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  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Summary and Analysis Summary Station Display preferences: Use the options below to adjust the size, style and colors, and click 'Apply' below. Simon Spier is a 16-year-old high school junior with what appears to be a perfect life: loving parents, an awesome younger sister and cool older sister, and his three best friends, Nick, Abby, and Leah.
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Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
The English book cover of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
AuthorYuval Noah Harari
Original titleההיסטוריה של המחר
CountryIsrael
LanguageEnglish
Hebrew (original)
French (September 2017)
Chinese
German
Dutch
Danish
Portuguese
Polish
Persian
SubjectCivilization
Technology and civilization
Human beings
PublisherHarvill Secker
2015
Published in English
8 September 2016
Pages448
ISBN978-191-070-187-4
Preceded bySapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Followed by21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Aug 17, 2018 Speed Summary: Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind August 17, 2018 7 Mins Read. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter LinkedIn Email. (“Wise Humans” as we immodestly label ourselves) and just one of a number of different species of human that have roamed the planet together. Homo sapiens conquered the world because of its unique language. The Cognitive Revolution occurred between 70,000 to 30,000 years ago. It allowed Homo sapiens to communicate at a level never seen before in language.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Hebrew: ההיסטוריה של המחר, English: The History of the Tomorrow) is a book written by Israeli author Yuval Noah Harari, professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The book was first published in Hebrew in 2015 by Dvir publishing; the English-language version was published in September 2016 in the United Kingdom and in February 2017 in the United States.

As with its predecessor, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Harari recounts the course of history while describing events and the individual human experience, along with ethical issues in relation to his historical survey. However, Homo Deus deals more with the abilities acquired by humans (Homo sapiens) throughout their existence, and their evolution as the dominant species in the world. The book describes mankind's current abilities and achievements and attempts to paint an image of the future. Many philosophical issues are discussed, such as humanism, individualism, transhumanism, and mortality.

Summary[edit]

The book sets out to examine possibilities of the future of Homo sapiens. The premise outlines that during the 21st century, humanity is likely to make a significant attempt to gain happiness, immortality, and God-like powers. Throughout the book, Harari openly speculates various ways that this ambition might be realised in the future based on the past and present.[1]

Homo sapiens conquers the world[edit]

  • The first part of the book explores the relationship between humans and other animals, exploring what led to the former's dominance.

Homo sapiens gives meaning to the world[edit]

  • Since the language revolution some 70,000 years ago, humans have lived within an 'intersubjective reality', such as countries, borders, religion, money and companies, all created to enable large-scale, flexible cooperation between different individual human beings. Humanity is separated from animals by humans' ability to believe in these intersubjective constructs that exist only in the human mind and are given force through collective belief.
  • Humankind's immense ability to give meaning to its actions and thoughts is what has enabled its many achievements.
  • Harari argues that humanism is a form of religion that worships humankind instead of a god. It puts humankind and its desires as a top priority in the world, in which humans themselves are framed as the dominant beings. Humanists believe that ethics and values are derived internally within each individual, rather than from an external source. During the 21st century, Harari believes that humanism may push humans to search for immortality, happiness, and power.

Homo sapiens loses control[edit]

  • Technological developments have threatened the continued ability of humans to give meaning to their lives; Harari suggests the possilibity of the replacement of humankind with the super-man, or 'homo deus' (human god) endowed with abilities such as eternal life.[2]
  • The last chapter suggests the possibility that humans are algorithms, and as such Homo sapiens may not be dominant in a universe where big data becomes a paradigm.
  • The book closes with the following question addressed to the reader:

    'What will happen to society, politics and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?'[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Time magazine listed Homo Deus as one of its top ten non-fiction books of 2017.[4]
  • Wellcome longlisted Homo Deus for their 2017 Book Prize.[5]

Reception[edit]

Homo Deus was reviewed in The New York Times,[6][7]The Guardian,[8][9]The Economist,[10]The New Yorker,[11]NPR,[12]Financial Times,[13] and Times Higher Education[14] published articles and reviews about the book. The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 43% of critics gave the book a 'rave' review, whilst the rest of the critics expressed either 'positive' (29%) or 'mixed' (29%) impressions, based on a sample of seven reviews.[15]

Writing in The Guardian, David Runciman praised the book's originality and style, although he suggested that it lacked empathy for Homo sapiens. The review points out that 'Harari cares about the fate of animals in a human world but he writes about the prospects for Homo sapiens in aa glib work, full of corner-cutting sleights of hand and unsatisfactory generalisations' and stated that 'Mr Harari has a tendency towards scientific name-dropping—words like biotech, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence abound—but he rarely engages with these topics in any serious way.'[16]

Writing in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, Allan McCay has challenged Harari's claims about human algorithmic agency.[17]

Steve Aoki's song 'Homo Deus' on the album Neon Future IV is named after the book and includes Harari's narration of the audiobook.

