Yuval Noah Harari: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” | Talks at Google

Yuval Noah Harari: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” | Talks at Google

everyone, especially for those of you who
are here in California. My name is Wilson White,
and I’m on the public policy and government relations
team here in California. We have an exciting talk for
you today as part of our Talks at Google series, as well
as a series of conversations we’re having around AI ethics
and technology ethics more generally. So today, I’m honored to
have Professor Yuval Noah Harari with us. Yuval is an Israeli historian
and a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a dynamic speaker,
thinker, and now an international
bestselling author. He’s the author of three books. We’re going to talk about
each of those books today. The first book he published in
2014, “Sapien,” which explored some of our history as humans. His second book in 2016 had an
interesting take on our future as humans. It was “Homo Deus.” And then recently
published a new book, the “21 Lessons for
the 21st Century,” which attempts to grapple
with some of the issues, the pressing issues that
we are facing today. So we’ll talk about some of the
themes in each of those books as we go through
our conversation. But collectively, his writings
explore very big concepts like free will and
consciousness and intelligence. So we’ll have a lot to
explore with Yuval today. So with that, please join me
in welcoming Professor Yuval to Google. [APPLAUSE] YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Hello. WILSON WHITE: Thank you,
Professor, for joining us. Before getting
started, I have to say that when the
announcement went out across Google about this
talk, I got several emails from many Googlers around
the world who told me that they had either read
or are currently reading one or multiple of your books. So if you are contemplating
a fourth book, maybe on the
afterlife, no spoilers during this conversation. I want to start with maybe
some of the themes in both your current book,
“21 Lessons,” as well as “Homo Deus,” because I’m
the father of two young kids. I have two daughters,
a five-year-old and a three-year-old. And the future that you paint
in “Homo Deus” is interesting. So I’d like to ask
you, what should I be teaching my daughters? YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
That nobody knows how the world would
look like in 2050, except that it will be
very different from today. So the most important things
to emphasize in education are things like
emotional intelligence and mental stability,
because the one thing that they will need
for sure is the ability to reinvent
themselves repeatedly throughout their lives. It’s really first
time in history that we don’t really know what
particular skills to teach young people,
because we just don’t know in what kind of
world they will be living. But we do know they will
have to reinvent themselves. And especially if you think
about something like the job market, maybe the greatest
problem they will face will be psychological. Because at least
beyond a certain age, it’s very, very difficult for
people to reinvent themselves. So we kind of need
to build identities. I mean, if previously, if
traditionally people built identities like stone houses
with very deep foundations, now it makes more sense to build
identities like tents that you can fold and move elsewhere. Because we don’t know where
you will have to move, but you will have to move. WILSON WHITE: You
will have to move. So I may have to go
back to school now to learn these things so that
I can teach the next generation of humans here. In “21 Lessons for
the 21st Century,” you tackle several themes
that even we at Google, as a company who are on the
leading edge of technology and how technology is
being deployed in society, we wrestle with some
of the same issues. Tell me a bit
about your thoughts on why democracy is in crisis. That’s a theme in
the current book, and I want to
explore that a bit. Why you think liberal
democracy as we knew it is currently in crisis. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Well, the
entire liberal democratic system is built on philosophical
ideas we’ve inherited from the 18th century,
especially the idea of free will, which
underlies the basic models of the liberal world view
like the voter knows best, the customer is
always right, beauty is in the eye of the
beholder, follow your heart, do what feels good. All these liberal
models, which are the foundation of our
political and economic system. They assume that the ultimate
authority is the free choices of individuals. I mean, there are, of course,
all kinds of limitations and boundary cases
and so forth, but when push comes to
shove, for instance, in the economic field,
then corporations will tend to retreat behind
this last line of defense that this is what
the customers want. The customer is always right. If the customers want
it, it can’t be wrong. Who are you to tell the
customers that they are wrong? Now of course, there
are many exceptions, but this is the basics
of the free market. This is the first and
last thing you learn. The customer is always right. So the ultimate authority
in the economic field is the desires of the customers. And this is really based on a
philosophical and metaphysical view about free will, that the
desires of the customer, they emanate, they represent the
free will of human beings, which is the highest
authority in the universe. And therefore, we
must abide by them. And it’s the same in
the political field with the voter knows best. And this was OK for the
last two or three centuries. Because even though free will
was always a myth and not a scientific reality– I mean, science knows
of only two kinds of processes in nature. It knows about
deterministic processes and it knows about
random processes. And their combination results
in probabilistic processes. But randomness and probability,
they are not freedom. They mean that I can’t
predict your actions with 100% accuracy, because
there is randomness. But a random robot is not free. If you connect a robot, say,
to uranium, a piece of uranium, and the decisions of
the robot is determined by random processes of the
disintegration of uranium atoms, so you will never
be able to predict exactly what this robot will do. But this is not freedom. This is just randomness. Now this was always true from
a scientific perspective. Humans, certainly
they have a will. They make decisions. They make choices. But they are not free
to choose the will. The choices are not independent. They depend on a
million factors, genetic and hormonal and social
and cultural and so forth, which we don’t choose. Now up till now in
history, the humans were so complicated that
for a practical perspective, it still made sense to
believe in free will, because nobody could
understand you better than you understand yourself. You had this inner realm
of desires and thoughts and feelings which you
had privileged access to this inner realm. WILSON WHITE: Yeah, but that
hasn’t changed today, right? Like, that– YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
It has changed. There is no longer– the privilege access now belongs
to corporations like Google. They can have access to
things happening ultimately inside my body and brain,
which I don’t know about. There is somebody out
there– and not just one. All kinds of corporations and
governments that maybe not today, maybe in five years,
10 years, 20 years, they will have privileged access
to what’s happening inside me. More privileged than my access. They could understand what
is happening in my brain better than I understand it,
which means– they will never be perfect. WILSON WHITE: Right. But you will, as a
free person, like, you will have delegated that
access or that ability to this corporation or
this machine or this– YUVAL NOAH HARARI: No, you don’t
have to give them permission. I mean, in some countries maybe
you have no choice at all. But even in a democracy
like the United States, a lot of the information that
enables an external entity to hack you, nobody
asks you whether you want to give it away or not. Now at present, most
