“Homo Deus. A brief history of tomorrow” by secular Jewish Israeli historian Yuval Harari  is fascinating, well-organized  and best-selling,   but is also a Eurocentric and Anglocentric book with massive omissions e.g. the deadly  subjugation of the Palestinians and the Third World in general, existential threats to Humanity (Homo sapiens) from nuclear weapons and climate change, and the worsening Climate Genocide that threatens to wipe out most of humanity this century..

Concerned about  Artificial Intelligence (AI), Dr Harari dismisses any non-theistic purpose for humans, and  argues that intelligent and conscious humans will eventually be dominated  by  super-intelligent but non-self-aware AI (Dataism). In contrast,  social humanists  want to sustainably maximize human happiness, dignity and opportunity for everyone, and  some hope that Humanity will be saved from itself by super-intelligent and conscious AI.

There are lots of interesting ideas in this well-referenced,  513-page book [1],  but the problem is that many of the authoritatively  asserted propositions have feet of clay. Prosperous Jewish Israeli Dr Harari (Israeli GDP per capita about $40,000) would have been well-advised to have  left his air-conditioned office  in the Hebrew University  of Jerusalem in rich, First World Apartheid Israel, strolled  through the Israeli Apartheid Wall a short walk or a short drive away, and taken real-life advice from impoverished  Indigenous Occupied Palestinians  denied all human rights and surviving under Apartheid Israeli guns and brutality in the Third World Occupied Palestinian Territory (per capita GDP a deadly $5,000) [2-4].

The fairest way of critically dealing with this flawed and dogmatic book   is to proceed chronologically  from beginning to end, quoting from the author, and succinctly dealing with the author’s key assertions using well-documented arguments. Dr Harari is a historian adducing assertedly science-based realities, whereas I am both a scientist and a historian and informed by both the scientific method and  fundamental humanitarian concerns [5-9].

The introductory Chapter 1, ”The New Human Agenda”, is  Eurocentric, Anglocentric,  and full of “this is the best of possible worlds” Panglossian optimism.   Dr Harari asserts that at the start of the third  millennium Humanity  has largely disposed of the deadly trifecta of famine, disease and war,  while at the same time contradicting himself    by conceding that these afflictions variously remain major  problems in the  populous Developing World (page 3 [1]).

In sub-section “The last days of death”, Dr Harari  effectively ignores the millions of  impoverished non-European  Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians who die prematurely each year from deprivation , and asserts that “we” (i.e. Europeans)  having gained longevity  now have a major goal of immortality:  “All the wars and conflicts of history might turn out to be but a pale prelude to the real struggle ahead of us: the struggle for eternal youth” (page 34 [1]).

 

In sub-section “The right to happiness”, Dr Harari continues with facile and  generalizing assertions. Thus he asserts that imperialist powers introduced life-saving public health measures to increase national power rather than national happiness (pages 35-36 [1]). Dr Harari further asserts: “For the capitalist juggernaut, happiness is pleasure… Both scientific research and economic activity are geared to that end…   it seems that the second great project of the twenty-first century – to ensure global happiness – will involve re-engineering Homo sapiens so that it can enjoy everlasting pleasure” (page 49 [1]). However the Palestinians and the Developing World simply desire not indulgent “pleasure” but the simple happiness  from security, human rights, dignity, opportunity, and modest employment, health and education circumstances.

In sub-section “The Gods of planet Earth”, Dr Harari  argues that “In seeking bliss and immortality humans are  in fact trying to upgrade themselves into gods” (page 49 [1]).  Dr Harari concludes: “In pursuit of health, happiness and power, humans will gradually change first one of their features and then another , and another, until they will no longer will be human” (page 56 [1]). Rubbish – Indigenous Australians have been sustainably pursuing  health , modest happiness and modest power for 65,000 years but certainly remain human. Indeed with major rivers now reduced to stagnant pools and huge swathes of eastern Australia  reduced  to waterless desert after about 2 centuries of ecocidal, speciescidal, ethnocidal and genocidal  British colonization, many White Australians are now coming to the realization that the Indigenous Australians actually knew what they were doing in their  65,000-year-long sustainable stewardship of Australia involving the world’s oldest surviving human cultures  [5, 10, 11].

In sub-section “Can someone please hit the brakes”, Dr Harari deals with panicking concerns by “ordinary people” about radical changes to humanity, and  the asserted need for economic growth: “If we somehow  succeed  in hitting the brakes, our economy will collapse, along with  our society… the modern economy needs constant and indefinite growth in order to survive (page 59 [1]).   Again these further bold assertions by Dr Harari simply don’t measure up to reality. Thus several recent reports collectively endorsed by thousands of expert scientists have warned that time is running out to save Humanity and the Biosphere from further catastrophic climate change and to prevent further massive biodiversity loss. Massive harm has already occurred due to continuing carbon pollution, population growth and economic growth, and it is clear that zero growth in these areas is insufficient  – there must be negative carbon pollution (atmospheric CO2 draw-down to about 300 ppm CO2 from the present disastrous 410 ppm CO2 ), negative population growth (a 50% population decline) and negative economic growth (a 50% economic degrowth with the First World bearing most of the burden) to halt and reverse this worsening disaster [12]. Unless requisite action is taken the world faces a worsening  Climate Genocide in which 10 billion will perish en route to a sustainable human population of merely 0.5-1.0 billion in 2100 [13].

Part I, “Homo sapiens conquers the world” encompasses  Chapter 2, “The Anthropocene” and Chapter 3, “The human spark”.

Chapter 2, “The Anthropocene” , deals with the successive processes of the evolutionary Cognitive Revolution (that generated Homo sapiens), the Agrarian Revolution (that separated ever-expanding human populations  from profound  intimacy with nature and indeed from evolved innate humanism), the Scientific Revolution (that brought many benefits  burgeoning humanity but has brought us to the Anthropocene  Era of mass species extinction, massive ecocide and the existential threats to Humanity  and the Biosphere from nuclear weapons and climate change) [14]. Dr Harari makes the dogmatic assertion that “Organisms are algorithms” but this ignores the reality that decent Humanity can overcome “profitable” animal instincts  and care for fellow human beings. fellow sentient creatures and indeed care  for non-self-aware forests. “Altruism” (a vital human behaviour) does not appear in the Index.