Translations[edit]

The following translations have become available:

  • English: September 2016
  • Spanish: October 2016
  • Portuguese: November 2016
  • Turkish: December 2016
  • Chinese: January 2017
  • German: February 2017 (by Andreas Wirthensohn)
  • Dutch: February 2017[18]
  • Hungarian: April 2017
  • Croatian: May 2017
  • Italian: May 2017, Bompiani
  • Korean: May 2017
  • Finnish: September 2017
  • French: September 2017
  • Norwegian: 2017, Bazar
  • Greek: December 2017
  • Czech: December 2017
  • Danish: August 2017
  • Slovene: 2017, 2019
  • Lithuanian: February 2018
  • Persian: March 2018
  • Romanian: March 2018
  • Russian: March 2018
  • Bulgarian: April 2018
  • Polish: April 2018
  • Ukrainian: May 2018
  • Albanian: June 2018
  • Vietnamese: July 2018
  • Japanese: September 2018
  • Serbian: September 2018[19]
  • Marathi: November 2018
  • Thai: September 2019
  • Macedonian: 2019
  • Mongolian: 2020

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^Harari, Yuval Noah (2017). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Vintage. pp. 75–76. ISBN9781784703936. OCLC953597984.
  2. ^Shalev, Amichay (6 May 2015). ''ההיסטוריה של המחר': להרוג את המוות'. Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 15 October 2015.English via Google Translate
  3. ^Harari, Yuval Noah (2016). Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Random House. p. 462.
  4. ^Howorth, Claire (21 November 2017). 'The Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2017'. Time. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  5. ^'Homo Deus Wellcome Book Prize'. wellcomebookprize.org. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  6. ^Senior, Jennifer (15 February 2017). 'Review: 'Homo Deus' Foresees a Godlike Future. (Ignore the Techno-Overlords.)'. The New York Times. ISSN0362-4331. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  7. ^Mukherjee, Siddhartha (13 March 2017). 'The Future of Humans? One Forecaster Calls for Obsolescence'. The New York Times. ISSN0362-4331. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  8. ^Adams, Tim (11 September 2016). 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari review – chilling'. The Guardian. ISSN0261-3077. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  9. ^ abRunciman, David (24 August 2016). 'Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari review – how data will destroy human freedom'. The Guardian. ISSN0261-3077. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  10. ^'Future shock'. The Economist. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  11. ^'Are Liberals on the Wrong Side of History?'. The New Yorker. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  12. ^'Are Cyborgs in Our Future? 'Homo Deus' Author Thinks So'. NPR.org. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  13. ^'Planet of the apps – have we paved the way for our own extinction?'. www.ft.com. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  14. ^'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari'. Times Higher Education (THE). 13 October 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  15. ^'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow'. Book Marks. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  16. ^'Future shock'. The Economist. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  17. ^'The Value of Consciousness and Free Will in a Technological Dystopia'. jetpress.org. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  18. ^https://www.bol.com/nl/p/homo-deus/9200000071595546
  19. ^Laguna (publisher)

External links[edit]

  • Public conversation on the book with BBC producer at London's Emmanuel Centre on 5 September 2016 – 1 hour 31 minutes, including Q&A. Intelligence Squared/YouTube
  • Book review of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. In Med Health Care and Philos (2018). Retrieved 16 August 2018.
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Homo_Deus:_A_Brief_History_of_Tomorrow&oldid=976900640'
Sapiens
A Brief History of Humankind
AuthorYuval Noah Harari
Original titleקיצור תולדות האנושות
CountryIsrael
LanguageHebrew, English
SubjectHistory, cultural evolution
GenreNon-fiction
PublisherHarper
Publication date
2011 (in Hebrew), 2014 (in English)
Pages443
ISBN978-0062316097
Followed byHomo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Hebrew: קיצור תולדות האנושות‎, [Ḳitsur toldot ha-enoshut]) is a book by Yuval Noah Harari, first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011[1] based on a series of lectures Harari taught at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and in English in 2014.[2][3] The book surveys the history of humankind from the evolution of archaic human species in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century, focusing on Homo sapiens. The account is situated within a framework that intersects the natural sciences with the social sciences.

