It’s almost been a year since I read my first book by Harari, Sapiens and I still remember how awestruck I was while reading and after completing the book. Maybe because I never pondered about the past of human beings and how human beings came to dominate the planet – I simply never cared about reading our very own history. And Sapiens proved to be a brilliant revelation – an eyeopener, and a myth-buster. So the instant I first learnt last year in 2016 that Harari is coming with his next book titled ‘Homo Dues’ and also that this time he’s giving a shot on predicting where the human civilization is heading towards, I knew I had to read it soon, given how riveting Sapiens was and the premise of the new book – the future of Sapiens.
Homo Deus is divided into three parts. Part I discusses how humans succeeded in the battle of dominance and what makes our species so special. This part of the book is a precise summary of Sapiens and contains most of the topics from it. Even if you haven’t read Sapiens, you can pick up, read and appreciate this book; though reading Sapiens would be highly recommended and is a very enriching experience. In this part, he also raises questions on the treatment of domesticated animals, whose subjective needs are ignored while ensuring their survival & reproduction and argues that it’s not their death which is harsh but the lives that they live. Part – II delves into the kind of world humans have created, the rise of humanist creed & the worship of humanism – the most important religion of all times. The humanist religion puts humans above all, gives their desires the highest priority and treats every human as equal and unique individual whose free choices are ultimate source of authority. It is because of this new religion, capitalism and liberalism are reigning the world today. Part III, undoubtedly, is the most interesting part of the book and expands into our possible futures – how a data-centric world would look like, the great decoupling of consciousness and intelligence, how algorithms will perform all the tasks better than humans, how corporations like Facebook already know us better than we do ourselves. He also discusses how personal data is the most valuable resource humans have to offer and how we are already offering it to tech giants for exchange of email services and funny cat videos. This part also prophesies replacement of human beings with some super-humans or Homo Deus – a set of human beings that have developed further because of technological advances or non-organic algorithms taking over the world rendering humans useless and causing their extinction.
It’s Harari’s writing style that does the magic once again – very engaging and compelling and at every point you’ll find yourself thinking and questioning yourself. The immense amount of research work that must have been by done by Harari is quite evident from the text and he encompasses a wide range of topics in the book – not only he has included theories and data from many disciplines ranging from history, theology, social structure to biotechnology, computer science and philosophy, but also he has packaged them brilliantly in an original, thought provoking book indicating where mankind is heading. He also digs into the human psychology and has attempted to decipher the working of human brain, which captivates your interests more. His crystal clear logic, thoughts and arguments make the book fascinating as well as insightful. It is his attention to intrinsic details on umpteen topics which makes the book so profound and interesting to read and Harari an intellectual. Though some may find the ending a bit controversial, it is still very entertaining nonetheless.
Goes without saying that the book is highly recommended. Incredibly insightful.
My Rating: 4.50/5