Homo Deus: Reading experience

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Homo Deus: Reading experience

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1lorannen
aug 21, 2017, 9:00am

What was your experience of reading this book like? Did you enjoy the book and writing style in general? Why or why not? Have you also read Sapiens, Harari's previous book?

2lorannen
aug 22, 2017, 8:39am

About halfway through, I found myself better able to articulate what I wasn't too fond of about this book—it felt like I was sitting in on one long brainstorming session, and I didn't know what the prompt was. Like he really could have used an editor.

I was not a big fan

3hilge
aug 22, 2017, 12:35pm

I thought it was a brilliant experience reading the book, with lots of interesting ideas and perspectives I had not thought through before, or at least not to the degree he presents here. A bit like the feeling I got when I first saw Being John Malkowhich, I had imagined what it would be like to be inside someone else’s head, but never thought of it to the degree and details presented in that movie (sorry for the weird example).
I find his style of writing really easy to follow and engaging, something I don’t usually get when reading books on history or other discussion pieces. I have also read Sapiens and prefer that between the two of them, mainly because of the overall historical walkthrough. But, I found both books gives interesting and important insights into human history and where the world might be going in the future. And I think that it is amazing a book like this one can gain such popularity, and I hope that it can prime some of the important discussions he brings forward, such as what will happen if in-equality is not only based on wealth and power differences but also in real biological/augmented-technological differences. Technology progress is moving fast and the discussion of its implications are slow in comparison, which is why a popular book discussing this is super useful in my mind.

4KatHoagland
aug 24, 2017, 11:58am

I found the experience riveting and the knowledge easily digestible. He deals with very complex ideas in a way that is so easy to understand. Though he covers so much in this book that I feel the need to perhaps read it a second time to fully absorb all the info and it's implications. I haven't read his first book and I'm undecided about reading it.

5kristilabrie
aug 25, 2017, 4:24pm

This book was a bit of a chore for me to get through (I might have enjoyed it more if I had given myself more time to read it, but only slightly). I agree with lorannen that the writing really rambled on and my eyes glossed over on more than a handful of occasions. He probably could have made his points using 100 pages fewer than what he used.

I do appreciate some of the (albeit unoriginal) ideas he brought to the table, contemplating the future of humanism with the advances of technology & data. I would have been more interested to read his personal reflections on those ideas, rather than just what seemed a regurgitation of his research.

He really seemed to make a lot of generalizations and assumptions, with a narrow scope of people in mind (WEIRD societies), which was frustrating to read. Also, I'd really like to know where he got his data that "Today in the US more people read digital books than printed ones."1 I won't be citing this book for facts anytime in the near future, but perhaps will just take it for its philosophical value.

1Page 348.

6PuddinTame
aug 27, 2017, 5:36pm

I found it rather slow going at first, somewhat better in the middle, and then a real chore at the end. I had to force myself to finish. I resorted to alternating reading it with reading a more interesting book just to keep myself going. I thought that it was focussed too narrowly on what he calls the WEIRD societies and I found it repetitious. The problem with his forecasts is that there are a lot of things that could change, like our understanding of consciousness, or technologies that we haven't dreamed of, that could throw everything off.