and an absolutely terrible cognitive scientist. Being educated in Cognitive Science and technology myself, all I can say, with the utmost respect I can offer to a fellow Israeli, is that he's full of shit.

Homo Deus is an attempt to make a sequel to the wildly popular (and actually quite good) "From Animals into Gods" - its main thesis is that in the 21st century, liberal humanism would progress into "techno humanism"; and that humanity's main efforts would be to upgrade humans into some bizarre godlike cyborg entity. He focuses on some aspects of modern progress (e.g. genetic engineering) and extrapolates completely insane uses. An example of a claim that he makes: In the near future, the efforts of medical science would be tuned to upgrading the rich rather than healing the diseases of the poor.

His underlying zeal for a hunter gatherer sociological eco-utopia notwithstanding - this is bullshit, and focuses on a remote obscure threat rather than a very real threat that's already here: If there's a threat to modern society from modern medical science, it's is the personalization of medicine, rather than "upgrades". That is, drugs would be concocted to be maximally efficient according to a genotype. This is already happening at a very rough scale (for instance, there are drugs that are more effective on people of African American descent) - but in the near future, rather than upgrade themselves, the rich people would simply have far more effective cancer treatment because they'd be able to afford genotyping and personal medicine.

If the cyborg-upgrade part sounds to you like a bad synopsis of a Neal Stephenson novel, you're absolutely right. Let's all jack into the Matrix now!

Needless to say, the views have the grounding in scientific and research reality that a SciFi fanfic about Kirk banging Uhura has, and it is written with the same brain addling juvenile exuberance.

Read the first book of his; avoid the second.
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
656 reviews7,105 followers
June 26, 2018
Homo Obsoletus

The audacious first act, Sapiens, ended with a wild and apocalyptic prophesy - that the Sapiens were cooking up the next epochal revolution that will overshadow the previous three: the cognitive, agricultural and scientific/industrial revolutions. Home Deus, the second act, is the full exploration of that prophesy.

Both Sapiens and Homo Deus are compulsory reading in my book, even though the macro-history presented is plenty vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. But then, it might be better to think of these as works of philosophy and not of history. Just like Sapiens is not a History, Home Deus is not a prophesy, both are explorations.

This line can be taken as the transition line that links the first book with the second one:
“Having raised humanity above the beastly level of survival struggles, we will now aim to upgrade humans into gods, and turn Homo sapiens into Homo deus.”

The old enemies of mankind— plague, famine and war—are now under control. Except for the potentially restrictive energy constraint, Sapiens has very little standing in our way now. The result is that the Sapiens are becoming more and more God-like, Harari says, and one is forced to pause and reflect: by any previous standards of our history, are we not already Gods? Have we not already exceeded most wild power fantasies? Well yes, but even more God-like attributes are coming: cheating death and creating new life being primary.

And along with this march towards the godlike we are marching towards being machine-like too, as we outsource more and more of our internal algorithms to better data-based external algorithms. And the march is relentless, Homo Deus is taking birth before our eyes. The tomorrow is already upon us, and so forth.

However, just like the previous three revolutions that infused the Sapiens with power, this revolution too will come at a price, the price of a ratcheting up of inequality. The new Gods will be the techno-super-rich. BTW, reading Harari is good motivation to work on getting rich faster: he hints at a possibility that anyone who is rich enough to afford it, some 50 years into the future, should be able to buy proxy-immortality. And it will probably be a window that closes quickly, since the super-rich would soon take over the monopoly on immortality. So if you are rich enough at the right point in time, then you can be part of Olympus too. That might not be a deal many would want to miss out on…

There is one more catch: as technology takes over most of the functions, even the godlike sapiens will find themselves stuck in a universe devoid of real meaning. Bulk of humanity will have no economic, social or cultural purpose since anything we can do our new creations would be able to do even better. “Organisms are algorithms,” and the new algorithms will be so much better than the imperfect ones we are made of. As Bill Gates asked in his article about the book, “What If People Run Out of Things to Do?” We will be stuck in an immortal meaninglessness, our own creations clearly our betters. We will need a new religion to make sense of all this, since the powerful combo of Humanism+Science will not work in world where the sanctity of being Human has lost meaning. Harari feels that “Dataism” will be the religion that will fill the avoid left by Humanism.

The whole of Humanity, the Earth, and maybe the entire Universe will become servants to data - a huge data-processing system, the eternal all-knowing Atman. And serving this goal will be the only meaningful pursuit left for us.

Immortal, All-powerful, Obsolete: this is the future of the Sapiens.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
November 14, 2020
Homo Deus is not quite as factual and cohesive as Sapiens. It falls into the realm of speculation rather than trying to organise and make sense of the world.

Sapiens was fantastic because it was almost like a novelisation of human history. It was dramatic and loaded with exciting revelations about what makes us human. It discussed where we came from and where we are now. It was a thought provoking, an exceedingly intelligent piece of writing. With this book Harari looks to the future, to where we may go and how we may get there.

And here Harari’s opinion comes across very strongly. He examines our current practices regarding technology and animals. We advance scientifically, but not emotionally or spiritually. We continue to make the same mistakes as we destroy the natural world and ruin our planet. Like me, Harari is a vegan and he is disgusted with current practice. He does not offer an idealistic view of the future (one a vegan would wish for) but instead discusses what will happen if we continue with our erroneous ways. And for me, this took the book to an entirely new level. It became thoughtful, critical and totally necessary.

“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.”

He looks at animals, about what we truly know about them. They are not so different from us, and the way we treat them is deplorable. I could write essays on this subject; I am beyond bitter about it. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. And above all I am so deeply sad. My heart is broken every day because humanity is so terribly unjust to those it deems beneath them. And here Harari adds another element, he considers what would happen if we became a “lesser” lifeform. With the progress in technology and genetic engineering, it is not to far to suggest that computers could replace us or some form of superhuman. So, in a way, we should not act all high and mighty because one day we may be in a very different situation. I don’t find it too hard to believe.

I do not doubt that these two books have the potential to change how you think about the world. They will open your eyes to issues you may never have thought about. They’re not to be missed.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,275 reviews2,443 followers
August 5, 2022

This is a book focusing on the future of humanity. Harari focuses on many exciting topics like whether human beings will be able to overcome death. He also discusses the future of medical science and how AI will alter medical science. He touches the future of almost all spheres of life in this book.

What I learned from this book
1) Why poor are following Marie-Antoinette's advice today?
In 1789 Marie-Antoinette (bride of France's King Louis XVI) told, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"—"Let them eat cake." when someone told her that French people had no bread. Many people criticized her for this insensible remark. But today, the poor are following this advice ironically.
"Rich residents of Beverly Hills are eating lettuce, salad, and steamed tofu with quinoa, in the slums and ghettos the poor gorge on twinkie cakes, Cheetos, hamburgers, and pizzas."

2) What is more dangerous than terrorism?
The author tells us that it is not terrorism that is the biggest threat to humankind in the 21st century. He tells us that it is the overreaction to terrorism a much more serious threat.
"Terrorists stage a terrifying spectacle of violence that captures our imagination and makes us feel as if we are sliding back into medieval chaos. Consequently states often feel obliged to react to the theatre of terrorism with a show of security, orchestrating immense displays of force, such as the persecution of entire populations or the invasion of foreign countries. In most cases, this overreaction to terrorism poses a far greater threat to our security than the terrorists themselves."

3) Censorship in the 21st century
Censorship will have a different approach in the 21st century, according to the author.
"In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the 21st century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. People just don't know what to pay attention to, and they often spend their time investigating and debating side issues"

4) What is the greatest scientific discovery ever?
Harari talks about the importance of knowing our limitations and how little we know in this part.
“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realized how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress."

5) The future of ebooks
Harari tells us how the books will change in the future. Along with that, he tells how the incorporation of AI and biometrics will help to understand every human beings reaction when he is reading an ebook
"If Kindle is upgraded with face recognition and biometric sensors, it can know what made you laugh, what made you sad and what made you angry. Soon, books will read you while you are reading them."

My favourite three lines from this book
“ Humans are in danger of losing their economic value because intelligence is decoupling from consciousness.”

“If an epidemic nevertheless gets out of control it is due to human competence rather than divine anger..”

"Religion cannot be equated with superstition, because most people are unlikely to call their cherished beliefs' superstitions'. We always believe in 'the truth'. It’s only other people who believe in superstitions”

What could have been better?
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the author's opinion that it is ok to enjoy an extramarital affair.

5/5 This book has the right mixture of science and philosophy to keep it engaging and informative. If you loved the author's earlier book, Sapiens, this would be a good choice to pick.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,730 followers
April 3, 2017
“Every day millions of people decide to grant their smartphone a bit more control over their lives or try a new and more effective antidepressant drug. In pursuit of health, happiness and power, humans will gradually change first one of their features and then another, and another, until they will no longer be human.”
― Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow


Harari takes us, with this continuation to his blockbuster book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, from the past to the future. This book shares a lot of the same limitations of the previous book. But because "speculation" is inherent in writing about the future, Harari's jumps are easier to forgive when talking about tomorrow than when talking about today.

I'm a diabetic and have an insulin pump and I've thought of myself, only partially in jest, as a early, unsophisticated, cyborg the last ten years. I walk around with my iphone plugged into my ears, my artificial pancreas plugged into my thigh, my sensor for my pump plugged into my stomach. It isn't very neat. We have miles to go before all of this technology becomes aesthetically amazing, and loses all the wires and clunky functionality, but it still gives me pause about the future. My friend's Tesla drives by itself, big data seems able to predict what I will buy next, my smart phone really is smart. Perhaps we are all surfing towards some Omega Point.

