Semn de carte: Homo Deus

Dana Berghes | 30 Oct 2017

Istoria zilei de mâine, de Yuval Noah Harari.


După ce a explorat ultimii 75.000 ani din istoria noastră în Sapiens (n.r tradusă și la noi la Editura Polirom), Harari ajunge la concluzii de genul că întâmplarea de a fi oameni e posibil să se încheie curând în forma în care o știm noi. Pare că suntem sus, avem (relativă) pace și (relativă) putere, dar controlul asupra viitorului se mal-formează în ceva nou.

Homo Deus. A Brief History of Tomorrow investighează cu ce au fost înlocuite problemele societale cele mai mari (molime, război, foamete) și care ar fi variantele plauzibile de continuare a scenariului uman pe Pământ, incluzând aici gânduri despre nemurire și tehnologie.


Dataism declares that the universe consists of data flows, and the value of any phenomenon or entity is determined by its contribution to data processing. This may strike you as some eccentric fringe notion, but in fact it has already conquered most of the scientific establishment. Dataism was born from the explosive confluence of two scientific tidal waves. In the 150 years since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, the life sciences have come to see organisms as biochemical algorithms. Simultaneously, in the eight decades since Alan Turing formulated the idea of a Turing Machine, computer scientists have learned to engineer increasingly sophisticated electronic algorithms. Dataism puts the two together, pointing out that exactly the same mathematical laws apply to both biochemical and electronic algorithms. Dataism thereby collapses the barrier between animals and machines, and expects electronic algorithms to eventually decipher and outperform biochemical algorithms.

For politicians, businesspeople and ordinary consumers, Dataism offers groundbreaking technologies and immense new powers. For scholars and intellectuals it also promises to provide the scientific holy grail that has eluded us for centuries: a single overarching theory that unifies all the scientific disciplines from musicology through economics to biology. According to Dataism, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, a stock-exchange bubble and the flu virus are just three patterns of dataflow that can be analysed using the same basic concepts and tools. This idea is extremely attractive. It gives all scientists a common language, builds bridges over academic rifts and easily exports insights across disciplinary borders. Musicologists, economists and cell biologists can finally understand each other. (...)

From a Dataist perspective, we may interpret the entire human species as a single data-processing system, with individual humans serving as its chips. If so, we can also understand the whole of history as a process of improving the efficiency of this system through four basic methods:

1. Increasing the number of processors. A city of 100,000 people has more computing power than a village of 1,000 people.

2. Increasing the variety of processors. Different processors may use diverse ways to calculate and analyse data. Using several kinds of processors in a single system may therefore increase its dynamism and creativity. A conversation between a peasant, a priest and a physician may produce novel ideas and would never emerge from a conversation between three hunter-gatherers.

3. Increasing the number of connections between processors. There is little point in increasing the mere number and variety of processors if they are poorly connected to each other. A trade network linking ten cities is likely to result in many more economic, technological and social innovations than ten isolated cities.

4. Increasing the freedom of movement along existing connections. Connecting processors is hardly useful if data cannot flow freely. Just building roads between ten cities won't be very useful if they are plagued by robbers, or if some paranoid despot does not allow merchants and travellers to move as they wish. 

Recomandarea redacției: dacă tânjești după non-ficțiune de calitate toamna asta, Fundația Friends For Friends și Cărturești îți recomandă Raftul Superscrierilor, adică 50 de cărți care pot să schimbe lumea, alese pe cititelea de Vlad Mixich, Emilia Șercan, Luiza Vasiliu, Marius Comper, Dan Duca, Teo Tiță și Sorin Trâncă. 

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