Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (65 page)

To Jonathan Jao, my publisher at HarperCollins in New York, and to Claire Wachtel, my former publisher there, for their faith, encouragement and insight.

To Shmuel Rosner and Eran Zmora, for seeing the potential, and for their valuable feedback and advice.

To Deborah Harris, for helping with the vital breakthrough.

To Amos Avisar, Shilo de Ber, Tirza Eisenberg, Luke Matthews, Rami Rotholz and Oren Shriki, who read the manuscript carefully, and devoted much time and effort to correcting my mistakes and enabling me to see things from other perspectives.

To Yigal Borochovsky, who convinced me to go easy on God.

To Yoram Yovell, for his insights and for our walks together in the Eshta’ol forest.

To Ori Katz and Jay Pomeranz, who helped me get a better understanding of the capitalist system.

To Carmel Weismann, Joaquín Keller and Antoine Mazieres, for their thoughts about brains and minds.

To Diego Olstein, for many years of warm friendship and calm guidance.

To Ehud Amir, Shuki Bruck, Miri Worzel, Guy Zaslavaki, Michal Cohen, Yossi Maurey, Amir Sumakai-Fink, Sarai Aharoni and Adi Ezra, who read selected parts of the manuscript and shared their ideas.

To Eilona Ariel, for being a gushing fountain of enthusiasm and a firm rock of refuge.

To my mother-in-law and accountant, Hannah Yahav, for keeping all the money balls in the air.

To my grandmother Fanny, my mother, Pnina, my sisters Liat and Einat, and to all my other family members and friends for their support and companionship.

To Chamba, Pengo and Chili, who offered a canine perspective on some of the main ideas and theories of this book.

And to my spouse and manager, Itzik, who already today functions as my Internet-of-All-Things.

Index

The pagination of this electronic edition does not match the edition from which it was created. To locate a specific entry, please use your e-book reader’s search tools.

Entries in
italics
indicate photographs and illustrations.

Abdallah, Muhammad Ahmad bin (Mahdi) 270, 271

Abe, Shinzō 207

abortion 189, 190, 236

Adee, Sally 288–9, 364

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) 39

aesthetics: humanist 229–30,
233
, 234, 238; Middle Ages 228–9,
228

Afghanistan 19, 40, 100, 171, 351

Africa: AIDS crisis in 2–3; borders in 167–8,
169
; climate change and 214–15; conquest of 259, 350; Ebola outbreak in 11, 13, 203; Sapiens evolution in savannah of 338, 388–9

Agricultural Revolution: animal welfare and 77, 78–9, 83, 90–6, 363; Bible and 77, 78–9, 90–6, 98; Dataist interpretation of history and 379; intersubjective networks and 156, 157

AIDS 2–3, 11–12, 13, 19

algorithms: concept defined 83–4; Dataism and 367, 368, 381, 384–97; humanism, threat to 309–97
see also
Dataism; individualism, threat to 328–46; organisation of societies in algorithmic fashion 160–3; organisms as 83–90, 106–7, 112–14, 117, 118, 121, 124, 125, 126–7, 140, 150–1, 304–5, 327, 328–9, 367, 368, 381, 388; render humans economically and militarily useless 307–27

Allen, Woody 29

Alzheimer’s disease 24, 336

Amazon Corporation 343–4

Amenemhat III 161, 162, 175

Andersson, Professor Leif 231

animals: Agricultural Revolution and 77, 78–9, 83, 90–6, 363; as algorithms 83–90; evolutionary psychology and 78–83; animist and biblical views of 75–8, 90–6; cognition/intelligence, underestimation of 127–31; consciousness and 106–7, 120–32; cooperation and 137–43; domesticated, numbers of 71–2; global biomass of 72; humanism and 98–9, 231; inequality, reaction to 140–1, 142; intersubjective web of meaning and 150; mass extinction of 71–5; mother–infant bond 88–90; soul and 101–2; suffering of 78–83, 82, 231, 286

