7.7.22

Sapiens

I concluded today Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind (Yuval Noah Harari, 2015, 464 pages).

This is for sure one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read.

The breadth and depth of topics covered is staggering. It goes through millions of years, and evolution theory and history, to chemistry, biology, religion, epistemology, economy, philosophy, etc. All together. All with a common thread and meaningful context. 
 
Absolutely impressive. 
 
Of course, the book is very ambitions, starting from the title. But it does deliver on it! 
 
And the language style used could hardly be any better. Not superior, not banal. I think it just suits the tone and the approach by the author. 
 
If there is one critical aspect about it, though, it is due to the very fact that too many scientific fields are covered. Yuval is definitely gifted, and seems to have absolutely control over most topics. At the same time, and I think he himself would agree, he is not an expert in many of these fields. Which may have caused some interpretation errors here and there, and which we, as readers, may also fall into, alongside with the author. 
 
I noticed it, for example, in one of the final chapters when he talks about software virus, in an analogy with real virus, including their potential to mutation, when transferring from one machine to the next. As a computer scientist myself, I understand this scenario as very little likely. If possible at all. 
 
Nevertheless, I think these situations do not take the huge value the book brings. It definitely bears all signs of good science, in a breathtaking and well succeeded account for us human beings and our history.

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