I have a friend who is a Transhumanist and it has been interesting to hear him discuss the values and virtues of Transhumanism. I'm a little more hesitant. I'm no Luddite, but I DO worry about these big technological/cultural/commercial shifts. Will technology make Homo Sapiens the next Homo Neanderthalensis? Will these gains through AI, technology, genetic modification, etc., be well-thought-out? Harari hedges by saying he doesn't know what the future brings (If he did, perhaps we should just join his church), but is only using this discussion to suggest the type of ethical and moral and even survival discussions we SHOULD probably be having. As we incrementally crawl towards some form of technological singularity, perhaps we need to give pause to not just the benefits, but costs of self-driving cars and sex robots.
Profile Image for BlackOxford.
1,085 reviews68.4k followers
April 19, 2019
Tongue Firmly in Cheek
The Mormons Are Right
Evolution Is So Yesterday
The Problems of Prayers Answered
Too Much Good News Is Hard to Take
It Could have Turned Out So Different; But It Didn’t
All Thoughts and Feelings Are Algorithms; Except This One
Fiction Is Our Fundamental Technology; Just Ask Donald Trump
The Vital Uncertainty: We Can Have Meaning Or Power in Life But Not Both Together

As with his previous book Sapiens, Harari tells a story in Homo Deus that is too disconcerting to summarise, and too captivating to ignore. It is simultaneously arrogant and self-debasing; stimulating and depressing. I can therefore only comment on it by suggesting a series of alternative subtitles. Those noted above only scratch the surface of possibilities. It is the last however that I find most insightful and inspiring to further thought. Perhaps an addendum to this review will be necessary at some point.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews928 followers
August 15, 2022
“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past.”

Why Science Fiction Is the Most Important Genre | WIRED

The title and the premise of Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow sounds intriguing; however, not much felt new. I’ve already heard much of the author’s arguments in other places. So while the various topics discussed are interesting and thought-provoking, Homo Deusis mostly provocative because of the way it is packaged. Advancements in a number of fields, especially in relation to data and an increase in our longevity, are examined to make the point that we are reaching a pivotal moment in our history. In order for transformations to be made, the author argues we need to change our mindset and expectations and maybe even our concept about individualism.

While the author's arguments may be true, I was hoping to hear more about the future, the tomorrow in Harari’s subtitle, than the past. The final quarter of the book did focus on that tomorrow (what the job market might look like, whether man or some people in the job market might end up being completely superfluous, the future role of AIs in our society etc.), but I would have preferred more of that analysis earlier in the book. I would have also liked something closer to the beginning of the book about how important algorithms would be in that analysis. 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for David Rubenstein.
816 reviews2,588 followers
June 26, 2017
This is a powerful book by a truly insightful author. I recently read Harari's previous great book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and I enjoyed this one just as much. There is so much packed into Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, that it is hard to do justice to the book in a review. Yuval Harari has such a unique insight into how the world turns. He is sometimes very blunt, but he "tells it like he sees it." The first two-thirds of the book is devoted to a description of how the humanist philosophy developed, while the last third is about how humanism may very well fall to the wayside in the not-too-distant future.

In the beginning of the book, Harari describes two new human agendas. The first is how humans attempt to extend their lifetimes, and the second is to increase happiness. The goal is to upgrade homo sapiens into homo deus. That is, the desire to re-engineer our bodies and minds, escape old age, death and misery. Basically, to attain divinity. Harari gives numerous examples of how were technologies developed to aid ill or handicapped people, and then were borrowed to help "normal" healthy people; prosthetics, bionics, Viagra, memory aid drugs, plastic surgery, and genetic engineering. (In 2000, a baby girl was born with genetic inheritance from three parents; nuclear genes from mother and father, and mitochondrial DNA from another woman! A year later, the U.S. government banned this special treatment, but the U.K. has since approved it.)

Harari contends that historians study the past, not in order to repeat it, or to foretell the future, but to be liberated from it. He gives a marvelous example of the history of the grass lawn. He writes that the best reason to study history is not to predict the future, but to "free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies."

Harari has some interesting insights into the founding of modern religions. He writes that they were founded when humans switched from hunting/foraging to agriculture. A central point of the religions was to give humans dominion over all animals, in order to justify their domestication and superiority, and to justify the terrible suffering humans cause for animals. The agricultural revolution was both an economic and a religious revolution, used to justify brutal exploitation of animals. Agricultural societies also started treating some classes of people as property. I wonder, though, didn't pre-agricultural societies practice slavery? When I try to do some simple online research in this subject, it seems like Harari might be correct; slavery was established to mimic the domestication of animals. And, the agricultural revolution was bad for humans in other ways, as well. A peasant in 1850 in China or Britain had a worse life than an archaic hunter-gatherer, from the point of view of diet and hygiene.

Harari has some unique insights into the dichotomy between religion and science. He describes science as a new "religion" that replaced theist religions with humanist religions, replacing gods with humans. The hatred of monotheists for the theory of evolution is inspired by the lack of scientific evidence for a human soul. A soul has no parts, and evolution operates through incremental changes to various parts of a whole. But, both religion and science, in theory at least, are both devoted to the truth. But since their truths are different they seem doomed to clash. However, since neither religion nor science really care much about truth, they can coexist. Religion is mostly interested in social order and structure, while science is mostly interested in power. That is, the power to cure disease, fight war and produce food. So, since religion and science prefer order and power over truth, they "make good bedfellows."

Modernity is a simple deal based on a contract: Humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power. Plagues, droughts and wars have no cosmic meaning to modern humanism, but we have the power to eradicate them. Paradise does not await us after death, but we have the power, in principle, to create paradise here on Earth. Modernity is based on the belief that growth is essential. Growth is the supreme value. Because avarice and greed help to fuel growth, they are encouraged.

Traditional religions offer no alternative to liberalism because they are reactive instead of creative. This wasn't always true. During the Middle Ages, Christian monasteries were among the most advanced centers for innovations--Harari lists a number of their innovations. But today religions look to scriptures for answer. But scriptures are no longer a source of creativity, as they say nothing about modern technologies such as genetic engineering or artificial intelligence. Harari describes three different possible futures for humanism. In one of these, liberalism may die out as technology displaces humans. The masses will lose their economic and military importance. Harari suggests that "Dataism" may appear as a new religion. Dataism advances the first truly new value in nearly 200 years; the value of freedom of information. Dataism is firmly entrenched in its two mother disciplines, computer science and biology. Organisms are seen by scientists as data-processing systems. The stock market is the most powerful of all data processing systems, and centralized government is one of the worst. Capitalism defeated Communism during the Cold War, not because it is more ethical or because individual liberties are sacred, but because in times of rapid technological change, distributed processing systems work better than centralized systems.

Humanists rely on feelings to make important decisions, and these feelings evolved over millions of years. But often our feelings are just irrational and wrong. Computer algorithms can surpass feelings in making good decisions. So, the humanist recommendation to "get in touch with your feelings" may not he given in the future. Perhaps, meaning in life will not lie in our experiences, until they are shared with others, through social media. And, these social media will analyze our experiences, and be able to give expert advice on important decisions. Harari gives some pretty good evidence that this trend may come to pass.

I do want to quibble with some numbers that Harari proposes. He writes that the one billion cars owned around the world could be reduced to 50 million, if they were jointly owned and operated autonomously. People could share rides. However, people want to commute to work in cars all at the same time. They sit in parking lots at work and at home because people have no need for them during work hours and overnight.

But this is perhaps a minor point in Harari's argument. Many people will pooh-pooh much of what Harari has to say. But, it is all extremely thought-provoking. I have just scratched the surface of this book. I highly recommend it to all open-minded people who are not afraid to think a bit differently about the meaning of life, about our political structures, and the future.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,446 followers
August 11, 2023
Dacă ne încredem în cifrele oferite de edituri și librării, Homo Deus este bestseller-ul ultimilor trei ani în materie de non-fiction. Care a fost și este, la urma urmelor, secretul autorului?

Aș răspunde precum urmează:

1. Harari are o evidentă abilitate narativă. Poate povesti chestiuni abstracte și complicate mai curgător, mai puțin împiedicat decît oamenii de știință și filosofii. Știe să explice mai bine decît Galen Strawson, să zicem, și, oricum, mai bine decît neurologii, de ce noțiunea de „responsabilitate” a devenit caducă, de ce liberul arbitru al omului este o venerabilă iluzie etc. Harari a preluat ideile, le-a rescris în felul lui, le-a „vulgarizat” un pic și a vîndut milioane de exemplare. În schimb, cărțile filosofilor zac în rafturile librăriilor. Așadar, abilitate narativă.

2. Harari are fler și îndrăzneală. Chestiunile discutate de el nu sînt noi. Homo Deus nu e prima carte despre moarte, fericire, sensul vieții, libertate, hazard și ceea ce trebuie să facă omul pentru a fi mulțumit de el însuși și de cei din jur. Anual se tipăresc zeci de cărți despre sens, fericire, plăcere și moarte (a omului, a lui Dumnezeu, a universului). Flerul lui Harari se vădește în faptul că alege din suma răspunsurilor la o problemă (pentru că libertatea, sensul, moartea sînt și probleme, măcar în mintea înțelepților) ipoteza cea mai radicală. Harari alege, așadar, scandalosul: fericirea înseamnă plăcere și plăcerea e un flux de senzații. Senzațiile pot fi dirijate chimic. În consecință, fericirea se poate obține luînd c��te o pilulă de Zoloft la fiecare 3 ore. Fericirea nu e în ceruri: depinde, prin urmare, de progresul farmacologiei.

