Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. A celebrated essayist as well as novelist, in this, his last collection, he explores many aspects of the modern world with irrepressible curiosity and wisdom.
A crisis in ideological values, a crisis in politics, unbridled individualism – the familiar backdrop to our lives: a ‘liquid society’ where it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets are not lacking.
In these pieces, written by Eco as articles for his regular column in l’Espresso magazine, he brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, mobile phones, mass media, racism, good manners and the crisis in ideological values. It is a final gift to his readers – astute, witty and illuminating.
**From the author of the global phenomenon Sapiens** **A Guardian Book of the Year** **An Evening Standard Book of the Year** **A TLS Book of the Year**
‘Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. Above all, it will make you think in ways you had not thought before.’ Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast, and Slow
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. In Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between.
Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century – from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.
War is obsolete You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict
Famine is disappearing You are at more risk of obesity than starvation
Death is just a technical problem Equality is out – but immortality is in
Hardly a day goes by without some discussion about whether computers can be conscious, whether our universe is some kind of simulation, whether mind is a unique quality of human beings or spread out across the universe like butter on bread. Of course, most philosophers believe that our experience is locked inside our skulls, an unreliable representation of a quite different reality outside. Color, smell and sound, they tell us, occur only in our heads. Yet when neuroscientists look inside our brains to see what’s going on, they find only billions of neurons exchanging electrical impulses and releasing chemical substances.
Five years ago, in a chance conversation, Tim Parks came across a radical new theory of consciousness that undercut this interpretation. This set him off on a quest to discover more about this fascinating topic and also let him to observe his own experience with immense attention.
Out of My Head tells the gripping, highly personal, often surprisingly funny, story of a paradigm shift. It frames complex metaphysical considerations and dauntingly technical laboratory experiments in terms we can all understand, making the reader acutely aware of how much is at stake in this debate, for each of us as individuals and for the human race as a whole. Above all, it invites us to see space, time, colour and smell, sounds and sensations in an entirely new way. The world will feel more real after reading it.