of the data that is being collected on humans is
still from the skin outwards. We haven’t seen nothing yet. We are still just at the
tip of this revolution, because at present, whether it’s
Google and Facebook and Amazon or whether it’s the government
or whatever, they all are trying to
understand people mainly on the basis of what I search,
what I buy, where I go, who I meet. It’s all external. The really big revolution,
which is coming very quickly, will be when the AI
revolution and machine learning and all that,
the infotech revolution, meets and merges with
the biotech revolution and goes under the skin. Biometric sensors or
even external devices. Now we are developing
the ability, for example, to know the blood
pressure of individuals just by looking at them. You don’t need to put
a sensor on a person. Just by looking at
the face, you can tell, what is the blood
pressure of that individual? And by analyzing tiny movements
in the eyes, in the mouth, you can tell all kinds of
things from the current mood of the person– are you angry, are you bored– to things like
sexual orientation. So we are talking about
a world in which humans are no longer a black box. Nobody really understands what
happens inside, so we say, OK. Free will. No, the box is open. And it’s open to others,
certain others more than it is open to– you
don’t understand what’s happening in your brain,
but some corporation or government or organization
could understand that. WILSON WHITE: And
that’s a theme that you explore in “Homo Deus” pretty– YUVAL NOAH HARARI: They’re
both in “Homo Deus” and in “21 Lessons.” This is like, maybe the most
important thing to understand is that this is
really happening. And at present, almost all
the attention goes to the AI. Like, now I’ve been on a
two-week tour of the US for the publication of the book. Everybody wants
to speak about AI. Like, AI. Previous book, “Homo Deus” came
out, nobody cared about AI. Two years later,
it’s everywhere. WILSON WHITE: It’s
the new hot thing. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. And I try to
emphasize, it’s not AI. The really important thing
is actually the other side. It’s the biotech. It’s the combination. It’s only the combination– it’s
only with the help of biology that AI becomes
really revolutionary. Because just do a
thought experiment. Let’s say we had the best, the
most developed AI in the world. But humans, we’re not animals. We’re not biochemical
algorithms. But they were something
like transcendent souls that make decisions
through free will. In such a world, AI would
not have mattered much, because AI in such a world could
never have replaced teachers and lawyers and doctors. You could not even
build self-driving cars in such a world. Because to put a self
driving car on the road, you need biology,
not just computers. You need to understand humans. For example, if somebody’s
approaching the road, the car needs to tell, is
this an eight-year-old, an 18-year-old,
or an 80-year-old, and needs to understand
the different behaviors of a human child, a human
teenager, and a human adult. And this is biology. And similarly, to have really
effective self-driving taxis, you need the car to
understand a lot of things about human psychology. The psychology of the passengers
coming in, what they want, and so forth. So if you take the biotech out
of the equation AI by itself won’t really go very far. WILSON WHITE: So I
want to push you there, because I think it’s easy
to arrive at a dystopian view of what that
world would look like with the bio and AI and
cognitive abilities of machines when they meet. Like, how that
can end up, right? And we see that in Hollywood,
and that dystopian view is well documented. But I want to explore
with you, like, what are some of the
benefits of that combination? And how can that lead to
an alternative world view than what’s explored more
deeply in “Homo Deus?” YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
Well, it should be emphasized that there
are enormous benefits. Otherwise, there would
be no temptation. If it was only bad,
nobody would do it. Google won’t research it. Nobody would invest in it. And it should also be emphasized
that technology is never deterministic. You can build either paradise
or hell with these technologies. They are not just– they don’t have just
one type of usage. And as a historian and as
a social critic and maybe philosopher, I
tend to focus more on the dangerous
scenarios, simply because for obvious
reasons, the entrepreneurs and the corporations and
the scientists and engineers are developing
these technologies. They naturally tend to focus
on the positive scenarios, on all the good it can do. But yes, definitely
technology, it can do a tremendous
amount of good to humanity, to take the example
of the self-driving cars. So at present, about
1.25 million people are killed each year
in traffic accidents. More than 90% of these accidents
are because of human errors. If we can replace humans
with self-driving cars, it’s not that we’ll
have no car accidents. That’s impossible. But we’ll probably save a
million lives every year. So this is a tremendous thing. And similarly, the
combination of being able to understand what’s
happening inside my body, this also implies that you can
provide people with the best health care in history. You can, for example,
diagnose diseases long before the
person understands that there is something wrong. At present, the human
mind or human awareness is still a very critical
junction in health care. Like, if something
happens inside my body and I don’t know about it,
I won’t go to the doctor. So if something like,
I don’t know, cancer is now spreading in my liver
and I still don’t feel anything, I won’t go to the doctor. I won’t know about it. Only when I start feeling
pain and nausea and all kinds of things I can’t explain. So after some time,
I go to the doctor. He does all kinds of tests. And finally, they discover,
oh, something’s wrong. And very often,
by that time, it’s very expensive and painful. Not necessarily too
late, but expensive and painful to take care of it. If I could have an AI
doctor monitoring my body 24 hours a day with biometric
sensors and so forth, it could discover this
long before I feel anything at this stage when
it’s still very cheap and easy and
painless to cure it. So this is wonderful. WILSON WHITE: But
in that world, it’s an AI doctor, and
not a human doctor. And I think one of
the potential outcomes that you warn about is AI or
machines or that combination of bio and AI replacing
us, replacing us as humans. And I’d like to think that
one thing that makes us human is having meaning in life or
having a purpose for living. That’s kind of a unique
thing that humans have. And I don’t think it’s
something that we would readily want to give up, right? So as this technology
is evolving and we’re developing
it, it’s likely something that we’ll
bake in this need to have meaning and
purpose in life. You talk about in “21 Lessons”
this notion that God is dead, or is God back? And the role that
religion may play in how we progress as humans. Is there a place for
that notion of God or religion to
capture and secure this notion of meaning in
life or purpose in life? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Well, it
all depends on the definitions. I mean, there are
many kinds of gods, and people understand
very different things by the word religion. If you think about
God, so usually people have very two extremely
different gods in mind when they say the word God. One god is the cosmic mystery. We don’t understand why there is
something rather than nothing, why the Big Bang happened. What is human consciousness? There are many things we don’t
understand about the world. And some people choose
to call these mysteries by the name of God. God is the reason there is
something rather than nothing. God is behind human
consciousness. But the most characteristic
thing of that god is that we know absolutely
nothing about him, her, it, they. There is nothing concrete. It’s a mystery. And this is kind
of the god we talk about when late at night in the
desert we sit around a campfire and we think about
