“Every Christmas my wife gives me a novel, and I read it over the holiday in about a day and a half”
Article Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce
Welcome to the inaugural piece in a new series for e-Veritas by roving lit reporter Erika Behrisch Elce. “What are you reading?” will be a regular feature that gets between the pages with folks on the peninsula, showcasing the wondrous variety of reading tastes at RMC, and the vibrancy of our lives as readers and thinkers.
Col Chris Ayotte, Director of Cadets, chatted about the book he’s currently reading: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. “I mostly read non-fiction, and I’m especially interested in AI and predictions about the future of humanity,” Col Ayotte says. “It isn’t just about computers: Harari talks about systems of money, too, for instance, and the real value that we ascribe to what is essentially an abstract system. It’s this collective organization, Harari says, that defines our species.”
Homo Deus is a sequel to Harari’s Sapiens, a book that traces the history of humanity. “I’ve read Sapiens, and the start of Harari’s second book is a bit of a recap. I’m interested to see what he thinks the future holds. He talks about our growing reliance on big data, AI and machine learning; in the face of so much technology and our dependence on it, the question for our future is how we will actually define ‘being human’.”
Does he ever read fiction? “Oh yes: every Christmas my wife gives me a novel, and I read it over the holiday in about a day and a half. It usually relates to my interest in society and technology, like Daniel Wilson’s Robopocalypse. It’s a good break for when the non-fiction gets a little heavy.”
What’s one of his favourite books? “Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient.”