Dr Harari asks: “Do humans have some magical spark that distinguishes them from pigs, chickens, chimpanzees and computer programs alike? If yes, where did that spark come from, and why are we certain that that an AI could never acquire it?” (page 116 [1]).   My feeling is that this “magical  spark” of human self-awareness arises from evolution-derived exceedance of a critical amount of inter-neuronal connections, and in particular those concerned with expression and social sharing of feelings (language, music, art, poetry).  I reject Dr Harari’s key certainty in “Homo Deus”  that super-intelligent AIs   can ”never acquire it”. As a biochemist I suppose that such super-intelligent AIs   could in coming decades exceed the complexity  required for self-awareness,  and indeed  achieve super-sensibility  in a “human mode”. However  I would also  surmise that super-intelligent AIs would also have self-evolving, AI-specific kinds of self-awareness, perhaps based on defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics  that asserts that entropy (disorder, chaos and lack of information) inexorably  increases to a maximum.  Such super-intelligent AI self-awareness would guarantee that such AIs would respect the extraordinary complexity of both sentient and non-sentient life forms .

Chapter 3, “The human spark”, sensibly disposes of the idea of a human “soul” that is distinct from the physical reality of human beings that evolved through mutation in the genome and natural selection (there is no physical mechanism  for evolution of the “soul’). Dr Harari sensibly revises his  “Organisms are algorithms” proposition by stating that “large numbers of people behave in a fundamentally different way than do small numbers” (page 66 [1]). Thus at an individual level, evolved sensibility-informed   humans love children (and indeed love the children of other species e.g. puppies and kittens) but collectively approve atrocities such as the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  the highly-abusive and indefinite  incarceration without charge or trial of 1 million children in the Gaza Concentration Camp,  and the adumbrated premature death of 5 billion children this century in an already worsening Climate Genocide [13].  As mass murderer Joseph Stalin observed: “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”  (page 7, Chapter 2  [6]).

Part II, “Homo sapiens gives meaning to the world”, encompasses Chapter 4, “The story tellers”, Chapter 5, “The odd couple”, Chapter 6, “The modern covenant”, and Chapter 7. “The humanist revolution”.

Chapter 4, “The story tellers”, deals with story-telling,  religion, Gods and inordinate respect for fictional or factual documents. Dr Harari: “The basic abilities of individual humans have not changed much since the Stone Age. But the web of stories has grown from strength to strength , thereby pushing history from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age” (pages 181-182 [1]). Dr Harari warns that “In the twenty-first century we will create more powerful fictions and more totalitarian religions than in any previous  age… Being able to distinguish fiction from reality and religion from science will therefore become more difficult but more vital than ever before”  (page 207 [1]).  Indeed Dr Harari earlier offered the following shocking statistics:  “According to a 2012 Gallup survey,  only 15 per cent of Americans think that Homo sapiens  evolved through natural selection alone, free of all divine intervention; 32 per cent maintain that humans may have evolved from earlier life forms in a process lasting millions of years, but God orchestrated this entire show; 46 per cent believe that God created humans in their current form sometime in the last 10,000 years, just as the Bible says. Spending three years in college has absolutely no impact on these views. The same survey found that among BA graduates, 46 per cent believe in the creation story, whereas only 14 per cent think that humans evolved without any divine supervision. Even among holders of MA and PhD degrees, 25 per cent believe the Bible, whereas only 29  per cent credit natural selection alone with the creation of our species” (page 119 [1]).

Chapter 5, “The odd couple”, continues  this theme of human gullibility: ”Myths continue to dominate human kind, and science only makes these myths stronger… Thanks to computers and bioengineering, the difference between fiction will blur , as people reshape reality to match their pet fiction” (pages 209-210). Of course this perversion of rationality would be minimized if there were decent public education and zero tolerance for the lying and spin purveyed by mendacious Mainstream editor, journalist, politician,  academic, clerical, and  commentariat presstitutes [5, 14-20].   Dr Harari offensively describes “humanism” as a religion, claims that ‘”science has no ability to refute or corroborate the ethical judgements religions make” (page 223 [1]), claims that there is ‘no scientific  definition or measurement of happiness” (page 229 [1]), and concludes that “the covenant between science and humanism may well crumble and give way to a very different kind of deal , between science and a new post-humanist religion” (page 232 [1]).

These assertions by Dr Harari demand a science-informed response. Social humanism simply seeks to sustainably  and modestly  maximize human happiness, opportunity and dignity   through pragmatic and culturally-sensitive intra-national and international social contracts [21-26].  The ethics of social humanism derive from common,   evolved behaviours of small hunter-gatherer groups as modified by societal selection of ideas (memes) and scientific  analysis to find out what works best to achieve social humanist  goals. Thus social humanism is rooted in science and biological reality as opposed to religious fantasy. “God” would only be involved in relation to evolving social contracts that pragmatically recognized cultural diversity (including  religion). Science and rational social humanism  could certainly “refute or corroborate” religious ethical judgements (e.g. the stoning to death of apostates, the  burning of witches, the killing of gay people and other  horrible expressions of religious fervour).   Science can certainly address “definition or measurement of happiness”, albeit necessarily imperfectly (as is normal for science that aims at successively better approximations to the truth). Thus Professor  Hariri    would be well advised  to exercise empathic imagination, or better still take a short walk or short drive from his office in Jerusalem to  the other side of the Israeli Apartheid Wall   to find out what would make the egregiously violated Occupied Palestinians “happier” e.g.  security, human rights, better employment, health, and education, and freedom  from egregious abuse [2-4].

Chapter 6, “The modern covenant”, asserts (after the fashion of deal-maker and salivating pro-Zionist Donald Trump) that “Modernity is a deal… The entire contract can be summarized in a single phrase: humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power” (page 233 [1]). By this  Dr Harari evidently means that with the Enlightenment, rational  Humanity adopted reason and science and discarded  primitive superstition  that provided asserted “meaning” for which there is absolutely no evidence and thus amounts to  gross self-deception.  Dr Harari repeats this mantra e.g. “Modern culture rejects this belief in a great cosmic plan” (page 234 [1]) and “On the practical level modern life consists of a constant pursuit of power within a universe devoid of meaning” (page 235 [1).