animist cultures 75–8, 91, 92, 96–7, 173

Annie (musical composition program) 325

Anthropocene 71–99

antibiotics 10, 12, 13, 23, 27, 99, 179, 266, 275, 348

antidepressants 40, 49, 122–4

Apple Corporation 15, 155, 343, 372

art: medieval and humanist attitudes towards 228–30,
228
,
233
; technology and 323–5

artificial intelligence 48; animal welfare and 99; consciousness and 119; humanism, threat to 309–97; individualism, threat to 328–46; putting brakes on development of 50, 51; renders humans economically and militarily useless 307–27; timescale for human-level 50
see also
algorithms; Dataism
and under individual area of AI

artificial pancreas 330

Ashurbanipal of Assyria, King 68,
68

Associated Press 313

Auschwitz 257, 376

autonomous cars 114, 114, 163, 312, 322, 341–2, 384–5

Aztec Empire 8–9

Babylon 172–3, 309, 390

Bach, Johann Sebastian 324–5, 358

Bariyapur, Nepal 92

bats: experience of the world 356–7, 358; lending and vampire 204–5

Beane, Billy 321

Bedpost 331

Beethoven, Ludwig van 253, 324; Fifth Symphony and value of experience 257–61, 358, 387–8

Belavezha Accords, 1991 145,
1
45

Bentham, Jeremy 30, 32, 35

Berlin Conference, 1884 168

Berlin Wall, fall of, 1989 133

Berry, Chuck: ‘Johnny B. Goode’ 257–61, 358, 387, 388

Bible 46; animal kingdom and 76–7, 93–5; Book of Genesis 76–8,
77
, Dataism and 381; 93–4, 97; composition of, research into 193–5; evolution and 102; homosexuality and 192–3, 195, 275; large-scale human cooperation and 174; Old Testament 48, 76; power of shaping story 172–3; scholars scan for knowledge 235–6; self-absorption of monotheism and 173, 174; source of authority 275–6; unique nature of humanity, promotes 76–8

biological poverty line 3–6

biotechnology 14, 43–4, 46, 98, 269, 273, 375
see also individual biotech area

Bismarck, Otto von 31, 271

Black Death 6–8,
6
,
7
, 11, 12

Borges, Jorge Luis: ‘A Problem’ 299–300

Bostrom, Nick 327

Bowden, Mark:
Black Hawk Down
255

bowhead whale song, spectrogram of 358,
358

brain: Agricultural Revolution and 156–7, 160; artificial intelligence and 278,
278
; biological engineering and 44; brain–computer interfaces 48, 54, 353, 359; consciousness and 105–13, 116, 118–19, 121–4, 125; cyborg engineering and 44–5; Dataism and 368, 393, 395; free will and 282–8; happiness and 37, 38, 41; self and 294–9, 304–5; size of 131, 132; transcranial stimulators and manipulation of 287–90; two hemispheres 291–4

brands 156–7, 159–60,
159
, 162

Brezhnev, Leonid 273

Brin, Sergey 28, 336

Buddhism 41, 42, 94, 95, 181, 185, 187, 221, 246, 356

Calico 24, 28

Cambodia 264

Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, 2012 122

capitalism 28, 183, 206, 208–11, 216–17, 218–19, 251–2, 259, 273–4, 369–73, 383–6, 396
see also
economics/economy

Caporreto, Battle of, 1917 301

Catholic Church 147, 183; Donation of Constantine 190–2, 193; economic and technological innovations and 274; marriage and 26; papal infallibility principle 147, 190, 270–1; Protestant revolt against 185–7; religious intolerance and 198; Thirty Years War and 242, 243, 246; turns from creative into reactive force 274–5
see also
Bible
and
Christianity

Ceauçescu, Nicolae 133–4,
134
, 135–6, 137

Charlie Hebdo
226

Château de Chambord, Loire Valley, France 62,
62

Chekhov Law 17, 18, 55

child mortality 10, 33, 175

childbirth, narration of 297–8,
297

China 1, 269; biotech and 336; Civil War 263; economic growth and 206, 207, 210; famine in 5, 165–6; Great Leap Forward 5, 165–6, 376; Great Wall of 49, 137–8, 178; liberalism, challenge to 267–8; pollution in 213–14; Taiping Rebellion, 1850–64 271; Three Gorges Dam, building of 163, 188, 196

