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HISTORY IN THE LIGHT OF COMPUTERS (Homo Deus 1)

Posted on June 18, 2017

What is the main driver in the development of the world? Today most of us would say the computer and the internet.

Yuval Noah Harari has taken the consequence of this.  To him everything in history is about collecting and processing data - and accordingly he divides the history of mankind in four phases:

 

1.     Language came in 70.000 years ago and made it possible for humans to speak about things existing only in their fantasy.  A basis for population growth.

2.     Agriculture came in 20.000 years ago and created a basis for establishing villages and cities.  Data processing was still, however, limited to oral communication.

3.     Writing and money came 5000 years ago and gave access to storing content and stories on paper - and taxing and exchanging goods with money.  A basis for empires.

4.     Global communication networks were established - first in the 1500s with the explorers, conquerors and traders, later in 1800s with railroads, steamships and telegraph and in the 1900s with telephone, broadcasting and internet.

Now - after 2000 - the Internet of all things and Big Data are developing.  A global system collecting data from our bodys (the Apple clock), from the nature around us, from trafic system, cctv-cameras, automotive cars etc etc.  Access to such a global system with rich access to data and equally rich access to data processing units, will by far exceed the data processing capacity of any human, argues Harari.