Ian Tay's Reviews > Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
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it was amazing

The most thought-provoking and scary book I've read in a long while.

The book is clearly framed as a means of starting a conversation about the human agenda and the sources of meaning for humanity. According to Harari, modernity is a simple deal - one in which humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power. We escaped this deal through humanism, which gave us meaning independent of a great cosmic plan. Yet, if humanism disintegrates —and Harari says this is highly possible — then along with it goes the font of meaning for modern humans.

Harari uses a similar macro-interpretation of history as he did in Sapiens but presents it brevity and with a focus on the rise of humanism. The historical aspect of this book is important - by allowing us to trace the origins of our humanist present, it enables us to think more imaginatively about our post-humanist future.

I read this after Pinker's "Enlightenment Now" and find them to be quite complementary. Pinker defends humanism (and other enlightenment ideals) with respect to present-day trends (e.g. populism, declinism). Harari doesn't defend Humanism, but points out that it is soon to become obsolete, mostly due to its own success.

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Reading Progress

January 2, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 2, 2018 – Shelved
March 10, 2018 – Started Reading
March 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

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