the meaning of life. That’s one kind of god. I have no problem at
all with this god. I like it very much. [LAUGHTER] Then there is another god
which is the petty lawgiver. The chief characteristic
of this god, we know a lot of extremely
concrete things about that god. We know what he thinks about
female dress code, what kind of dresses he likes
women to wear. We know what he thinks
about sexuality. We know what he thinks
about food, about politics, and we know these
tiny little things. And this is a god people talk
about when they stand around, burning a heretic. We’ll burn you because
you did something that this god– we know
everything about this god, and he doesn’t like it that
you do this, so we burn you. And it’s like a
magic trick that when you come and talk
about God– so how do you know that God
exists, and so forth? People would say, well, the Big
Bang and human consciousness, and science can’t explain this,
and science can’t explain that. And this is true. And then like a magician
swapping one card for another, they will, shh! Take out the mystery god and
place the petty lawgiver, and you end up with
something strange like, because we don’t
understand the Big Bang, women must dress
with long sleeves and men shouldn’t
have sex together. And what’s the connection? I mean, how did you
get from here to there? So I prefer to use
different terms here. And it’s the same with religion. People understand very
different things with this word. I tend to separate
religions from spirituality. Spirituality is about questions. Religion is about answers. Spirituality is when you have
some big question about life like, what is humanity? What is the good? Who am I? WILSON WHITE: Our
purpose in life. Like, why are we here? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: What
should I do in life? And this is kind of–
and you go on a quest, looking deeply into
these questions. And you’re willing to
go after these questions wherever they take you. WILSON WHITE: You
could just Google it. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. Maybe in the future. But so far, at least
some of these questions, I think when you type, like,
what is the meaning of life, you get 42. Like, it is the number one
result in Google search. So you go on a spiritual quest. And religion is
the exact opposite. Religion is somebody comes and
tells you, this is the answer. You must believe it. If you don’t
believe this answer, then you will burn in
hell after you die, or we’ll burn you here
even before you die. [LAUGHTER] And it’s really opposite things. Now I think that at the
present moment in history, spirituality is
probably more important than in any previous
time in history, because we are now forced to
confront spiritual questions, whether we like it or not. WILSON WHITE: And do you
think that confrontation with those questions, that will
inform how we allow technology to develop and be deployed? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Exactly
Now throughout history, you always had a small
minority of people who was very interested
in the big spiritual and philosophical
questions of life, and most people just ignored
them and went along with their, like, you know, fighting
about who owns this land and who this goad herd, to
whom it belongs, and so forth. Now we live in a very
unique time in history when engineers must tackle
spiritual questions. If you are building a
self-driving car, by force, you have to deal with
questions like free will. By force, you have to deal with
the example everybody gives. The self-driving car. Suddenly two kids jump– running after a ball
jump in front of the car. The only way to save the two
kids is to swerve to the side and fall off a cliff and
kill the owner of the car who is asleep in the backseat. What should the car do? Now philosophers
have been arguing about these questions
for thousands of years with very little
impact on human life. But engineers, they
are very impatient. If you want to put the
self-driving car on the road tomorrow or next
year, you need to tell the algorithm what to do. And the amazing thing
about this question now is that whatever you decide,
this will actually happen. Previously, with philosophical
discussions, like you had, I don’t know, Kant and
Schopenhauer and Mill discussing this issue,
should I kill the two kids or should I sacrifice my life? And even if they
reach an agreement– and very little impact
on actual behavior. Because even if you
agree theoretically, this is the right thing to
do, at a time of crisis, philosophy has little power. You react from
your gut, not from your philosophical theories. But with a self-driving car,
if you program the algorithm to kill the driver– and not the driver, the
owner of the car, and not the two kids, you
have a guarantee, a mathematical
guarantee that this is exactly what the car will do. So you have to think far more
carefully than ever before, what is the right answer? So in this sense, very old
spiritual and philosophical questions are now practical
questions of engineering, which you cannot escape
if you want, for example, to put a self-driving
car on the road. WILSON WHITE: I want to go back
to this concept of religion versus spirituality
and the role they play in “Sapiens,” your first book. You talk about this concept
of human fictions or stories that we create as humans, I
guess to get us through life and to get us through our
interactions with each other. Those fictions, those
stories, as you put it, they’ve served us well. They’ve resulted in a lot
of good for humankind, but have also been the
source of wars and conflict and human suffering. How do you square
that with this moment we’re in where spirituality
is an integral part in how we think about integrating
technology in our lives? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Phew. That’s a big question. Well, so far in
history, in order to organize humans
on a large scale, you always had to have some
story, some fiction which humans invented, but which
enough humans believed in order to agree on how to behave. It’s not just religion. This is the obvious example. And even religious
people would agree that all religions except
one are fictional stories. [LAUGH] Except for, of
course, my religion. If you ask a Jew, then
he will tell you, yes. Judaism is the truth. That’s for sure. But all these
billions of Christians and Muslims and Hindus, they
believe in fictional stories. I mean, all this story about
Jesus rising from the dead and being the Son of
God, this is fake news. WILSON WHITE: Wait,
that’s not true? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: If you
ask a Jew, like a rabbi. Even though rabbis tend to be,
like– to hedge their bets. [LAUGH] So maybe not. But then you go
to the Christians. They will say, no,
no, no, no, no no. This is true. But the Muslims, they
believe in fake news. All this story about
Muhammad meeting the archangel Gabriel and
the Quran coming from Heaven, this is all fake news. And then the Muslims, they’ll
tell you this about Hinduism. So even in religion,
it’s very clear. The more interesting
thing is that the same is true in something
in the economy. Corporation, you can’t
have a modern economy without corporations like
Google and without money, like dollars. But corporations
and currencies, they are also just
stories we invented. Google has no physical
or biological reality. It is a story created
by the powerful shamans we call lawyers. [LAUGHTER] Even if you ask a
lawyer, what is Google, like, you push them
to, what is it, they will tell you
it’s a legal fiction. It’s not this chair. It belongs to Google, I think. But it’s not it. It’s not the money. It’s the manager. It’s not the workers. It’s a story created by lawyers. And for example,
I mean, if somehow with some natural
calamity destroys– like, there is an earthquake
and the Googleplex collapses, Google still exists. Even if many of the workers
and managers are killed, it just hires new ones. [LAUGHTER] And it still has
money in the bank. And even if there is no money
in the bank, they can get a loan and build new buildings
and hire new people, and everything is OK. But then if you have