Chinese river dolphin 188, 196, 395

Christianity: abortion and 189; animal welfare and 90–6; change from creative to reactive force 274–6; economic growth and 205; homosexuality and 192–3, 225–6, 275–6; immortality and 22
see also
Bible
and
Catholic Church

Chukwu 47

CIA 57, 160, 293–4

Clever Hans (horse) 128–30,
129

climate change 20, 73, 151, 213, 214–17, 376, 377, 397

Clinton, Bill 57

Clovis, King of France 227,
227

Cognitive Revolution 156, 352, 378

Cold War 17, 34, 149, 206, 266, 372

cold water experiment (Kahneman) 294–5, 338

colonoscopy study (Kahneman and Redelmeier) 296–7

Columbus, Christopher 197, 359, 380

Communism 5, 56, 57, 98, 149, 165, 166, 171, 181; cooperation and 133–7, 138; Dataism and 369, 370–3, 394, 396; economic growth and 206, 207, 208, 217, 218; liberalism, challenge to 264–6, 271–4; religion and 181, 182, 183; Second World War and 263

computers: algorithms and
see
algorithms; brain–computer interfaces 48, 54, 287, 353, 359; consciousness and 106, 114, 117–18, 119, 120; Dataism and 368, 375, 388, 389

Confucius 46, 267, 391–2;
Analects
269, 270

Congo 9, 10, 15, 19, 168, 206, 257–61, 387, 388

consciousness: animal 106–7, 120–32; as biologically useless by-product of certain brain processes 116–17; brain and locating 105–20; computer and 117–18, 119, 120, 311–12; current scientific thinking on nature of 107–17; denying relevance of 114–16; electrochemical signatures of 118–19; intelligence decoupling from 307–50, 352, 397; manufacturing new states of 360, 362–3, 393; positive psychology and 360; Problem of Other Minds 119–20; self and 294–5; spectrum of 353–9,
359
, 360; subjective experience and 110–20; techno-humanism and 352, 353–9

cooperation, intersubjective meaning and 143–51, 155–77; power of human 131–51, 155–77; revolution and 132–7; size of group and 137–43

Cope, David 324–5

credit 201–5

Crusades 146–8, 149, 150–1, 190, 227–8, 240, 305

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly 360

customer-services departments 317–18

cyber warfare 16, 17, 59, 309–10

Cyborg 2
(movie) 334

cyborg engineering 43, 44–5, 66, 275, 276, 310, 334

Cyrus, King of Persia 172, 173

Daoism 181, 221

Darom, Naomi 231

Darwin, Charles: evolutionary theory of 102–3, 252, 271, 372, 391;
On the Origin of Species
271, 305, 367

data processing: Agricultural Revolution and 156–60; Catholic Church and 274; centralised and distributed (communism and capitalism) 370–4; consciousness and 106–7, 113, 117; democracy, challenge to 373–7; economy and 368–74; human history viewed as a single data-processing system 377–81, 388; life as 106–7, 113, 117, 368, 377–81, 397; stock exchange and 369–70; value of human experience and 387–9; writing and 157–60
see also
algorithms
and
Dataism

Dataism 366, 367–97; biological embracement of 368; birth of 367–8; computer science and 368; criticism of 393–5; economy and 368–74; humanism, attitude towards 387–8; interpretation of history and 377–80; invisible hand of the data flow, belief in the 385–7; politics and 370–4, 375–6; power/control over data 373–7; privacy and 374, 384–5; religion of 380–5; value of experience and 387–9

Dawkins, Richard 305

de Grey, Aubrey 24, 25, 27

Deadline Corporation 331

death, 21–9
see also
immortality

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, The
308–9

Deep Blue 320,
320

Deep Knowledge Ventures 322, 323

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