Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. Now, in Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between.
Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st 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. War is obsolete. You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict. Famine is disappearing. You are at more risk of obesity than starvation. Death is just a technical problem. Equality is out - but immortality is in. What does our future hold?
©2016 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
perfect narration of a great book! it puts today's geo-political events into context, from the dismantling of the USSR to tomorrow's digital religions like dataism. worth reading at least twice!
"An irritated fan"
I am a fan of Yuval Noah Harari however I do find this book a lot less well researched as 'Sapiens' and there are a lot of conclusions he jumps to that I kept finding myself thinking "that's not entirely true" and "that's not very likely". This irritated me, especially as my experience of his previous work was entirely the opposite. However his style that blends philosophy, science and history is always thought provoking and he is a very accomplished writer so it is still a worth while read/listen.
"Thought Provoking and Chilling"
I would refer to it again.
Definitely worth the read/listen, for me it pulled together ideas that were somewhere in my mind into a coherent view of possible futures.
The best summary of where we could be going I've ever read. Perhaps the best example of dataism itself so far? I loved this and recommend it from both an emotional and intellectual perspective.
Having been recommended this book by a friend I came in with such high hopes, more fool me.
Far from being thought provoking I found myself frustrated at how ridiculous some of the generalisations and extrapolations were (overlords of the universe anyone???).
"Grand ideas and scale."
Thought provoking ideas and wide in scale. Didn't agree with all analysis and conclusions but worth listening to.
"Read this... before we all get wiped out by AI :-)"
Hadn't read the previous book, and it really isn't necessary to have done so.... although by the end you'll probably want to read it!
Full of fascinating ideas on the future and insights to the past. Quite heavy content which is probably best taken at a slower pace to allow digestion. The narrator is superb and really helps make it an easier book to listen to than you'd expect!
Read it... before human kind gets wiped out by artificial intelligence.... the robots are coming....
"Couldn't wait for this book to come out and it's better than I hoped."
Superbly written considered and delivered. I will re listen to this for years. A masterpiece
"All that but no bag of chips"
Conclusion and that it was a sequel to Sapiens even though I think it did not live up to the glory of Sapiens.
I rated Sapiens 5 and Homo Deus 3.5 (out of 5).
He has a great voice and his narration style for this book is spot on because it is similar to the narration of a well done documentary.
I don't see how it could be made into a movie but who knows. I would only watch as a follow up to Sapiens being made into a documentary-like movie.
Once in a while a book comes along that blows your mind. So much so that you just can't help but sing its praise to anyone who chats with you for more than five mins. Sapiens was such a book for me. I was looking forward to Homo Deus but unfortunately it was not worth my anticipation. There were parts repeated from Sapiens which I guess were included to give context to anyone who hasn't read Sapiens. A bit annoying but fair enough. I could have lived with that if chapters did not fill me with anticipation only to fall flat.
Overall I still give Homo Deus 3.5 stars (out of 5) because it pushes the boundaries of our present day beliefs (what Harari calls the 'myths' we tell ourselves) and for the conclusion which still manages to leave the reader intrigued, challenged and, for some, resigned to the notion that the world is well on its way to that conclusion unless something gives.
Thankfully, the narration is good and Harari's brilliance still shines through the paragraphs. I can't help but wonder what else that brilliance would have unearthed if Harari had taken his sweet time with this sequel.
"What the future might hold for sapiens"
It is hard to do justice to this book in a few words. If though you enjoy books that strive to give the big picture, you’ll enjoy this, the sequel to Dr Harari’s Sapiens.
It builds on the central theme of the earlier book, which is the importance to our species of the myths and stories we share with one another. In the past these were about gods, then God, and more recently, starting in the West but now widely shared, the primacy and sanctity of each individual and his / her free-will. Over time these stories have enabled home-sapiens to co-operate in ever-larger groups and consequently to progress from our ancestors’ stone tools to what constitutes the modern world.
Dr Harari begins by describing what humankind has achieved in the last half-century – the defeat of famine, plague and (excepting certain areas of the world) fear of war. This is contestable: at best we are holding the line against bacterial nasties, whilst climate-change has the potential to greatly reduce agricultural production. This though is big-picture stuff and a certain amount of hyperbole is allowable. What next in the story of homo-sapiens? Well, Dr Harari envisages us enhancing and extending our lives. This will be achieved through the manipulation of our genes, use of so-called nanobots and, of course, the ubiquitous presence of computer algorithms that will continuously monitor our health, enhance our decision-making and ultimately guide us in all the areas of our lives.
Much of this will be familiar from other books; how artificial intelligence (AI) will shape the future. Writers portray either a future in which our capabilities and knowledge will expand beyond anything so far imaginable, or the doom-laden view in which AI will destroy countless millions of jobs and give rise to glaring inequality and humanity divided between a small class of techno-haves and the rest. Dr Harari definitely leans to the latter view.
The real strength of this book though is philosophical rather than simply speculation as to the direction of technology. What stories will homo-sapiens tell one another when non-conscious algorithms know each of us far better than we know ourselves? How will we give meaning to our individual lives when all we need do is ask Cortana, Google or whatever? Of course, you could choose to ignore the response; however, in that event you would pretty much guarantee being a have-not.
Dr Harari succeeds in what I understand to be his goal in writing this book. He does not say this or that outcome is inevitable; rather, he offers possible visions of our future based on the trajectory of present technology coupled with homo-sapiens’ evolved cognitive skill set and social behaviour. The book poses some big questions, bigger certainly than ordinarily allowed for within the time-frame of scientific research grants. These questions though may be fundamental to the future of our species.
"Yuval & Derek do it again!"
What a book! Great ideas & concepts which are brilliantly read. Top book. If you liked the first then you will like this too!
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