21 Lessons – Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation with Jonathan Capehart

21 Lessons – Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation with Jonathan Capehart

– Good evening. Welcome, everybody. My name is Russell Shaw. I serve as head of school
at Georgetown Day School here in our nation’s capital
and far more importantly, I serve as husband to Rabbi
Shira Stutman here at Sixth & I. So tonight’s conversation
is gonna be live streamed on Facebook at facebook.com/sixthandi. If somebody who wanted to
be here but wasn’t able to, you can text them now
and tell them to tune in. It is my privilege to
introduce Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian and a
professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He’s the author of the
international bestseller, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief
History of Tomorrow. His most recent book which
was released just two days ago is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Harari’s writing reminds me of a book that was very hot in the ’90s called Zoom. The book starts out with
an image of a rooster and then it zooms out and
you realize that the rooster is actually in a barn and
it zooms out from there and you understand that
the barn is on a farm and then it zooms out again and you understand that
the farm is a toy farm and a child is playing with
it and then in the next image, you understand that the
child playing on the farm or with the farm is an image
on the cover of a magazine. We see something up
close but by zooming out, we can see a much bigger picture. Harari’s writing does that. It helps us see a much bigger picture that can provide a fuller understanding both of where we’ve come from
and also where we’re going. It’s a broader perspective that is necessary at this
moment in our history and for which we are all
and as a case in point, of the top eight bestsellers listed in Sunday’s New York Times, five are about the Trump
presidency, both for and against, two were memoirs and one was Sapiens which was published in 2014. At Georgetown Day School each year, I give the senior class a
different book at graduation. The class of 2018 got Sapiens. I’ll share some of what
I said to our seniors at their graduation. In Sapiens, Harari takes
on the ambitious task of telling the story of 2 1/2
million years of human history in 400 pages. He does a remarkable job talking about three big
shifts in human history, the cognitive, agricultural
and scientific revolutions. The engine of the Scientific
Revolution, surprisingly, was accepting that there were
things that we didn’t know, that we didn’t have the answers, that there was so much for us to learn. Prior to the Scientific Revolution, humans assumed that we did know that all the answers to all the questions existed within ancient
texts and traditions. The Scientific Revolution
wasn’t about answers, it was about questions. Accepting that we didn’t know was the beginning of a fuller
understanding of this world in which we live. 500 years later, there are so many things that we still don’t know. Answers to some of the
biggest questions of our time like those outlined in 21
lessons for the 21st century. Yet, we’re living in a
moment where more energy is invested in finding
people who agree with us, who agree with what we know to be true than is invested in listening and coming to know others
with a different truth. If we engage the world and other people certain that we have the answers, we are powerfully limiting our ability to discover, to make leaps, to solve previously insoluble problems. So that’s some of what I told our seniors who as we speak are starting college and openness to new ideas
and ways of seeing the world will be prerequisites to
addressing the 21 challenges that Harari teased up in his new book which in a recent review,
Bill Gates called fascinating, compelling and a crucial
global conversation about how to take on the
problems of the 21st century. From terrorism to artificial
intelligence to fake news, Harari uses his wide-angle lens help explore our rapidly
changing an unknowable future and we are fortunate
to have him as a guide. Tonight, Harari will be in conversation with Jonathan Capehart, an opinion writer for The Washington Post. Jonathan, who’s writing focuses on the intersection of
social and cultural issues in politics is a member
of the Washington Post editorial board, the host
of the Cape Up podcast and a contributor to MSNBC. During his time at the
New York Daily News, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for a 16 month long editorial campaign to save the famed Apollo
Theater in Harlem. Please join me in welcoming Yuval Harari and Jonathan Capehart to Sixth & I. (attendees applauding) – So, is this the reception you get every time around the world? Packed houses, applause. – Sometimes, yeah. Sometimes were– – Well, Yuval, thank you
very much for being here for your latest book. I read all of it and people who
have seen me do this before, I’ve underlined, I’ve taken notes, I’ve got page numbers so be ready. I think that the perfect way
to start off this conversation is to read a paragraph. Admittedly, it’s in the
introduction, page XVI or 16th. And this is, I think, it’d be
a great way to kick this off. You write, so where are we heading? This question is particularly poignant because liberalism is losing credibility exactly when the twin revolutions in information technology
and biotechnology confront us with the biggest challenges our species has ever encountered. The merger of infotech and biotech might soon push billions of
humans out of the job market and undermine both liberty and equality. Big data algorithms might
create digital dictatorships in which all power is concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite
while most people suffer not from exploitation but
from something far worse, irrelevance. That happy paragraph is basically a good way, a perfect
introduction into the book. Talk more about this merger
of information technology and biotechnology and why, at once, is it extremely exciting
but also extremely scary. – What a good place to
start is with the question, do I know myself? Do I really understand myself? And many people would
say yes and in that case, they have nothing to
fear but because the AI will not make much of
a difference to them. It can’t know that know them better than they know themselves but these people are probably mistaken. Very few people actually
understand themselves. Very few people can really
say yes, I know myself. I understand my mind. I understand my desires, my thoughts where they are coming from. I think that too many people
suffer from a lack of curiosity about themselves and the AI revolution or really the merger of biotech and infotech is at the same time both
exhilarating and frightening because we are about to create, we are creating an external
system which is hacking us, which is getting to know us far better than we know ourselves which
on the one hand is exhilarating because you can start
understanding yourself, you can start understanding your brain, your body, your mind, your life choices, your desires, your thoughts in ways which were
previously unimaginable, but at the same time,
this kind of knowledge will be accessible not just to you but to some external systems. And depending on the
political choices we make, this kind of understanding
might be accessible not to you at all, only
to the external systems and to think what it
means to live in a world when somebody else, an external system, understands my innermost
desires and fears and hopes much better than I understand them, this is a very frightening scenario. – And we’re already living in it. In reading the book, we are feeding data to these big companies
and into these algorithms. As I was reading, I kept thinking about how I go to Google Play
and I will hit start radio and then all of these songs, I pick a particular
song that I really love, start radio and then all