Postulatul tacit care stă la baza cărții lui Yuval Noah Harari este, desigur, următorul: „Știința va rezolva totul. Omul (dacă există om, nu uitați, căci omul e numai o sumă de algoritmi biochimici) mai are o șansă. Trebuie să sperăm...”. Cititorul se cade a termina de citit cartea într-o dispoziție optimistă.

În încheiere, voi oferi 3 citate:

- „Cuvîntul sacru 'libertate' se dovedeşte a fi, exact la fel ca 'sufletul', un termen găunos, lipsit de orice înţeles decelabil. Liberul arbitru există doar în poveştile imaginare pe care le-am inventat noi, oamenii” (p.252).

- „Cine sînt eu? Ştiinţa subminează nu numai credinţa liberală în liberul arbitru, ci şi credinţa în individualism” (p.256).

- Și chestia cea mai tare: „Un studiu recent cerut de Facebook, rivalul companiei Google, a arătat că astăzi algoritmul Facebook judecă deja mai bine personalităţile şi dispoziţiile oamenilor decît prietenii, părinţii şi chiar partenerii lor de viaţă” (p.297).
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
December 13, 2018
Excellent again. Harari is fast becoming one of my favourite writers.

I didn't love Homo Deus quite as much as Sapiens, but I think that's because the history Harari takes us through in the latter really does read like a very compelling novel. This book explores different themes and theories about the future of humanity - relating to aging, technological advancements, etc. - which makes it not as cohesive. Still, though, very interesting. He really knows how to break down complex concepts so everyone can understand them.
Profile Image for Weronika.
179 reviews
December 7, 2016
The book is hugely disappointing. A year or so ago I read an interview with Harari on this book, which was still work in progress, and I found his views on biological inequality (and, to a lesser extent, the decoupling of intelligence from consciousness) very insightful. Actually, it was that interview that inspired me to read Sapiens, which, despite certain flaws, unfortunately amplified in Deus, is a book definitely worth reading. Meanwhile, Deus is wordy, chaotic and repetitive; most of the book is a just hotchpotch of quite basic facts stretching across many disciplines that does not seem to serve any purpose. A portion of that is a repetition from Sapiens, but most sounds like extended paragraphs from high school textbooks which are intended – I guess – to support each chapter’s main claim, but fail to do so, as they are not inserted in any kind of persuasive argumentation. Despite most of the book’s being redundant, I have to say I appreciated Harari’s insights on free will. Had I not read about biological inequality before, I’d probably also somewhat praise that part. If I hadn’t read Sapiens, I could have liked the parts already discussed in Sapiens (but if you haven't read Sapiens, just read Sapiens). But I'm afraid that's all. Really disappointing, I honestly wanted to give up on this book at least three times, but ploughed through it, including notes, anyway, because I hoped I'd discover something of real value in the end. Didn’t happen.
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
413 reviews920 followers
June 17, 2017
Obviously I need to get a copy of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind because I loved this book. I can't claim to be well-read in the topic of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, so I'm definitely biased in my opinion that Harari is a genius. Every few pages my copy has lengthy passages highlighted, brilliant bits I just knew I would want to reference when I pitched this book to family and friends later on.

In Homo Deus, Harari holds that now that humanity has all but solved the mammoth problems plaguing it before the 21st century - disease, famine, and violence - it will turn to a new agenda, namely attaining happiness, immortality, and divinity. This is what the blurb will tell you, but the book addresses many more topics beyond the above.
The author writes about our potential future in terms of our recent and ancient past (he is, after all, first and foremost a historian). He explains how humans distinguished themselves from the animal world and came to recognize the human experience and economic growth as the ultimate powers of the recent centuries. Harari then turns to look at where the unstoppable tide of technology and progress may take us in a few decades - whether intelligent algorithms and a genetically upgraded superhuman elite may make ordinary humans obsolete.

His ideas, put starkly, may sound like far-fetched science fiction, but Harari supports his assertions with historical and current evidence as well as deep insights that make his predictions seem chillingly close to prophecy. Even though he states that Homo Deus is meant to help readers explore all possible future routes of humankind, the book still induced an ominous feeling in me the whole way.

One of my favorite passages concerns the belief in a potential scientific "Noah's Ark" which will deliver the rich and social elite from detrimental future effects of climate change, leaving the poor masses to deal with the fallout:
Even if bad comes to worse and science cannot hold off the deluge, engineers could still build a hi-tech Noah's Ark for the upper caste, while leaving billions of others to drown. The belief in this hi-tech Ark is currently one of the biggest threats to the future of humankind and of the entire ecosystem. People who believe in the hi-tech Ark should not be put in charge of the global ecology, for the same reason that people who belive in a heavenly afterlife should not be given nuclear weapons.

And one of the best "food for thought" snippets, in a chapter discussing (among other things) the moral implications of farming animals:
If and when computer programs attain superhuman intelligence and unprecedented power, should we begin valuing these programs more than we value humans? Would it be okay, for example, for an artificial intelligence to exploit humans and even kill them to further its own needs and desires? If it should never be allowed to do that, despite its superior intelligence and power, why is it ethical for humans to exploit and kill pigs?