the most powerful shaman like the Supreme Court of the
United States comes and says, I don’t like your story. I think you need to be broken
into different fictions. Then that’s the end. WILSON WHITE: So– so you– [LAUGHTER] That’s a lot to unpack. [LAUGHTER] So the advent that we’re
in now with fake news and really seriously
questioning what veracity means and how veracity impacts these
kind of foundational things that you laid out earlier in
your remarks that have allowed us to work with each other,
work across borders, et cetera, with this, where you are on this
notion of stories and fictions that we have, is this advent of
fake news, is that a reality? Is that where we should be in
terms of questioning what’s true and what’s not true? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: On the one
hand, fake news is old news. We’ve had them
throughout history, and sometimes in much worse
form than what we see today. WILSON WHITE: But is
there such thing as truth? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yes,
there is absolutely. I mean, there is reality. I mean, you have
all these stories people tell about reality. WILSON WHITE: I see. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: But
ultimately, there is reality. The best test of reality that I
know is the test of suffering. Suffering is the most
real thing in the world. If you want to know
whether a story is about a real entity
or a fictional entity, you should just ask, can
this entity actually suffer? Now Google cannot suffer. Even if the stock goes down,
even if a judge comes and says, this is a monopoly, you have to
break it up, it doesn’t suffer. Humans can suffer
like the managers, the owners of the stocks, the
employees, they can suffer. WILSON WHITE: My girls. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. They can certainly suffer. But we know, we can very easily
that Google is just a story by this simple test
that it cannot suffer. And it’s the same of nations. It’s the same of currencies. The dollar is just a
fiction we created. The dollar doesn’t suffer
if it loses its value. WILSON WHITE: Let me
push you on that, right? So oftentimes, like
just in the US, they say kind of the
system we set up in the US is an experiment. It’s often styled as
an experiment democracy with checks and
balances, et cetera. Under one view of that, you can
say that that’s kind of a story that we’ve created
in America, right? We’ve created this kind
of really nice story. But if that was
broken apart, like, that entity is not suffering. But if that experiment is the
thing, the proper functioning of those institutions
and the things that support that–
so that’s the thing. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: We know
that it functions properly because it alleviates suffering. It provides health care,
it provides safety. And if it doesn’t,
then we would say the experiment doesn’t work. The experiment– WILSON WHITE: So would you say
that experiment is a fiction? Or is that experiment reality? Is it a thing? YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
The experiment is a story that we share. It’s things that we humans
have invented and created in order to serve certain
needs and desires that we have. It is a created story, and
not an objective reality. But it is nevertheless one
of the most powerful forces in the world. When I say that something
is a fiction or a story, I don’t mean to imply it’s bad
or that it’s not important. No. Some of the best
things in the world and the most powerful
forces in the world are these shared fictions. Nations and corporations
and banks and so forth, they are all stories
we created, but they are the most powerful
forces today in the world, far more powerful than any
human being or any animal. And they can be a
tremendous force for good. The key is to remember that
we created them to serve us, and not that we are here
in order to serve them. The trouble really
begins when people lose sight of the simple reality
that we are real, they are not. And a lot of people
throughout history and also today, they kind of
take it upside down. They think the nation
is more real than me. I am here to serve
it, and not it is here to serve me and
my fellow humans. WILSON WHITE: Very interesting. So we’re going to open
it up for questions from the audience in
a few minutes here, but I want to try
to get an easy win. So in “21 Lessons,” you
tackle really big challenges and questions that we’re
wrestling with today. Of those questions, which do you
think is the easiest to solve? And what should we be doing
to go about solving them? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Ooh. What is the easiest to solve? [EXHALE] [LAUGH] WILSON WHITE: Trying to get
quick wins on the board here. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. I’ll address the
fake news question, not because it’s the
easiest to solve, but also maybe because it’s one of
the most relevant to what you’re doing here in Google. And I would say that the current
incarnation of the fake news problem has a lot to do
with the model of the news and information market, that we
have constructed a model which basically says,
exciting news for free in exchange for your attention. And this is a very
problematic model, because it turns human attention
into the most scarce resource, and you get more and more
competition for human attention with more and more
exciting news that– again, and some of the smartest
people in the world have learned how to
excite our brain, how to make us click
on the next news story. And truth gets
completely pushed aside. It’s not part of the equation. The equation is
excitement, attention. Excitement, attention. And on the collective
level, I think the solution to
this problem would be to change the model
of the news market to high-quality news that
costs you a lot of money, but don’t abuse your attention. It’s very strange that we are
in a situation when people are willing to
pay a lot of money for high-quality food
and high-quality cars, but not for high-quality news. And this has a lot to
do with the architecture of the information market. And I think there are many
things that you here in Google can do in order to help society
change the model of the news market. WILSON WHITE: I’d want to
continue to explore that, and whether that would create,
like, an economic divide or exacerbate the
current divide, but I’m going to open it up
now for audience questions. We have a microphone
here on the side. Start with you. AUDIENCE: Hi. Thank you so much for
writing your books. They are completely
wonderful, and I’ve had a joy reading them. So one of the things that
you kind of explored here is we are facing a couple
of global problems. And historically, we have never
created global organizations which are responsible for
solving global problems who had any ability to enforce them. And even when
we’ve created them, they have come after
great tragedies. So how can we sort of make
that happen and make somebody responsible, and
have the ability to have those organizations
enforce those solutions? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. I mean, it’s not
going to be easy. But I think the
most important thing is to change the
public conversation and focus it on the
global problems. If people focus
on local problems, they don’t see the need for
effective global cooperation. So the first step is to
tell people again and again and again, look. The three biggest problems
that everybody on the planet is now facing are nuclear
war, climate change, and technological disruption. And even if we are able to
prevent nuclear war and climate change, still AI and
biotech are going to completely disrupt the job
market and even the human body. And we need to figure
out how to regulate this and how to prevent the
dystopian consequences, and make sure that
the more utopian consequences materialize. And for that, we need
global cooperation. So it would be
obvious to everybody, you cannot prevent climate
change on a national level, and you cannot regulate
AI on a national level. Whatever regulation
the US adopts, if the Chinese are not adopting
it, it won’t do much help. So you need cooperation here. And then it goes into