these other songs come on and then I’m like oh yeah, that’s great. Oh, I remember that song, I love that song and that’s this algorithm
that’s learning me, that’s understanding me. All of my choices are being
sucked up by this thing. – But this is just, you
know, this is the beginning, just the tip of the
iceberg because at present, these algorithms are
still extremely primitive, they’re in their infancy
especially because they don’t go beneath your skin. They are still based on the
choices you make outside, on you pushing buttons
and pointing at things and swiping your credit card and then doing likes
and dislikes on a screen and it gathers a lot of data
from that but it’s all surface. The really big change will come when it goes underneath the skin. When the same algorithm, with
the use of biometric sensors of that of the type which
are already beginning to see on more and more wrists and fingers and will eventually be inside our bodies, when the same algorithm
that chooses music for you can, in real time, monitor what happens to your blood pressure, to your heartbeat, to your brain activity as
you listen to each song and all the data is
not going to disappear. It’s being accumulated. And within quite a short time,
this algorithm can understand your deepest emotions much
better than any other person and much better than yourself. And it’s good maybe to
start by talking about art and not economics or politics. A very common understanding
of art in the modern age, it was different in previous ages but at least in the
modern age in the West, it’s commonly believed that art
is all about human emotions. It’s about inspiring human emotions. Maybe joy, maybe sadness,
maybe anger, maybe fear but art is about the human
mind and human emotions. So really all artists play
on the same instruments, whether it’s musicians
or whether it’s painters or whether it’s TV producers, the instrument everybody’s playing on is the human biochemical system, is the human emotional system. And if somebody can hack that, they will be the greatest
artist in the world. They know how to press,
they will know or might know how to press our emotional
buttons better than any pianist or any TV producer or any painter and that’s that an exhilarating thought and an extremely frightening
thought at the same time. – Well, as you write in the
book that this algorithm will know how to push our buttons better than our mothers do. Which I had to chuckle at that. But the other thing you
write in terms of art, it’s not so much that
the computer or the robot or the algorithm has to
be the next Tchaikovsky or the next genius. That algorithm just has to
be as good as Britney Spears. – Yes, for starters, yes. There is a lot of, whenever people talk about AI, very often, they make
the mistake of overrating what AI can do today and what AI could do in 20 years or 50 years
but what balances it is that they also overrate
what humans can do. People say well, yes, Google is good but it will never be perfect,
it will make mistakes. Yeah, right but humans make
mistakes all the time also. If we move from art, let’s
say to questions like what to study in university or whom to date or whom to marry? And we’ll try to look a couple
of decades to the future and maybe an algorithm, we
will turn to an algorithm to decide for us what
to study at university or whom to marry. And when you talk about
these people will say yes, but the algorithm will make mistakes. There will be things it cannot predict, there will be things it
doesn’t know about us, there’ll be all kinds of mistakes. That’s definitely true
but for authority to shift to the algorithms, it
doesn’t have to be perfect. It just have to be better
on average than humans and humans make, sometimes,
terrible mistakes. And the most important decisions in life. So, this is the real bar. In art, it means it doesn’t
have to be Tchaikovsky. It can start by being Justin
Bieber or Britney Spears. – You have two stories, talk about algorithms and AI that were particularly fascinating. One involves Google Maps. And this idea of people handing over to AI and the algorithm’s decisions and how we’ve gone from
being able to drive and look at maps and
follow directions to just saying hey, Google, take me to 69 and then within a matter of time, we’ve forgotten how to do
anything without this algorithm or without asking Google for help. That’s a problem, isn’t it? – It’s not necessarily a problem. Again, it often does a better job. And when it comes to navigating the city and getting away from
traffic jams and so forth, so yeah, it’s a good idea to follow the recommendations of Google. It becomes frightening when you realize that the same basic
dynamics and mechanisms that makes Google Maps better
than our own spatial instincts might in the not-too-distant future make it better also in deciding things like what to study or whom
to marry or whom to vote for in the elections. And this raises some very deep philosophical and spiritual
questions about human life, what is human life all about? If you look at most of history, then both art and religion told people that life is like a journey in which you have to
make important decisions. Life is a drama of decision-making. Whether it’s in religion, you have to make these important decisions and if you get the answer wrong, you go to hell for the rest of eternity and also in art, like
almost every big or small novel or movie or theater play, whether with Shakespeare or Jane Austen or the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it’s often just a drama
of decision-making. You have to choose, do I
kill King Claudius or not? Do I betray my husband or not? Do I marry X or do I marry Y? And how does life look like
when in every such situation, you just take out the device. You don’t even have to take out the device and you have Hamlet saying
okay Siri, what should I do? Okay, Alexa what do you recommend? And how we could have a
much more convenient life but what kind of life is it
when all these big decisions and even small decisions
are not made by us? So we become these kinds of
ultimate consumers, perhaps, and everything is arranged to our comfort but what exactly is the
meaning of that kind of life? – The second story involves AlphaZero and this gets to just how quickly computers, AI, algorithms are, the machines are way more
advanced than, I think, the lay person gives them credit for. Quickly tell the story of AlphaZero. – Well, it’s very old news that computers can defeat humans in chess. It’s been 20 years, I think, since Deep Blue defeated Kasparov. But the latest sensation
is involves a game between two computer programs. A new program just out there,
just a baby, a tiny baby managed to defeat the
previous computer chess master and the amazing thing
about the baby program is that except for the basic
rules of the game of chess, nobody taught it anything. With Deep Blue and other chess
computer chess prodigies, you had human engineers
teaching the computers, the software, a lot of things besides, I mean all the accumulated wisdom of hundreds of years of human
chess players went into it. With AlphaZero, nothing went into it. It just played against itself and within an amazing short
time of just four hours, it became better than the
previous computer world champion which was much, much better
than any human being. So– – Stockfish, the Stockfish team. – Yeah.
– Program. – This was the previous champion. – Right, this happened
on December 7th, 2017. So this was just almost
less than a year ago. Four hours, this computer was
able to teach itself chess and then beat the reigning champion. And if I have it right, if
I can read my notes here, it won all of, it won most of the matches
and then had a draw. – Yeah, they played
like a hundred matches. It’s very quick with computers and I think it won something
like 25 or 28 or something and had draws in all the rest of them. Didn’t lose a single one. And, you know, chess
is not like the world. It’s much, much simpler but
in more and more fields, computers are gonna outperform humans and will not even need