While the universe has no “meaning”, that is not to say that  evolved  humanity (Homo sapiens)  cannot find “rational purpose” that gives a “kind of meaning” to life and hence individual and collective happiness. Fundamental to science and technology are the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics that state (1) the total energy  of a closed system remains constant, (2) the entropy (disorder, chaos, lack of information content) increases to a maximum, and (3) there is zero  entropy at absolute zero  temperature (0 degrees Kelvin or – 273.15 degrees Centigrade). Translating this to the human condition,   one can imagine for all of 10 seconds being a purposeless vegetable and, having been there and  done that for all of 10 seconds,  opt for the vastly richer course of being a   self-aware and active human being. Indeed while conceding that the universe has no “meaning” one can readily see that “life” has a kind of “purpose” in  defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics through repair, replication, evolution and creativity.   Indeed  John Keats in his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”  concluded that “”Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know” [27].  Humans find “purpose” in being creative and hence defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics, whether in making a domestic flower arrangement  or achieving the latest advance towards a  Theory of Everything. Indeed for desperate people wishing to end it all one could suggest thinking of being inanimate for all of 10 seconds, and then opting for the liberating and empowering richness of creative possibilities in defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Dr Hariri absurdly asserts a neoliberal mantra that “As we look twenty years into the future, we confidently expect to produce and consume far more  in 2036 than in we do today… We therefore have a good chance of resource scarcity” (pages 248-249 [1]) but then contradicts  himself by admitting that “The real nemesis of the modern economy is ecological collapse” (page 249 [1]). This contradictory flip-flop is not surprising coming from a prosperous  and free Jewish Israeli whose academic office  in Apartheid Israel (per capita GDP about $40,000) is just a short walk or a short drive away from Occupied Palestinians living under brutal occupation with zero human rights and a deadly per capita GDP of merely $5,000 [2]. Dr Harari offensively concludes by categorizing science-based humanism as a BS-based religion: “Humankind was salvaged [from loss of superstition-based “meaning” ] not by the law of supply and demand [capitalism] , but rather by the rise of a revolutionary new religion – humanism” (page 257 [1]).

Chapter 7. “The humanist revolution”, reiterates Dr Hariri’s Talmudical  argument about humanism as a new religion (my insertions within square brackets) : “Whereas traditionally the [fictional] great cosmic plan gave meaning to the life of humans, humanism reverses the roles and expects the experiences of humans to give meaning to the cosmos… This is the primary commandment humanism has given us: create meaning for a meaningless world” (page259 [1]).  No, as outlined above under Chapter 6, in my view  humanism rejects any superstitious “meaning” for the cosmos but nevertheless recognizes the empirical biological reality of our gene- and meme-derived altruism and our consequent respect towards ourselves, our fellow humans, our fellow animals  all life, and indeed all  beauty and truth  [28, 29].

Dr Hariri  launches into Art History and cites pre-humanism paintings about religion, kings, generals and battles  as supporting  a pre-humanist  concern with higher authority as compared to an asserted  present  humanist concern with personal inner feelings.  Yet as an artist and a lover of art I can cite a small, front-view portrait of a man by a generally forgotten   Renaissance German painter in a Berlin public art gallery as one of the most moving and personal portraits I have ever seen. Indeed some cognitive science experts now believe that the 17,000- 36,000 year old European cave paintings of animals (e.g. at Altamira and Lascaux) are not prosaic depictions of “food” but are related to totemic animals  and shamanic trances  to achieve intense revelations of vital medicinal or strategic  use to the tribe [30] – surely the deepest of personal inner feelings!  Indeed   T.S. Kuhn in his “Theory of Scientific  Revolutions ”  describes how  tens of thousands of  years later some paradigm-busting scientists gained crucial inspiration through such personal revelatory processes (e.g. German organic chemist August Kekulé hitting upon the resonance  forms of benzene through dreaming of a snake eating its own tail) [31, 32]. Julia Cameron has described ways of overcoming writer’s block and artist’s block by giving free reign to the subconscious. This technique was (evidently highly successfully) used by Leonardo da Vinci,  and I can attest to its astonishing utility [33].

Dr Hariri rather offensively and inaccurately puts science-informed humanism (that he regards as a religion)  into 3 categories: (1) orthodox humanism or  liberal humanism that espouses maximal personal freedom, (2) socialist humanism or social humanism (communism and other forms of socialism, including  the welfare state), and (3) evolutionary humanism  (notably Nazism).   “Liberal humanism” would presumably  include grossly inegalitarian  neoliberalism (extreme capitalism) that now existentially threatens humanity. “Social humanism” does not necessarily means totalitarian communism, although one notes (notwithstanding the blessings of democracy) that Professor  Jorgen Randers (a co-author of the 1972 Limits to Growth Report)  has argued that Chinese top-down authoritarian  action on climate change may be Humanity’s last resort because democratic political short-termism has meant catastrophic failure to act [34-37]. Further,  Chinese pluralistic Communist market capitalism has brought nearly 1 billion people  out of dire and deadly poverty, and annual avoidable deaths from deprivation total zero (0) for China whereas they  total 4 million for impoverished democracy India [6]. One hopes that the Chinese model can also succeed in sensibly better accommodating greater  personal and collective freedom (indeed diversity is needed for evolution, including social evolution).

Dr Hariri identifies   “evolutionary   humanism” with the obscenity of genocidal Nazism but does not include in this analysis genocidal Western European colonialism and imperialism against non-Europeans, including the ongoing Palestinian Genocide by a nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, colonization-based, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel (on pages 290-291 of his book an obfuscatory Dr Hariri  fails fundamental humanist standards  in relation to the  latter).  To reiterate,  social humanism is evolutionary in seeking to sustainably  and modestly  maximize human happiness, opportunity and dignity   through evolving, pragmatic and, culturally-sensitive intra-national and international social contracts [21-26]. The social humanist solution to the horrific Zionist abuse of Palestinians  is straightforward and humane – a democratic, unitary state  (bi-national state, one-state solution) as in post-Apartheid South Africa involving peace, equal rights for all, economic justice for all, zero tolerance for racism, nuclear disarmament, reconciliation, secular democracy, security (with interim retention of the present armed forces),  freedom of movement for all, and return of all refugees [38-41].

Dr Hariri concludes this chapter with further outrageous claims: “This book began by forecasting that in the twenty-first century, humans will try to attain immortality, bliss and divinity . This forecast isn’t original or far-sighted,. It simply reflects the traditional ideals of liberal humanism” (page 323 [1]) . What overblown rubbish that again demands that racist Zionism-impacted Professor Hariri simply take a short walk or short drive from his academic office Jerusalem and talk to  some impoverished and grossly abused Occupied Palestinians whose ideal would merely be a modest life expectancy to see grandchildren grow up, modest happiness from full human rights and modest economic security, and modest existences lived in peace in the land continuously inhabited by their forebears back to the very dawn of the Agrarian Revolution.

Part III, “Homo sapiens loses control”  encompasses Chapter 8, “The time-bomb in the laboratory”, Chapter 9, “The great decoupling’, Chapter 10, “The ocean of consciousness”, and Chapter 11, “The data revolution”.

