Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Paperback – 23 Mar 2017
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"Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. Above all, it will make you think in ways you had not thought before." (Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)
"Shows us where mankind is headed in an absolutely clear-sighted and accessible manner" (Jarvis Cocker)
"Even more readable, even more important, than his excellent Sapiens" (Kazuo Ishiguro Guardian Books of the Year)
"An exhilarating book that takes the reader deep into questions of identity, consciousness and intelligence" (Observer)
"A brilliantly original, thought-provoking and important study of where mankind is heading." (Evening Standard)
"Spellbinding… a quirky and cool book, with a sliver of ice at its heart" (Guardian)
"An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism." (Mail on Sunday)
"Yuval Noah Harari is the most entertaining and thought-provoking writer of non-fiction at the moment. As with Sapiens, you finish the book feeling much wiser" (Matt Haig)
"It is thrilling to watch such a talented author trample so freely across so many disciplines... Harrari's skill lies in the way he tilts the prism in all these fields and looks at the world in different ways, providing fresh angles on what we thought we knew... the result is scintillating" (John Thornhill Financial Times)
"What elevates Harari above many chroniclers of our age is his exceptional clarity and focus." (Josh Glancy Sunday Times)
From the Inside Flap
Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus shows us where we're going. War is obsolete.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? Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling phenomenon Sapiens envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. 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? "Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. Above all, it will make you think in ways you had not thought before". (Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast, and Slow).See all Product description
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The best thing about it is the way Harari effortlessly threads different fields of anthropology, biology, neuroscience, behavioural economics, economics, psychology, history and philosophy.
I would say that some of the terminology could be easier to grasp; his breakdown of the liberalism world view and dataism could go over the heads of the layman.
Harai is a visionary; and this book sets out a well-backed up case for a warning for humanity as we approach an age dominated by genetic modification, AI and super-humans.
Harari's lucidity was established in Sapiens, and his broad knowledge and interests put him in touch with a distinct view of things. Homo Deus continues this, bringing unusual insights and provocative thoughts to understanding issues anew. The big idea is that technology is putting Homo Sapiens in a new position - humanism is about to be overcome by Techno Humanism (altered man) or supplanted by Dataism - the idea that humans are not special, but are carbon based algorithms about to be melded into a new, more effective data flow. If this sounds ridiculous, it won't by the time you finish Homo Deus. You will be riveted to your chair, unable to move for 400 pages.
That Harari is only 40, that he is a gay Israeli vegan historian who meditates for two hours a day, must contribute to his insightful view of the past and the future. he is a very unusual man, and I have no idea what he will write about in 5 years, let alone 20. If you have not read him, I urge you to read this and Sapiens as soon as you can - both are unusual, erudite and provocative.
I know some readers have criticised Hariri's sometimes sweeping statements, or questioned the depth of his technical knowledge but, for me, this misses the point. Harari is not writing an academic treatise; he has produced a unique blend of history, science, philosophy and psychology designed to make us think about the future, based on what we know about human nature from our past.
I have learned a lot that is new from the book and every page gives me a new way of thinking about things I already knew, insights which I can already relate to things that are happening around me. For example, a recent BBC2 series, 'Secrets of Silicon Valley' where extremely clever and even more extremely rich men explain to us how their technology will 'disrupt' the world we know in ways which will empower the little guy. In actual fact little guys in Barcelona can no longer buy a house thanks to Airbnb, little guys in India are taking their own lives because they cannot repay the debts that Uber 'misled' them into taking on and 'little' truck drivers are assisting in their own demise by helping to test a new fleet of driverless trucks.
Occasionally, questioning one or two of the book's more dramatic claims, I have found myself checking and researching areas of knowledge which I would never have ventured into otherwise, and learning a lot more as a result.
We all need to sharpen up our critical thinking skills as the rich and powerful pull further away from the rest of us, leaving us poorer and much more powerless.. This book helps us to do that, and does it in a intelligent, humane, witty and very, very readable way.
It definitely requires concentration and willingness to put the book down and think. Some hard truths and major questions arising from the discourse, and a year down the line from completing this book the stark political landscape of 2017 is already lending credence to some of the darkest predictions made about the future of humanity. It’s in our hands to reverse the flow, but it can’t be done unless people understand and think clearly about the alternatives.
Clearly written, compelling and challenging views on what the 21st century has in store for the human race. The book is chock-full of disconcerting insights and uncomfortable truths that left me with a sense of what it must have been like to have read Origin of the species, shortly after its release.
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