If Sapiens was all about our prehistoric history and how we came to be the dominant species on Earth, then Homo Deus continues to describe how the modern era came to be: atomic bombs, humanism, the Internet and biotechnology to name a few.
Before opening the book I thought it'd take more of a futurology approach but as pages went by I realised I was still reading a history book. Harari makes an effort to narrate this history we are all part of from different points of view, without taking sides and being as objective as possible. Of course every time you write about something that happened in the past you'll be skewed by your current environment and your own sociopolitical ideas, there's no escaping that, but I've found this book to be quite neutral and critical of humanism, capitalism, socialism, religions and even what makes us human.
We cannot really predict the future, because technology is not deterministic. The same technology could create very different kinds of societies.
It can be quite pessimistic from time to time but that's actually up to the reader and how he interprets history. The fact is we live in a chaotic world, dominated by social networks and technology, something noone would of thought of 50 years ago. So we've got no idea what will happen in the next five decades. Heck, not even in the next one.
Think about it: in 2010 Instagram didn't exist, smart watches didn't exist, Uber and Airbnb didn't exist. Those are just businesses and products that didn't exist back then, so what? Well, each of them have radically changed how we interact with each other, how we behave and even how global economies work.
The rise of AI and biotechnology will certainly transform the world, but it does not mandate a single deterministic outcome. All the scenarios outlined in this book should be understood as possibilities rather than prophecies. If you don't like some of these possibilities you are welcome to think and behave in new ways that will prevent these particular possibilities from materializing.
Although maybe not the best book to read during a global pandemic, Homo Deus has been thought provoking and really mind expanding for me, and I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding the current state of the world and what might we make of our future.
In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information.
Interested in reading "Homo Deus"? Click here to buy it through Book Depository using my affiliate link. They've got free worldwide delivery and it's how I buy all of the books I read, 100% recommended!
Next up on my reading list is: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.