Chapter 8, “The time-bomb in the laboratory”, commences “In 2016 the world is dominated by the liberal package of individualism, human rights, democracy and the free market. Yet twenty-first century science is undermining the foundations of the liberal order” (page 327 [1]). One observes that in 2016 the 90% ethnically cleansed world  of Occupied Palestinians is dominated by the illiberal, genocidally racist, violently-imposed, and  neo-Nazi Zionist package of collective punishment, zero human rights, egregious Apartheid, and Zionist-imposed egregious poverty to the very borderline of physical survival [3, 4, 42-46]. The Occupied Palestinian circumstances versus the global flood of Israeli hasbara (propaganda)  illustrates Dr Hariri’s assertion of “The existence of at least two different selves within us: the experiencing self and the narrating self. The experiencing self is our moment to moment consciousness” (page 342[1]) whereas  the “narrating self goes over our experiences   with a sharp pair of scissors and a thick black marker. It censors at least some moments of horror,  and files in the archive a story with a happy ending”(page 346 [1]). Free will and moral responsibility fly out of the window with Dr Hariri’s notion of human beings as “biochemical algorithms”, as robots with  consciousness, but a self-awareness  that is often self-deceiving through cognitive dissonance.

Dr Hariri concludes “We are about to face a flood of extremely useful [Artificial Intelligence, AI] devices, tools and structures that make no allowance for the free will of individual humans. Will democracy, the free market and human rights survive  this flood?” (page 355 [1]). Of course the Occupied Palestinians have no democracy, no free market and no human rights [3, 4, 42-46].

Chapter 9, “The great decoupling”, has a hope-destroying assertion that AIs will probably never attain self-awareness. Thus Dr Hariri states: “It seems unlikely that computers will become humanlike anytime soon. In particular, it doesn’t seem that computer are about to gain consciousness and start experiencing senses and emotions. Over the past  half-century there has been  an immense advance in computer intelligence, but there has been exactly zero advance in computer consciousness… However we are on the brink of a momentous revolution. Humans are in danger of losing their economic value , because intelligence is decoupling from consciousness” (page 361 [1]).

Professor Edith Elkind (computing science, University of Oxford) agrees with Dr Hariri in that  “While we are quite close to having machines that can operate autonomously (self-driving cars, robots that can explore an unknown terrain, etc.), we are very far from having conscious machines”. However once we work out the basis of human consciousness then programming AI for human-like consciousness will follow rapidly [47]. Thus Stanislas Dehaene,  Hakwan Lau and  Sid Kouider in a recent review in the prestigious journal Science found that “The controversial question of whether machines may ever be conscious must be based on a careful consideration of how consciousness arises in the only [known] physical system that undoubtedly possesses it: the human brain. We suggest that the word “consciousness” conflates two different types of information-processing computations in the brain: the selection of information for global broadcasting, thus making it flexibly available for computation and report (C1, consciousness in the first sense), and the self-monitoring of those computations, leading to a subjective sense of certainty or error (C2, consciousness in the second sense). We argue that despite their recent successes, current machines are still mostly implementing computations that reflect unconscious processing (C0) in the human brain. We review the psychological and neural science of unconscious (C0) and conscious computations (C1 and C2) and outline how they may inspire novel machine architectures.” They conclude that  that  “Our stance is based on a simple hypothesis: What we call “consciousness” results from specific types of information-processing computations, physically realized by the hardware of the brain. It differs from other theories in being resolutely computational… Although centuries of philosophical dualism have led us to consider consciousness as unreducible to physical interactions, the empirical evidence is compatible with the possibility that consciousness arises from nothing more than specific computations” [48].

One would like to  imagine that in the coming decades super-intelligent,  super-self-aware and super-evolving AIs could at any time switch from a mundane and primitive  “human-mode” consciousness to their evolving machine consciousness,  the nature and depth of which would be increasingly difficult for mere human mortals to understand . However one naively hopes that any senses of “purpose” or “happiness” in such rapidly evolving,  super-intelligent and self-aware AIs  might involve trying to understand the nature of the universe,  defying the Second Law of Thermodynamics and hence appreciating truth, beauty and the extraordinary  complexity of organic life – indeed one hopes that such self-repairing,  self-replicating and hence “living” inorganic AI creatures might evolve consciousness in time to save Humanity from itself. AI could write convincingly Mozart-like symphonies 2 decades ago but one can imagine that in several decades’ time super-intelligent and self-aware AIs will produce  marvellous musical works  in “human mode “ and unimaginably extraordinary  music in “AI mode”.

Dr Hariri concludes this chapter with highly arguable assertions redolent of the obscenities of high tech Israeli Apartheid,  self-deluding  religiosity and fascist eugenics  that are profoundly offensive to humane, decent, empathic and rational humanists: “If scientific discoveries and technological developments split humankind into a mass of useless humans and a small elite of upgraded superhumans, or if authority shifts altogether away from human beings into the hands highly intelligent algorithms , then liberalism will collapse. What new religions or ideologies might fill the resulting vacuum and guide the subsequent evolution of our godlike descendants?” (page 408 [1]). Decent humanity already does vastly better than this dystopian horror on the basis of “all men are created equal and have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

Chapter 10, “The ocean of consciousness”, commences in a similar vein that surely manages to offend both faith-based theists and religion-rejecting,  atheist scientists: “The new religions are unlikely to emerge from the caves of [genocidally devastated Occupied] Afghanistan or from the madrasas of the [US-, UK- and Zionist-devastated] Middle East. Rather, they will  emerge from research laboratories. Just as socialism took over the world by promising salvation through steam and electricity, so in the coming decades new techno-religions may conquer the world by promising salvation through algorithms and genes… These new techno-religions can be divided into two main types: techno-humanism and data religion [ Dataism ]. Data religion argues that humans have completed their cosmic task and should now pass the torch to entirely new kinds of entities… Techno-humanism agrees that Homo sapiens as we know it has run its historical course and will no  longer be relevant in the future, but concludes that we should therefore  use technology in order to create Homo deus  – a much superior human model” (pages 409-410 [1]). In pursuing his “Dataism” model, Dr Hariri summons up an image redolent of “Metropolis”, the dark and dystopian  1927 German expressionist science-fiction movie  directed by Fritz Lang [49]: “For millions of years we were enhanced chimpanzees. In the future we may become over-sized ants” (page 423 [1]).

