Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
Hard to put down.55
time for change55
This book has great, sweeping visions of the future and describes a great logical chain. I liked the historical reframings. However a lot of the prose is speculative and thinly-evidenced. The sentence structure is monotonous and professorial. Interesting book with a lot of novel ideas, but became a little tough to finish.45
How to better use data, AI and digitalization so we create a better world, fixing human dilemas such as climate, inequality, hunger etc55
An exploration of possible outcomes for humanity - frightening and inspiring. Harari’s projections offer a glimpse beyond the veil of ignorance burdened upon the present and revitalize wonderment in our time. Having read the book, it’s impossible to come away from the experience feeling that the present is lackluster. Forget the common refrain of “born too late to explore the earth, born too early to explore space” for we have more important horizons in our immediate sights - bliss, immortality, and divinity. This is the most important time to be alive, because we are at the end of the story that is Homo Sapiens. With any luck, we are the first generation of what comes next, and the abilities we develop will secure us the stars or suffocate us in the cradle.55
If Darwin’s theory was true then by now there would be many intermediate forms of human by now. Homo Sapien skeletons hundreds of thousands of years old have been found and there are no differences at all. Shouldn’t there be a telltale sign of evolution by now? The answer is.... there’s not. Stop reading fairy tale books and find the meaning of our existence through the Bible & Qur’an, in the Qur’an there are many scientific miracles to be found, unlike the theory of evolution which has nothing to do with science.15
Sapiens was fun and insightful, but Homo Deus is sanctimonious and weak. Take my review with a grain of salt - I only made it a third of the way through before crying uncle.25
Was never into history, however, this is the most enjoyment I’ve ever had being schooled.55
For Christmas, my daughter surprised me with Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and I can truly say that I have never been so amazed with one person’s ability to convey several huge thoughts to me at once. But rather than overwhelming me, this very talented historian impressed me with his wonderful understandings of science, religions and life as he clarified topic after topic and delicately stitched the episodes together into a magnificent tableau of human evolution. A very savvy man, Harari’s bottom line has focused on the reality of human obsolescence and his take on the currently shifting trends toward humanism and beyond, as we confront issues of artificial intelligence and the emerging ideology of ‘big data’ head on. His first step for us is to know what differentiates Homo sapiens from all the other animals on the planet since emotions are not unique to humans. Emotions are biochemical algorithms that are vital for the survival and reproduction of all mammals and for us to better appreciate our life we must understand what an algorithm is. Simply stated, it is ‘a set of rules to be followed in a problem solving operation’ and it is arguably a most important concept in our digital world because biologists have recently reached the conclusion that the actions of humans are algorithms, even our own reproduction and survival, some very complicated algorithms! Next Harari sets out to help us to understand how it has worked to have Homo sapiens dominating our planet and giving the world meaning. This started over 70,000 years ago, when Sapiens began to talk about things that only existed in their imagination. His historical perspective shows us how man’s evolution got us to where we are. Not only were we smarter and more nimble-fingered, we were the only species capable of cooperating flexibly in large numbers. If not, our crafty brains and deft hands would still be splitting flint stone spear tips rather than atoms and have iPhones in them. But even 20,000 years ago, humankind was still much weaker than it is today; the basic abilities of individual humans had not changed much since the Stone Age. Sapiens rule the world now because only they can weave meaning into the web of laws, forces, entities and places that exists only in our common imagination. But where will we go next? A 2012 Gallup survey indicates that only 15 per cent of Americans think that Homo sapiens evolved through natural selection alone, free of all divine intervention while 46 per cent believe that God created humans in their current form sometime during the last 10,000 years. That now conflicts with what 21st century science and technology shows us daily and how religions based on men and gods are discounted and Dataism has collapsed the barriers between animals and machines. The competition becomes one where electronic algorithms attempt to decipher and outperform biochemical algorithms, parallel processing and distributed processing compete and cyberspace becomes crucial to our economy, our security and our daily lives. Dataists also believe that experiences are meaningless unless they are shared. Harari does remind us that much of the human mind is still uncharted territory and who knows what hidden talents we might yet discover in ourselves. He is enlightening, entertaining, open and optimistic and I struggle to encapsulate my total enjoyment of reading Homo Deus in this review; I recommend this book highly to everyone! Bob Magnant is the author of 'The Future Is At Your Fingertips' on iTunes, 'Domestic Satellite: An FCC Giant Step' and 'The Last Transition...', a fact-based novel about Iran. He writes about politics, globalization, the Internet and US policy; he lives in Jupiter, FL.55