Homo Deus, A Brief History Of Tomorrow

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Yuval Noah Harari is a history professor and writer, born in Haifa - Israel in 1976. His book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" was in the top 3 of the NY Times Best Seller list for almost 2 years. "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow", published a few years later, appears to be the sequel of Sapiens and explores a future in which humanity would have "upgraded" itself to a godly level, replacing homo sapiens with homo deus. While the author's research focuses on valid questions such as "What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?" (quoted from https://www.ynharari.com/about/), the reasoning is fallacious and delusory. Humans do not control the world more today than yesterday or centuries ago. Yes, we do have technologies that are evolving quite rapidly. The hype over ChatGPT and AI in recent weeks is an indicator of a trend that will render certain jobs soon obsolete. However, chipping our brains for enhanced intelligence and consciousness is far-stretched. With the help of hygiene and medicine, we managed to reduce infantile mortality, true. But people are not living longer with the help of antibiotics and vaccines. And considering people to be "algorithms" that can be "updated" to become flawless and hence live forever is simply idiotic and irrational. Human consciousness cannot be recreated in a lab and inserted in someone's brain... Meanwhile, wars have not become outdated. Famine is still not completely eradicated either. Claiming that "history began when humans invented gods and will end when humans become gods" is equally pervasively absurd. Because immortality is not the privilege of a handful of "superior" humans who decided that humanism is a religion and should be plainly replaced by "informatism". Yes, in today's world, data is the queen. The data banks and centers devoid us of free will by judging what we would want/like based on previous choices made and can still propose something to us that is totally mistaken/off-course. Maybe we are indeed living in the metaverse and our lives are nothing but a simulation. Yet asserting that the human soul doesn't exist and that mastering our human bodies by keeping our urges in check is utterly ridiculous. Harari's vision is highly speculative, and I would recommend you don't waste your time reading this book. Or listening to it. Which I did while stuck in traffic and at the speed of 1.7 😉

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