The book is 90% intellectual entertainment, largely borrowed from last two books. I still enjoyed listening to it as the concepts and arguments are very revealing and not always obvious. However, all the argument seemed to be entertaining and disconnected from chapter to chapter rather than logically leading to a conclusion at the end of the book. my favorite chapter was 20 which essentially concluded that life has no meaning and everything we ascribe to is an attempt to construct a story for us. until this point, I felt author was intellectually honest, even though the conclusion makes for a very difficult life going forward (with no meaning). but then author fell into the very trap he asked people to avoid by constructing a story based on vipasana, mind, observing self and other spiritual stuff that cannot withstand a honest intellectual debate. only thing I can maybe agree to is the mystery of consciousness but that doesn't given us enough meaning to answer life's big questions. also, according to author, AI can manipulate our mind in the future which by logic concludes that mind is not but biochemical reactions and therefore cannot be "reality".
despite criticism, I still recommend this book of you haven't read last two books and if you have focus on chapter 20 and maybe 21 (if you don't mind anticlimax)
I enjoyed the parts on AI and the economy, but the parts on religion dragged and I didn't understand why they were such a big focus. like what was the whole chapter on Judaism not being that important to history? not sure what that added.
Absolutely brilliant, entertaining, and insightful read. The first one-third may have been a little less interesting, but the later two-thirds of it was brilliant and full of wise commentary. The author's audio delivery was perfect as well. Thank you so much for this book.
I was expecting this book to be a realistic interpretation of past history and how that knowledge can be applied to the future. Instead this was much more of a philosophical diatribe with a politically liberal bias. It comes across more as a series of newspaper editorials than anything else.
I got a lot out of this book. I do understand the criticisms that Harari can be unfocused in this list of lessons, or rather questions without clear answers (but what's wrong with that?), and it is not quite the must-read that was Sapiens and even Homo Deus.
That said, having a book of Yuval Harari disjointedly riffing about the state of the world is about the most fascinating kind of read I could ask for. The more, the better. His ideas about religion, technology, story-telling, identity, meditation, the future, politics, nationalism, what went wrong with humanity and what went right... his very well-thought out takes on all these subjects are crucial indeed. (And for an atheistic author who doesn't believe in identity and basically disproves all religions, this sure turned out to be a surprisingly spiritual book.)
If only there was a way to make everyone in the world read Harari and have some real perspective about all that is going on. Seriously, those with power may be just the kinds to not to seek truth--as is expertly explained within--but it sure would be nice if they did read more.
This book is a series of conversation starters in many ways, but conversations that need to be had. How are the challenges of the planet earth, and not only the societal structure but the actual genetic makeup of the human species, how are they going to pan out in this dynamic century? Unfortunately, those in charge seem to have no idea what to do. Yes, the current regressive political movements are discussed, and one does come away more convinced than ever that such movements are extremely not equipped to deal with the problems that are coming?
So what are we going to do about it all? I don't know. But, for a start, at least having thinking more deeply about the right questions could lead to some better answers!
I have enjoyed all three of Yuval's books very much (I liked Sapiens best) and think they are all incredibly important books that I wish everyone would read or listen to. They provide the basis for contemplations, discussions and decisions that are most important. Of the three, this was my least favorite, however. In all three I found the author to be a bit naive or more biased or less knowledgeable than he clearly thinks he is. He speaks with a sometimes unwarranted confidence. While annoying at times, the valuable perspectives he offers and the questions he asks made up for it (in Sapiens in particular). In this book, however, he is too often hypocritical. He makes judgements and statements about things he has clearly never truly investigated for himself while condemning others for their blind acceptance of group think. He too is a participant of blind group think. He questions some of the propoganda he has been exposed to, but not all of it. He too often displays his own ignorance of historical complexities and the influence of propoganda on his own understanding of historical events. He also is not very up to date on the technological advances that have already been made. This lessens the effectiveness of his discussions on how developing technologies may effect our future. It's true that one cannot be expected to know everything. However, if one is going to write about something in a confident tone, they should really make sure they know as much as possible regarding what they are writing about. I appreciate his work very much. However, I wish he would slow down a bit and perhaps research the topics he uses as examples a bit more. Less pompous arrogance in his tone and a bit more humility would go a long ways to making his important writings attractive to a larger audience as well. As they are, he undermines his work and, I suspect, he is mostly preaching to his own choir.
I hope he writes more books and that those books are better researched and the important concepts he brings up are framed in ways that will appeal to a wider audience - a wider audience needs to think about these things without being in defensive mode.
The narrator was perfect as always. Love that voice and his reading style. Bravo.