The book has gathered mixed reviews. While it was positively received by the general public, scholars with relevant subject matter expertise have been very critical of its scientific claims.

Summary[edit]

Harari's work situates its account of human history within a framework: he sees the natural sciences as setting the limits of possibility for human activity and sees the social sciences as shaping what happens within those bounds. The academic discipline of history is the account of cultural change.

Harari surveys the history of humankind in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century, focusing on Homo sapiens. He divides the history of Sapiens into four major parts:[4]

  1. The Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination).
  2. The Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BCE, the development of agriculture).
  3. The unification of humankind (the gradual consolidation of human political organisations towards one global empire).
  4. The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science).

Harari's main argument is that Sapiens came to dominate the world because it is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers. He argues that prehistoric Sapiens were a key cause of the extinction of other human species such as the Neanderthals, along with numerous other megafauna. He further argues that the ability of Sapiens to cooperate in large numbers arises from its unique capacity to believe in things existing purely in the imagination, such as gods, nations, money, and human rights. He argues that these beliefs give rise to discrimination – whether that be racial, sexual or political and it is potentially impossible to have a completely unbiased society. Harari claims that all large-scale human cooperation systems – including religions, political structures, trade networks, and legal institutions – owe their emergence to Sapiens' distinctive cognitive capacity for fiction.[5] Accordingly, Harari regards money as a system of mutual trust and sees political and economic systems as more or less identical with religions.

Harari's key claim regarding the Agricultural Revolution is that while it promoted population growth for Sapiens and co-evolving species like wheat and cows, it made the lives of most individuals (and animals) worse than they had been when Sapiens were mostly hunter-gatherers, since their diet and daily lives became significantly less varied. Humans' violent treatment of other animals is a theme that runs throughout the book.

In discussing the unification of humankind, Harari argues that over its history, the trend for Sapiens has increasingly been towards political and economic interdependence. For centuries, the majority of humans lived in empires, and capitalist globalization is effectively producing one, global empire. Harari argues that money, empires, and universal religions are the principal drivers of this process.

Harari sees the Scientific Revolution as founded on innovation in European thought, whereby elites became willing to admit to, and hence to try to remedy, their ignorance. He sees this as one driver of early modern European imperialism and of the current convergence of human cultures. Harari also emphasises the lack of research into the history of happiness, positing that people today are not significantly happier than in past eras.[6] Boss kut gazelle instruction manual pdf. He concludes by considering how modern technology may soon end the species as we know it, as it ushers in genetic engineering, immortality, and non-organic life. Humans have, in Harari's chosen metaphor, become gods: they can create species.

Harari cites Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) as one of the greatest inspirations for the book by showing that it was possible to 'ask very big questions and answer them scientifically'.[7]

Reception[edit]

Public reception[edit]

First published in Hebrew in 2011 and then in English in 2014, the book was translated into 45 languages (as of June 2017).[8] It also made to The New York Times best-seller list and won the National Library of China's Wenjin Book Award for the best book published in 2014.[9][10] Writing four years after its English-language publication, Alex Preston wrote in The Guardian that Sapiens had become a 'publishing phenomenon' with 'wild success' symptomatic of a broader trend toward 'intelligent, challenging nonfiction, often books that are several years old'.[11] Concurrently, The Guardian listed the book as among the ten 'best brainy books of the decade'.[12] The Royal Society of Biologists in the UK shortlisted the book in its 2015 Book Awards.[13]Bill Gates ranked Sapiens among his ten favorite books[14] and Mark Zuckerberg also recommended it.[15]

Scholarly reception[edit]

Summar

Anthropologist Christopher Robert Hallpike reviewed the book and did not find any 'serious contribution to knowledge'. Hallpike suggested that '..whenever his facts are broadly correct they are not new, and whenever he tries to strike out on his own he often gets things wrong, sometimes seriously'. He considered it an infotainment publishing event offering a 'wild intellectual ride across the landscape of history, dotted with sensational displays of speculation, and ending with blood-curdling predictions about human destiny.'[16]

