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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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  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 02-22-17

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...

163 of 179 people found this review helpful

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 02-28-17

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!

58 of 66 people found this review helpful

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Evolutionary Experience

First Sapiens, then this back to back. I feel like I transversed into a new era of man like in the ending sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Life changing work.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • DRG
  • Lost Angeles
  • 03-02-17

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."

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Love love this book. Recommend to everyone.

One of the best book I have ever read. And I have read a lot of books. It is so deep and reasonable that it is scary. Author has amazing ability to analyse us, world.
Opens up our horizont by millions miles.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 04-03-17

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.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful

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good thoughts and pondering. liked it much.

the book needs not much of a comment, although if you're too deep into religious dogma, it may be challenging to look at some subjects of the book from writer's perspective.

I was afraid a bit it's yet another sequel a lá "rambo#4".
but it's been self sufficient and interesting, no regrets.

if we start looking at the "material covered" in both popular books by Mr. Harari, the first one, interesting as it may be, is not a prerequisite to understand this one.

so you are free to read only one, in either order, or both, like I have.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Enthralling

I felt that the author used his knowledge of history and the modern world to paint an enigmatic portrait of the future. I was impressed and captivated throughout. The amount of research and study it took to put his works together is a representation of the questions and ideas that he presents. His seemingly dark yet profound outlook on free will made me question my own foundational beliefs of cognition, while simultaneously, his relentless use of scientific facts and sound theories gave little room to argue. It is somewhat disheartening to entertain the idea that the world as we know it may be spiraling out of control, but comforting at the same time that the spiraling effect may answer the unanswerable questions that we humans have always had and never been able to answer. As far as the evolution of technology goes, I am an idealist of the Jacque Fresco school of thought. There is no reason to believe that we can't mutually coexist with technology and benefit from it no matter how advanced it becomes, barring the wrong people aren't influential enough to lead it down a path of avarice and clandestine ends. However, Harari's outlined suppositions possess an almost magnetic captivation, due to his matter of fact approach. His logic and reasoning are grounded with mostly objective knowledge. Unless you are primarily a subjective, spiritual, or religious person, it would be hard to argue his positions. And even then, you would be overwhelmed by the vast amount of knowledge. Being that he knows more about the various religions of the world than most people know about their own religion. If you are a religious person that is scared to death to have your foundation shaken, this book isn't for you. Wether you take that as a challenge or a warning is up to you. At the very least this book will make a religious person very upset.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Modern relevance

Love unfolding a great bridge between non-fiction and sci-fi. Unique take on a dystopian future. Strong points, 10/10 would recommend

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • Las Cruces, NM, United States
  • 10-15-17

The future is coming, here is what to expect

This is a remarkably good book.

Our world is shaped by our logos, pathos, and mythos. That's just a fancy way of saying it's our reason, feelings, and beliefs that make us who we are. This book takes all three methods that we use to understand, adds some historical perspective and explains the human experience better than almost anyone and speculates where we as a society will be going in the relatively near future.

Feelings are not facts, but we use our feelings to understand and process the sensuous world that we our thrown into, and we use what we think we know based on what our past beliefs were in order to understand the present. We are always in a strange loop that never quite converges because the past keeps receding and we are always anticipating the future. This book will cite a series of many neurological experiments (oh I feel for those poor rats) which show how we create narratives based on experiences and overweigh the most previous moment disproportionately from what logic dictates.

Have you ever talked to people who are part of the cult of Trump? I have. They weigh each of the most previous moments’ experience that they've heard from Rush Limbaugh or Brietbart's news or Trump's 144 characters tweet disproportionately over previous data with an exponential decay set so high that history and perspective doesn't matter to them. They also would reject the principals within this book for one other big reason. They live in a universe without doubts by outsourcing their beliefs to a book or to a cult leader thus ascertaining certainty within their mythical constructions using their gut feelings as their standard for truth. Mythos dwellers never know it's a myth while they are living within the myth and will create alternative facts or whine 'fake news' when challenged. One cannot go from the abstract to the real without first creating a narrative which is depended on other narratives and which is further depended on even more stories we tell ourselves in order to fill in the thoughts between our thoughts (or what Heidegger called 'the ontological difference').

There is something very refreshing about an author who states 'Climate Change is real' as a fact. We live under a president whose mythos states in 144 characters or less that 'Climate Change is a Chinese Hoax'. I wish those kinds of people who base truth on their emotional based certainties would read a book like this one for edification.

The Enlightenment spawned liberalism and firmed up humanism. The author will say that liberalism tends to 1) emphasize the individual, 2) enable the authentic self and 3) value experiences. The author uses his straw man version of liberalism (a version of Existentialism) and inverts all three of those points within his narrative and by citing relevant neurological experiments and concludes there is 1) no individual self (Harari has a lot of Hegelian thought, but never cites him), 2) there is no such thing as an authentic self, and 3) our values are skewed by our most recent experiences to the point for which we can’t always rely on them alone (never ignore your intellect!).

The author argues against free will (hence there is no such thing as an authentic self) and thinks the concept of an immortal soul is contradictory and therefore not worth considering. Humanism is defined as worshiping humans, by him (overall he really doesn’t care for the Enlightenment). A somewhat loaded definition. He's arguing that our future world's values will be based on dataism. He predicts a future where reality unorganized has been converted to data which has been turned into information then knowledge and then finally wisdom.

He definitely has a pessimistic bent to his future world view. He thinks people when the computers take over will be by and large left to staring at screens all day and forced to use opiods to deaden the boredom. Perhaps that's true. I know when I was liberated at an early age from working I took to bike riding 2 hours every day, stopped drinking beer, lost 75 pounds, started eating healthy, started reading books like this one, and became obsessed about learning about the universe and grateful for everyday I had to pursue what interests me the most (and opiods and screen staring had very little appeal for me).

The author also had a weird Frankfurt School philosophy point of view throughout the book. Harari is a historian and this book is not a philosophy book as much as it is a historical or sociological book. He does quote from Nietzsche frequently, but in some places this book read like 'Closing of the American Mind' by Allan Bloom (he's of the Frankfurt School as is Leo Strauss and Saul Bellow). They just don't like Nietzsche's relativism no matter what and this book makes the absurd claim that Beethoven's music is superior to Chuck Berry's music. I'm going to end that dumb assertion by the author who claims data would prove him right by asserting a young man alive in 1958 and wanted to meet that pretty girl over there and they both are attuned with their time period and singing 'Johnny B Goode' is a way for him to meet her. Would that not show for that young man that Chuck Berry's music is superior, regardless of a stupid computer algorithm.

The author puts together a masterpiece by weaving various threads to tell about how he believes our world will become. We don't live in an atomized world (that's part of why he rejects item 1 of individualism). Each part that we know gets its understanding from the whole and belongs in the web of knowledge. That's why global change deniers are as irrelevant as a creationist would be. Both have no concept of the nature of reality and want to atomize knowledge (each item in science fits in a spider like web (see Willard van Orman Quine for amplification) and interacts with all the pieces around it, climate deniers can’t deny all of science so they latch on to anomalies that have no relevance beyond themselves). Harari talks about how that kind of thought culminated with Descartes' 'cogito ergo sum' and a lot of this book shows how that kind of thinking is poison for progress.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful