April 10, 2017

The useless prediction of the end of liberalism

Francis Fukuyama predicted 25 years ago the end of history, the triumph of liberal democracy and the arrival of post-ideological world, Now Y. N. Harari predicts the end of liberalism and the arrival of a post-humanism (?). All these efforts are useless in my opinion and the reason is obvious, those that predict the future don't have more information than any other human being. They could devote their time to fruitful initiatives.
If I knew that the second half of Homo Deus was devoted to the end of liberalism and the birth of a post-humanism, I wouldn't have read it. I always try to avoid snake-oil sellers. Reading is an asymmetric information game, the writer knows more than the reader. I would suggest to start a global snake-oil writers lists to reduce asymmetric information.
The New Yorker publishes a sound review of the book,
Harari’s larger contention is that our homocentric creed, devoted to human liberty and happiness, will be destroyed by the approaching post-humanist horizon. Free will and individualism are, he says, illusions. We must reconceive ourselves as mere meat machines running algorithms, soon to be overtaken by metal machines running better ones. By then, we will no longer be able to sustain our comforting creed of “autonomy,” the belief, which he finds in Rousseau, that “I will find deep within myself a clear and single inner voice, which is my authentic self,” and that “my authentic self is completely free.” In reality, Harari maintains, we have merely a self-deluding, “narrating self,” one that recites obviously tendentious stories, shaped by our evolutionary history to help us cope with life. We are—this is his most emphatic point—already machines of a kind, robots unaware of our own programming. Humanism will be replaced by Dataism; and if the humanist revolution made us masters the Dataist revolution will make us pets.
Does this makes any sense? Is it possible to remain as the current best seller with such a message?

Norah Jones. It's a tragedy