Science journalist Charles C. Mann concluded in The Wall Street Journal, 'There's a whiff of dorm-room bull sessions about the author's stimulating but often unsourced assertions.'[17]

Sapiens By Yuval Summary

Reviewing the book in The Washington Post, evolutionary anthropologist Avi Tuschman points out problems stemming from the contradiction between Harari's 'freethinking scientific mind' and his 'fuzzier worldview hobbled by political correctness', but nonetheless wrote that 'Harari’s book is important reading for serious-minded, self-reflective sapiens.'[18]

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Reviewing the book in The Guardian, philosopher Galen Strawson concluded that among several other problems, 'Much of Sapiens is extremely interesting, and it is often well expressed. As one reads on, however, the attractive features of the book are overwhelmed by carelessness, exaggeration and sensationalism.'[19]

Reviewing the book in The New Atlantis, John Sexton, graduate student at the University of Chicago, concluded that 'The book is fundamentally unserious and undeserving of the wide acclaim and attention it has been receiving'.[20]

Bibliographic details[edit]

The original Hebrew publication was first issued in 2011 as קיצור תולדות האנושות [Ḳitsur toldot ha-enoshut] (Or Yehuda: Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir).

The English translation was first published in 2014 as Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, 'translated by the author with the help of John Purcell and Haim Watzman', simultaneously in London by Harvill Secker ISBN9781846558238 (hardback), ISBN9781846558245 (trade paperback)[21] and in Canada by Signal (ISBN978-0-7710-3850-1 (bound), ISBN978-0-7710-3852-5 (html)). It was then republished under the same title but without the information about the translators in London by Vintage Books, apparently in 2015 (ISBN9780099590088 (paperback)).

See also[edit]

  • The Outline of History (H. G. Wells)
  • Guns, Germs and Steel: A short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years (Jared Diamond)
  • The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution' (Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^Harari, Yuval Noah; Vintage (2014). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. ISBN9780099590088.
  2. ^Strawson, Galen (11 September 2014). 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – review'. The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. ^Payne, Tom (26 September 2014). 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, review: 'urgent questions''. The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. ^Ben Shephard. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind review – thrilling story, dark message, The Guardian, 21 September 2014.
  5. ^Book overview at Yuval Noah Harari's website
  6. ^Harari, Yuval Noah. Were we happier in the stone age?, The Guardian, September 5, 2014.
  7. ^Kennedy, Paul (January 12, 2015). 'Sapiens'. IDEAS with Paul Kennedy. CBC.
  8. ^Barnea, Nahum (2017-06-16). 'Lifnei she-Sorfim et ha-Machashefoth (Before they burn the witches)' (Ha-Musaf la-Shabat, weekend supplement). Yedioth Ahronoth.
  9. ^China Book Award, CCTV News, April 23, 2015.
  10. ^What makes us human, China Daily, May 18, 2016, p. 20.
  11. ^Preston, Alex (July 29, 2018). 'How the 'brainy' book became a publishing phenomenon'. The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018.
  12. ^'Best 'brainy' books of this decade'. The Guardian. July 29, 2018. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018.
  13. ^'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind'. RSB. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  14. ^Gates, Bill (2016-05-20). 'My 10 Favorite Books: Bill Gates'. The New York Times. ISSN0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  15. ^'I finally read 'Sapiens,' the book that Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg both recommend to everyone - and I get why Silicon Valley loves it so much'. Business Insider. 2019-04-14. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  16. ^Hallpike, C. R. A Response to Yuval Harari's 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind', New English Review, December 2017.
  17. ^Mann, Charles C. (6 February 2015). 'How Humankind Conquered the World'. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  18. ^Tuschman, Avi (16 June 2016). 'How humans became human'. The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  19. ^Strawson, Galen (11 September 2014). 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – review'. The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  20. ^'A Reductionist History of Humankind'. The New Atlantis. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  21. ^'A brief history of human kind'. idiscover.lib.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 2019-07-25.

Sapiens Book

External links[edit]

Sapiens 1 Page Summary Resume

  • Yuval Harari interviewed by Alan Philps about his book, The World Today, September 2015, Volume 71, Number 5.
  • Bill Gates. How Did Humans Get Smart?, Gates Notes, May 17, 2016.
  • Dirk Lindebaum. Sapiens: A brief history of humankind (Book Review), Management Learning, 46 (5) 2015, pp. 636–638. DOI: 10.1177/1350507615602981

Sapiens 1 Page Summary

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