A reading club with a view to the future

214 Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus

The story of human history can be understood through the development of shared myths and the ability to cooperate on a massive scale.

Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus


Homo Deus offers a fascinating and provocative vision of the future, drawing on insights from history, philosophy, and science. The book explores the potential consequences of our current scientific and technological advancements, including the rise of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and the data-driven economy. The author argues that these developments could transform our societies and even our species, potentially leading to new forms of inequality, power, and control. At the same time, the book challenges many of our assumptions about human nature and the role of individuals and communities in shaping our future.


Title: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Publishing Year: 2017

Publisher: Harper

Length in hours: 14 hours and 54 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. The technological and scientific advancements of the present day could transform human societies and even our species, potentially leading to new forms of inequality, power, and control.
  2. The rise of artificial intelligence and biotechnology could fundamentally transform our bodies and minds, potentially leading to a new era in human history.
  3. Our traditional concepts of freedom, equality, and human dignity may be challenged by these developments, as we move towards a new era in which humans transcend their biological limitations.
  4. The data-driven economy and the rise of algorithms could lead to new forms of power and control, potentially threatening our traditional notions of democracy and individual autonomy.
  5. The future of humanity is uncertain, and will depend on the choices we make in the present day.
Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus

5 funny quotes

  1. "Science fiction is not about the future, but about the present."
  2. "In the past, people needed to believe in a particular god to be saved. Nowadays, you need to believe in the algorithm."
  3. "A single tweet from President Trump might be enough to trigger a global stock market crash."
  4. "It is amazing that in just a few centuries we have transformed a species that was a mediocre African primate into a god-like being that can create life itself."
  5. "It is not easy to maintain your dignity as a professor when the students are so much smarter than you."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "For the first time in history, more people die today 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 combined."
  2. "The most interesting place in the world from a religious perspective is not the Islamic State or the Bible Belt, but Silicon Valley."
  3. "What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?"
  4. "We are in the process of upgrading Homo sapiens into Homo deus, and no authority is guiding this process."
  5. "We are rapidly developing the technological and scientific capacity to create a new kind of collective intelligence, encompassing not only human brains but also the brains of machines."

5 dilemmas

  1. Should we prioritize economic growth or environmental sustainability?
  2. How should we balance individual freedom and the common good in a data-driven society?
  3. What is the role of human agency in a world increasingly governed by algorithms?
  4. How can we ensure that the benefits of technological progress are shared fairly among all members of society?
  5. Should we pursue artificial intelligence and biotechnology at any cost, or are there ethical and moral limits to these fields of research?

5 examples

  1. Elon Musk and SpaceX, revolutionizing space exploration and making interplanetary travel a reality.
  2. Jeff Bezos and Amazon, disrupting traditional retail and expanding into new industries such as cloud computing and streaming media.
  3. Greta Thunberg, leading a global movement for climate action and challenging governments and corporations to take urgent action to address the climate crisis.
  4. Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation, leveraging technology and philanthropy to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems, such as poverty and disease.
  5. Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, providing a thought-provoking and visionary perspective on the past, present, and future.

Referenced books

  1. "The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology" by Ray Kurzweil
  2. "Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies" by Nick Bostrom
  3. "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined" by Steven Pinker
  4. "The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age" by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg
  5. "Happiness: A History" by Darrin M. McMahon


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"It is amazing that in just a few centuries we have transformed a species that was a mediocre African primate into a god-like being that can create life itself."

Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens
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