Homo Deus

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henders
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Homo Deus

Post by henders » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:03 am

Just finished reading and it was not as good as Sapiens. I'd give it 2/5. It goes a lot into humanism and makes bold predictions as to what the future holds for sapiens. I skimmed over a lot of it especially the humanism bits. Sapiens was a page turner. This doesn't even come close. It seems to drag on and on.

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Dragline
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by Dragline » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:28 am

Thanks. I kind of suspected as much -- organizing the past into a coherent framework is in his wheelhouse, but predicting the future really is not. And its really an impossible task anyway.

So what's his take? Are we going to merge with computers like Kurzweil says, just bio-hack ourselves, do a Pinker thing where we become more "culturally evolved" and less violent in some kind of linear manner, or follow some kind of new atheist track to perfect scientism and then everything will become wine and roses?

More specific to Sapiens, does he return to his thesis about the three types of humanism he identified -- liberal, social and evolutionary -- which I thought was one of his best historical insights, but he didn't really follow up on when it came to the future.

henders
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by henders » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:16 pm

The predictions are bold. Here's a sample: a few people who have money will upgrade themselves to super-humans and will treat the rest of us like we treat farm/ caged animals these days. Robots and AI will take over everything and sapiens will have nothing to do. One of the main focus for sapiens will be to find happiness. Democracy will no longer be relevant. Of course, there's a mention of nanobots and amortal sapiens.

He rambles on and on about humanism. I'm not sure which bit is which.

I don't think much will change in the next 100 years. We were promised paperless office, 3 day weekends and flying cars by so-called experts 30 years ago. The reality is, we print more than ever, we work more than ever and we don't have self-driven cars. Our medical science is primitive and a kludge. Heck, we can't even cure baldness.

These predictions may come true 1,000 years from now but who will look back and check.

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jennypenny
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by jennypenny » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:53 pm

I still want to read it. A mediocre book from Harari is probably better than a lot of the stuff I read.

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Dragline
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by Dragline » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:01 pm

So maybe its going to be like that original Star Trek episode where the ruling class lived in a floating cloud city?

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jennypenny
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by jennypenny » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:30 am

I finally read Homo Deus. It's ... indulgent. I suppose it's not unusual for a publisher to reward an author after a book like Sapiens with an indulgence like this. I didn't really enjoy except for a few interesting anecdotes. I don't normally mind ardent antitheism, but he lost me when he insisted on directly comparing nazis and religious folks. He's also obviously a vegan.

So if that's your thing (Ego?), you might like it.

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Dragline
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by Dragline » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:05 pm

Which kind of makes me laugh, because he fore-tends a future of essentially evolutionary humanism involving technology, yet seemingly "forgets" that he said in the first book that the original evolutionary humanists were the social Darwinists, which thought later became part of the nazi orthodoxy on racial purification.

I think English philosopher John Gray has it right that the critical distinction should not be over theism or atheism, but over whether the belief or ideology is primarily focused upon and engages its followers in bringing about a utopian teleological future or not, whether that be racial purity, technologically perfected humans, a workers paradise, the Second Coming or a Zombie Apocalypse. There are versions of virtually every religion and ideology that both stress the teleology/utopia and ones that just don't. E.g., Christians that are actively predicting and preparing for the Second Coming (MIllenarians), and ones that heed the admonition that nobody knows, so don't fixate on it. Thus, the distinction between theism or atheism misses the point and the distinction between what beliefs or ideologies are utopian and which ones are not.

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daylen
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by daylen » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:52 pm

I stopped a quarter of the way through. Not nearly as good as Sapiens.

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Ego
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by Ego » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:41 pm

Every morning when I start firefox, my homepage is the harari search at my library. They still haven't gotten the book, though it is on order. I am determined to be the first to reserve it. Hah.

I listed to Harari talk about Homo Deus on Ezra Klein's podcast. He is an interesting character. Every year he spends two months in a silent meditation retreat. :shock:

https://soundcloud.com/panoply/yuval-ha ... ts/s-sHwK3

ETA: In the talk they mention the William Gibson quote, "The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed." Harari seems to be saying that the gap will widen.

henders
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by henders » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:59 pm

Thanks for the podcast details, I will listen.

Yes, the gap will widen - Buffett said the same thing many times - unless the govt. does something like rebate for continuous life-long learning (Singapore has some similar scheme, hand-out/ pension to people who are too old to learn).

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Ego
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Re: Homo Deus

Post by Ego » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:51 am

He touches on the future of jobs here.

https://youtu.be/Lt7votAzI78?t=15m12s

I like the fact that he frequently says we don't (can't) know. He talks about the useful skills for an unpredictable future, at about 18:15.

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