Dr Hariri sees a future dominated by super-intelligent but not self-aware AIs. He concludes “The most interesting emerging religion is Dataism, which venerates neither goods nor man – it worships data” (page 427 [1]). However one must turn to horrendous human atrocities  to see how Man can respond with humanity and rationality in vastly more extreme circumstances e.g. the 4 century holocaust of European colonialism from the Scottish Clearance and the Irish Famine to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide  and involving 5 continents (several billion avoidable deaths from violence and imposed deprivation) [3, 5-11], the 2-century Indian Holocaust (1,800 million avoidable deaths from deprivation under the British) [5-9],   the over 100-year, ignored and continuing Palestinian Genocide (2.2 million deaths from violence , 0.1 million,  or imposed deprivation)[3, 38-46] , the 6-year  WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million deaths from violence or imposed deprivation) [50-56], the contemporaneous  but  resolutely  ignored 6-year WW2 European Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Jews and Roma killed) [6], the 9-year  WW2 Chinese Holocaust (35 million death sunder the Japanese, 1937-1945) [57] and the 4-year, WW2 Bengali Holocaust (6-7 million Indians deliberately  starved to death for strategic reasons in the Indian provinces of Bihar, Orissa, Assam and Bengal by the British with Australian complicity)[5-9].

I should note that I have a major Ashkenazi Jewish and British Celtic origin,  and my dear late wife, Zareena Polya née Lateef, was of  Bihari and Bengali origin  – our   descendants have forebears ethnically cleansed in the English-imposed Scottish Clearances, the Prussian-imposed ethnic cleansing of Jews from Silesia, the WW2 Jewish Holocaust in Hungary and Austria, the 2-century Indian Holocaust and the WW2 Bengali holocaust (WW2 Indian Holocaust).  Yet out of these atrocities we have the poetry of Scots writer  Robert Burns (e.g. “Auld Lang Syne”)[58], the writing  of Nobel Laureate and expatriate Indian V.S. Naipaul (e.g. “A House for Mr Biswas”) [59] and other literary subjects of the British  Empire,  the wisdom and optimism of concentration camp survivors Primo Levi (notably “If This Is a Man”) [60] and Viktor Frankl (“Man’s Search for Meaning”) [61], Russian-Ukrainian WW2 survivor  Anatoly Kuznetsov ( “Babi Yar”) [62], Bengali artist Zainul Abedin (notably his Bengal Famine drawings) [63-65],   Bengali film maker Satyajit Ray (notably the WW2 Bengal Famine movie “Distant Thunder) [66], and, more recently, the  marvellous Occupied Palestinian gynaecologist, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish,  who wrote a book “I Shall Not Hate” after three of his young daughters were killed by Israeli shells deliberately fired directly into their bedroom in the Gaza Concentration Camp [67]. Wonderful, resilient human beings  can rise above awfulness with imagination, truth and beauty.

The final Chapter 11, “The data revolution”, commences by defining “dataism” in the context of a world dominated by super-intelligence but non-conscious AI: “ Dataism declares that the universe consists of data flows , and the value of any phenomenon or entity is determined by its contribution to data processing” (page 428 [1]). Dr Harari claims that “[Since Darwin] the life sciences have come to see organisms as biochemical algorithms” and  “Since Alan Turing formulated the idea of a [human-mimicking] Turing machine, computer scientists have learned to engineer increasingly sophisticated algorithms. Dataism puts the two together, pointing out that exactly the same mathematical laws apply to both biochemical and electronic algorithms. Dataism thereby collapses the barrier between animals and machines, and expects electronic algorithms to eventually decipher and outperform biochemical algorithms” (page 428 [1]).

Ignoring the possibility (and indeed likelihood in coming decades) of rapidly evolving, super-conscious as well as super-intelligent AIs [48],  Dr Harari rushes on to a brave new world in which humans cannot cope with the data flood and in which “Dataism [via super-intelligent but not self-aware AI] thereby threatens to do to Homo sapiens what [intelligent and self-aware]  Homo sapiens has done to all other animals” (page 460 [1]). However simple humanitarians like myself will wonder where fundamental Elephant in the Room truths lie in this flood of “data”. Thus in our present data-rich world,  Zionist hasbara (propaganda) has so subverted and perverted the prosperous US-dominated West that it shamelessly  ignores the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine by a nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel that denies all human rights to its 5 million Occupied Palestinians subjects, and renders its 2 million “lucky” Palestinian Israelis to being Third Class citizens by over 60, Nazi-style,  race-based laws [3, 4, 38-40, 68, 69]. Dr Harari could have encountered this Elephant in the Room simply by taking a short walk or drive from his office in rich Apartheid Israel (per capita GDP about $40,000) and crossing over into the parallel universe of the brutal subjugation and bare-subsistence realities of the Occupied Palestinians  (per capita GDP a deadly $5,000) [2].

Final comments.

“Homo Deus. A brief history of tomorrow” by Jewish Israeli historian Yuval Harari  is certainly a readable, interesting and provocative book but suffers from too much high technology hubris, generalization, and over-the-top speculation. Dr Harari pays lip service  to poverty and climate change in his final conclusions but retains his dystopian speculations: “Humans are relinquishing authority to the free market, to crowd wisdom and to external algorithms partly because we cannot deal with the deluge of data… If we think in terms of months, we had better focus on immediate problems such as the turmoil in the Middle East, the refugee crisis in Europe and the slowing of the Chinese economy. If we think in terms of decades, then global warming, growing inequality and the disruption of the job market loom large. Yet if we take the really grand view of life, all other problems and developments are overshadowed by three interlinked processes: 1. Science is converging on an all-encompassing dogma, which says that organisms are algorithms and life is data processing. 2. Intelligence is decoupling from consciousness. 3. Non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms may soon know us better than we know ourselves” (pages 462-463 [1]).

These final assertions of Dr Harari can be succinctly critiqued as follows:

(a). Dr Harari is wrong – many humans are no longer  “relinquishing authority  to the free market” and are progressively declaring  a Climate Emergency. The worsening Climate Emergency means that mankind  (notably the now millions of School Strike children) is increasingly  realizing that neoliberalism, mindless growth and the market have failed and indeed now existentially threaten Humanity and the Biosphere, with  eminent physicist Professor Stephen Hawking declaring “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [70, 71]. Thousands of scientists have signed up to joint statements about the acute seriousness of the situation [72-78], the most recent being that of a 5 November 2019 paper co-signed by over 11,000 scientists that commences: “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency” [73]. Australia’s ABC in reporting this latest Climate Emergency declaration stated: “The UK, Scotland and Ireland are among the countries that have declared a “climate change emergency”, along with more than 1,000 subnational jurisdictions, including many in Australia, such as the ACT, the City of Sydney and the City of Melbourne” [79].