practical political issues. I mean, you have
elections coming up, mid-term elections in the US. So if you go to a town meeting
with an inspiring congressman or congresswoman, so you just
ask them, if I elect you, what will you do about the
danger of climate change, about the danger of nuclear
war, and about getting global regulations for
AI and for biotech? What’s your plan? And if they say, oh, I
haven’t thought about it, then maybe don’t
vote for that person. [LAUGHTER] WILSON WHITE: Question. AUDIENCE: Hi, Yuval. Thanks for coming here today. So in one of your
talks, you suggested that to avoid getting
our hearts hacked, we need to stay ahead by
knowing ourselves better. And it seems to me that the
process of knowing yourself needs a lot of intelligence. And in some ways, it’s a
skill that needs to developed. I mean, the intellect
that we have as humans seems fairly new when
compared to other properties like we got evolutionarily. So how do you
suggest that we can learn to think and use our
intelligence better, and also do that at a scale? Because if only some
people know themselves but millions around you
or billions or on the don’t, then you
can only go so far. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: No, I don’t
think that knowing yourself is necessarily all
about intelligence. Certainly not in the narrow
sense of intelligence. If you include emotional
intelligence and so forth, then yes. But in the more narrow sense
of IQ, I think this is not– there are many very
intelligent people in the world who
don’t know themselves at all, which is an extremely
dangerous combination. Now some people explore
themselves through therapy. Some use meditation. Some use art. Some use poems. They go on a long hike, go for
a month to the Appalachian Trail and get to know
themselves on the way. There are many ways to do
it, which are not necessarily about intellect. It’s not like reading
articles about brain science. That’s going to
help in some ways. And in this sense, I
think it’s a very kind of democratizing ability or
force to get to know yourself. After all, you– you’re
always with yourself. It’s not like you need some
special observatory and to get some very rare machines
from, I don’t know, that cost millions of dollars. You just need yourself. AUDIENCE: Sure. But what about the
art of thinking? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: What about? AUDIENCE: The art of thinking. YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
The art of thinking. AUDIENCE: I mean, people
are very intelligent, but they don’t really
use their intelligence to understand
themselves [INAUDIBLE].. YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Yeah. Again, there is no
easy way to do it. If it was easy to get
to know yourself better, everybody would do
it long ago, and we would be living in a very,
very different world. WILSON WHITE: We
have folks joining us from around the world as
well, so I have a question from the question bank. Compassion is the
critical underpinning of any successful
society, yet I believe that technology is reducing
our capacity for empathy. It feels that we no longer value
compassion, perhaps even seeing compassion as weak. What are, in your
view, effective ways to motivate members of society
to develop their compassion? YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
No, I don’t think that technology is inherently
undermining compassion. It can go both ways. Certainly,
communication technology can make you aware of
the plight of people on the other side of the world. And without that,
you may be extremely compassionate about your
immediate, like, family members and neighbors, and won’t
care at all about people on the other side of the world. So I don’t think there is
an inherent contradiction or collision between
technology and compassion. But it is true that the
way we design technology can make us less
compassionate, and even the way that we design ourselves. For most of history, you had
economic and political systems trying to shape people. And in the past, they
did it with education and with culture. And in the present
and future, we are likely to do
it more and more with biotech and with
brain computer interfaces. So our ability to manipulate
ourselves is growing. And therefore, it’s
extremely important to remember to take
compassion into account. Otherwise, the danger is
that armies and corporations and government in
many cases, they want something
like intelligence. They want more intelligent
workers and soldiers. They want more decisive workers. And sort of, don’t take
a whole day to decide. I want you to decide
this in half an hour. And as our ability to
manipulate humans– and I mean manipulate– re-engineer the body and
the brain as it grows– we might engineer more
decisive and intelligent humans at the price of compassion. Which many corporations
and armies and governments find either irrelevant
or even problematic, because it causes
people to be hesitant and to take more time
about the decisions, and so on and so forth. So we need to remember
the enormous importance of compassion. And again, it goes back
also to the question about getting to
know yourself, which I think is the key to
developing compassion. Not just because when
you understand your own, that this makes me miserable,
then you understand, oh. The same thing may make
other people also miserable. It’s even much deeper than that. When you really get
to know yourself, you realize that when
you ignore others and when you mistreat others,
very often, it harms you even before it harms them. It’s a very unpleasant
experience to be angry. So your anger may harm
other people, or maybe not. Maybe you’re boiling with
anger about somebody, and you don’t do anything about
it because she’s your boss. But you don’t harm her,
but your anger harms you. So the more you understand
yourself, the greater incentive you have to do something about
my anger, about my hatred, about my fear. And most people discover that
as they develop more compassion towards others, they also
experience far more peace within themselves. WILSON WHITE: Wow. Another live question. AUDIENCE: Thank you. After reading your
books, it occurs to me that you’ve most likely
educated yourself both broadly and deeply to be the
foundation for your ideas. For those of us that are
interested in cultivating our mind similarly,
wondering if you could share a little bit about
your reading habits and how you choose
what to consume. YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
My reading habits. I read very eclectically. Like, no book is barred
from entering the book list. But then I tend to be extremely
impatient about the books I actually read. I would begin, like, 10
books and drop nine of them after 10 pages. It’s not always
the wisest policy, but it’s my policy that if a
book didn’t really teach me something new, had some
interesting insight in the first 10 pages,
the chances it will– it could be that
on page 100 there will be some mind-blowing
idea that I’m now missing. But there are so many– I keep thinking, there
are so many books, wonderful books out there
that I will never read, so why waste time on
the less optimal book? So I will try, like, a book
on biology and then economics and then psychology and
then fiction and whatever, and just go through them
quite quickly until I find something that really grabs me. WILSON WHITE: Another
live question. AUDIENCE: Hi, Mr. Harari. Thanks for being here. Fascinating talk as always. I do a little bit of
meditation myself, and I’ve heard that you
do a lot of meditation on the order of hours a day. Is that right? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: I try
to do two hours every day, and I try to go every year to a
long retreat of 45 or 60 days. AUDIENCE: So I
was wondering, how do you feel that has influenced
your life and the ideas that you have? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: Oh, it’s
had a tremendous influence, I think both on my
inner peace of mind, but also on my work
as a scientist. And maybe the two most
important influences is that first it
enabled me to have more clarity and more focus. And certainly when you write