humans to teach them the basic skills and the basic tricks. They can teach themselves
more and more things. – So you spend a lot of time in the book. I’ve divided your book
into three sections. All of this that we’re
talking about, AI, robots, algorithms, artificial intelligence. And then the second
part is like who are we? And so if we have a
situation where computers and algorithms are
gonna know more about us than we do and we end up
spending a whole lot of time just handing off decisions
to this algorithm, then answer the question,
who are we in that case? – We don’t really know. And again, this becomes very dangerous when somebody else knows. But who are we both on
the individual level and on the collective level, it’s one of the most basic philosophical and spiritual questions
that confronted humankind for thousands of years. But like many other
philosophical questions, they now become urgent questions,
very practical questions. Now, for thousands of years, the basic answer was given
in the format of a story. When people ask who am I? What is the meaning of life? In almost all cases, they
expect the answer to be a story. They expect to hear a
story about the universe which gives them as a group
or me as an individual some role to play and this is who I am. This is how I understand who I am. To the best of our knowledge, all these stories were fictions
invented by human beings. Not a single one of them
was true but it didn’t, I mean, it’s not that it
didn’t matter very much, it mattered a lot but to be effective, a story doesn’t need to be true, it just needs to convince people. And some of the most and it’s not that the more true story is, the more convincing it is. There is often a very little connection between the level of
truthfulness of a story and its level of effectiveness
of how convincing it is. In fact you can say that truth and power can go together only so far. At one point or another,
they will have to split to go in different directions. If you really want to know the truth, at some point, you will
have to give up power and if you really want to gain power, at some point, you will
have to give up truth because it’s it’s almost impossible to unite large number of people without telling them some fictional story and it’s impossible, at least
so far, to have a lot of power unless you manage to unite
a lot of people around you. – Can you expand on that and talk more about what you write about and that is the difference between
tribalism and nationalism. – Yeah, well you will hear
a lot of times this day that nationalism is part of human nature. It’s in our genes, it’s in our DNA, therefore, it’s natural, it’s eternal, we’ll never be able to go beyond it and then so forth and so on. And this is complete nonsense. Nationalism is one of
the least natural things for Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens, like other human species, we are definitely a social animal and sociability and loyalty to a group is definitely in our nature,
in our genes, in our DNA but for hundreds of thousands of years, Homo sapiens and its
other hominid ancestors, they lived in very small groups. The chief characteristic of these groups was that they were intimate communities in which everybody knew everybody else and this is what comes
naturally to human beings. To be loyal to a small group
of a couple of dozen people who you actually know. Your family, maybe your family business, maybe an infantry company in the army, maybe a small football
club, something like that. This comes very natural to us but nationalism is nothing like it. The essence of nationalism is the ability to make millions of complete
strangers who never met each other and will never meet each other and don’t know anything about
each other as individuals, nevertheless feel part of the same group, feel that all these other strangers, they are somehow my brothers and sisters and friends and so forth
and care about them deeply and even be willing to
sacrifice my life for them. I’m not saying there is
necessarily anything wrong with it. Nationalism has done a
lot of good to humankind, a lot of bad also but also a lot of good. You couldn’t have functioning
large scale societies without being able to go
beyond the small tribe but it’s definitely not natural for humans to have these kinds of loyalties
to millions of strangers. This developed only in the
last few thousand years which is yesterday morning
in evolutionary terms. And the key question to remind ourselves is do I know these people? Like I come from a relatively
small country, Israel. We have about eight million citizens. I don’t know 99.99% of them. I don’t know these people. If you think about the
place like United States, you have what, like 300 million citizens? – You think we’re about 350 by now. – 350. You don’t know these people. What do you care about them? But you do, at least many people do. And this is kind of the
miracle of nationalism. And as I said, nationalism
is not necessarily bad, it’s the foundation for
most of the effective societies today on Earth, it
makes you care enough to taxes that somebody else you never met will have health care and education. It, of course, has a downside that you care only about
this segment of humanity and in some situations, you’re willing to kill and
exterminate other people you don’t know equally just because they don’t belong to
the group of strangers that you feel loyal to. But I would say that as
we look to the future and the need to develop
stronger global cooperation to confront the big problems
of the 21st century, I would say that if we
manage to get people, to get Homo sapiens from being loyal to a hundred people you know to being loyal to a
hundred million strangers, that’s a very, very long road
to cover and we covered it. Now, the distance from being loyal to a hundred million strangers
to eight billion strangers, that’s a very short road in comparison. – Alberto Ibarguen is a mentor
of mine, longtime friend and he’s also the president
of the Knight Foundation and he’s a fan of yours and he’s all about the First Amendment and he is the first person
who turned me on to the fact that we need to be
thinking about these issues about social media and algorithms and what it means for the First Amendment so I shot Alberto an email asking him, I’m sure you know Yuval Harari. Do you have any questions
that I could ask him? And what you were just talking
about hits on a question that he had me, wants me to ask you. He says in an era of worldwide media of instant reach in virtual communities that defy geography or
real space intimacy, are we not growing up to
live our lives in cyberspace? Do we not consider our online relationship as real as the physical ones? Do we not find satisfaction
support and convenience online as in fact? If your answer is even a tiny bit yes. – It’s a tiny bit yes. – Tiny bit yes, okay, great. – Even more than tiny. – Okay, good because this is great because this is the question and I think it has to be, he said, then why do you not think that nationalism is the logical extension of tribalism? – Just because of what
I said, that tribalism, at least in the original sense,
in the evolutionary sense, the defining characteristic
of the natural unit for humans is people you actually know, where is the defining
characteristic of nations is people you don’t know. You imagine you know them. They are all my brothers and sisters. But you know, I can name my two sisters. I can’t name the other eight
million brothers and sisters that I have in the Israeli nation. – Okay. Talk about religion. You you spend an entire chapter– – It’s a synagogue after all, yeah. – Yes, of course, we have to talk religion but you spend a lot of time in your book, you have an entire chapter on religion and you hammer away at Judaism, also Christianity, but
Judaism because as you write, that’s what you know and the
this thing you can criticize because that’s what you know. I’m gonna find this. – I’ll just say about– – ‘Cause you say things in