All that being said, the book does have a tendency to ramble a bit. Harari hammers his main points into the reader through numerous repetitions and returns. There are 50 page chapters in Homo Deus, elaborating on and illustrating one single-sentence argument. However, lots of the evidence the author presents is interesting in itself - often it was a historical case applicable to current events - so it never gets boring.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
297 reviews199 followers
April 16, 2020
بخش‌هایی از این کتاب با کتاب انسان خردمند تشابه و همپوشانی داشت و دیگر اینکه فکر می‌کنم در چاپ‌های بعدی نویسنده باید کرونا را هم در بخش‌های ابتدایی کتاب اضافه کند و بخش‌هایی را تغییر دهد.من نسخه پی دی اف کتاب را خواندم که ترجمه نیک گرگین بود که این نسخه بدون سانسور هست. ترجمه ی چاپی کتاب (ترجمه زهرا عالی) سانسور شده است.
با تثـبيت بی‌سـابقه‌ی سـطح رفـاه، تندرسـتی و توازن، و با توجه به پيشينه و ارزش‌های کنـونی، هـدف بعـدی بشـر احتمـالا زنـدگی جاويد، خوشبختی و خداگونگی است. ما بعـد از کـاهش مـيزان مـرگ و مـير در اثـر قحطی، بيماری و خشونت، اکنون چيرگی بر پيری و حتی فائق آمدن بر خود مرگ را هدف خود قرار داده‌ايم. ما بعد از رهانيدن مردم از چنگـال نکبت، اکنـون می خـواهيم آن ها را به خوشبختی واقعی برسانيم. ما اکنون اراده کـرده‌ايم تـا بـا سـر بـر آوردن از سطح حقير تنازع بقاء، خود را به مقـام خـدايی ارتقـاء دهيم و انسـان خردمنـد را بـه انسان خداگونه متحول کنيم. ص 37 کتاب
اديان و ايدئولوژی‌ها در طول تاريخ، خودِ زندگی را تقدس نکرده‌اند. آنها همــواره چيزی را تقديس کرده‌اند که در ورای وجود خاکی قــرار داشــته اســت و در نتيجه در قبال مرگ کاملا شکيبا بوده‌انـد. بـرخی از آن‌هـا، در واقـع شـيفته‌ی خـالص آن سـایه‌ی عزرائيل داس بدست بوده‌اند. زيرا مسيحيت، اسلام و آئين هندو، با پافشاری بر اين که معنای وجود ما وابسته به سرنوشت ما بعد از مرگ است، بـه مــرگ همچـون بخشــی اساسی و مثبت از جهان می‌نگريستند. انسان‌ها از اين رو می‌مردند کــه خداونــد مقــرر می‌کرد و لحظه‌ی مرگ يک تجربه‌ی مقدس ماوراء طبيعی بود که با معنا مشتعل می‌شــد. وقتی انسانی نفس آخر خود را می‌کشيد، زمان فراخواندن کشيش و خاخـام و شـامان بود، تا با زندگی تسويه حساب کنند و نقش حقيقی فرد در حال احتضار در کائنات را به جان بپذيرند. آيا می‌توانيد مسيحيت، اسلام يـا آئين هنـدو را بـدون مـرگ- کـه جهانی است بدون بهشت و جهنم يا زندگی ديگر ـ تصور کنيد؟ علم و فرهنگ نوين برداشتی کاملا متفاوت از مرگ و زندگی دارند. اينها مرگ را به عنوان يک راز ماوراء طبيعی نمی‌انگارند و قطعا آن را سرچشمه‌ی زندگی نمی‌پندارند. مرگ از نظر انسان‌های نوين مشکلی فنی است، که می‌تواند و بايد حل شود. ص 38 کتاب
وودی آلن، که از موضوع ترس از مرگ موقعيت خارق العـاد‌‌ای را بـرای خـود بـه وجود آورده بود، زمانی مورد سؤال قرار گرفت که آيا زندگی ابدی بـر پـرده‌ی نقـره‌ای را آرزو می‌کند. آلن در جواب گفت: "ترجيح می‌دادم کـه در آپارتمـانم زنـدگی کنم". او ادامه داد: "نمی‌خواهم از طريق حرفه‌ی خود به زندگی جاويد برسم. می‌خواهم با نمردن به آن برسم". شکوه ابدی، ادای تشريفات يادبود وطن پرستی و آرزوی رفتن به بهشت موعود برای انسان‌هايی مانند آلن، که به واقع خواستار نمردن هستند، گزينه‌هـای غـيرجذابی هستند. ص 50 کتاب
اما علم می‌گويد که کسی هرگز با گرفتن ترفيع، برنده شـدن در بخت آزمـايی يـا حتی يافتن عشق حقيقی خوشبخت نشده است. انسـان‌ها تنهـا و تنهـا بـا يـک چـيز خوشبخت می‌شوند، و آن حس خشنودی در جسمشان است. ص 61 کتاب
هدف از مطالعه‌ی تاريخ رهايی از چنگال گذشته اسـت. خوانـدن تـاريخ مـا را قـادر می‌سازد تا سر خود را به اطراف بگردانيم تا شايد فرصت‌هايی را بيابيم کـه گذشـتگان ما نمی‌توانستند، يا نمی‌خواستند ببينند. با مشاهده‌ی سلسله حوادثی که ما را بـه اينجـا رساند، می‌توانيم پی ببريم که چطور افکار و رؤياهای ما شکل گرفتنـد، تـا بتـوانيم آن افکار و رؤياها را در مسير متفاوتی بيندازيم. مطالعه‌ی تاريخ به ما نخواهــد گفت چگونــه انتخاب کنيم، اما حداقل گزينه‌هايی را در برابرمان قرار می دهد. ص 99 کتاب
علم و دين عملا مثـل يـک زن و شـوهر هسـتند کـه عليرغم بهره‌گيری از مشاوره‌ی زناشويی طی ۵۰۰ سال، هنوز يکديگر را نمی‌شناسند. آقا هنوز خواب سيندرلا را می‌بيند و خانم هم هنوز بـه دنبـال فـرد مناسـب می‌گـردد، و همزمان در مورد اينکه نوبت کدامشان است تـا زباله‌هـا را بـيرون بـبرد، بـا هم دعـوا می‌کنند. ص 285 کتاب
اگر روی تحقيقات سرمايه گذاری مالی کنيم، دستاوردهای علمی به پيشــرفت‌های فنی شتاب خواهند داد. فن‌آوری‌های نوين نيروی لازم برای رشـد اقتصـادی را فـراهم می‌کنند، و شکوفايی اقتصا��ی می‌تواند منابع تحقيقاتی باز هم بيشتری در اختيـار مـا بگذارد. با گذشت هر دهه، از غذای بيشتر، وسايل نقليه‌ی ســريع تر، و خـدمات پزشــکی بهتری بهره‌مند می‌شويم. روزی دانش ما چنان گسترش خواهـد يـافت و فن‌آوری مـا به قدری پيشرفت خواهد کرد که خواهيم توانست اکسـير جـوانی جاويـد، خوشـبختی حقيقی و هر دارويی را که بخواهيم به دسـت آوريم، و آنگـاه ديگـر هيچ خـدايی مـا را متوقف نخواهد کرد. ص 318 کتاب
فکر می کنيد وقتی اِبولا در تابستان 2014 در آفريقای شرقی شيوع پيدا کرد، چه اتفاقی بر سر سهام شرکت‌های داروسازی، که مشغول توليد دارو و واکسن بر ضد ابولا بودند، افتاد؟ آن سهام صعود کردند. سهام شـرکت تکمـيرا تـا ۵۰ درصـد، و سهام شرکت بايوکريست تا ۹۰ درصد افزايش پيـدا کردنـد. شـيوع طـاعون در قـرون وسطی باعث شد تا مردم به آسمان چشم بدوزند و از درگاه خدا، به خاطر گناهانشان طلب مغفرت کنند. امروز، وقتی مردم چيزی در بـاره‌ی يـک بيمـاری همه گـير کشـنده‌ی جديد می‌شنوند، تلفن‌هاشان را بيرون می‌آورند و بـه دلال سهامشـان زنـگ می‌زننـد. صفحات 321 و 322 کتاب
گذشـته اينچـنين نبـود. مهاراجه‌هـای هنـدی، ســلطان‌های عثمــانی، شــوگون‌های کامــاکورای ژاپن و امپراتورهــای هــانِ چيــنی، موفقيت‌های سياسی خود را بر پايه‌ی تضمين رشد اقتصادی اسـتوار نمی‌کردنـد. اينکـه مودی، اردوغان، آبه و رئيس جمهور چين، زی جين پينگ، موفقيت حــرفه‌ای خــود را منوط به رشد اقتصادی می‌کنند، گواه جايگاه تقريبا مـذهبی رشـد در سراسـر جهـان است. در حقيقت، اشتباه نيست که باور به رشـد اقتصـادی را يـک دين بنـاميم، زيـرا ادعای حل بسياری از- اگر نگوييم اکثر- معماهای اخلاقی را دارد. از زمانی که ادعا شده که رشد اقتصادی بنياد تمـام چيزهـای خـوب اسـت، مـردم را تشـويق بـه دفن اختلافات اخلاقی فی مابين، و پذيرش راهی برای به حداکثر رسـاندن رشـد بلندمـدت اقتصادی، می‌کنند. ص 328 کتاب
طی هزاران سال کشيشان، خاخام‌ها و آخوندها ادعا می‌کردند که انسـان‌ها نمی‌تواننـد به تنهايی بر قحطی، طاعون و جنگ غلبه کنند. اما بعدها بانک داران، سرمايه گذاران و صاحبان صنايع سر برآوردند و طی 200 سال آن را متحقق ساختند. ص 346 کتاب
پيامبران و فلاسفه، در طول تاريخ، اعلام کرده‌اند که اگر انسان‌ها اعتقاد خود به نقشه‌ی عظيم جهانی را از دست بدهند، نظم و قــانون از بين خواهد رفت. اما امروز بزرگ ترين تهديد کنندگان نظم و قانون جهانی درست همان‌هـا هستند که به باور خود به خـدا و طرح‌هـای جهان شـمول او ادامـه می‌دهنـد. سـوريه‌ی خداترس مکان بسيار خشن تری از هلند بی خدا است. 349 کتاب
اسـلام بنيـادگرا بـرای منظومه‌ی ليبرال تهديدی جدی به حساب نمی‌آيد، زيرا متعصبين، عليرغم آتش گدازان درونی، به درستی از جهان قرن بيست و يکم سر در نمی‌آورنــد و در مــورد خطرهــا و موقعيت‌های جديدی که فن‌آوری‌های جديد برای ما بـه دنبـال دارد، حـرف مناسـبی برای گفتن ندارند. ص 424 کتاب
درست است که صدها ميليون نفر به اسلام، مسيحيت و آئين بودا اعتقاد دارنـد، اما تعداد به تنهايی نقش زيادی در تاريخ ندارد. تاريخ اغلب توسط گروه‌های کــوچکی از مبتکرين آينده نگر شکل گرفته است، نه توده‌هـای کثـيری کـه بـه گذشـته خـيره شده‌اند. ص 426 کتاب
از خود سؤال کنيد: مؤثرترين کشف، اختراع يا آفرينش قرن بيستم چه بود؟ اين سؤال دشواری است، زيرا انتخاب از ميان يک ليست بلند، شامل کشفيات علمی، مثل آنتی بيوتيک‌ها، اختراعات فن‌آوری، مثـل کامپيوترهـا، و آفرينش‌هـای عقيـدتی، مثـل فمينيسم، کار آسانی نيست. حالا باز از خود سؤال کنيد: مـؤثرترين کشـف، ابـداع يـا آفرينش اديان سنتی، مثل اسلام و مسيحيت در قرن بيستم چـه بـود؟ پاسـخ بـه اين سؤال بسيار دشوار است، زيرا انتخاب چندانی وجود ندارد. آيــا کشيشـان، خاخام‌هـا و ملاها چه کشـفی در قـرن بيسـتم ارائـه دادنـد کـه قابـل قيـاس بـا آنتی بيوتيک‌هـا، کامپيوترها يا فمينيسم باشد؟ بعـد از تعمـق کـافی در مـورد اين دو سـؤال، آيـا فکـر می‌کنيد که تحـولات بـزرگ قـرن بيسـتم از کجـا سرچشـمه گرفتـه اسـت؟ از دولت اسلامی، يا از گوگل؟ بلـه، دولت اسـلامی می‌توانـد يـک قطعـه فيلم را روی يوتيـوب بگذارد، اما اگر صنعت شکنجه را به کنار بگذاريم، چند شرکت اخيراً در سوريه يا عراق تأسيس شده است؟ صفحات 434 و 435 کتاب
انسـان گرايان در عصـر لاک، هيـوم و ولـترمی گفتند "خدا محصول تخيلات انسانی است". دیتائيسم اکنون امکان مزه کردن علم پزشکی خود را بـرای انسـان گرايان فـرآهم می‌آورد و می‌گويـد: «بلـه، خـدا محصـول تخيلات انسانی است، اما تخيلات انسـانی هم بـه نوبـه‌ی خـود محصـول الگوريتم‌هـای زيست شيميايی هستند». انسان گرايی در قـرن هيجـدهم، بـا چـرخش از جهـان بينی خدامحوری به جهان بينی انسان محوری، خدا را از معرکه خارج کرد. دیتائيسم در قـرن بيست و يکم، می‌خواهد با چرخش از جهان بينی انســان محوری بـه اطلاعــات محوری، انسان‌ها را از معرکه خارج کند. صفحات 605 و 606 کتاب
در گذشته سانسور به شکل سد کردن راه جريان اطلاعات عمـل می‌کـرد. در قـرن بيسـت و يکم سانسور به صـورت غـرق کـردن مـردم در اطلاعـات نامناسـب عمـل می‌کنـد. مـردم نمی‌دانند که توجه خود را روی چه چيزی متمرکز کنند و اوقـات خـود را اغلب بـرای بحث و بررسی بر روی مسا ئل جانبی تلف می‌کنند. در دوران باستان داشتن قدرت در گرو دسترسی به اطلاعات بود. امروزه داشتن قدرت به معنی آگـاهی از اين اسـت کـه چه چيزی را بايد ناديده گرفت. ص 616 کتاب
Profile Image for Petrik.
688 reviews46.1k followers
November 24, 2019
3.5/5 stars

Not as good as Homo Sapiens but Homo Deus did provide me with additional informative knowledge and intriguing speculations told in an engaging and thought-provoking style.