about such big subjects like trying to summarize the
whole of history in 400 pages. So having a very,
very focused mind is very important, because
the great difficulty is that everything
kind of distracts you. You start writing
about the Roman Empire and you say, well,
I have to explain this and this and this
and this, and you end up with 4,000 pages. So we have to be very–
what is really important, and what can be left outside? And the other thing is that
at least the meditation that I practice, which is
with passive meditation, it’s all about really
knowing the difference between the fictions
and stories generated by our mind and the reality. What is really
happening right now? And when I meditate,
the thing that happens is that constantly, the mind is
like a factory that constantly generates stories about
myself, about other people, about the world. And they are very attractive. Like, I get
identified with them. And the meditation
is constantly, don’t. It’s just a story. Leave it. Just try to stay with what is
really happening right now. And this is the central
practice in meditation. It’s also a guiding principle
when I study history or when I study what’s
happening in the world. AUDIENCE: Great. Thank you. WILSON WHITE: Let’s take
another question from the Dory. With inequality rising
across most nations in the last few decades,
what is your perspective on how we can use technological
growth to solve this problem and create a more
equitable world? Do we need a different economic
paradigm to achieve this? YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
Yes, we probably need a different economic
paradigm, because we are entering kind
of uncharted waters, especially because of
the automation revolution and the growing likelihood
that more and more people might be completely pushed
out of the job market, not just because there
won’t be enough jobs, but simply because the pace
of change in the job market will accelerate. So even if there
are enough jobs, people don’t have the
psychological balance and stamina to constantly
retrain, reskill, or reinvent themselves. And so I think the biggest
problem in the job market is really going to be the
psychological problem. And then what do you do when
more and more people are left out? And there are
explorations of new models like universal basic
income and so forth, which are worth exploring. I don’t have the answers. I will just say that
anybody who thinks in terms like
universal basic income should take the word universal
very, very seriously, and not settle for
national basic income. Because the greatest
inequality we are facing will probably be
inequality between countries, and not within countries. Some countries are likely
to become extremely wealthy due to the automation
revolution, and California is certainly
one of these places. Other countries might
lose everything, because their entire
economy depends on things like money or labor,
which will lose its importance, and they just don’t
have the resources and the educational system
to kind of turn themselves into high-tech hubs. So the really crucial
question is not, what do we do
about, I don’t know, Americans in Indiana
who lose their jobs? The really important
question is, what do we do about people
in Guatemala or Bangladesh who lose their jobs? This should be, I
think, the focus of this question of inequality. WILSON WHITE: OK. We’ll take another
live question. AUDIENCE: Hello, Mr. Harari. Thank you for doing
this Q&A. So at Google, we have a responsibility to
build products and services which not only achieve
results for our shareholders, but also that actually
benefit our end users. So in order to spend
less time hacking humans and spend more time
reducing suffering, we need to understand what type
of future we want to build. So what I wanted
to ask you is, what are your personal methodologies
for making predictions about the future? And what suggestions
would you give to Googlers who want to have
a more versed understanding of the future? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: As I
said in the very beginning, I don’t think we can
predict the future, but I think we can influence it. What I try to do as a
historian– and even when I talk about the future,
I define myself as a historian, because I think that history
is not the study of the past. History is the
study of change, how human societies and political
systems and economies change. And what I try to do is to
map different possibilities rather than make predictions. This is what will
happen in 2050. And we need to keep a
very broad perspective. One of the biggest
dangers is when we have a very
narrow perspective, like we develop a new
technology and we think, oh, this technology
will have this outcome. And we are convinced
of this prediction, and we don’t take into account
that the same technology might have very different outcomes. And then we don’t prepare. And again, as I said
in the beginning, it’s especially important
to take into account the worst possible outcomes
in order to be aware of them. So I would say whenever
you are thinking about the future, the future
impact of a technology and developing, create a map
of different possibilities. If you see just one possibility,
you’re not looking wide enough. If you see two or three, it’s
probably also not wide enough. You need a map of, like, four
or five different possibilities, minimum. WILSON WHITE: Let’s take
another live question. AUDIENCE: Hey, Mr. Harari. So my question is– I’ll start very
broad, and then I’ll narrow it down for the focus. I’m really interested
in, what do you think are the
components that make these fictional
stories so powerful in how they guide human nature? And then if I narrow
it down is, I’m specifically interested in
the self-destruction behavior of humans. How can these fictional
stories led by a few people convince the mass to
literally kill or die for that fictional story? YUVAL NOAH HARARI: It again
goes back to hacking the brain and hacking the human animal. It’s been done throughout
history, previously just by trial and error, without the
deep knowledge of brain science and evolution we have today. But to give an
example, like if you want to convince
people to persecute and exterminate some other group
of people, what you need to do is really latch onto the disgust
mechanisms in the human brain. Evolution has
shaped homo sapiens with very powerful disgust
mechanisms in the brain to protect us against diseases,
against all kinds of sources of potential disease. And if you look at the
history of bias and prejudice and genocide, one
recurring theme is that it repeatedly
kind of latches onto these disgust mechanisms. And so you would find things
like women are impure, or these other
people, they smell bad and they bring diseases. And very, very often
disgust is at the center. So you’ll often find comparison
between certain types of humans and rats or cockroaches,
or all kinds of other disgusting things. So if you want to
instigate genocide, you start by hacking the disgust
mechanisms in the human brain. And this is very, very deep. And if it’s done
from an early age, it’s extremely
difficult afterwards. People can– they
know intellectually that it’s wrong to say that
these people are disgusting, that these people,
they smell bad. But they know it intellectually. But when you place them,
like, in a brain scanner, they can’t help it. If they were raised– I mean, so we can still
do something about it. We can still kind
of defeat this. But it’s very difficult,
because it really goes to the core of the brain. WILSON WHITE: So I’ll
end on a final question, because we’re at time. When Larry and Sergey,
when they founded Google, they did so with
this deep belief in technology’s ability
to improve people’s lives everywhere. So if you had a magic wand
and you could give Google the next big project for us to
work on, in 30 seconds or less, what would you grant
us as our assignment? YUVAL NOAH HARARI:
An AI system that gets to know me in order to
protect me and not in order to sell me products or make me
click on advertisements and so forth. WILSON WHITE: All right. Mission accepted. [LAUGH] Thank you, guys. [APPLAUSE]

