Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow


Homo Deus is a very curiosity-inspiring book.

One of its questions goes like this: with a divine-like power, for example, a powerful ability to perform biochemical manipulation on our own bodies and minds, and as we continue to develop this power pushing its boundary, can we humans become Homo Deus, an upgraded version of Homo Sapiens? This was an amazing book with so many interesting perspectives, although some parts I didn’t fully agree with:)

Can humans really declare the end of death? Harari says that humans in the future might claim the “end of death”, using their ever-increasing divine-like power of genetic/biochemical engineering. Well, people might try to be immortal, but even if we really try, could we really come near to the immortality in a healthy state? Is the immorality, through scientific and engineering innovations, is something that is achievable?

What I have been thinking is that human life’s longevity is something to do with meaning and content rather than length. For example, history asks what is left, rather than asking who lived a long time. People leave legacy behind. And the value of life often comes on the premise of death and from its finiteness, and that’s how we weave our stories in a condensed way.

At least that has been how humanism has been operating— Nothing really persists, which is something that I view as the “nature” of things of the Universe. Maybe we can change our form, perhaps to a more efficient form to stay alive longer, but I’m not sure if the immortality is really achievable.

But the author made it clear that the book is not about predictions. It is about warnings! He provides one possibility, something that we can think about. So I really liked this book. It opens up the rooms for imagination and possibilities. The book gives a warning that algorithms can be more powerful than humans. And this might strip away from humans of the roles of the main storytellers. Algorithms are very powerful :)