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Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Series: Sapiens
Length: 14 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17,164 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller 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 1,000 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 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.

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

©2017 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Derek Perkins narrates the audiobook with an authentic excitement that engages listeners... Science enthusiasts will undoubtedly devour this audiobook, while others may wish Perkins had taught their high school science class." ( AudioFile)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but...

You really don't need to read "Sapien" prior to reading this. A large portion of the information in this book was covered in Sapien. If you listen to the two of them back to back, as I did, "Homo Deus" may come off as redundant. Because of this, I found myself drifting off a lot. I'd like to give this another try (maybe in text version) in the near future.

84 of 88 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fun But With A Couple O' Caveats--

The only reason I'm not giving this a 5-star rating for the story is because this might not be what you think it's going to be. I thought it was going to be a more humane version of something like Michio Kaku's "Physics of the Future."
Nooooooot quite...
First of all, I had a blast listening to "Homo Deus". Harari is a sublime writer, oh so humorous and wry, and Derek Perkins is flawless in his delivery.
But let me say: I haven't read/listened to "Sapiens", but I think this book might have quite a bit of the same text/situations. After all, Harari himself says you might've heard it before, but one has to know how we got from point A all the way to where we are now. This happens fairly frequently throughout the book. For me, that's no problem: It was engaging, enlightening, entertaining through and through.
Then there's the fact that there's not a whole lot of time given to what may happen in the future. Sure, plague, famine, war and all that have been made manageable and now we're seeking immortality, bliss, and divinity... but, uhm, how exactly? Harari makes a few suggestions, and you get soooo tantalizingly close to some pretty mind-blowing ideas, but then he pulls back and Wham! "From a historical perspective," "in the past," "back in the days of the Crusades," stuff like that. Back to how we got here.
Okay, that said, this is an utterly delightful book that explains humanism, liberalism, Data-ism, any kind of ism you ever wanted to know about in a profound and witty way. You'll hear about nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence. If you like religious studies, history of all kinds, some light science, this is for you. If you want to know why Millennials are the way they are, why the election went the way it did (Facebook, my friends), why we're into a whole new world with new economic, ecological outlooks, this book is for you.
And if you want to wind up questioning EVERYthing you've ever believed about ANYthing, go for it.
And if you want to look at animals in a different light from this day forward?
Harari's got that too...

283 of 301 people found this review helpful

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A Realist's View of our Future Reality

I really liked Harari's previous work, Sapiens. A lot. But, holy crap, where did this come from??!

This book is so expansive, so entertaining, so prescient, and so crammed with refreshing wisdom that I don't even know where to begin!

I'll start by saying this is one of the top three modern philosophical EPICS of our time. It paints a future that is not only believable, but -for the most part - unavoidable. Its common sense anecdotes are insightful, which seems like an oxymoron at first, but makes sense when you really think about it. Like Jerry Seinfeld, Harari has a way of making you see reality through a lens that you never knew existed before; or maybe you knew it existed, but were always too afraid to hold it up to your iris.

Everyone should read this book. I don't say that lightly, either. EVERYONE. It will make you see reality differently. And, at the end of the day, any book that can do that is WELL WORTH your time!

83 of 94 people found this review helpful

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Mandatory reading

As other reviewers have noted, the third part of this book is the most impressive. The first 40% of the book felt like a "... last time, in sapiens ..." rehashing, but it's welcomed and genuinely different from sapiens. The latter half of the book is new, engaging and absolutely brilliant. Harari is an entertaining writer and his synthesis of information is concise and easy to follow. I imagine 10 years from now this book will appear as click bait (or whatever equivalent we then have) saying "This is the book that predicted it all."

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Ramblings

The author just rambles and makes claims without ever really supporting anything he says. I stopped 2/3 of the way through. Do not recommend

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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More Human than Human (8x)

“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.

42 of 51 people found this review helpful

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Nothing too interesting or new after Sapiens

No novel ideas or concepts that weren't explored in Sapiens. Basically a survey of a few ideas in history and some random futurism. A lot less data and evidence driven than Sapiens. An extended. but interesting opinion piece

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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First book is better and enough :)

Just think that the second was a somewhat revision in a lot of parts, of the first book.

There was actually not a very much on future projections, as much as the title suggests or that the book may have tried to pursue.

I actually do wish there is a work done in the near future of an actual content true to its cover tittle

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Both Ways

I enjoyed the progression of the monologue from one religion to the next. But, what if Dataism is not a endpoint, but it is a integral part of homo sapien? meaning that, it's in our DNA. Then it would not something we are moving towards, it would be something that has always been a part of us.

In the last subchapter of the book, "A Ripple in the Data Flow", Harari retreats. He tries to have it both ways. Does he do this because he does not believe anything he has written (before that) or is he just trying to make us feel better? Either way, he backed out. I think, like the rest of us, he doesn't have a clue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Insightful but suffers from the times.

Well spoken and clear over audio book. The author recaps much of what was said and the insights given in his first book Sapiens. Only with an eye toward the future. He does not forecast what will happen only what will be pursued. Most are logical extensions of current trends as viewed from his philosophical position. Much of it is reasonable considering the assumptions and view point taken about religion, fiction, and science. It's insightful about our chasing of reduced risk, longer lives, and more information. He also tackles well the the collapse of meaning and the rise of nihilism. Possibly the most interesting and over zealous part of the book is the discussion on human consciousness. The author words point toward a growing idea that mankind has no free will. We, ourselves are a fiction. It's treated as a new idea, even a fore gone conclusion. Though this is a very old idea rooted in statements like, "all is as God wills it", or, "all is vanity, vanity of vanities", or still older the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The book takes a tangent here which is indicative of the times. Ferociously attacking concepts like souls and free will. Ultimately straddling the line between nihilism and absurdism while rejecting existentialism. Honestly stated the current world view has no room for such concepts. Though I guess it should be apparent from the book that the world view is also a set of beliefs not necessarily more than a fiction. And so the argument leaves you with polar choices when the answer, like most things, is likely somewhere in between. In my view the book falls on its face here and over emphasizes the "fictional" nature of free will.

A more apt analogy for his discussion of human mind and freewill is of a horse, cart, and its rider. In the past it was assumed that we stood upon the cart directing the horse. Sometimes the horse could slip its reins and get away from us. But with enough will power, discipline, we could get our bodies, ourselves to do anything. Now it's more clear that we are the horse and the computer like algorithms of our subconscious have the reigns. We have the ability to change our course. The machine at the reigns, however, has some tasty carrots and a savage whip at its disposal should we navigate too far from its reproductive goals. It's happy to let us wonder when you have honey in the larder and a honey in bed. But take one away... Well we know what mankind is willing to do from the horrors of the past. And it's in us all. You could almost call it Satan. And our benevolent side God. In his image... I mean religion is all a fiction, right?

7 of 9 people found this review helpful