“People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.”

I will first say that Harari is a good writer, he really knows how to make interesting topics more compelling and he also kept me focused on information that would’ve been boring to read usually. Frankly speaking, there were indeed some sections in Part II—liberalism—that in my opinion was super dull and dry to read, but Part 1 and Part 3 of the book was superb; I found the majority of my attention grabbed by the way Harari discussed topics that evidently relevant in our society. Unlike Homo Sapiens which mostly dealt with facts and how humanity progressed—or stay the same—from the past up to the present, in Homo Deus Harari tells and speculates what comes after; what kind of futures humanity might be facing or going for based on the data and theories gathered from our history and present timeframe. There are so many topics that I could talk about here, but I feel like talking too much would diminish the benefit of reading this book itself; I’ll refrain from doing that and gives a bit of my opinion regarding one of the topics discussed: the power and curses of social media.

“In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. [...] In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.”

The passage above speaks a loud volume to the way humanity lives these days. You want to know about something? Search it on Google. You want to see beautiful places you’ve never been to or bookish pictures? Search it on Instagram. Do you want to learn how to do something? Search it on Youtube or Pinterest. Book reviews? Search it on Goodreads/Amazon. There are many more examples, but the conclusion is that we live in an era where we have incredibly easy access to information that wasn’t possible to gain more than a decade ago. There’s no doubt that internet and social media have changed the way we live completely and there’s simply no going back from here. I’ve seen and heard some people complained about the way their privacy and data are used, and yes, their reasons are valid and I do believe that privacy of each individual should be respected. But this isn’t actually a hard-to-find knowledge; majority of social media users know that they’re giving away their data when they used their applications. Knowing all the risk of data sacrificial, we arrive at the most important question:

Will we/they continue to use the applications?

Most likely yes, the convenience and strength given by social media are simply way too powerful to ignore. I don’t have many issues against social media; most of my lives are enriched because of it. you’re reading this—and my other—review through social media, after all. However, it truly saddens me to see how many people have their lives destroyed by social media. Depression is at an all-time high; jealousy sparked easily; we constantly feel unsatisfied by what we have because of the beauty and unrealistic expectations set by filtered lenses.

“We do not become satisfied by leading a peaceful and prosperous existence. Rather, we become satisfied when reality matches our expectations. The bad news is that as conditions improve, expectations balloon.”

The heavy reliance on social media usage might be responsible for many issues these days, honestly speaking, though, I personally don’t think that social media should take the blame entirely. It’s easier said than done, but internet/social media should be treated with the same rule of drinking alcohol: use it responsibly and it has a chance of bringing you happiness instead of harm/problems. Anything that’s too much is never good and that notion applies here, on our way to increase our quality of life by becoming a user of internet/social media, the opposite happens when we’re not in control: social media doesn’t become the product we use, WE become the social media’s product.

“Every day millions of people decide to grant their smartphone a bit more control over their lives or try a new and more effective antidepressant drug. In pursuit of health, happiness and power, humans will gradually change first one of their features and then another, and another, until they will no longer be human.”

There are still many more words I could write regarding this topic, but this is a book review and I plan to keep it that way. Please don’t take the long paragraphs I wrote about data, social media, and internet as a way of me saying that these are the only prominent topics that Harari talked about, there were still many other VERY important topics such as food, history, human dominance, belief, and religions that Harari elaborated with effectiveness, but I think it would be better for you to read them for yourself.

“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.”

Overall though, despite finding this book interesting and engaging, I still think that Homo Sapiens is the superior book. Now, I have no idea whether it’s due to Homo Sapiens being the first book I read instead of Homo Deus or not, but it really felt like some of the discussions and ideas gets repetitive to read. Plus, I had mixed feelings regarding Part 2 of the book where a lot of sections were uninteresting and told in an almost text-book manner. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is a thought-provoking book about societies, dataism, humanism, and the power of beliefs. As always, my rating speaks more for enjoyment rather than technicality, and I honestly believe that this, and Homo Sapiens, are books that should be read at least once whether you enjoy them or not. I agree and don’t agree with Harari on several topics, but the reasonings he gave will most likely make you reflect on many important topics.

“Fiction isn't bad. It is vital. Without commonly accepted stories about things like money, states or corporations, no complex human society can function. We can't play football unless everyone believes in the same made-up rules, and we can't enjoy the benefits of markets and courts without similar make-believe stories. But stories are just tools. They shouldn't become our goals or our yardsticks. When we forget that they are mere fiction, we lose touch with reality. Then we begin entire wars `to make a lot of money for the cooperation' or 'to protect the national interest'. Corporations, money and nations exist only in our imagination. We invented them to serve us; why do we find ourselves sacrificing our life in their service.”

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Cj Dufficy.
30 reviews11 followers
October 8, 2016
Certainly a disappointment when compared to Sapiens. The insights were generally already well presented in the earlier book. The section on animal lives is not convincingly warranted for inclusion but more obviously just a passion for the author leading me to feel I was being preached too. His criticism of Dawkins et al although correct could be equally pointed at himself. The universe will move from hot to cold regardless of quantum mechanical randomness at the quanta scale and equally at our barely greater scale (in universal terms) the path of the universe need not worry about human probabilistic behaviour, our free will is irrelevant to the progress of the universe. The fact that it is buried in our consciousness where language based thought is absent is hardly surprising as without it we could never have arrived at language based thought.

All living things will die (even if capable of life spans we can't comprehend now) something terminal eventually happens to everything. As finally when the universe is so cold nothing can happen, long after this proton decay will plant the last nail in all coffins. Dr Hariri is no different to a WW1 general asking people to sacrifice some of their one and only life to benefit some unknown present or future person or animal with zero guarantees the sacrifice pays off but 100% certainty of the personal cost. Technology won't replicate humans, why would anyone want to copy such an imperfect organism when so many better options would be available?

He admits, to paraphrase Dr King, that the arc of history is towards justice. The future is not a destination we choose any effort to dictate global outcomes never succeeds and this book is just another "I know best contribution" that will soon be forgotten.

Generally the book feels as a world view supported selectively and not the wonderful voyage of discovery presented in Sapiens. Like Dawkins hating God though not believing, the author to object to humanism sneers at humans. No one ever said humans should act justly towards anything as a result of evolution but wth curiosity, generosity and empathy we have achieved a lot and are headed to achieve more although doomed anyway either in the long or short term. He fails completely to demonstrate any logic for a human that is mortal caring the exact length of time left to the species and acting altruistically as a result, and so totally unaware his action would have a measurable affect. If Mr Schickelbach hadn't changed his name to Hitler how different would the 20th century have been? What is the possibility of picking out causal events like these or knowing preventing them offers a better present. Everyone alive today must selfishly accept all of the great or horrible past or simply not exist.

I'm happy I read it just a little deflated that so little eye opening left field explanations are in it and so many unsupported claims are made.

To sum up he reminds me of the experimenter that forgets he is part of the experiment and can never not be.
Profile Image for Henk.
875 reviews
October 27, 2020
Thought provoking and sweeping
Historians study the past not in order to repeat it but in order to be liberated from it.

General observations
We become satisfied when reality confirms with our expectations
Yuval Noah Harari is on par with the best SF writers in painting a broad picture of long term trends and their impact. He posits that human development is pivoting from fighting famine, plague and war and that the big narrative and goals of the 21st century are to "upgrade" humanity into immortality, happiness and divinity. The topics he take on are gigantic and my thoughts about the book are quite expansive as well.

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow despite its title, spends a lot of time on the question of how we got to our modern day world. This history focus in itself is not a problem, since the way the author paints a picture is still as strong as in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

Actually I feel the future predictions are not necessarily the strongest point of the book.
The paragraph about how we conquered plagues (The era that humankind stands helplessly versus natural epidemics is probably over) is a bit awkward while sitting on the brink of a second Corona lockdown, despite we are not in black death toll proximity yet.
Also the narrative on less war is partly true but fails to pick up fully on trade tensions and cyber attacks that were also brewing in 2016. Finally I feel that climate change and equality should be themes coming back as major challenges for the 21st century.
Still the tale Harari tells is very compelling.