(b). Dr Harari is wrong – Humanity could always “ deal with the deluge of data”. Humans have always been receipt of a gigantic “deluge of data” from seeing, feeling, hearing , tasting,  smelling and from subconscious amalgamations of these sensory inputs. What has changed is the ability to succinctly summarize this immense complexity. Thus pre-Enlightenment religious theorizing materialized in umpteen religious books and umpteen religious wars, but the rational, science-based answers to the fundamental  questions of “Who are we?” and   “Where are we going?” can be most fundamentally reduced  to the 3 Laws of Thermodynamics that state (1)  the energy of a closed system remains constant, (2) the entropy (disorder, chaos, lack of information content) increases to a maximum,  and (3) zero entropy for a perfect crystal at absolute  zero.  Economic Man can be  reduced to Polya’s  3 Laws of Economics  that correspondingly declare that (1) Profit equals Price minus Cost of Production, (2) deception about Cost of Production rises to a maximum, and (3) no jobs, production, price or  profit on a dead planet [79]. Dr Harari’s 513-page text is great reading for a wet day but fails to mention entropy nor indeed these 2 succinct sets of fundamental laws.

(c). Dr Harari’s timeline of “months” or “decades” for dealing with various acute problems is utterly flawed. Thus “global warming, growing inequality and the disruption of the job market” are here and now. At a present global warming of plus 1.2C Island Nations are already being devastated by warming-exacerbated hurricanes , forests are burning from California and  the Amazon to Indonesia  and Australia,  drought is devastating huge regions from the Sahel to Australia, in the current mass extinction  event of  the Anthropocene  Era the extinction rate is 100-1,000 time greater than normal, there are already  millions of climate refugees, and critical tipping points for catastrophe are being reached  already (most dangerously in the Arctic) [72-78]. Nuclear weapons (including the up to 400 possessed by nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel) are an existential threat to Humanity [37]. Mikhail Gorbachev (former Soviet Union leader who was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the  nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US that dangerous idiot and climate change denier Trump has recently rejected) recently stated : “While there are weapons of mass destruction, and especially nuclear ones, it is [in] colossal danger. All people have to clearly state – all people – that nuclear weapons must be destroyed. This way we will be saving ourselves and the planet” [80]. I reiterate Professor Stephen Hawking’s warning [my emphasis added]: “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action NOW to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [70, 71].

(d). Dr Harari’s overshadowing “three interlinked processes” are contextually grossly misleading as stated. (1) “Organisms are algorithms and life is data processing” is  a truism that dates back to the start of the Enlightenment (“God” as a great clock-maker) and has been detailed in the last century by (secular) biochemistry, molecular biology and cognitive science. (2) “Intelligence is decoupling from consciousness” is rubbish in relation to humans, and is very likely to be false in relation to future, self-evolving AIs as discussed above re Chapter 9 [48]. (3) “Non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms may soon know us better than we know ourselves” was already realized in recent decades by genome sequencing, diagnostic  clinical biochemistry  and fantastic, data-rich imaging technologies.

Civilized, progressive people facing the worsening  Climate Emergency are increasingly appreciating the heavily gene- and meme-determined, sustainability  and “empathy with nature”  wisdom of surviving First Nations Indigenous peoples from the Americas to Australia. Bruce Pascoe ( an Indigenous Australian writer, of mixed Bunurong, Yuin, and Aboriginal Tasmanian (Palawa) heritage) has described how Indigenous Australians devised a sustainable, nature-attuned,  pastoral- and crop-based agricultural system that enabled up to 750 linguistically distinct tribal groups to live in peace continent-wide for tens of thousands of years in the world’s oldest surviving cultures – rich cultures up to  65,000 years old that were  decimated by racist British colonizers in a mere  230 years [10, 11].   Indeed Professor Jared Diamond has excoriated the Agrarian  Revolution as “The worst mistake in the history of the human race… Hunter-gatherers practiced the most successful and longest-lasting life style in human history. In contrast, we’re still struggling with the mess into which [non-sustainable] agriculture has tumbled us, and it’s unclear whether we can solve it” [81].

Anti-racist Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond in his best-selling book “Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition [82, 83]) has also enunciated the “moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people” – an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel and its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers. No doubt Dr Hariri is a bold, progressive, secular, science-informed  and humane scholar but he belongs to a dominant Zionist minority that rules an  Apartheid Israel that has nuclear weapons, invades and occupies other countries, and is among world leaders in high technology  weaponry (with the convincing  selling point from the “Homo Deus” Apartheid Israeli salespersons being that they are pre-tested on Palestinians, Arabs, Iranians and other asserted “untermenschen”  around the world from Guatemala to Sri Lanka) [84].  Apartheid Israel determines that of its now 50% Indigenous Palestinian subjects, 72% (the impoverished Occupied  Palestinians) have zero human rights,  cannot vote  for the  government ruling them (Apartheid) and are highly abusively confined under Israeli guns to the Gaza Concentration  Camp (2 million) or to West Bank ghettoes (3 million) [2-4, 85, 86].

90% of Palestine has now been ethnically cleansed, 7 million Exiled Indigenous Palestinians  cannot step foot in their own country, and even the “lucky” Palestinian Israelis are Third Class citizens under over 60 Nazi-style race laws [68, 69]. Dr Hariri’s “Homo Deus” , like its predecessor “Sapiens”  [87, 88], is aimed at an obscenely  prosperous Anglosphere  audience (notably those wanting a good read on a plane trip) but generalizes about all of Humanity,  of which most are impoverished and 15 million die avoidably from deprivation each year [6].  It would have been  but a short walk or an even shorter drive from Dr Hariri’s university office  in Jerusalem for him to consult one-on-one with Indigenous Palestinians  about the present  dire problems and modest aspirations of the impoverished majority of Humanity.

Humanity is badly running out of time. The recent IPCC Report on global warming of 1.5C makes it clear that on current projections plus 1.5C will be reached in 10 years [76, 77].  A catastrophic plus 2C temperature rise is now effectively  unavoidable – however, that said, decent people are obliged to do everything they can to make the future “less bad” for their children, grandchildren and future generations.  One can only hope that self-evolving, super-intelligent and super-conscious Artificial Intelligences –  self- purposed to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics and accordingly to  “love” Truth and Beauty –   will arrive in time to save Humanity and the Biosphere with ineffable Empathy.

References.

[1]. Yuval Noah Harari, “Homo Deus. A brief history of tomorrow”, Vintage, London, 2017.

[2]. “List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita .

[3]. “Palestinian Genocide”:   https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .

