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Homo Deus

book summary

This book explores the trends of today and tries to predict the tomorrow. Here are the key lessons from the book.

On humanism

Humanism is the most popular modern religion that we are mostly not aware of.

Humanism sanctifies human life and is therefore engaged in war against death. The ultimate goal of humanism is eradication of death which will make humans “amortal”. Humans will also soon start to upgrade their biological bodies, starting from the richest elite.

On suicide and death

More people die of suicide than from all other violent deaths combined.

In fact, the number of deaths from suicides is higher than the number of deaths from all forms of violence – including homicide, terrorism, conflict, and executions – globally and across many countries across the world.

You are your own worst enemy.

Statistically you are your own worst enemy. At least, of all the people in the world, you are most likely to be killed by yourself.

1.5m people die of sugar related illnesses annually, 620k out of human violence and 800k out of suicide. “Sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder”.

On happiness

We will probably find a key to happiness via biochemical means. Human beings seek happiness in drugs, smartphone games and social media. We will probably replace that with some sort of drug that satisfies that need. It won’t be easy since human beings are not used to feeling happy 24/7.

On distant future

No one knows how the world is going to look in 2100, since we cannot predict the outcomes of re-engineering our imagination and mind.

On progress

No one can hit the breaks on humanity progress in this way, since no one knows where the breaks are. The system is so complicated, that no single individual knows how it all works in its entirety.

Once we start eliminating illnesses from DNA, there’s no stopping from enhancing the DNA with above average intelligence or blue eyes. It’s a slippery slope.

On biology

Biology treats organisms as algorithms now, since emotions are algorithms we don’t perceive as calculations, since they are happening too fast. They have been perfected by evolution over millions of years.

On communism

Communism has failed because it wanted to centralize decision making, while capitalist free market distributes decision making. Big collection of individuals is smarter in making small decisions, than small collection of individuals making decisions for everyone. There is not enough brain power for that.

On the individual and the true self

We’re not individuals, we are dividuals that consist of at least two selves: the narrating self and the experiencing self. The narrating self tells stories and sets goals, the experiencing self actually does the job and experiences our actions.

There is no free will, only calculations we’re not aware of.

On giving up on privacy

If we give up our privacy for our health records, we will have access to the AI network that will be smarter than our doctor. It’s much easier to copy this AI for every patient, than it is to copy and train human beings to become doctors.