100 thoughts on “Yuval Noah Harari: “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” | Talks at Google

  1. For everyone who comes to comment just to complain about the interviewer says something about you.  Regardless this was a dynamic conversation.  Check out Yuval and Mark Z Facebook, it's not that much different.   Instead of being negative, how about just post the question you have or would like to know.  Remember everything happens for a reason.  Maybe it was an opportunity for you to learn patience.

  2. If you want to know yourself, develop a meditation practice so that you stay aware of your thoughts and emotion and don`t get swept away as strongly by your desires, jealousy, hate, etc. Develop compassion for yourself and extend it to others. We have to start with ourselves. More people like Yuval Noah!

  3. At many intervals during his speech (and this goes for most of his talks), if he could speak more eloquently, hundreds of his phrases could be narrowed down to only paragraph. Very few points which are expressed in so many arbitrarily equivalent sentences. This is inappropriate and amateur public speaking.
    Moreover, for someone opposing opinionated and religious notions throughout human history; not only that his manner of expression and criticism towards them is not fair on many occasions, he speaks quite DOGMATICALLY of issues he assumes indefinite, without defensible reasoning. And he doesn't seem to realize that certain subjects he presupposes as incomprehensible, might just be beyond HIS grasp, and not inconceivable for all intellectuals.

  4. Dear Mr. Harari, people say if you meditate successfully you love “what is”. Why do you divide religions in “good” and “bad”? Are you not supposed to be neutral and show respect? Are religions not the spiritual home for billions of people? I hope you find a way to use meditation to be deeply connected with the world. Right now you are smart – JUST smart – but you might have at the same time the potential to be deeply enlightened.

