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Homo Deus

A Brief History of Tomorrow
Written by: Yuval Noah Harari
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (235 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Highly original, provocative and thought-provoking, Yuval Noah Harari asks important questions, with clarity and focus, about what the tech-driven future holds for humankind.

As the world teeters on the edge of a great precipice of change, what price will we have to pay?

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. Now, in Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between.

Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st 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. War is obsolete. You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict. Famine is disappearing. You are at more risk of obesity than starvation. Death is just a technical problem. Equality is out - but immortality is in. What does our future hold?

©2016 Yuval Noah Harari (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Engaging, Thought Provoking and Insightful

wonderful read, I read the paperback and also listened to the audible version simultaneously. It is doubtlessly a beautiful read and as engaging as a fictional work.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The book has expanded my being. beautifully read t

Powerful book. Yuval has an extraordinary insight into things. It has expanded my being. Great book. should be read by everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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mind expanding read <br />

gives a whole new perspective on living and life .
read to understand today's strange times.

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One of the most important books in 21st century

It is a deluge of information and ideas. Possibilities as Yuval Noah Harari calls them.

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Immersive & thoroughly entertaining.

A brilliant and non-alarmist way to put forward what every avid futurist already knows about the direction that humanity's taking.

The narrative, though excellent, is not an 'all fit' for the entire world and better suits the developed and technological dependant nations. There is an entire world's worth of humanity, culture and experience that will not fit into that author's narrative until much later when the so called developed nation would already have moved on to the next step in societal evolution.

Nevertheless, a must-read. Excellent oration by Audible.

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A book not to read but study...

It’s not a book where you can just listen and leave... it’s one of a kind which makes you think, think and think more till we realise that all that we knew till now is nothing but mere information and dogma...

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A compelling read

loved the second section of the book which explains different branches of humanism. Third section is the most exciting one for obvious reason that it talks about the future.
Definitely one of the most profound futuristic works!

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Superb book on Future of human kind

Again Yuval had given a book which connects with all different types of readers. Totally engrossing like a Hollywood movie

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conscience more important than data.?

As usual enjoyed reading yuval Noah's thought provoking work . good morning time reading to get the brain juices flowing

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a must read for anyone wanting to know about there

a must read for anyone wanting to know about there. audio book format is best.

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  • Muzzaffar
  • 17-04-17

The book is great but the narrative is incomplete

I read and listen to audible at the same time. I realised that the narration of the book is incomplete. The narrator tend to skip a few paragraphs. Due to this reason, i have to constantly pause the audiobook in order to read the paragraph myself.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Louis D. van Niekerk
  • 25-11-17

If you want to have your mind bend and stretched a bit, this book is for you

If Homo Sapiens gave me a few different and deeper perspectives about humanity, then Homo Deus really stretched my big picture systematic thinking mind into different orbits.

I can very well see some of the scenarios discussed here come to fruition- in fact I see many of the trains having left the stations already.

If anything, the book assumes to have figured out consciousness as a mere emergent property of complex networks and algorithms for which the scientific community has no consensus yet. The possibility that human computational powers extend still deeper than the presumed smart algorithms of the future cannot be discarded. In fact, that seems to me to be our only hope of survival as a species.

Excellent book! Really excellent!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • alex1982
  • 20-06-19

A must read!!

eye opening and brilliant look at society and what it's made of past/present/and future! I can recommend this to anyone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-05-19

Dire and Depressing

A potentially very interesting book. However paints a world of pessimism. Heavy and depressing.

Not for optimists or extroverts. My worst Audiobook to date.

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  • ujjwal kumar
  • 29-05-19

Eyes opened

I never thought in the way the author made me do it, its just amazing work to correlate a lot of things.

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  • Christiaan N.
  • 26-04-19

Unbelievable Insight

There is so much insight and concepts explored in this book that I will have to buy the hard copy as well!! The audiobook is brilliantly read. For anyone interested in where sapiens are potentially heading this is a must read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-04-19

A mind expanding tool

I really wish every person on this planet could read/listen to this book. We could collectively create a better future if we had our eyes wide open.... phenomenal and critical read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-19

Very informative book

Very well written, quite entertaining book. Looking forward to reading other books of this author.

