“Sapiens rule the world because only they can weave an intersubjective web of meaning: a web of laws, forces, entities and places that exist purely in their common imagination. This web allows humans alone to organise crusades, socialist revolutions and human rights movements.”
― Yuval Noah Harari,
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is a book written by Israeli author Professor Yuval Noah Harari. It was originally published in 2015 and the English version was published in 2016 in the UK and in 2017 in the U.S. This is sequel to Harari’s previous book: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Homo Deus, as opposed to the previous book, deals more with the abilities acquired by mankind and how we became the dominant being in the world.
I first read Homo Deus in September 2016 when I received advanced reader copy of the book from Harvill Secker. (Thank you!) I fell in love with Homo Deus from very first pages. And that doesn’t happen to me that often that I’m ready to rate a book 5 stars without even finishing it. It immediately posed some very good questions: How should we live? How should we keep on living? …We will now aim to upgrade humans into gods, and turn Homo sapiens into Homo Deus (gods). If we solve death or live until 150, how will it change our society?
“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 is extremely informative book: why do we have lawn in the front yard? Because it looks nice or because it used to be a sign of prosperity? What is the difference between humans and other animals? Can we really claim that oh animals aren’t self-conscious…that it is just their urges… Are we the superior life forms or just local bullies?
“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.”
― Yuval Noah Harari,
I don’t know how to begin to describe Homo Deus. It’s shocking, entertaining and incredibly thoughtful. As I mentioned before, this book poses some excellent questions that make you question your existence. Why do we think of ourselves as superior to all other life forms. Why do we have such strong faith in imaginary things such as money, gods, human rights, companies…And what will become of us if dataism succeeds. All in all, it’s clear that we can’t keep living like this. Harari’s writing style is very engaging. He’s a bit of sarcastic and negative when he questions religion, our history, science, technology, humanity, our supposedly superior position to other life forms, humanism, liberalism, yet he doesn’t claim that he’s some expert in this matter, he just gives you a set of facts.
1. This is a sequel to Homo Sapiens so I recommend to read that one first. As with Homo Sapiens, I really recommend this book for everyone because it revolutionizes the way you see this world.
2. Harari’s clarity in his thoughts is beautiful and makes reading any one of his books very enjoyable.
3. There’s a lot of pessimism/realism in this book. I know some people have found it too negatively written but I think it’s the truth about our history and future.