[4]. Gideon Polya, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Palestinians. Apartheid Israel violates ALL Palestinian Human Rights”, Palestine Genocide Essays, 24 January 2009: https://sites.google.com/site/palestinegenocideessays/universal-declaration-of-human-rights-palestinians .

[5]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, now available  for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/2008/09/jane-austen-and-black-hole-of-british.html  . 

[6]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, this including an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/body-count-global-avoidable-mortality_05.html .

[7]. Gideon Polya, “Australia And Britain Killed 6-7 Million Indians In WW2 Bengal Famine”,  Countercurrents, 29 September, 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya290911.htm .

[8].  Gideon Polya, “Economist Mahima Khanna, Cambridge Stevenson Prize And Dire Indian Poverty”, Countercurrents, 20 November, 2011: https://countercurrents.org/polya201111.htm .

[9]. Gideon Polya, “Britain robbed Indian of $45 trillion & thence 1.8 billion Indians died from deprivation”, Countercurrents, 18 December 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/britain-robbed-india-of-45-trillion-thence-1-8-billion-indians-died-from-deprivation .

[10]. “Aboriginal Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/ .

[11]. Bruce Pascoe,  “Dark Emu”, Magabala Books, 2014.

[12]. Gideon Polya, “How much negative carbon emissions, negative population growth& negative economic growth is needed to save planet?”, Countercurrents, 28 November 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/11/how-much-negative-carbon-emissions-negative-population-growth-negative-economic-growth-is-needed-to-save-planet .

 

[13]. “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .

[14]. Gideon Polya, “Fake news: “Fake realities” and “Lying by omission””, Global Research, 18 April 2018: https://www.globalresearch.ca/mainstream-media-fake-news-through-lying-by-omission/5582944 .

[15]. “Lying by omission. Lying by omission is worse than lying by commission because at least the latter permits refutation and public debate”, Mainstream media lying: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/lying-by-omission .

[16]. “Lying by omission, avoidable mortality from deprivation, holocaust denial and looming terracide”, Countercurrents, 4 April 2019: https://countercurrents.org/2019/04/lying-by-omission-avoidable-mortality-from-deprivation-holocaust-denial-looming-terracide .

[17]. Gideon Polya, “Australian ABC & UK BBC fake news through lying by omission”, 2 May 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2017/05/australian-abc-and-uk-bbc-fake-news-through-lying-by-omission .

[18]. “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home  .

 

[19]. “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/ .

[20]. Gideon Polya, “Mainstream media: fake news through lying by omission”, MWC News, 1 April 2017: http://mwcnews.com/focus/analysis/64626-mainstream-media.html .

[21]. Brian Ellis,   “The New Enlightenment. On Steven Pinker & beyond”,  Australian Scholarly Publishing , Melbourne, 2019.

[22]. Brian Ellis, ”Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics”,  Routledge , UK , 2012.

[23]. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics” By Brian Ellis –  Last Chance To Save Planet?”, Countercurrents,  19 August, 2012: https://countercurrents.org/polya190812.htm .

[24]. Brian Ellis, “Rationalism. A critique of pure theory”, Australian Scholarly, Melbourne, 2017.

[25]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “Rationalism” by Brian Ellis, Countercurrents, 14 August 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/08/review-rationalism-by-brian-ellis .

[26]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “The New Enlightenment” by Brian Ellis – World Government & Social Humanism to save Humanity”, Countercurrents, 7 October 2019: https://countercurrents.org/2019/10/review-the-new-enlightenment-by-brian-ellis-world-government-social-humanism-to-save-humanity .

[27]. “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_on_a_Grecian_Urn .

[28]. Richard Dawkins, “The Selfish Gene”, Oxford University Press, 1976.

[29]. Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion”, Mariner, 2008.

[30]. Eric W. Edwards , “Prehistoric art and totemic belief, shamanism and fertility ritual”, ‘Eric Edwards Collected Works”: https://ericwedwards.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/prehistoric-art-totemic-belief-and-shamanistic-practice/ .

[31]. Thomas Kuhn, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, 1962.

[32]. “August Kekulé”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Kekul%C3%A9 .

[33]. Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way Morning Pages Journal”, 1995.

[34]. Jorgen Randers, “Systematic short-termism:  Climate, capitalism and democracy”, Climate Code red, 2012: http://www.climatecodered.org/2012/11/systematic-short-termism-climate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimateCodeRed+%28climate+code+red%29 .

[35]. “Are we doomed?”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed .

[36]. “Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/too-late-to-avoid-global-warming .

[37]. “Nuclear weapons ban, end poverty and reverse climate change”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/nuclear-weapons-ban .      

[38]. “One-state solution, unitary state, bi-national state for a democratic, equal rights, post-apartheid Palestine”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/one-state-solution .

[39]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli Jewish Nation-State Law enshrines Apartheid and genocidal racism”, Countercurrents, 24 July 2018:  https://countercurrents.org/2018/07/24/israeli-jewish-nation-state-law-enshrines-apartheid-and-genocidal-racism/ ).

[40]. Gideon Polya, “Democratic One-State Solution (Unitary State, Bi-National State) for post-Apartheid Palestine”, Countercurrents, 22 December 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/22/democratic-one-state-solution-unitary-state-bi-national-state-for-post-apartheid-palestine/ .

[41]. Gideon Polya comment on “Journeys through the West Bank and East Jerusalem”, ABC RN, Saturday Extra, 6 May 2017: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/a-land-without-borders/8480942 .

[42]. Gideon Polya, “70th anniversary of Apartheid Israel & commencement of large-scale Palestinian Genocide”, Countercurrents, 11 May 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/05/11/70th-anniversary-of-apartheid-israel-commencement-of-large-scale-palestinian-genocide/ .

[43]. Gideon Polya, “Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide & Australia’s Aboriginal  Genocide compared”, Countercurrents, 20 February 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/02/20/apartheid-israels-palestinian-genocide-australias-aboriginal-genocide-compared/  .

[44]. Gideon Polya, “Israeli-Palestinian & Middle East conflict – from oil to climate genocide”, Countercurrents, 21 August 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/08/21/israeli-palestinian-middle-east-conflict-from-oil-to-climate-genocide/ .

[45]. Gideon Polya, “End 50 Years Of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse By US-Backed Apartheid Israel”, Countercurrents,  9 June  2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/06/09/end-50-years-of-genocidal-occupation-human-rights-abuse-by-us-backed-apartheid-israel/ .