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  • Heather
  • 20-02-19

Brilliant and essential.

Homo Deus is utterly essential reading for any thinking person. Gratitude to the Harari for a breathtaking overview and analysis of the current world forces and our place (our increasingly ineffectual place) in its midst. Having finished it, I’m going back to listen to it all over again .

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  • Stef
  • 01-01-19

Gripping

Harari is an excellent writer that knows how to keep the reader interested. His still leaves us wjth more questions than answers in the end.

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  • david
  • London, UK
  • 17-03-17

Full of "wow, I never thought of it like that!"

Where does Homo Deus rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A really great follow-up to Sapiens. It didn't go in the direction I expected, but Harari, as ever, gives you lots and lots of food for thought!

What did you like best about this story?

The author manages to point out parallels in history that seem totally obvious once you hear them, but you'd never have thought of yourself. Then he extrapolates forward in a logical way to reach some very interesting, and sometimes challenging, predictions.

What does Derek Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Personally I find this kind of non-fiction fascinating, but sometimes difficult to engage with when I'm not fresh. But by listening to it, so much of the hard work of bringing meaning out from the words is done by the narrator, so you can literally just sit back and listen.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

For me, this was one to take in in sections. The chapters are arranged logically and sensibly, and I like to absorb and reflect on one before I move on to the next

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Petal
  • 14-09-16

All that but no bag of chips

What did you like best about Homo Deus? What did you like least?

Conclusion and that it was a sequel to Sapiens even though I think it did not live up to the glory of Sapiens.

If you’ve listened to books by Yuval Noah Harari before, how does this one compare?

I rated Sapiens 5 and Homo Deus 3.5 (out of 5).

What does Derek Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He has a great voice and his narration style for this book is spot on because it is similar to the narration of a well done documentary.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

I don't see how it could be made into a movie but who knows. I would only watch as a follow up to Sapiens being made into a documentary-like movie.

Any additional comments?

Once in a while a book comes along that blows your mind. So much so that you just can't help but sing its praise to anyone who chats with you for more than five mins. Sapiens was such a book for me. I was looking forward to Homo Deus but unfortunately it was not worth my anticipation. There were parts repeated from Sapiens which I guess were included to give context to anyone who hasn't read Sapiens. A bit annoying but fair enough. I could have lived with that if chapters did not fill me with anticipation only to fall flat.

Overall I still give Homo Deus 3.5 stars (out of 5) because it pushes the boundaries of our present day beliefs (what Harari calls the 'myths' we tell ourselves) and for the conclusion which still manages to leave the reader intrigued, challenged and, for some, resigned to the notion that the world is well on its way to that conclusion unless something gives.

Thankfully, the narration is good and Harari's brilliance still shines through the paragraphs. I can't help but wonder what else that brilliance would have unearthed if Harari had taken his sweet time with this sequel.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Adolfo Terrazas de Carvalho
  • 24-10-16

Second best book I've read

it stands just after Sapiens...amazing book! This book should be mandatory at schools, would make the difference.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • m
  • 24-12-16

Brilliant vision of where we might be heading

Brilliant, insightful, well researched and thought-provoking vision of the future of mankind. Disturbing and saddening in parts to realise the accuracy of his observations and logical extrapolation into the Brave new world that may await us.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alice Watchorn
  • 15-12-16

Fascinating

Excellent book, incredibly thought provoking and challenging. Walks you through religious history to religious future and makes you question your existing prejudices.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 01-11-16

peak behind the curtain

fabulous look into how current society has come to be and where is mostly likely natural course will take it. a must read for an inquisitive mind.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • joshua hodson
  • 29-09-16

An irritated fan

I am a fan of Yuval Noah Harari however I do find this book a lot less well researched as 'Sapiens' and there are a lot of conclusions he jumps to that I kept finding myself thinking "that's not entirely true" and "that's not very likely". This irritated me, especially as my experience of his previous work was entirely the opposite. However his style that blends philosophy, science and history is always thought provoking and he is a very accomplished writer so it is still a worth while read/listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • vaduvarascal
  • 10-09-16

Yuval & Derek do it again!