Immortality, happiness and divinity
It’s hard work to be happy
The author starts of with the thought provoking thought that already in many ways we modern day humans surpass Greek or Hindu gods, for instance in speed of travel or in access to information. There are no clear line separates healing from upgrading in biotechnology, hence Harari states that we will tap into the potential of bio engineering and nano technology to increase livespans.
How far we can go in this respect is unclear. Ray Kurzweil techno utopia of immortality is probably further away then a few decades, but new knowledge leads to novel behavior, the more we know, the less well we can forecast accurately. How will development of AI influence nanotechnology and the other way around for instance?

The second priority, happiness, is intimately tied to furthering our understanding of human biochemistry. Here some of the boundaries of our knowledge and understanding of the mind start to become more apparent (and you start to understand how progressive Buddha was in respect to trying to steer away from the chasing of pleasant sensations). Since luxury and newness wear of quickly, a radical increase in human happiness is probably only possible through a deeper understanding of the "hardware" of the brain. What is free will? Can you choose your desires and preferences?
I don’t choose my desires, I just feel them and act upon them.
Computer chips to cure depression with electrical charges in the brain are possibly only a first step,
transcranial stimulators and other tech can help us understand better the relation between the brain and the mind.

And this leads to the third topic, and in my perspective the most pivotal part of the book, humanity's relation with divinity. With technology massive upgrades in our capabilities are possible, probably firstly for the rich. But this in itself is not as interesting as what really differentiates humans from other animals and especially computers, if these keep developing in capabilities.

Towards a real life Matrix?
Intelligence is decoupling from consciousness
The author dives into the relation between the advent of agriculture and monotheistic religions, that emphasize our species unique status amongst animals, as opposed to animistic earlier religions. How when we discovered we descended from animals (evolution theory) the power of religion decreased, is a very interesting parallel I never thought of early.

Here the author starts to zoom into the differences between humans and animals, and what is the mind. Harari states that intersubjectivity is our superpower, how we can think of mental constructs that are believed in, and are used as overlay of reality for a large amount of Homo Sapiens, to facilitate cooperation.
Useful fictions that enable us to cooperate with unknown and unrelated specimens of our kind.
Like for instance gods, nations, money, and how no other species has shown this capability.
He then show how these fictions shape reality, like borders drawn haphazardly over Africa by European powers are still creating tensions in the current day world.
Also the power of writing to enable the rise of empire, making it possible to track much more means and property than before, when only a human mind could be used to keep records, is fascinating.

This all leads Harari to define Humanism as a kind of religion, a fiction that became useful when universal conscription by nations came into vogue. The main tenets of Humanism are then looked into by Harari, for instance that individual human experience and emotion should act as a basis of current day ethics and policies. And how the realisation of life sciences show that animals, and hence humans, are algorithms, dangerously undermines this core belief.
And if intelligent algorithms, run by computers, perform better than humans, what then is the defining characteristic of humanity?

Disconnection will mean death

Topics like can it suffer and fictions versus reality and the narrating self versus experiencing self in how humans experience the outside world, come back in the last part of Homo Deus.
Harari envisions that these biological insights and technological developments will lead to a new narrative, wherein humans either need to upgrade, try to merge with the singularity, or become redundant like Neanderthals.

A lot of questions rise with me from this part, mainly:
Who would want such a future, wherein we humans are irrelevant, and why hence would we work towards such a thing?
Who wants the Matrix to be real?

I feel that Harari missed the opportunity to discuss Capitalism as a kind of religion.
The quest for ever more returns literarily opens the Pandora’s box that Hariri discusses.
We have not applied mass GMO, we can safeguard privacy with GDPR, big tech’s dominion is not inevitable. We can think about the question if economic growth is more important than human family ties. And can a algorithm be a consumer?

Human beings are stubborn and unpredictable and I doubt that algorithms truly know us better than we know ourselves. In a sense even if this is true, when you know you are being observed your behaviour would change, like how in Foundation from Isaac Asimov the subject of predictions must not be aware of the expectations, for otherwise the predicted outcomes would change.

Anyhow, this is a highly readable and very much thought provoking book, that hopefully kicks off a debate about the kind of future we want to realize, instead of being just a prophecy of how humankind painted itself into a corner. I know our current record on these kind of topics is not good (see climate change) but feel the thoughtful and provocative thinking of authors like Yuval Noah Harari will help in starting these kind of necessary conversations.
Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Atila Iamarino.
411 reviews4,385 followers
July 18, 2016
Que livro amigos, que livro. Não lembro do que li que me fez pensar tanto e mudar a forma como vejo o mundo. Uma ótima análise rápida sobre como chegamos aqui, que se conecta muito bem com o Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, e uma análise mais extensa sobre para onde podemos ir. A análise em terceira pessoa sobre humanismo, capitalismo e tendências futuras é excelente. E a reflexão que ele traz sobre os valores que damos para o valor individual, consciência e autonomia só deve ganhar importância nos próximos anos. E tudo isso em uma linguagem acessível e ao alcance de qualquer audiência. Com certeza algo que vou reler muito ainda.

p.s. O livro sai em alguns meses ainda, tive a oportunidade de fazer a revisão técnica da versão em português.
Profile Image for Mark  Porton.
418 reviews364 followers
November 9, 2021
Where do you start reviewing a colossal piece of work such as Homo Deus – A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari? Last year I read another work by this author Sapiens, I was so taken by that work I could have and should have given it 6 stars (rule breaker, I am – yes I live on the edge). Sapiens discussed how we got to where we are now, Homo Deus discusses where we could be heading. To be honest it isn’t pretty – not to me anyway.

Professor Harari explains how Homo Sapiens have conquered the world and everything in it – including the atrocious way we arrogantly treat animals and the way we believe we are inherently more valued and important than other beings such as pigs, cows, fish, lizards, bugs and all.

What makes the life of domesticated farm animals particularly miserable is not the way they die. But the way they live.

This humble (but quite opinionated and annoying) reader believes he is no more important in the grand scheme of things than my Pup, a Pig, a Sparrow, a Fly, a Kettle or a Coffee Table – we are all part of the intricate exchange of atoms and matter that started 14 Billion years ago (perhaps). To be honest, believing this gives me great comfort and peace. That is, my carbon-based body, which may end up expired at some time sooner rather than later, will exchange atoms, molecules, and various other sub-atomic particles with Mother Earth. I love that.

The author states the ‘fact’ we have eternal Souls - apparently this means we take precedence over beings such as a pig, who don’t have souls.. This seems to give Homo Sapiens, more sway in the way things are managed, and imagined.

As an aside, there is Zero evidence Humans have souls as there is zero evidence Pigs have souls.

I really like the way Harari describes concepts such as Objective Reality, like gravity (which is indisputably real) and Inter-Subjective Reality (which are human constructs), such as religion and money. I can’t argue with the power of the latter regarding its contribution in the way we have totally dominated this planet.

The author repeatedly quotes statistics and numbers, and as this is an audiobook, I did find it difficult to re-read, stop, and check references if I needed to. However, one classic is – only 14% of Americans believe humans evolved without any divine intervention at all. What? Really? Apparently, being college/university educated makes no difference to these numbers. It’s funny (not) how the Theory of Evolution attracts far more criticism and controversy than the Theory of Relativity, which seems to go unnoticed. People don’t really give a toss about space/time and if they’re interrelated, but don’t talk about evolution.

The author discusses so many topics here such as Humanism, Liberalism, Climate Change, Poverty – the difference between poor and rich.

Harari spends a great deal of time discussing Humanism. This is a non-theist philosophy which affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfilment. In other words, we can give shape to our own lives, using free-will, learning from our experiences and so forth. He then goes onto discuss ‘free-will’ – and the fact we may not be as free as we think. For example, we already have many automated algorithms collecting data on each of us to influence what we buy, want, need. In fact, I finished this section believing ‘the system’ knows me better than I know myself!

What will happen if we realise customers and voters never make free choices?

The confrontation-o-meter really starts to crank up when the author writes about us being replaced by A.I. Algorithms. A future of machines with no-consciousness making decisions using vast amounts of data, thus making us superfluous. It seems we are on the verge of massive changes in this area – if we all think about it, the rate of change in the last decade has already been massive, as we know rates of technological change seem to increase exponentially . It’s very frightening.

Apparently, experts find it difficult to tell the difference between computer generated music, poetry – there are many professions we previously thought were exempt from automation. Taking The Family Doctor for example, an A.I. GP would always be up to date with the latest journals, papers, diagnoses, medications – for every disease imaginable, in real-time. How can a human compete with that? This is just one very simple example.

In closing, this whole read was fascinating. I loved it, in an itchy sort of way.

But you know, there is one major thing missing from this whole automated algorithmic data-driven world. What about love – how can a machine ever do that? Grief also? Desires? Maybe the world doesn’t need this – I don’t know about you, but a world without the things that make us human – love, grief, emotions, desires, sounds like no world at all.

5 Stars
Profile Image for zuza_zaksiazkowane.
379 reviews34k followers
August 7, 2020
3.5 Niestety nieco mniej mi się podobała niż „Sapiens”. Nie można jej odmówić ogromu przekazanej wiedzy i wielu bardzo ciekawych poruszonych tematów, ale ogółem jako książka - nieco mi się dłużyła. Było dużo powtórzeń, bardzo duzo religii i wiary jak na książkę o naukach ścisłych (co samo w sobie nie jest minusem, ale mnie zaskoczyło). Mogę ją z czystym sumieniem polecić, ale jednak na początek, lepiej zacząć od mojego uwielbianego „Sapiensa”. Jest mimo wszystko ciekawszy :)
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
April 27, 2023
Harari is excellent at the big picture stuff. Here he continues with the analysis he began in Sapiens, projecting it into the future.

