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Circle of Competence Issue #31

Quote of the week: "People calculate too much and think too little." - Charlie Munger

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I finally finished the audible version of Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" this week and it was well worth the effort (H/T Andrew P.). For those who would consider yourself even a mild futurist, I would highly recommend this book for the sole reason that Harari masterfully extends current technological trends to their logical conclusions... and some may just surprise you. Here are a few of the trends that got my neural pathways firing:

- The downfall of liberal humanism along with the free market and free will of most of humanity due to extreme technological trends

- The merging of humans with algorithmic computation and automated data processes which may bring about the end of homo sapiens as we know them

- The rise of a new 'religion' or ideology that will replace liberal humanism - his version is dubbed 'Dataism' and emphasizes the free flow of data and information which is connected to an all knowing connected hub of information and intelligence - where coming 'unplugged' from the hub of information is literal death (sounds crazy, but how much time are we spending on devices at the moment... and in which direction is this trend going?)

- The internet of 'everything' which occurs as the logical conclusion of internet of things when literally everything from inanimate objects to living flora and fauna are connected

- The ability to re-engineer human genomes, brain waves, and electrical impulses (and thus human desire) with new cutting edge technologies

Though there are some fundamental assumptions about Harari's worldview that I disagree with (his anti-religious reductionist statements, for one), I still highly recommend this book as it is a tour de force of technology, trends, and visionary predictions.

DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL FINANCE

- Howard Marks'