The future of humanity passes by a world government in which “we are almost already” and where “a global caste of leaders makes the most important decisions,” says author.
“In 2050 we will have conquered disease and old age, so the rich can live forever. The poor however, will die as usual while being entertained by drugs and computer games“.
Although the previous description seems to depict today’s reality, living disease free and for many more years will be an even hotter commodity in decades to come, says Yuval Noah Harari, professor of Hebrew History at the University of Jerusalem.
An specialist in medieval and military history, Harari just released “From animals to gods”, a brief history of a text as ambitious and entertaining as the original, which has sold 300,000 copies and is now published in twenty countries.
The book aspires to become a canon of contemporary scientific knowledge simply explaining the evolution of human beings from the time that “sapiens were more animal than human and shared the planet with at least five ‘brothers’ of different species“.
The book counts the history of humankind up until today, when humans seem to have become “a dissatisfied and irresponsible god.”
Harari is convinced that the spectacular modern technological advancement will, for the first time “change 4,000 million years of evolution, which until now depended on the slow process of natural selection and from the twenty-first century will happen at the hands of man, who has already begun to create and manipulate life.“
One of the most striking effects of this manipulation will be “amortals”, humans with enough money to pay “full technical review of their body every ten years or so, which will allow them to avoid death by disease or organ malfunction.”
“There will not be immortals, as they may die in an accident or be killed, for example, but life will no longer be conditioned by age or disease,” says Harari who notes that some “very serious” companies are working “in depth” in this. One of them, he says, is Calico, a company launched by the current Google engineering director Raymond Kurzweil.
“From animals to gods” tries to explain human evolution despite facing “great mysteries” such as the reason for the growth of the human brain since “sapiens 200,000 years ago already had it as large as ours and yet they did not look well.”
Harari says the “big change” occurred 70,000 years ago, when “something happened in the brain connections that triggered the cognitive revolution” and major human capabilities: the ability to tell stories or gossip, and do it on abstract or imaginative concepts, which is beyond the reach of other mammals.
“Gods, homelands, companies … none of that is real but thanks to these stories sapiens have developed a model of cooperation that has allowed them to take over the world,” says the author.
As an example, he cites the recent war between Israel and Hamas. “It is said that both sides suffered but it is not true, because neither Israel nor Hamas exists. They are fictions. Those who suffer are the people who hold these fictions and who lost their homes, family or lives. “
This expert also advocates the supremacy of the group over the individual because “revolutions occur through communities, leaders are only important as triggers or as creators of a narrative.” He provides the example of Adolf Hitler, who invented a great new myth that mobilized millions of people.
Harari says he is “amazed” by the speed with which a fable, political or of any other type is generated, and how “emotionally trapped” people get, “as in the current Spanish political landscape for Catalonian nationalism, which is also based on a new narrative.“
The author believes that the future of humanity passes by a world government in which “we are almost already” and where “a global caste of leaders, entrepreneurs, cultural leaders, etc., makes the most important decisions while governments have increasingly fewer options. “