As we saw in the earlier book, the thing he thinks makes us unique as a species is our ability to create stories and then act as though those stories are true. This makes them true, bringing into being an intersubjective story-based reality that lets large numbers of people cooperate effectively and create large societies constructed around that reality. One of the most important kinds of story is a religion. Harari takes a broad view of what religions are, and argues that an effective religion needs to be in tune with the technology of its society. Traditional religions like Christianity are adapted to an agricultural society; Jehovah runs Earth the way a farmer runs his farm, and when everyone is a farmer this is a natural image. But since the industrial revolution, most of us are no longer farmers. Harari says that the traditional religions have since then been in practice supplanted by what he calls the "humanist" religions: liberalism, communism, nazism, etc. As the label suggests, these put people, rather than God, in the centre of the picture. He makes his analysis look insightful and appealing, and there are many fine throwaway lines: I particularly liked the characterisation of WW II as the largest religious war to date.

Now, however, we are rapidly leaving the industrial age and entering the information age. More and more, people turn over decision making to the machines, because they do it better. So what people think becomes less relevant, data stored and processed by various kinds of AIs becomes more relevant, and people can no longer be in the centre. Harari extrapolates logically that this is rapidly creating new religions where information is central instead. This does indeed seem a good way to think about books like Tegmark's Life 3.0: I certainly read it as a piece of proselytising, even if I couldn't at the time name what it was proselytising for. Harari's "dataism" now seems like a useful word. Verily, I say unto ye, ye must become as one with the data, that thy soul shall reach the heavens in the more perfect bodies of the machines which are our brethren. Though one of the things which irritates me about dataism is that its sacred language in fact seems to be modern Californian.

The really terrifying thing about the dataist future, which each month sounds less like science-fiction and more like the world we see around us, is that it may be the least bad alternative. Both in this book and in Elise Bohan's Future Superhuman, which I started reading yesterday, they keep returning to the depressing point that we human beings no longer seem able to control the world we've created and are rapidly destroying it. Maybe there is no way back, only a way forward into this uncharted new territory.
Profile Image for Shafaat.
93 reviews102 followers
December 5, 2016
We are not so taken aback when we hear computer programs can beat human chess masters. After all, computers are far more efficient calculators than humans, and chess can be broken down to calculations (In fact, nowadays chess masters don't stand a chance against present day computer Chessmaster programs. It's simply not possible for a human mind to beat them). And we're also not at all shocked when Google and Tesla present us automated cars driven by computer programs. Nevertheless, we reason,computers can never rival humans in arts, because arts require something distinctively(perhaps even spiritually) humane, which can never be replicated by computers.

If you're a believer in this sort of human distinctiveness, perhaps you would naturally be thrown off upon hearing that a computer program written by a professor of musicology produced musical piece that the audience thought was superior to Bach. In other words, AI has already passed the Turing test in music.

If programs can outperform us in our allegedly distinct 'human art' form, there's really no reason to think that it can't outperform us in every other field. Programs may lack subjective consciousness like us, but that doesn't stop them to outperform us in intellectual and artistic fields.

Harari's new book explores the dimensions of the marriage between man and machine. He basically paints a dystopian vision of the future where humanity is by and large subjugated to non conscious intelligent machines. He even entertains the idea with the rise of brain-machine interfaces, where today's elite class of human beings would upgrade themselves to a biologically improved version of humans, which the general mass couldn't possibly afford for their lives. This would create a real caste system with real biological hierarchies.

After reading Harari's previous book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, I must say that I am a bit disappointed with this book. Much of the book is reiteration of the previous book which seemed to me largely redundant. However, although this book is not as articulated or entertaining as the previous one, it is probably more important, considering the topics it deals with.
Profile Image for Liong.
147 reviews116 followers
March 6, 2023
An incredible book about the future.

Intelligence or consciousness?

You can anticipate and forecast the future now.
Profile Image for Bianca.
1,084 reviews925 followers
February 8, 2019

What an interesting, compelling, thought-provoking and, yeah, kind of scary book. After finishing it, I'm both elated and anxious.
Homo Deus (what a perfect title) was complex and it covered a lot of things, but it is especially trying to decipher where the humanity is going.
Consciousness, the individual, intelligence, and the very important ability to organise are thoroughly analysed.

I was very surprised to have my native country mentioned and analysed briefly but comprehensively. More importantly, Harari answered a question I've been asking myself for many years. In retrospect, the explanation is logical but it never occurred to me and nobody else was able to enlighten me either.

Algorithms - a modern word, but very important, as we all are biological algorithms.

What's more important - intelligence or consciousness?

I also enjoyed the recap/rundown of some historical events in history.

Harari also addresses our cruel treatment of farm animals. I'm an omnivore who feels guilty.

What else? There's a lot to take in, but Harari unpacks it for us in an eloquent, easy to understand manner (well, I understood it).

I'll probably buy the paperback so I go over certain chapters again.

This audiobook was splendidly narrated by Derek Perkins.

Highly recommended
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book938 followers
June 30, 2020
Harari wrote Homo Deus following the success of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind a couple of years earlier. And while the first book’s ambition is to tell the saga of humanity’s past, this one is offered as a sort of sequel, showing what our future might hold. In truth, Sapiens was mostly glossing over the complexities of humankind’s history. And most of the first half of Homo Deus commits to rehashing the same arguments, only to thin them down with a slightly different set of examples and anecdotes. For example, Harari spends quite a few pages discussing once again the notion that human societies are shaped by arbitrary conventions or “intersubjective fictional entities” (economy, ethics, laws, ideologies, religions). He also devotes a significant part of the book to his pet cause: the callousness of industrial livestock farming. Most of the book is written in a journalistic style, with anecdotes aplenty, which makes for both engaging and easy reading, but at the same time, renders the book a bit sketchy, patchy, dated and peripheral.

Nevertheless, Homo Deus starts to introduce new notions about halfway through. The core of the book is an examination of modernity, in the wake of what Nietzsche had coined the “Death of God”. The ideology that is currently replacing the moribund religions of the past is humanism, in its either liberal or socialist version. Harari briefly examines the question of consciousness and free-will, which are the founding (albeit debatable) principles of humanism. He also outlines the distinctive features of this modern ideology: the belief in perpetual technological and economic growth; the belief in individualism, “inner-awareness” and “self-determination” and, thus, in democracy and happiness. Even though, in the end, modern humanism does very little to provide meaning to human existence.

Towards the end of the book, however, as Harari considers what might come next, it becomes clear that the blessings of humanism might ultimately be bestowed on a very limited elite. Harari examines how the humanist obsession with technological progress might well become the downfall of our humanist civilisation and the inception of a “dataist” dystopia. A few precursory elements include novel techniques of body and brain “hacking”, the systematic replacement of the human workforce by increasingly intelligent machines (and the social inequalities this will imply), and last but not least, the flourishing belief that the Self and even the whole of society is but a bunch of pre-determined data-processing systems. In other words, we are algorithms.

Homo Deus’ closing chapters paint, with broad brush strokes, a grim picture of our possible future. The dawn of this new era is probably upon us already, and individuals are increasingly treated, through an ever encircling net of technology, as data-bags, suitable only for corporations’ meaningless profits — just as animals are treated as meat-bags, suited only to humans’ boundless consumption. Nietzsche (again) prophetically called this the age of the “Last Man”. That was more than a century ago, however, so there is nothing groundbreaking in Homo Deus today. In any event, this places Harari right next to a couple of other slightly gloomy transhumanists, such as Nick Bostrom.
Profile Image for Simon Clark.
Author 1 book4,981 followers
July 1, 2019
I was a HUGE fan of Harari's previous smash hit Sapiens, and as such I came into this book with high expectations. Those expectations were met in some areas, and not in others: overall the book is engaging but a shadow of its predecessor.

First, the good stuff. Harari's prose is as readable and clear as ever in Homo Deus, and he paces himself excellently. Too often in popular science books I find that either the author drags their feet getting to the interesting stuff or rockets over important sections, leaving some fatal misunderstandings. As in Sapiens Harari is economical with his words, saying just enough to convey the point exactly without overstaying his welcome. Additionally, similar to Sapiens the broad-brush overview of history is extremely compelling (provided you don't expect academically rigorous sources). Most of the book is actually a re-telling of the power structures that have shaped human societies, focusing on the concept of religions. Naturally this includes Abrahamic religions, animalist or spiritualist beliefs, and a slew of ancient religions. However crucially Harari also classifies humanism as a religion, and, in fact, as the defining religion of the modern period, placing the individual human at the centre of the moral universe. With this framework in place Harari then extrapolates modern interplay of religion and society forward a few centuries, speculating about what future religions might look like.

This speculative section of the book is what drew me to Homo Deus, as I'm sure was the case for many readers. Unfortunately I think many will likewise come away disappointed. For such a long buildup, Harari spends very little time actually discussing the potential future, or how society might look with, for example, a caste of technologically-enhanced humans lording it over us mere biological peasants. The rise of machine learning gets the most thorough treatment, being as it is likely the most severe social disruptor of this century, but even the predictions here feel brief, even perfunctory. A much more thorough discussion takes place in Pedro Domingo's excellent The Master Algorithm. I really hoped for more from Harari in speculating how current broad trends might plan out, but (perhaps understandably) he shirks away from providing many predictions.