order to make us understand that we shouldn’t be so self-centered. – I hammer Judaism just
because this is like my tribe, my group, so it’s more polite
to criticize your own people than to go about the Japanese
or the Brazilians or whatever but this is a characteristic
of all human groups. Everybody think they are
the center of the world. Everybody think that history
revolves around them, that without them, the whole of humankind will be living in some dark
ignorance and chaos and whatever and you go to the Chinese
or you go to the Russians or you go to the Jews
or you go to the Greeks or the Egyptians, will all
tell you the same story. It’s all about us. And it’s ridiculous when
you hear it from the others but it’s so convincing
when you hear it, like, well, these Indians, what do they know? But, we, yes, we are
the center of the world and I just gave an example
in one book of how, and maybe this is also
relevant to the United States because you often hear about
this Judeo-Christian tradition. And you need to remember a few things about the Judeo-Christian tradition. First of all, it didn’t invent morality. Lots of people go around
with this ridiculous idea that all of morality comes from the Bible and the Ten Commandments
and thank God, it doesn’t because we would look in a very bad shape if this was the source of
all morality in the world. The Bible was written
between 2,000 years ago and 3,000 years ago. Humans had moral codes and moral behavior thousands and thousands
of years before that. Other apes, other social
animals have morality. The Chinese and the Indians and
the Aborigines in Australia, they had ethical codes
and ethical behavior far superior in many respects to the Judeo-Christian religion
without knowing anything about Jesus or about Moses. What does characterize much of
the Judeo-Christian tradition and here, specifically,
it’s more the Christians who bear the cross, they
are the most intolerant, they have been the most intolerant tradition probably in human history. If you compare say the Roman Empire before it became Christian
and the Roman Empire after it became Christian, two
completely different world. The Roman Empire before
it became Christian was a bit like California today. Like a supermarket of so
many gurus and traditions and try this and try that and then Christianity
comes and the party’s over. Everything else is forbidden except, and then they start killing and you have all these,
you go to a church, you have all, in in
many churches at least, you have all these images
on the wall of martyrs. You have these wicked Roman soldiers torturing Christian martyrs in all kinds of imaginative ways. Actually, in 300 years of persecutions, the pagan Romans killed
far fewer Christians than the number of Christians
killed by other Christians in any one of numerous religious wars between the adherents
of the religion of love. So, just because they
just didn’t understand the right interpretation for God’s love, we must burn these people. So, there is a lot, I think there is a lot for the
followers of every tradition and every culture to be humble about and not to go about with this feeling that all the world
owes us this big debt because without us,
everybody would be living in darkness and ignorance. – And in fact, I misspoke, everything that you just said was not in the religion chapter, it’s in the humility chapter. There’s something else on this, on religion and the idea about stories. When you were talking about
everybody tells stories. The nation tells stories,
religions tell stories that actually, you have
something in here about, it’s basically, like
the original fake news. Talk more about that. – Yes, well it’s a bit impolite
but even religious people will usually agree that all religions except one are fake news. Which one? Ours, of course. I mean you go to a Jew, he will say, yes, Judaism is the
truth but Christianity, all these news that
Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus was raised from
the dead, this is fake news. And then you go to the Christians, they all say no, no,
no, this is the truth. But the Muslims, they are
selling you fake news. All this story that Muhammad
met the Archangel Gabriel and the Quran is the word of
God, this is all fake news. And then you go to the Muslims, they will say the same
thing about the Hindus and so forth and so on. Fake news is definitely
nothing new about it. If people think that fake news is a result of Facebook
or Twitter or whatever, I’m a medievalist but originally, before I wrote about
cyborgs and AI and all that, I was a specialist in the Middle Ages. So, let’s go back to the Middle Ages. You go back to a small
town a thousand years ago in England or Germany or whatever
and there is no Facebook, there is no Twitter,
there is no social media but you have the town’s gossip and he comes to you and he tells you, you know this old woman who lives alone by the edge of the forest? I just saw her flying on a
broomstick and within an hour, you would have a raging mob
with pitchforks and torches ready to burn this old woman to death. And some other day, he will come and say, I just heard from somebody very reliable that the local Jewish community has kidnapped and sacrified
a small Christian boy in order to baked matzos for Passover. And again, really a very short period, you would have all these
people ready to kill every Jew in town and you don’t
need social media for that. – And that story you just
told, that’s a real story that happened what, 1066? – That happened so many times. – Touche. But what I mean is, you
specifically wrote about this– – Oh, yeah, yeah.
– The little Christian boy who was found dead in a
well and the rumor went out that it was a Jew who did it and thousands of people
came from everywhere to kill thousands or hundreds of Jews that were in this particular town, in England in like 1066. – I think later, it seemed
it’s called the blood libel and it began one of the, some of the first were in
England in the late 12th and early 13th century but
then it was such a good story that it spread around
and you have such stories popping up in France and
Germany and later on, in Russia and even the Middle East. – We are, if I’m reading the clock right maybe five minutes before we go to Q&A. I just would have tease that for you so we have a mic here and a mic here. I’m sure they told you
this before we came out but I just wanna say it now
to line up at either mike and I’ll alternate between you two so you can ask Yuval Harari a question. The last part of the book,
the third it is the who am I? And you have a line in the book about if you ask someone who am
I, you’re gonna get a story and basically, you
shouldn’t trust that person. Talk more about that. – Well our mind is a machine
for generating stories. And we have been hearing these
stories throughout our lives. It’s like a constant
commentator in the head that for some reason, we trust. And the biggest story it tells us is our story, the story of our life. And even when it has very little to do with the actual reality of our
life, we tend to believe it. And one of the most shocking
experience you can do is to just drop everything else you do and just spend some time with
the commentator in your head and gets to know each him, her better and I guarantee, it will
be a shocking experience. – Well, you meditate two
hours a day, I’ve read and I could’ve sworn I read in your book that you’re supposed to
just completely let go, not even listen to the person in your head and just, how do you, I was trying to do that and I was not successful. – Very good, it means
you really meditated. – No, I mean I wasn’t able to stop talking to the little person in my head. How do you? Let me start again. Because you say, to
completely empty your mind– – No, no, definitely not.
– No, don’t? – Just observe what happens. I mean the mind does its own thing. You don’t try to shut it up, you don’t try to struggle against it. For once, all the time,
