Homo Deus

Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari is one of the greatest writers of our time. Toward the end of his book he says that he is so occupied with exchanging bits and bites of information in a society that facelessly exchanges bits and bites of information for a higher, possibly unknowable purpose, but I think we can all agree that Harari is neither faceless nor fading into the algorithm that is the global human experience.

As was Sapiens, Homo Deus is easily readable and very informative. Harari is playful, intelligent, imaginative, and still grounded in a healthy realism. 

Harari argues that while we as homo sapiens have worked to maximize health, happiness, and power we have also functionally brought about our own extinction. We have created a race of demi-gods (which Harari calls “Homo Deus” which will necessarily overtake our humble beginnings as just another mammal. Harari also argues that a new religion (Dataism) will soon overtake our society, which might make even those of us who upgrade to the new species of homo deus completely irrelevant.

This book is a strong historical text and fascinating speculative one. While reading I couldn’t help but imagine future generations reading the text and either being floored by Harari's accuracy or delighted by his quaint inaccuracy.

Most of the time Harari is general enough that his guesses feel like they must be accurate, but every once in a while they're so specific that the reader can't help wondering what Harari is: prophet or street crier. Of course, he goes out of his way to say that the future could hold anything, but definitely asks his reader to think as boldly as he's written about what the future might hold.

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)