This said, in the few years since the book has been published many of its predictions have come true. For example, the rise of not only ride-sharing but car-sharing apps is directly predicted. The very day that I read that section of the book I saw an advert for car-sharing app ZipCar on the tube. The rising discontent with politics (as hinted at during the writing of the book with the election campaigns of Brexit and Donald Trump) have absolutely come to pass. This certainly lends some validity to the broad vision Harari presents, and I have no doubt that his vision of how technology and society will interact in the 21st century will come to pass. Between the lack of details however, as well as an uncharacteristically patchy discussion of modern religions, and his perennial problem of writing for a popular audience and so skimping on references, this just doesn't hold up to comparison to Sapiens. Still, a recommended read for those who enjoyed the previous book.
Profile Image for Bharath.
643 reviews474 followers
October 1, 2017
Having read Sapiens, I had some idea that there would be new themes which Yuval Noah Harari would cover which nobody else has before. With Sapiens, it was about the agricultural revolution and the binding power of stories. And yes - there are brilliant new themes in Homo Deus as well - our delusion of free will and the Sapiens in a future world ruled by algorithms, and it continues excellently from where Sapiens left off. If Sapiens was about how the most powerful species consolidated it's power, Homo Deus is about what is in store for Sapiens.

The theme of the power of stories - to bind and also delude is continued in Homo Deus. Stories - good or bad enables large scale co-operation among Sapiens - even if the story is not entirely logical or fair to other species. This has led to Humanism as a religion, where Sapiens have declared themselves as the centre and primary purpose of the universe. So everything else revolves around Sapiens - and all other life forms are for it's use. This has led to us being extremely cruel with other life forms and farm animals lead miserable lives from birth till death. The story which binds humans regards this as the norm and generation after generation sees nothing wrong in it. How would humans feels if a more advanced species (spawned off by artificial intelligence) should make judgements and kill undesirable humans?

There are fairly long discussions around political systems and the growth of liberalism. I found this to be a little too long, and it could well have been crisper. Humans have acquired a combination of intellect and consciousness which was regarded as necessary for being advanced life forms at the top of the pyramid. Consciousness especially would be difficult to acquire. However, it is clear now that intelligence which is superior is adequate to ascend the pyramid. Already artificial intelligence is winning over humans in several fields regarded as earlier insurmountable such as chess and even the arts. Humans will depend more and more on algorithms and at some point algorithms will be all powerful. One big surprise which the book springs is around our free will. Do we really have free will? - or do we make forced choices based on experience and conditioning? I found this to be the most interesting discussion in the book.

While I do not think the future will play out entirely as outlined, it might still be close. The reasoning and discussions are excellent, provoking us to think & reflect - and isn't that what is most important in a good book?

Yuval Noah Hariri closes the book being thankful to the practice of Vipassana meditation as taught by S N Goenka for allowing him to look beyond conditioning and see things as they are. A sign that there is wisdom which is eternal and will endure, isn't it?
Profile Image for Nataliya Yaneva.
165 reviews330 followers
May 7, 2020
Видът Homo Sapiens такъв, какъвто го познаваме днес, ще изчезне след около век. Хора все така ще има (за съжаление или не – понякога не мога да реша), но ще са променени до неузнаваемост. Homo Sapiens-ите неособено елегантно приемат аплодисментите в последно действие и не осъзнават, че не им остава много до падането на завесата. Междувременно Homo Deus хвърлят одобрителен поглед в огледалото на бъдещето и се подготвят да излязат на сцената.

Днес хората нерядко си задават въпроса накъде отива светът. Изглежда като че новините са пълни с катастрофи, природни бедствия, тероризъм, войни в конфликтни райони. Световни лидери предприемат действия, опасни не само за собствената им страна, пластмаса плува в океана (или океанът плува в пластмаса), вятърът на климатичните промени брули с пълна, но неоптимистична сила. Деконструкцията на основните опорни точки на човечеството изглежда неминуема. Носталгично поглеждаме през рамо към миналото, защото „едно време е било по-добре, по-спокойно, по-смислено“. Има една особена тенденция сред 30-ина годишните милениали (защото, знаете, 30-те са новите 20) на завръщане към някакви корени, които всъщност никога не сме познавали, пътуване, по-простичък начин на живот. Търсене на онова липсващо ни минало, в което не сме живели и не помним, но то е алтернативата на неудовлетворителното „сега“ и се вкопчваме с всички сили в нея.

Момент. Ювал Харари често подчертава, че е много по-лесно да манипулираш нещо или някого, отколкото да го разбереш. „В миналото цензурата е функционирала, като е блокирала информационния поток. В XXI в. цензурата функционира, като удавя хората в несъществена информация… В древността да имаш власт, е означавало да имаш достъп до информация. Днес да имаш власт, означава да знаеш какво да пренебрегнеш“. Избраните моменти, с които ни заливат медиите, не са случайни. Хляб и зрелища му трябва на народа, са казвали в една друга епоха. Обикновеният човечец се чувства съпричастен, но и приятно погъделичкан, че лошото е подминало него самия. В същото време се поддържа едно леко ниво на истерия, че Второто пришествие приближава, а стресираните хора са хора, които правят грешки и се поддават на слабостите си. Хора, които удобно се възползват от всички привилегии на либерализма (в зависимост коя част на света обитават), защото „един път живеем“.

Истината обаче е малко по-друга. Днес е най-спокойното време, в което сме живели (който вдигна вежда, да я спусне). Военни сблъсъци продължава да има, самият Харари живее в Близкия изток и твърди, че сигурно е по-вероятно светът да свърши, преди израелско-палестинският конфликт да намери разрешение. Въпреки това днес много по-малко хора умират от насилие, отколкото дори в недалечното минало. Всъщност повече хора се самоубиват, отколкото загиват при терористични атаки или войни. В миналото гладът, войните и болестите са били основните убийци на огромна част от населението. В началото на третото хилядолетие повече хора умират от преяждане, отколкото от глад, което си е своего рода значително постижение. Много болести са овладени. През Средновековието ако имаш гангренясал пръст, си направо пътник. Като се има предвид, че много лекари са практикували занаята си върху умрели кучета, не е за учудване. Днес медицината е постигнала огромен напредък, ако и все още да изостава в профилактиката и лечението на психическите разстройства, които все по-че��то си прибираме за домашни любимци.

И все пак, „Бог е мъртъв“, капитализмът все повече пада на колене, чистият хуманизъм не може да се разбере със социалния и еволюционния чии преживявания са по-важни – тези на отделния индивид, на цялата нация или може би само на „развитите“ нации. Трактовката допълнително се усложнява от още два факта. Единият е, че понятието ни за същност, душа или единен Аз все повече се размива поради все по-нови научни открития. Хората са може би алгоритми, чиито действия са или детерминистични – обусловени от външни фактори, наследственост, лична история, или случайни – биохимични процеси, които се случват в мозъка, защото… просто защото стават. Харари нарича хората не „индивиди“, т.е. неделими същества, а „дивиди“, защото сме съставени къде от мисъл тук, къде от емоция там, които отминават и други ги заместват. От друга страна нациите (както и религиите, и парите) са истории, измислени от хората, и съществуват само защото милиони хора вярват в тях. Ако не знаем в какво да вярваме… какъв е смисълът?

Модерните сапиенси все повече избират да изповядват религията на датаизма. В нея не преживяванията на един или на много хора имат смисъл, смисълът е в събирането и споделянето на данни. Датаизмът е ревнива религия и изисква непрестанно преклонение, документиране на живота и свързаност с останалите. Това споделяне дава възможност на други алгоритми (може би като хората, но неорганични) да трупат информация за нас и да ни опознаят в смайваща дълбочина. Да ни казват кои сме, преди ние да го осъзнаем. Да ни помагат да взимаме решения и да не допускаме грешки. Да се греши било човешко. Кой би искал да греши, когато може да се остави в непогрешими ръце, така де, софтуер. Или?

Последният пирон в ковчега на човешкото си остава смъртта. Смъртта вече се разглежда като поредица от технически грешки. Откриването на начини за постепенното им отстраняване може да направи хората ако не безсмъртни (ако скочиш от скала, все така ще умреш), то нещо много близко до „божествени“. Тази полубезсмъртност в съчетание с относителна безгрешност във взимането на решения спокойно може да изличи сегашните хора. Може би тогава ни чака бъдеще, което още не можем да си представим поради настоящите си ограничения. Може би дефиницията за „човек“ ще се преосмисли напълно, а може би ще изчезне и ще я замести нещо съвсем различно. Някога бих казала, че трябва да се борим да спасим човешкото. Сега обаче просто ще кажа, че трябва да се замисляме. Да търсим информация и да взимаме решения съзнателно (доколкото това изобщо е възможно). Да изберем какво да бъдем, защото в противен случай нещо друго ще избере вместо нас.
Profile Image for Mohammad Ranjbari.
229 reviews149 followers
March 14, 2019
کتاب حاضر هر چند دارای منابع متقن و موثقی نبود و آمارهایی که نویسنده ارائه می کرد، بسیار قابل شک و تردید کردن بود، اما حقایق کتاب به طور نا خودآگاه برای من قابل قبول و پذیرش و پیش بینی بود. پروسۀ انسان بودن در جهان مدرن، هم مشکلات متعددی در پی دارد و هم مزایای مختلف. هراری در این کتاب روند حاضرِ جهان را ادامه داده و آیندۀ جهان را در پیش چشم ما نمودار می سازد.
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