throughout our life, we always try to do something. Even when we go inside ourselves, we almost always do it to do something. We don’t like the way we
are, we try to change it. We think we need to
improve ourself in somehow so we need to work on ourselves. And this is now like second nature to us but the idea is don’t try to do anything, just observe whatever happens. If what happens is that the
commentator in your mind becomes crazy and start
talking non-stop the whole day, that’s what you have to observe. And it’s one of the most
difficult things to do in life and this is why we tend to run away to the smartphone, to the
television, to the computer, to a book, to something. The most difficult thing
is just don’t do anything, just stay there and observe what happens. And a lot of people have this fantasy that I will go to some ashram or some cave and I will find time
like a week or two weeks and just be with myself
and I’ll start observing my inner reality and I will discover what an amazing person
I am and I will discover all these inner strengths and
all these unfulfilled dreams that I now need to go and usually, it’s a completely different experience. – Well then, what was
the experience for you when you went on, I think it was a was it a month long, you write about it in the book. – Yeah, my first meditation
which was 10 days long when I was doing my PhD in Oxford, I went and tried meditation
and I was absolutely shocked that, I was 24 at the time, it’s the first time I
really actually tried to observe myself seriously. I mean not to listen to the, when people try to observe themselves, they often just listen to the commentator, to the storyteller in
the head and not that. Just let go for everything,
just observe what happens. I mean the first exercise the
teacher, S.N. Goenka gave, was don’t do anything, just sit there and know when the breath is coming in and when your breath is
going out of the nostrils. This is like the simplest
thing in the world. You don’t have to control the breath, you don’t have to breathe
strongly or weakly or anything, just you close your eyes, bring your all your
attention to the breath and just know when it comes in, oh yeah, and now, it comes in. When it goes out, okay, now it goes out. That’s it, sounds very easy. I couldn’t do it for more than
five seconds or 10 seconds without running away to some
stories, some fantasies, some memory, some worrying
and what shocked me, in the first night I began this is that I know almost nothing about my mind. I have absolutely no control
over what’s going on there and yes, I’ve been listening
to the storyteller in my mind all my life but it’s like a screen that hides the entire
inner reality behind it. And trying to look beyond that screen is maybe the most difficult
and also most important thing that I think a human being can do in life. – And have you succeeded in
seeing beyond the screen? – A little bit from time to time. – So this is something that
even after those 10 days and even right now, you are in
your two hours of meditation, you are still trying to
get beyond the screen? – In a way, yes. I mean it’s not, don’t become perfect but really, you do get to know yourself a bit better. It’s not a thought stop or
the story stop but you have a much better understanding of
what or who you actually are and in most cases, you realize it’s a far far more complicated reality than we tend to imagine. That the basic tendency
is just to identify with whatever thought or desire
just pops up in the mind. Like a thought pops up and
you feel, hey, this is me. I chose to have this thought now and when you realize, no, I didn’t choose to have this thought, then the next question is
where did it come from? And this, in a way, brings
us back to the beginning of our conversation to
AI into the algorithms that try to get us to know us better that if you just identify
with the thoughts and desires that pop out in your mind, then you know almost
nothing about yourself and you’re basically the
easiest person in the world to manipulate. And it is now more important
than ever in history to make the effort to get
to know ourselves better because of the competition. When Buddha went around
recommending to people or when Socrates and Jesus went around recommending to people
know yourself a bit better 2,000 years ago, 2,500 years
ago, if people didn’t listen, they were still a black box
to the rest of humanity. They couldn’t be deciphered. There wasn’t the technology,
they didn’t have competition. But now there is very serious competition. There are lots of
corporations and governments that are, at this moment,
busy trying to hack us and the only way to stay in the game is to get to know ourselves better. The moment they know you
better than you know yourself, then they can play on you
on your emotional system, on your biochemical system
and you will never know because you will just identify with whatever noise they produce when they press this
button or that button. – And that gets to the one big thing that you write in the book that I think will blow
a lot of people’s minds is we are the product. It’s not that they’re advertising to us and we’re gonna go buy things. Like no, no, no, the
data that we’re giving for all of these things, we are
the ones that are being sold to other corporations
in this crazy new world that we are going to be in. There are lots of people lined up. Thank you very much for your patience and I am going to start here. – [Attendee] Thank you so much. Really eloquent. You spoke about how taking us from a hundred million to eight billion is simple compared to
where we started from. – Compared, yes. – [Attendee] Compared. At the moment, it looks like we’re not like we’re coming together but much more like we’re fragmenting. That progress made in the 20th century is regularly being undone before our eyes. So do you have a view or a
thought or a prescription on what it takes to bring
that fragmentation to a close? Thank you. – [Yuval] No. – He spends a lot of time saying no. Thank you, chapter two, chapter three. – I don’t know, you know, it’s one of the most difficult
questions in the world. I know that we should. I know that it would be good for us but I also know that people very often don’t do what’s good for them. So I would say that the three biggest problem
humanity now faces are nuclear war, climate change and technological disruption. Even if we somehow managed
to prevent nuclear war and climate change, AI and biotechnology are was still going to completely
disrupt the job market, the political system and
our own bodies and minds and the only way to
deal with this challenge is through global cooperation because you cannot have
a national solution to climate change and you cannot regulate something like artificial
intelligence on a national basis. If you ban some dangerous
development in the United States but the Chinese or the
Russians are doing it, then very soon, the Americans
will be tempted to break their own ban because they
wouldn’t like to stay behind. So we need this global cooperation. And one thing, at least that I try to do is to tell people about it. That look, nationalism was
all good and well perhaps in the 19th and 20th century
but it’s just not good enough to deal with the problems
of the 21st century. You cannot deal with them
on the national basis. Whether it will be enough to
convince people, I don’t know. – Question here. – [Attendee] Thank you very much. I’ve read Sapiens, I loved it. I tried reading Homo Deus
and then I misplaced it but you have a really great way of really expanding our
minds and blowing our minds so thank you for coming here and speaking and my question was actually
about that process of writing. What was it like for your first book to be such a massive
success and be so popular and what led you to write
your subsequent books and are you now a writer? Is that what you’re going
to be doing with your time? – Well, about the success
of the first book, it was a very hard work not just of me but for the entire team
just like it takes a village to raise a child, it
