Michael Braverman portfolio / personal site

Yuval Noah Harari

During the winter break I managed to read one of the most intriguing books on human history that I have every read called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The author of the book, Yuval Noah Harari is one of the most amazing geniuses currently living. His insight into human history starts with as far as the Neanderthals and how our species subjected them to genocide, to as far as how we formed settlements, then nations, and then a global market. I also mentioned him in some of my previous posts.

Despite being in the start mode for midterms, I found some time to watch Yuval Noah Harari’s new TED talk about the current Nationalist and Globalist divide from which I gained an insight that I would have not gained otherwise about the topic. But he announced his new book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow in the talk and this made be go rush to the Barnes & Noble on Union Square and get it.

I could not be more exited about reading his new book that regards the future of humanity because the insight that he gave in his first book about human past was very enlightening and profound. For the most part, it makes you realize how insignificant and stupid humans are, but a way that is very helpful.

I read hist first chapter in which I found a ming opening insight concerning the human ambition to change our own natures by means of cyborgization and biotechnological augmentations. But it made wonder about what stops humans to start disregarding humanistic values for the pursuit of biologic and technologic augmentations?

Humanism is currently the most predominant world view, which followed a period during the Middle Ages in Europe when christianity was the most predominant world view, and even before that, pharaohs where the most predominant feature of the Ancient Egyptian world view 3000 years ago.1 Today, pharaohs and christianity are no longer the most predominant ethical guidances for human decisions, but the humanist world view still is and has been for the last 300 years. We continue to makes humanistic decisions because we have an ethical and moral imperative to respect human nature. However, there is little reason to believe that the humanist world is secured forever and not prompt mankind to alter its nature by means cyborgization and augmentation to point where it is no longer recognized as Homo Sapiens.

I am writing a paper for my Cybrog Futures class, so this can potentially come in hand. Unless I use up all my time reading this amazing book of course.

  1. Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, p. 68