Monday, November 12, 2018

My Mind is Blown

Below is a photo from my September 21st Facebook post:

The photo of me, posted on Facebook on September 21st.

The accompanying post reads:
Sometimes life is a little crazier than I prefer for it to be. It feels damn good to just sit still and read a book. I'm finally getting (ok, "making") the chance to devour Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Yeah for peace and quiet!! And year for a fantastic read!!
It is 52 days later. The above photo and post, for the most part, are still relevant. I happen to be wearing the same orange shirt, which may come as no surprise given that I am a minimalist. While I am currently donning neither hat nor sunglasses, I do have a Kindle on my lap and a cup of tea by my side. Just as in the photo, I am devouring a Yuval Noah Harari book. The title is different, though. At present, the words printed in eInk on my Kindle are from Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Just moments ago, my jaw nearly fell off my face; I found myself absolutely blown away by the final paragraph in Part I of Harari's Homo Deus. I was so blown away that I wanted to share the words with you. Like...right now!

But first, a little background... In Part I of Homo Deus, Harari writes about how Homo sapiens are unique from other species in the way they use their brains to create fictions. These fictions include things such as bank accounts, corporations, governments, and religions.

¿Comprendes? Ok, bueno. Now you are ready to read the paragraph that blew me away. Here it goes:
...During the twenty-first century the border between history and biology is likely to blur not because we will discover biological explanations for historical events, but rather because ideological fictions will rewrite DNA strands; political and economic interests will redesign the climate; and the geography of mountains and rivers will give way to cyberspace. As human fictions are translated into genetic and electronic codes, the intersubjective reality will swallow up the objective reality and biology will merge with history. In the twenty-first century fiction might thereby become the most potent force on earth, surpassing even wayward asteroids and natural selection [emphasis added]. Hence if we want to understand our future, cracking genomes and crunching numbers is hardly enough. We must also decipher the fictions that give meaning to the world. 
Wow! Just wow! (If that didn't wow you, read the above paragraph again, more slowly, and ponder the significance of what Harari proposes.)

Whatever I had planned for the rest of the evening has gone out the window. This book is a page-turner swiper. It is likely I will still be wearing my orange shirt when I finish this book, as I doubt I will move from my seated position until the final page has been read.

If you have not yet read Yuval Noah Harari's books, I would highly suggest you read them. They are mind boggling!

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