takes a village or a team to make a book successful. I know only how to write
but that’s a long way from actually having a successful book because there are so many
very good books out there that nobody heard about. So, I also had a lot
of help for my husband who is they like that the PR
genius behind all the books and also from our publishers
and for my entire team and this is something I think that anybody who is working on a
book should also realize that yes, without a
good book it won’t work but just having a good
book is also not enough. And I didn’t have any plans
on writing the first book or the second or the third, they just kind of wrote themselves. I’m a bit almost can say afraid of defining myself as a writer or an author because I don’t want the responsibility of writing another book. Like, okay, I’m now an
author, this is my job, what’s the next book going to be about? And I don’t know, if
I have nothing to say, then I’ll write it down
and hopefully or not, people will read it but I
don’t want to be in a position that I have this pressure, well, it’s been two years
or five years or whatever since the last book, when
is the next book coming out? – [Jonathan] Question here. Thank you, question here. – [Attendee] There are
two very well established models for our future. One is the really scary one
that you are talking about with all the unnecessary and unneeded people and small ring ruling us and the other was
promoted by the futurists of the ’60s and ’70s where there was a
specifically human skill, explorers’ skill and
explorers’ spirit involved in exploring and settling the universe and as a first step of
that maybe cleaning up our own planet first. – [Jonathan] Your question? – [Attendee] So the question
is do you see any scenarios between these two or other
possibility and what was– – There are many, many scenarios. I don’t think anybody knows
how the world would look like in 2050 because it’s not deterministic, it haven’t been decided. I definitely don’t see my
my job is making prophecies. I think if for sure how the
future is going to be like, there is no point telling people about it. They can’t do anything about it. It’s not going to change,
it’s going to be like that. So, I think that the important thing is to expand our horizons and realize there are many
different futures out there and we need to make the right choices, the wise choices to
avoid the worst scenarios and yes, I tend to focus
on the worst-case scenarios in order to encourage
people to avoid them. – Thank you for your question. You’re next. Into the, thank you.
– Yes, my question is in a world or universe
full of failed stories– – Could you speak into the mike so everyone can hear you? Thank you.
– Yes, in a world full of failed stories and
I think the need for stories is also basically man’s need
for meaning or explanation in why we’re here in this universe. I’m curious as to how you personally find meaning in this
world full of fake news, fake stories and if you do find
meaning, why in these things and if you don’t, also why? – Well, I try as much as possible to stay in touch with reality. I think one of the most difficult but most important thing for humans is to know to tell the difference between these fictional stories
which are often necessary, we need them to have
a functioning society. Even something like money
is just a story we invented. It has no objective value,
no objective reality, it works only as long
as enough people believe in the great stories that people like the chairperson of
the Federal Reserve tell us and so, we need these stories but we also need the ability
to tell the difference between what is the
story invented by humans and what is reality and I would say that the best test I know
is the test of suffering. Suffering, if you need to
know whether an entity is real or whether it’s fiction,
ask whether it can suffer. A nation cannot suffer. Even if a nation loses the
war, it doesn’t suffer, it has no mind, it has no nervous system, it has no consciousness,
it doesn’t feel pain or sad or anything, it’s a metaphor when people say the nation is suffer. Haven’t the Jewish people suffered enough? No, they haven’t suffered at all. The individuals suffer but
a people cannot suffer. You don’t have a people mind
or a people consciousness. And similarly, animals suffer. A cow can suffer for more than the whole of the United
States because a cow has a mind but United States doesn’t have a mind and this is not a political commentary. It’s just a simple– – [Jonathan] I’m with you. – Scientific fact.
– I’m still with you. – [Attendee] Isn’t that
like a genocide though, that have people suffer? – So you have many individuals who suffer. Suffering, you need to have a mind, you need to have consciousness, you need the ability to feel
pain or to feel sad to suffer and this is something that
collectives, that nature, I mean I can certainly suffer
when my nation loses a war both because of the physical consequences and because I identify with my nation. Even when it loses at a
football game, I can suffer. Like I watch the game
like on the television and they lose the game and I suffer, the suffering, you know, I feel unpleasant
sensations in my stomach. I feel unpleasant sensations in my chest. This is what happens. Now, a nation doesn’t
have stomach or chest. It doesn’t feel anything. So this is something which is
very good for us to remember as we try to make sense of the world. – [Jonathan] He really
goes into it the book. Read the book. Next question here. – [Attendee] Hi, I have
two short questions so you can answer them quickly. First, do you think there’s
any hope for algorithms that you control yourself? – Yeah.
– There are new technological developments for that where I’ll control my
own algorithm and also, this idea of blockchain
democratize control. What do you think of those? Is that possible? – So, yes, definitely. Technology can be used
in many different ways. At present, much of this new AI technology is used to monitor people,
to monitor individuals in the service of corporations
and government and so forth but it can be the reverse. The AI can serve me
and not the corporation or the government. To take a simple example, there
are all these organizations trying to hack my brain
in order to sell me things that they want. Just as I have an
anti-virus from a computer, we could develop an
anti-virus for the brain. The AI which serves you gets
to know your own weaknesses by following you and monitoring you. And if it knows that you
have a particular weakness, you fear a particular, a group of people, so you are susceptible to this kind of fake news then the AI goes into action
whenever this kind of story pops before you. It knows that you have, you really like watching funny cat videos for hours and hours so when
this first funny cat video tries to come up in YouTube,
the AI comes to your rescue and prevents it from coming up and you have this small screen saying somebody just try to hack your brain like a report. So, we can definitely have
it the other way around. – [Attendee] To much
brighter future, I think. And then quickly, your
book, the second one talks about the government,
at best, is a custodian. Sorry, governments, at
best, are a custodian. They can’t really keep up
with all this information and in parallel, there’s
all this AI and singularity. So I know you don’t want
to forecast the future but how do you see this coming together? For our government, is dysfunctional but meanwhile AI is powerful, the tech companies are powerful. What’s your best guess
of how that will evolve? – Right, thank you. – I don’t know. I mean it depends– – [Attendee] If you
guys have a best guess. – In different part of the world. – [Attendee] I mean, your a historian. – In different parts of the world, we have a very different
development at present in terms of the relative power of governments versus corporations and in the end, it doesn’t matter. Whoever controls these algorithms will be the real government. It doesn’t matter if you