What a book! Great ideas & concepts which are brilliantly read. Top book. If you liked the first then you will like this too!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • 09-06-17

Very thought provoking

Another excellent book by this author. Highly recommended. Some of his ideas and conclusions are difficult to take, but his logic is strong. Making us think was probably his purpose. Although tempting to listen without a break it probably better to take a break after each chapter and reflect on it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Adsy
  • 25-10-16

thought provoking

yuval takes you on a tour you are not expecting. challenging, thought provoking, and insightful. I will digest this and return for another serving again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Rimmer
  • 27-10-18

This is a powerful book by a truly insightful author.

This is a powerful book by a truly insightful author. I recently read Harari's previous great book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and I enjoyed this one just as much. There is so much packed into Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, that it is hard to do justice to the book in a review. Yuval Harari has such a unique insight into how the world turns. He is sometimes very blunt, but he "tells it like he sees it." The first two-thirds of the book is devoted to a description of how the humanist philosophy developed, while the last third is about how humanism may very well fall to the wayside in the not-too-distant future.

In the beginning of the book, Harari describes two new human agendas. The first is how humans attempt to extend their lifetimes, and the second is to increase happiness. The goal is to upgrade homo sapiens into homo deus. That is, the desire to re-engineer our bodies and minds, escape old age, death and misery. Basically, to attain divinity. Harari gives numerous examples of how were technologies developed to aid ill or handicapped people, and then were borrowed to help "normal" healthy people; prosthetics, bionics, Viagra, memory aid drugs, plastic surgery, and genetic engineering. (In 2000, a baby girl was born with genetic inheritance from three parents; nuclear genes from mother and father, and mitochondrial DNA from another woman! A year later, the U.S. government banned this special treatment, but the U.K. has since approved it.)

Harari contends that historians study the past, not in order to repeat it, or to foretell the future, but to be liberated from it. He gives a marvelous example of the history of the grass lawn. He writes that the best reason to study history is not to predict the future, but to "free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies."

Harari has some interesting insights into the founding of modern religions. He writes that they were founded when humans switched from hunting/foraging to agriculture. A central point of the religions was to give humans dominion over all animals, in order to justify their domestication and superiority, and to justify the terrible suffering humans cause for animals. The agricultural revolution was both an economic and a religious revolution, used to justify brutal exploitation of animals. Agricultural societies also started treating some classes of people as property. I wonder, though, didn't pre-agricultural societies practice slavery? When I try to do some simple online research in this subject, it seems like Harari might be correct; slavery was established to mimic the domestication of animals. And, the agricultural revolution was bad for humans in other ways, as well. A peasant in 1850 in China or Britain had a worse life than an archaic hunter-gatherer, from the point of view of diet and hygiene.

Harari has some unique insights into the dichotomy between religion and science. He describes science as a new "religion" that replaced theist religions with humanist religions, replacing gods with humans. The hatred of monotheists for the theory of evolution is inspired by the lack of scientific evidence for a human soul. A soul has no parts, and evolution operates through incremental changes to various parts of a whole. But, both religion and science, in theory at least, are both devoted to the truth. But since their truths are different they seem doomed to clash. However, since neither religion nor science really care much about truth, they can coexist. Religion is mostly interested in social order and structure, while science is mostly interested in power. That is, the power to cure disease, fight war and produce food. So, since religion and science prefer order and power over truth, they "make good bedfellows."

Modernity is a simple deal based on a contract: Humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power. Plagues, droughts and wars have no cosmic meaning to modern humanism, but we have the power to eradicate them. Paradise does not await us after death, but we have the power, in principle, to create paradise here on Earth. Modernity is based on the belief that growth is essential. Growth is the supreme value. Because avarice and greed help to fuel growth, they are encouraged.

