My book is Sapiens, which I love. It’s an amazing book. Luckily, the description is actually written on the front cover, which is ‘a brief history of humankind’.
The book goes through humans, or sapiens, growing up from thousands and thousands of years ago, all the way through to modern man. So that’s all quite interesting, as it’s a history of people. But also I can contextualise it, so it puts things like religion into it, it also talks about empires. And it goes through the big things in history that have shaped the way humankind is today.
It’s quite interesting for the first half, but a little bit boring because it’s quite slow. And then it starts picking up in the latter half as it’s a bit more relevant. It’s the last 100 or 200 years, and you can see how it plays into modern life.
And then the last part of the book just blew my mind in the amount of concepts that it comes up with. It really put into perspective some of the things we’re going to experience in the next 50 years. It made me stop and think “wow – now those are some of the things we should be thinking about today”. And if you’re not thinking about those things, then you should definitely get the book.
So I’d recommend reading the whole book, clearly. But the last chapter, chapter 26, is entitled ‘The end of homo sapiens’ and it’s only about 15 pages long, but it introduces about ten new things about what could happen over the next period of time.
And it’s things like, it took 15 years to get the first genome registered on DNA and cost $3 billion. Now you can do it, the whole of you, in a few weeks for $100. It then goes into cloning, and we’ve already done Dolly, the sheep. And there’s no reason why we can’t clone humans. And, indeed, if you think you can stop this, there will be one rogue country that will start doing it. And there’s always an advantage in doing it.
And then it talks through things like the bionification, like the bionic man. You can now get hearing aids replaced with bionic ears, which plug directly into your brain – the same with replacing your retinas so blind people can now see. There was a guy who had both his arms blown off and they’ve now created bionic arms, and you play this forward another 20 or 30 years, and you realise that most parts of our body can be replaced.
And then you look at the longevity of humans, and you realise that if all of this can happen, then how long humans can last will dramatically escalate. And when you put those two together, it makes you realise the human race is going to really change. And we could, arguably, be the last ‘pure’ non-bionic, non-cloned, set of humans. So I love that it takes you down a path, and in the last chapter, blows your mind.