call it a corporation or we call it the government
by any other name, the real question who
controls all the data in all these powerful algorithms. – [Jonathan] Thank you for your questions. You’re next. – [Attendee] Thank you
so much for a great talk. I wanted to connect two
separate strands of talk that you discussed today. One was the trade off
between truth and power as you called it. As you seek one, you have
to sacrifice the other. And the other, your
question about who are we will become extremely
important in the future. So, isn’t that a source of
power trying to seek the truth about who you are and isn’t history full of characters like Jesus
or Buddha or the like? – Yeah. When people seek the
truth about who they are, this opens an opportunity for somebody to gain power over them by telling them a very convincing story which claims to explain who they are. And if they believe the story, then that person or that
movement or that party now has a lot of power over them. And this usually involves
deviating from the truth. If you really tell people
the truth about themselves, they are unlikely to follow you. – [Moderator] We have time
for two more questions. – [Jonathan] Okay. – [Moderator] Okay. – One and two. – [Attendee] Quickly then. Okay, I wanna talk to you
about artistic inspiration. – [Jonathan] Quickly. – [Attendee] Quickly, so quickly. Algorithms and computers can only recycle and combine known information
in a linear universe, in a linear perspective whereas, at least, I believe or I feel that artistic inspiration, when a human gets out of their way, unlike a machine because machines cannot get out of their way but a human gets out of their way and listens to the muse for what may be an alternate universe or a spherical experience. That’s where, in my opinion anyway, real art and a real music comes from. – To the question.
– Okay, so– – [Attendee] Wait, hold on, do you feel– – Question.
– Do you feel that inspiration, human inspiration
is in danger of extinction? – [Yuval] Well. – [Jonathan] Oh, that’s a great question. – One big question is how much of art is really inspiration and how much of art already
is human are just recycling? And I’m not sure about the
answer to this question but a large percentage is recycling and every human work of
art, almost every work is based on some kind of
recycling to give, I don’t know, the first example that comes to my mind, I really like Harry Potter so it’s fine but I was very disappointed
at the end of Harry Potter because I felt hey,
I’ve read it somewhere, at the end of Harry Potter, he dies and then he comes back to life and I read it somewhere before. So, this is recycling. It’s very, very difficult to come up with something completely
original and there is a lot, whenever you talk about AI and
art, you get these questions and not just about creation but also about the way
that we consume art. That okay, if I now I
know have an algorithm that chooses my music for me, then I will be kind of
imprisoned inside an echo chamber of my previous choices and I will never be able to
break out of it and so forth but this is not true. Actually, it’s much easier to break out of the algorithmic prison than of the prison of your own brain because the only thing
you need to get up to do to get out of the algorithmic prison is just tell the algorithm, surprise me which is it can do it much
better than your old brain. You can say to the algorithm
that chooses your music, I want 5% serendipity. And you are guaranteed
to get 5% serendipity in the choice of music. – [Attendee] But no inspiration. – [Jonathan] And the final
question to you, sir. – [Attendee] Sorry, it
was a two-pronged question but I’m gonna cut out the first one. – Yeah, thank you. Short, short. – [Attendee] Okay. So, you talked about the nation states being not a great model
for cooperation per se especially in the face
of the disruptions we are and will new face in
terms of climate change and AI and stuff. Until at least a few years ago, there was an idea that European Union, a model like that is an
incredible model, right? Countries are tracking at war
for each other for 300 years coming together to decide to work and it functioned very well
for a period, at least. And especially in political science, a lot of people thought that
would be the step forward, super national organizations who could come together and
work on cooperating like that and although the dream has taken a bit of a stumble right now and I’m not saying you should
be prescriptive about this but what do you speculate
is the way forward? Do you think this path will remain where we keep trying to go into the super national federation style if you are the world or will there be something
completely different? – Again, I don’t know. What I can say and I repeat it quite often is that to deal with our main problems, we need greater global cooperation. I don’t know whether we’ll
actually do it or not. Humans have this tendency to do things against their interest. So in that sense, just because
it’s the right thing to do doesn’t guarantee that it will be done. I will say that when we talk
about global cooperation, it should be very obvious
we are not talking about the global government. We are not talking about a single empire that rules everybody. We are not talking about abolishing all cultures, all languages,
all local cuisines and everybody becoming just
this homogeneous great group. No, the idea can be summarized
in the mode of harmony without uniformity. Real harmony doesn’t mean
that everybody are the same. Let’s go back to art,
to have an orchestra, it’s not like you have
just all identical tools, musical tools playing
exactly the same note. If you want to make soup, you need a few different ingredients. So real harmony is not about
uniformity and it’s not, and global cooperation
does not mean abolishing all national and cultural differences. It means basically adding
another layer of loyalty and of identity. Humans, in any case, almost everybody have a several layers of
identity and of loyalty. I can be loyal to my
family, to my business, to my community, to my
village and to my country at the same time, we can
add more items to the list. We can also add humanity
and the planet to this list. Of course, when you
have several identities, several loyalties, they sometimes collide and then it’s difficult
to know what to do. Sometimes, you prefer the
interests of your family over the interest of the business. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice the interest of the family
for the business to survive. It’s difficult but you
know, life is difficult. Deal with it. – And thank you for your questions. I want to end with a question of my own and that is in this now more
than hour-long conversation, it’s safe to say we have
barely scratched the surface of what you write about,
what you discussed, the ethical questions that you raise in terms of self-driving
cars and the algorithms involved in that. The philosophical questions,
the moral questions. When the folks in this room
finish reading your book, what’s the one thing
you ultimately want them to come away with from your book? Just one. There’s several but just one. – A clearer priority about what’s happening now in the world. What are the really important
questions we need to focus on. It’s not a book of answers, it’s not a book of solutions
and also many of the questions that you asked me today, I don’t know but the really important thing is to focus on the important questions. We now live in a world
in which censorship works not by blocking information but by flooding us with
enormous amounts of information, much of it irrelevant
and the biggest problem is how to stay focused and
how to build a good priorities in the things that we tackle. So I hope that after reading the book, people will have a clearer idea of what are the most important discussions we should be having now
and what can be left aside. – [Jonathan] Yuval Noah
Harari, thank you very much for coming. – Thank you. (attendees applauding)

