Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller 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.Read more...
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller 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 a thousand 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 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? 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 bestseller, Harari maps out our future.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Harari (Sapiens), professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, provocatively explores what the future may have in store for humans in this deeply troubling book. He makes it clear that it is impossible to predict the future, so claims to be offering possibilities rather than propheciesand builds a strong case for a very specific outcome. The future to which he affords the greatest probability is, in many ways, a dystopian world in which humanism has given way to dataismthe belief that value is measured by its contribution to information transferand humans play an insignificant role in world affairs or have gone extinct. The roles humans play are diminishing, Harari argues, because increasingly our creations are able to demonstrate intelligence beyond human levels and without consciousness. Whether one accepts Hararis vision, its a bumpy journey to that conclusion. He rousingly defends the argument that humans have made the world safer from disease and faminethough his position that warfare has decreased remains controversial and debatable. The next steps on the road to dataism, he predicts, are through three major projects: immortality, happiness, and divinity. Harari paints with a very broad brush throughout, but he raises stimulating questions about both the past and the future. (Mar.)
The future is (almost) now
What is the next step in human evolution? Will human beings become cyborgs, implanted with chips that enable us to control our environment? Or will humans, in their never-ending quest for perfection, become gods, erasing the human altogether?
In his provocative and lively new study, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, author of the 2015 bestseller Sapiens, asks challenging questions about the future of humanity and the longstanding belief that places humans at the center of the universe (humanism). In the first section of the book, Harari examines the relationships between humans and animals, contending that if we want to understand how super-intelligent cyborgs might treat humans, we should examine how humans treat their less intelligent animal cousins. He then proceeds to explore how humans elevated themselves to the center of the universe, developing a humanist creed that continues to have both liberating and oppressive consequences (economic prosperity, democratic institutions, wars, poverty).
In a final section, Harari looks at the next stage of human development, or demise, by asking how humanity’s search for “immortality, bliss, and divinity shake the foundations of our belief in humanity.” Harari refuses the role of prophet, but he does contend that Homo sapiens will disappear once technology gives us the ability to re-engineer human minds.
Thought-provoking and enlightening, Harari’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our species.