Homo Deus

Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow

eBook - 2016
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a-- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind -- Famine is disappearing You are at more risk of obesity than starvation -- What does our future hold? From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Signal,, 2016
ISBN: 9780771038693
0771038690
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE eBOOK
Characteristics: data file,rda
1 online resource

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k
kneice
Nov 21, 2017

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

c
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

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