Traditional religions offer no alternative to liberalism because they are reactive instead of creative. This wasn't always true. During the Middle Ages, Christian monasteries were among the most advanced centers for innovations--Harari lists a number of their innovations. But today religions look to scriptures for answer. But scriptures are no longer a source of creativity, as they say nothing about modern technologies such as genetic engineering or artificial intelligence. Harari describes three different possible futures for humanism. In one of these, liberalism may die out as technology displaces humans. The masses will lose their economic and military importance. Harari suggests that "Dataism" may appear as a new religion. Dataism advances the first truly new value in nearly 200 years; the value of freedom of information. Dataism is firmly entrenched in its two mother disciplines, computer science and biology. Organisms are seen by scientists as data-processing systems. The stock market is the most powerful of all data processing systems, and centralized government is one of the worst. Capitalism defeated Communism during the Cold War, not because it is more ethical or because individual liberties are sacred, but because in times of rapid technological change, distributed processing systems work better than centralized systems.

Humanists rely on feelings to make important decisions, and these feelings evolved over millions of years. But often our feelings are just irrational and wrong. Computer algorithms can surpass feelings in making good decisions. So, the humanist recommendation to "get in touch with your feelings" may not he given in the future. Perhaps, meaning in life will not lie in our experiences, until they are shared with others, through social media. And, these social media will analyze our experiences, and be able to give expert advice on important decisions. Harari gives some pretty good evidence that this trend may come to pass.

I do want to quibble with some numbers that Harari proposes. He writes that the one billion cars owned around the world could be reduced to 50 million, if they were jointly owned and operated autonomously. People could share rides. However, people want to commute to work in cars all at the same time. They sit in parking lots at work and at home because people have no need for them during work hours and overnight.

But this is perhaps a minor point in Harari's argument. Many people will pooh-pooh much of what Harari has to say. But, it is all extremely thought-provoking. I have just scratched the surface of this book. I highly recommend it to all open-minded people who are not afraid to think a bit differently about the meaning of life, about our political structures, and the future.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • MR R S BROOKES
  • 29-01-18

interesting perspective

The author basically has a go at explaining just about every aspect of humanity but still manages to bring it back to a very focused point at the end. Really enjoyable to listen to.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-01-18

enlightening

Food for thought. Is is a brilliant analysis; some conclusions are debatable but the sole debate is just enlightening. the wit and the good humour made the book extremely enjoyable

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ramana
  • 07-02-17

A modern day second testament

It's not often the sequel is better than the original, but in this case it is true. Sapiens was my favourite book until this terrific sequel came along. It reads like a modern day religious text, using logic and a spellbinding account of modern science to outline how we got to where we are, and a outlines a somewhat scary manifesto for our future. Beware Dataism!

Utterly entertaining and undoubtedly brilliant.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-01-18

Brilliant

Yuval discusses a range of topics that influence the human race such as religion, politics, capitalism,
humanism and dataism. He looks back on our past and suggests a future when computers make the human race look about as useful as a chickens.

3 Major questions are raised to think deeply about over the next 50 years.

1. Are organisms really just algorithms and is life really just data processing?

2. What's more valuable: Intelligence or Consciousness?

3. What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Claire
  • 14-12-16

excellent

well written a must read for the discerning mind brilliant ģggggggggggh just got a text

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Ashton
  • 25-08-18

I am a biological algorithm

Just like the authors first book .. you will not be able to escape from the entanglement of facts, theories, logic and visionary thought processes.

This is such a clever book on many fronts .. I am so impressed with the clarity of explanation that I think it will stay in my thoughts forever.

So well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 16-08-18

Meh.

A bizarre mix of interesting insights and observations so bad they border on the incompressible.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-04-18

Thought provoking

This is a great in depth look at society today. It predicts the FaceBook Cambridge Analytics/election problems and discusses the changes happening as society transitions to a “data-ist” model.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-04-18

Finished half then came back

I struggled to finish this book. It was so depressing. It drew me to a dark line of thinking. But it was well written and provoked much thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful