It has been a very long time since my last book review. Heck, since I last wrote in this blog. But better get restarted.
This book was a Christmas gift, from one of my best friends. He strongly recommended it, as a very insightful read. Have to admit, it has been in my “to-read” pile of books for a while. And as it is a hard copy, it is harder to carry this brick on the train.
The style of Mr. Harari is superb. You can tell this man has written a lot of high quality text throughout his academic career (he holds a PhD from the University of Oxford). It is crisp and concise, and gets the point with perfect examples.
The main objective of the text is to start from the premise that humanity succeeded during the 20th century to overcome famine, war and plague (as a whole, and in the grand scheme of things).
Then the question arises: what comes ahead? Lots of ideas from Mr. Harari flow through the text.
He argues that algorithms, AI, machine learning, genomics, bio engineering will have a huge role to play on it. The examples for these scenarios are alright (I guess), but in my opinion a bit vague, and sometimes lack plausibility because lack of detail. Perhaps that is the engineering mind in me wanting more specifics. Probably too many hardcore science fiction for me!
Another negative point for me was that I am tired of hearing these “catchy” and trendy tech words in the CS/engineering circles, Silicon Valley, Twitter feeds, etc. It seems nowadays it is in everyones’ mouths, and it is a bit too much. I have my opinion on this subject, but that is for another post!
All in all, and despite the above, I do highly recommend this book to all people interested in history, humankind, philosophy and more. It delivers. And all the claims and quoted studies are heavily cited and quoted, so you are free to thread deeper in to the details!