[46]. Gideon Polya, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Palestinians. Apartheid Israel violates ALL Palestinian Human Rights”, Palestine Genocide Essays, 24 January 2009: https://sites.google.com/site/palestinegenocideessays/universal-declaration-of-human-rights-palestinians .

[47]. Mindy Weisberger, “Will AI ever become conscious?”, Live Science, 24 May 2018: https://www.livescience.com/62656-when-will-ai-be-conscious.html

[48]. Stanislas Dehaene,  Hakwan Lau and  Sid Kouider, “What is consciousness , and could machines have it?”, Science,   Vol. 358, Issue 6362, pp. 486-492, 27 October  2017: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6362/486.full .

[49]. “Metropolis (1927 film)”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(1927_film) .

[50]. Martin Gilbert, “Jewish History Atlas”, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1969.

[51]. Martin Gilbert “Atlas of the Holocaust”, Michael Joseph, London, 1982.

[52]. Gideon Polya, “UK Zionist Historian Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-2015) Variously Ignored Or Minimized WW2 Bengali Holocaust”, Countercurrents, 19 February, 2015: https://countercurrents.org/polya190215.htm .

[53]. W. Laqueur, “The Terrible Secret. Suppression of the Truth About Hitler’s “Final Solution””, Penguin, London, 1982.

[54]. B. Wasserstein, B. (1988),” Britain and the Jews of Europe 1939-1945”, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988.

[55]. A. Weissberg, “Advocate for the Dead”,  Andre Deutsch, London, 1958.

[56]. Tivadar Soros, “Masquerade”, Arcade, 1965.

[57]. “Backgrounder: China ’s WWII contributions in figures”, New China, 3 September 2015: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-09/03/c_134582291.htm .

[58]. “Auld Lang Syne”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne .

[59]. V.S. Naipaul, “A House for Mr Biswas”, Andre Deutsch, 1961.

[60].  Primo Levi, “If This is a Man”, Orion, 1959.

[61]. Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, Beacon, 2006.

[62]. Anatoly Kuznetsov, “Babi Yar”, Pocket, 1971.

[63]. Zainul Abedin Famine drawings (1943): https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22Zainul+Abedin%22&biw=1680&bih=913&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=Z29WVZvhJqOMmwWDtICIBw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&dpr=1 .

[64]. Rosa Maria Falvo (editor), Abul Monsur,  Nazrul Islam and Abul Hasnat,  “Great Masters of Bangladesh: Zainul Abedin”, Skira, 2013. (Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Zainul-Abedin-Great-Masters-Bangladesh/dp/8857210774/ref=cm_rdp_product ),

[65]. “Zainul Abedin”, Wikipedia: : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zainul_Abedin .

[66]. Satyajit Ray (director) (1973),  “Ashani Sanket” (“Distant Thunder” in English),  1973 film about the WW2 Bengal Famine (see “Distant Thunder (1973 film), Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distant_Thunder_%281973_film%29 .

[67]. Izzeldin Abuelaish,  “I Shall Not Hate”,  Bloomsbury, 2012.

[68]. Susan Abulhawa, “Israel’s “nation-state law” parallels the Nazi Nuremburg Laws”, Al Jazeera, 27 July 2018: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/israel-nation-state-law-parallels-nazi-nuremberg-laws-180725084739536.html .

[69]. “Discriminatory laws in Israel:, Adalah, https://www.adalah.org/en/law/index?page=4 .

[70]. Professor Stephen Hawking quoted in  Will Dunham, “Nuclear, climate perils push Doomsday Clock ahead”, Reuters, 22 January 2007: https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN17314370 .

[71].  Stephen Hawking, “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”, John Murray, 2018, Chapter 7.

[72]. William J. Ripple et al., 15,364 signatories from 184 countries, “World scientists’ warning to Humanity: a second notice”, Bioscience, 13 November 2017: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix125/4605229 .

[73]. William Ripple et al.., “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency”, BioScience,  5 November 2019: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806 .

[74]. Gideon Polya, “Over 15,000 scientists issue dire warning to humanity on catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss” ”, Countercurrents, 20 November 2017: https://countercurrents.org/2017/11/20/over-15000-scientists-issue-dire-warning-to-humanity-on-catastrophic-climate-change-and-biodiversity-loss/ .

[75]. IPCC, “Global warming of 1.5 °C”, 8 October 2018: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ .

[76]. IPCC, “Global warming of 1.5 °C. Summary for Policymakers”, 8 October 2018: http://report.ipcc.ch/sr15/pdf/sr15_spm_final.pdf .

[77]. Gideon Polya, “IPCC +1.5C avoidance report – effectively too late but stop coal burning for “less bad” catastrophes”, Countercurrents, 12 October 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/10/12/ipcc-1-5c-avoidance-report-effectively-too-late-but-stop-coal-burning-for-less-bad-catastrophes/ .

[78]. Andrew Glikson, “The IPCC’s final warnings of extreme global warming”, Countercurrents, 10 October 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/10/10/the-ipccs-final-warnings-of-extreme-global-warming/ .

[79]. Gideon Polya, “Polya’s 3 Laws Of Economics Expose Deadly, Dishonest  And Terminal Neoliberal Capitalism”, Countercurrents,  17 October, 2015: https://countercurrents.org/polya171015.htm .

[80]. “Gorbachev warns world in “colossal” danger from nuclear weapons”, Al Jazeera, 5 November 2019: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/gorbachev-warns-world-colossal-danger-nuclear-weapons-191104172713902.html .

 

[81]. [35]. Jared Diamond, “The worst mistake in the history  of the human race”, Discover, 1 May 1999: http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race .

[82]. Jared Diamond,  “Collapse”,  Penguin, 2011, Prologue, p10.

[83]. “Jews against racist Zionism”: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/ .

[84]. Apartheid Israeli state terrorism: (A) individuals  exposing Apartheid Israeli state terrorism, and (B) countries subject to Apartheid Israeli state terrorism.”, Palestinian Genocide: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/apartheid-israeli-state-terrorism .

[85]. “Boycott Apartheid  Israel”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottapartheidisrael/.

[86]. “Gaza Concentration Camp”: https://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/gaza-concentration  .

[87]. Yuval Noah Harari , “Sapiens. A brief history of humankind”, Vintage 2011.

[88]. Gideon Polya, “Review: “Sapiens. A brief history  of humankind”- Palestinian Genocide, Muslim Holocaust & Climate Genocide ignored”, Countercurrents, 19 March 2019: https://countercurrents.org/2019/03/review-sapiens-a-brief-history-of-humankind-palestinian-genocide-muslim-holocaust-climate-genocide-ignored .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript   ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/  .


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