Homo Deus

Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
8
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"Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style--thorough, yet riveting--famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at 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" -- provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2017]
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780062464316
0062464310
Call Number: 909.83 H2125h
Characteristics: 449 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm

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ChrisMcMil
Oct 09, 2017

This book offers many interesting anecdotes and insights from a historical perspective, however the attempts to offer scientific insight often seem simplistic to the point of being seriously misleading, particularly with respect to what science is, what an “algorithm” is (the fact that organisms use algorithms doesn’t mean that they are algorithms, or that they can be replaced by algorithms), and what makes “data” important. However, at the very end he hedges his words by questioning what he had just been saying, so on balance much of his message rings true, and it is certainly a stimulating read.

r
ricklegault
Sep 23, 2017

Homo Deus is possibly the most seminal book on the consequences of computing technology since Hofstadter's GEB. Much more insightful than Kurzweil's Singularity.
With his coining of 'data-ism' to name the new religion, Harari missed a wonderful opportunity for a much better meme. I would have called it 'algorism' (heh-heh).

Richard J Legault

JCLChrisK Sep 06, 2017

Absolutely fascinating. Daring and provocative. Complex, philosophical, and thoughtful. Engaging, absorbing, and relatively easy to read. This is science nonfiction: extrapolating the history of humanity in light of current scientific, technological, and political trends to make predictions about what might come next.

The basic premise: the great challenges of the twentieth century were overcoming famine, plague, and war, and in the most general terms those pursuits have been successful. They were aimed at safeguarding the norms of human existence. With those goals met, we have moved into the new territory of surpassing those norms, and thus the new projects of the twenty-first century are gaining immortality, bliss, and divinity.

Those are bold claims that immediately riled up my natural skeptic, but Harari hooked me enough that I gave him a chance to convince me. I'm glad I did. "This is a historical prediction, not a political manifesto," he writes in the introduction. It is food for thought, not a road map, meant to raise questions and create thoughtful intercourse more than provide answers. And it offers a feast to mull and consider. Absolutely fascinating.

squib Aug 19, 2017

A watered-down follow up to "Sapiens" that repeats a lot of the same material, and then adds levels of speculation. An interesting exercise, although I find he's dismissive of many points of view he doesn't share.

s
stevie22
Aug 15, 2017

Interesting and thoughtful perspective on the future of human beings. Easy to follow and well researched. Good read.

m
Memawrayne
Jul 30, 2017

Like Sapiens, a very good "read". An interesting look at the future. I don't agree with all his conclusions. I don't want to live forever. Quality of life is more important than quantity. The earth cannot provide the resources for that many people. I also read that humans can adapt at a certain pace to new things in technology and there is already a gap. Can anyone imagine this world with grumpier and crankier old people who are so far behind technology.?
On another subject, I was very disappointed to see that some previous reader had circled words and underlined phrases. How inconsiderate and immature.

d
dano62
Dec 19, 2016

He writes very openly about possibilities of the future, and it is difficult to conceive much of it, for instance we could just turn the "internet-of-everything" off, and the forces of nature will always exist. He describes the soul as a physical thing, but I think only we are thought to have one because stories are passed down. I hope we can figure out consciousness and qualia before moving ahead.

t
telesphore
Oct 28, 2016

page 105

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