45 thoughts on “21 Lessons – Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation with Jonathan Capehart

  1. Prof. Yuval Noah Harari is a true antidote for nowadays lack of vision. I hope for more influencers the likes of him will speak up so that we may adjust our stories for future well being in the widest sense possible.

  2. Quero muito ler este livro. Já li os dois anteriores e são fenomenais. Uma linguagem simples, direta e um conhecimento histórico espetacular. Parabéns professor!

  3. what a horrible host. at 11:05 you can see him preparing to interrupt yuval, and yural feels it necessary to raise his voice and his hands to override this host's interruption. the host makes yuval feel uncomfortable, you can see on the host's face he is petty and childlike and hold RESENTMENT for letting his guest override his interruption. these kinds of interviews are bad because they put needless pressure on the guest to tolerate the bad host

  4. I love how people, who identify themselves as "artistic" all express the same way of disbelief that even art and so called "inspiration" is just a result of the neurological-processing in our brain & body and thus principally it can be achieved by algorithms as well :-D. This depicting and misunderstanding of what AI and intelligence and art is is striking to me. It's of course amplified by a fact that most people, who identifies themselves primarily as artists try to sell out "uniqueness" , "originality" etc. It's very annoying for them to hear all art is not exactly what they believe it to be ….. or how their "common sense" tells them it to be.

  5. Thank you Yuval. You are among the handful of people in the world that I truly respect. Most so-called “intellectuals “ these days talk constantly about ethics, morality and the future of humanity without even having an iota of compassion for other sentient creatures. There are more “other” creatures in the world that humans, while we conveniently ignore them. You are a hero for being an ethical vegan and an eloquent, consciousness-raising advocate for all other animals who can suffer in the hands of greedy humans. And for that, I am eternally grateful to you. I love you like a brother.

  6. All these questions are recycled questions also, so as Harari dose more of these interviews with these intellectuals, he will keep repeating same answers to the same questions. Because there is no original and penetrating questions.

  7. Should never let this guy interview anyone. Very disrespectful of the author. Most of the time the guy was reading or writing his notes. Who let him n interview??

  8. Looks like Harari bought into the general purpose AI hype head and shoulders. "It's very frightening…." – yeah, sure.

  9. The fact that you often click on the next best recommendation in your browser or YouTube channel doesn’t mean the machine or “the algorithm knows” more about you than yourself. It’s only that you have been tamed and given up agency, just like the monkey pushing buttons to get rewards from some machine in a laboratory. It’s a preposterous idea that the machine would ‘know’ you because it can make statistically accurate predictions about your behaviour based on previous observations of your behaviour and that of others. It can only do some of that because we all have commonalities and are not entirely different from other humans. You have volunteered to teach the machine everything about specifics of your patterns of behaviour. Now you are a content addressable data record and in some virtual world of feature bundles, a faint and very blurry image of the exterior shell with which you interact with your devices, not of what is really going on inside you. The truth is it doesn’t know shit, merely based on complexity theory: you have hundreds of billions of neurones and thousand times more synapses. Only a tiny little part of your inner world is indirectly observable even to your nearest humans. You only become the slave if you really want it, and if you keep pushing buttons all day long on your smartphone or iPad. And please don’t volunteer when the next step of enslavement is the distribution of free brain interfaces. Just don’t. Instead, go hiking, paint a picture, or do some math, write something. Or if you’re a parent, distract your kids from their electronics and play with them. The reason we get enslaved by “the machine” is that we give up agency and believe in some kind of inevitable takeover because that machine provides us with a lot of carrots and occasional morsels of wisdom, just to keep us pushing buttons. It seems counterintuitive that Yuval gets so much endorsement and reverence by the techno-elite, the same herders who want to make us data cows. It’s because they believe to be good people and they are looking to his criticism in order to find gaps in their system of believes, but in way they are just looking for a better way to make a better story, just like he’s saying. In other words, you see here how a new propaganda is created. Nothing against Yuval btw, I appreciate his stuff, but I think he really bought this silly story of seeing the universe as a computer and biological entities as incarnations of algorithms, sort of a modern form of what used to be called logos. The universe is so much bigger than that, and what in nature can be assessed and represented as algorithms and data structures and turned into machine learnable entities remains a tiny part of the whole, and a minuscule part of what you are. Still, we need a lot warnings about misuse of AI but we should not fear, and keep a cool head.

  10. Thank you Yuval Noah Harari, to everyone else: If you have the possibility to: Share this talk/interview please and if you haven't read his books, I can recommend them all as perfect Hanukkah/Christmas gifts also for relatives and friends <3 See it as an investment 😉 I am ordering "Sapiens" for my daughter and the latest "21 lessons…" to friends. My own read copies I have given to the public library. We can all do something (small or big) to make this world a more wonderful world. Let's act on this good feeling we all have inside Blessing <3 Thank's again.

  11. There is one other huge obstacle how do we slowly retask the American military complex from a corp that needs a war to a corp that thrives on peace.

  12. 6:06: WHERE ARE WE HEADING merger of infotech and bio tech
    Answer: we need to understand ourselves, we need to understand our minds and where are thoughts come from.
    The knowledge will be accessible to not only us, but also the external systems. We should be scared.
    At present the algorithms are still on the surface, the big change will come when it goes under the skin. When those algorithms can monitor about heartbeat, brain activity etc ie biological sensors. overtime this can be dangerous.
    yes there will, but it doesn't matter, they only need to be better than humans

    22:00 WHO ARE WE?
    stories are told and we have a nice belief that can satisfy us. nationalism is another thing that isn't natural, something that has been told to us. we used to be only loyal to small tribes.

    got bored….

  13. Yuval says the most important genre of fiction today is science fiction. If hope he'll become a full on epic Sci-Fi writer, now that he has outlined his historic perspective on past, future and present. That would be awesome, there is literature history to be written, and time is running!

  14. Have you noticed, 51-year-old Jonathan Capehart has been dying
    his hair more often, yes, ever since he started spending more time on the radio…

  15. Pity that Jonathan Capehart wasn't prepared. They have a cover of the latest book in their back, but they haven't even touched it.

  16. 1:03:40……you have to save the species without letting them know. They will abandon you if you tell the truth. stupid sapiens

  17. I normally like Jonathan but he was woefully unprepared for this interview. It was really embarrassing and distracting to contend with his massive paper shuffling and bad syntax.

  18. The very wise and original Prof Hariri. Thanks. #SecretsSelfmadeBillionaires

  19. Yuval, you gona be human saviour….I grateful that u predicted future ….I hope this prediction would change todays choices.

  20. A lot of Jews…are very proud intellectual people…but they have missed a lot in history…such as the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

  21. This knowledge has been around long before AI….the Kudder test taken in the early 1960`s matched you with college majors and occupations by your answers to the lengthy questionnaires. In my case, at least it was quite accurate on all counts.


    I am disappointed, the desire to be published damaged his judgment.

    "In the Hebrew version Bibi will be replaced by Abu Mazen, in the Turkish version of Bibi in Erdogan, in the Chinese version of Shay Jingping in Donald Trump and in the North Korean version Kim John Ong in Harry Truman."

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