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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2017)

por Yuval Noah Harari

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3,323922,912 (3.99)71
"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 McDonald's 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" --… (mais)
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This was chosen by my book club – and there is certainly lots of discussion worthy content.

Harari believes humankind has learned to manage famine, plague and war; and that they are now only short term challenges.

He also argues that the unique poser of humans derives from the fact that we are able to believe in what he calls intersubjective entities. These do not exist in any physical form, but are non-tangible concepts agreed upon between humans. They include morality, nations, and religions. This ability to form these concepts is what he believes separates humans from other forms of life, and also separates the humanities from the life sciences.

He brings into the conversation science versus morality – with the rise of humanistic religions. His definition of religion include belief systems such as Communism and socialism.

He postulates that the next great challenges (timeline of a hundred years) will involve genetic engineering of humans. Those who can afford to do so, will turn themselves into super-humans – no longer aging, and with augmented mental, physical and emotional skills. These super-humans can become almost god-like. Possibly, artificial Intelligence may also begin to change itself and evolve into something superior to humans. What use will ‘average’ humans with either enhanced humans or AI in control?

I have doubts about his basic principal: have we really learned to manage famine, plague and war? To me, they seem to be popping up in new forms internally within many countries. I see all three of these getting worse with climate change (which Harari believes will be a medium range challenge of the next few decades.)

Lots to think about and consider. I felt the book was worth the time to read but I don’t feel qualified to judge it on anything but interest level. 3.8 stars

I thought the following passage chilling in light of the US political situation today:
“in order to mount a revolution, numbers are never enough. Revolutions are usually made by small networks of agitators rather than by the masses. If you want to launch a revolution, don’t ask yourself, “How many people support my ideas?’ Instead, ask yourself, “How many of my supporters are capable of effective collaboration?’ The Russian Revoluton finally erupted not when 180 million peasants rose against the tsar, but rather when a handful of communists placed themselves at the right place at the right time. In 1917, at a time when the Russian upper and middle classes numbered at least 3 million people, the Communist Party had just 23,000 members. The communists nevertheless gained control of the vast Russian Empire because they organized themselves well. When authority in Russia slipped from the decrepit hands of the tsar and the equally shaky hands of Kerensky’s provisional government, the communists seized it with alacrity, gripping the reins of power like a bulldog …” p154 ( )
  streamsong | Jun 14, 2021 |
I gave up on this about 40% of the way through when Harari stated that present-day inhabitants of Afghanistan and Syria have no more ability to comprehend science and engineering than an ancient Egyptian peasant would have. It is shocking and unacceptable that that degree of racism made it through the editing process.

I shouldn't have been surprised, though, given that in the introduction Harari makes it clear that his definition of "humanity" is limited to wealthy, white Christians from the Western world. Using that definition, he also states confidently that the only remaining threats to humanity in the 21st century are obesity and Ritalin abuse. This is... certainly a take! Not to mention that his numerical claims for obesity-caused deaths and prescription stimulant abuse are debunked and unsubstantiated, respectively (a citation for something presented as fact which has to begin with "evidence is insufficient" should also not have made it past the editing process).

But even if you agree that these are problems for some societies, believing that humanity as a whole faces no other challenges is wild. It also makes for a very dull book because Harari has to talk about utterly random things (whether animals have souls, for example) at great length to avoid acknowledging pandemics, climate change, genocide, etc. What a waste of time. ( )
  atheist_goat | Jun 9, 2021 |
Homo Deus: Breve historia del mañana es un libro escrito por el autor israelí Yuval Noah Harari, profesor en la Universidad Hebrea de Jerusalén y publicado por primera vez en hebreo en 2015. Las traducciones al inglés y al español se publicaron en 2016.
  varbes | May 19, 2021 |
Took me a long time to finish this book, but it was an interesting read.
As a political scientist I liked all the links made about political concepts to other academic disciplines. If you're interested in humans and history, this would be an interesting book for you ( )
  wendy.reads | Jan 26, 2021 |
Moi thought-provoking, aínda que non se estea sempre de acordo cos saltos argumentativos que dá ás veces hai que recoñecer que o autor está ben dotado para a escrita divulgativa. Claro e ameno. ( )
  MRMP | Jan 9, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Harari, Yuval Noahautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Giménez, Esther RoigTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Heijne, BasPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Holdorf, JürgenErzählerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Perkins, DerekNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Retzlaff, JoachimTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ros i Aragonès, JoandomènecTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Wirthensohn, AndreasÜbersetzerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
林俊宏Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
יהב, איציקיועץautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To my teacher, S. N. Goenka (1924 - 2013), who lovingly taught me important things.
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The New Human Agenda

At dawn of the third millenium, humanity wakes up, stretching its limbs and rubbing its eyes.
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The study of the human mind has so far assumed that Homo sapiens is Homer Simpson.
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"First published as A History of Tomorrow in Hebrew in Israel in 2015 by Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir."
"Previously published in Great Britain in 2016 by Harville Secker, a division of Penguin Random House Group Ltd."--Title-page verso.
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"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 McDonald's 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" --

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