’HOMO DEUS - A Brief History of Tomorrow’ by Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens)

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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23 February 2017 10:41
 

BirgitH mentioned this book Nov. 10 in the Science category.  You can read more reviews here:  https://www.amazon.com/Homo-Deus-Brief-History-Tomorrow/dp/0062464310

quoted from this site, where you can read customer reviews:

“Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.”

[ Edited: 23 February 2017 10:44 by unsmoked]
 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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23 February 2017 10:54
 

His last book “Sapiens” was awesome and I have this one my radar.

Thanks for the reminder !

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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23 February 2017 11:40
 

I’m going to bump this upstairs to “other reading” as it is a serious effort on par with The Boss’s stuff.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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24 February 2017 06:06
 

Yuval Noah Harari has some very honest views on topics of interest to Sam Harris, such as the inevitability of Artificial Intelligence and Cyborgization and Gene-hacking of humanity,

A podcast between the two could be amazing.

 
 
brandon davis
 
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brandon davis
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02 March 2017 07:02
 

imho:
totally agree
though hopefully we don’t start calling ourselves Homo Deus Deus
as we tend to overestimate our Sapiens Sapiens, no?

Cheers,
-b

 
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21 July 2017 11:41
 
Twissel - 24 February 2017 06:06 AM

Yuval Noah Harari has some very honest views on topics of interest to Sam Harris, such as the inevitability of Artificial Intelligence and Cyborgization and Gene-hacking of humanity,

A podcast between the two could be amazing.

Harari has several pages with the heading, ‘Can Someone Please Hit the Brakes?  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/will-wiped-machine-overlords-maybe-need-game-plan-now/

On this PBS program last night, Nick Bostrom spoke about his book:

https://www.amazon.com/Superintelligence-Dangers-Strategies-Nick-Bostrom/dp/0198739834/ref=sr_1_1/145-9833222-2352938?ie=UTF8&qid=1500662670&sr=8-1&keywords=nick+bostrom+superintelligence

quote:  “The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains.

If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity’s cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence.

This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.”

[ Edited: 21 July 2017 11:52 by unsmoked]
 
 
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26 July 2017 11:14
 

Harari has a very interesting section on why so many religious people hate Darwin’s theory of evolution.  He mentions a poll that showed that even among holders of MA and PhD degrees, 25 per cent believe the Bible stories, like Adam and Eve, are true.  He discusses a point that I mentioned on this forum several years ago - the strange case of the first child born with a soul. 

He writes:  “Think of the first baby to possess a soul.  That baby was very similar to her mother and father, except that she had a soul and they didn’t.  Our biological knowledge can certainly explain the birth of a baby whose cornea was a bit more curved than her parents’ corneas.  A slight mutation in a single gene can account for that.  But biology cannot explain the birth of a baby possessing an eternal soul from parents who did not have even a shred of a soul . . . Hence the existence of souls cannot be squared with the theory of evolution.”  (page 106 in hardcover edition)

I understand that the Catholic Church finally endorsed evolution as a fact.  I wonder what they (or creationist members of this forum) have to say about the first child born with a soul and the relationship of that child with their soulless parents?

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