  5. Is it not true that stones are real but they do not suffer like a biological animal? If yes, then suffering as the best test of reality — that could apply for real sentient beings — apparently fails for the vast rest of the world that is inanimate.

  6. 47:53 – 2 hours meditation per day and a long retreat of 45 to 60 days once a year.. Well… there you go. That is everyone else in the world ruled out. I get 20 days a year off and I can't take too many of them together and I am in the top 5% of wealthy people on the planet https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/how-rich-am-i/.
    What an unbalanced world we live in.

  7. Google as a corporation has no physical existence. It is a story that was created by the powerful shamans we call lawyers….. that's classic!

  8. This guy from Google is incapable of leading an interview… he's constantly interrupting Harari, it's so irritating.

  9. الملحدون اصحاب اللواط في نار جهنم خالدون .نار ذات لهب .باسم الله الرحمن الرحيم :قل يا ايها الكافرون لا اعبد ما تعبدون ولا انتم عابدون ما اعبد ولا انا عابد ما عبدتم ولا انتم عابدون ما اعبد لكم دينكم ولي ديني صدق الله العظيم .وصدق رسوله محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم.

  10. Harari: I think you should go to see a Psychiatrist, after reading your books, I have no doubts you are either an agent paid by China or you have a serious mental problem to fix.

  11. Tamil translation of this interview was published in Kanaiyazhi Tamil magazine. It's available on http://bharatheechudar.blogspot.com/2019/02/21-21.html?m=1.

  12. The woman at 39:45 has such an important question. She asks, how do we develop the skill of knowing ourselves? How do we become aware and understanding of our own patterns of thought/behavior/emotion? Harari (who is a genius and I'm sure addresses this elsewhere) seems to miss her nudging him to address the fact that we are never taught how to reflect on and understand these things. We don't receive any education in "the art of thinking" by which I think she is referring to emotional intelligence. The lack of education makes developing these critical skills very hard. They are teachable skills that are not being taught.

  13. Rather telling that he puts Hinduism in the same bucket with the word of god or monotheistic faiths which proclaim they're the only truth. That's the complete anithesis of the Hindu faith where all ways to the truth or divinity are valid

  14. The most relevant and urgent question has to be: why are we still going
    on by overcrowding the world? By god sake, history teaches us there have
    been enough wars to mineralise the world's population.

    Poor Watson! He also can't help us to live forever. Allah can. In hell
    or in his whorehouse. For ever! With virgins of 9 years. Exactly copied
    from the idea of the historical perverted pedophile, psychopath, sadist
    and illiterate arab desert prophet Muhamed who was 54 when he fucked his
    wife (Aisha) for the first time when she was nine years old and she
    still playing with dolls. The question is, what did Muhamed in the
    meantime between her age of 6 and 9? Muhamed married her when she was 6.

  15. I've read all of his books, but Homo Deus has changed my life. Do you know when you really want something but you don't know what it is? That's exactly what happened to me when I read that. When it comes to knowledge, history and improving the way I see the world, this book was everything I could ever crave for.

  16. Lesson 22
    God exists. There is not even a small doubt for me.

    Every atheist thinks of God on the deathbed. Please watch this:





    or even God's Not Dead (2014) movie

  17. I hope, in the future, neurophysiology will pull us to be the best version of ourselves we can be, and that we can choose our genes by a very clear consciousness to be able not to choose to be a criminal or a psychopath. Bravo Yuval!!

  18. Reading his books have made me more suicidal than I was before so I came to the conclusion that I would stop working for money and being a slave and go and live my dream while I still can, and I won't be here in 5 years. Hate this world 🤬

  19. The ‘interviewer’ is Wilson White, a public policy & government relations senior counsel on Google’s policy team. Therefore, NOT a professional interviewer. He probably did his best, but Harari should have had THE best! Nevertheless, any occasion is a good occasion to hear one of THE best forward thinkers of our times. Lou in Montreal, Canada

  20. all of these looming existential catastrophes seem to be making us more cooperative on a global scale

  21. I'm fond of his book sapiens. I had never read history from such perspective. This guy has dug it completely deep

  22. If You do not get rid of the crazy techno -scientists…The Crazy Techno-scientists will get rid of You…

  23. the story of jesus is the story about the end of the shaman or god king, that flourished in egypt

  24. Reading your book! Absolutely love it! Recommended by a human, for a human. However, bet the title was created by an algorithm! Just guessing! Everyone should read the his book!

  25. I missed the type of meditation he practises. How it that spelled? Did he say 'passive' like the captions state?

  26. Be careful about someone who has the recipies of how to change the world. Even a statement that such change is necessary should make you suspicious. Look deeper and you find a lot of utopia in his presentation. He isn't a scientist, he is a historian. Predictions of outcome is an integral part of science, but he admits he isn't even interested in predictions.

  27. This conversation in itself is a good example of how stuck we still are in the liberal philosophy of free will. The Google-guy doesn’t get it.

  28. Harari's reading method: reading many books, just a few pages, grasping what is new. No need to read a hundred pages. He is thinker which insights are just surprising.

  29. 08.07.2019…………siete tutti voi esseri umanoidi delle scimmie ragionate in gruppo decidete in gruppo operate a tutti i livelli in 1 o piu' gruppi…………..care scimmie non avete la formula per scappare via dalla prigione dell' assoluto dell'universo del vuoto del cosmo…………………concludendo non godrete mai e poi mai della liberta' e della felicita'…………………..nota bene prima o poi sparira' l'assoluto l'universo il vuoto ed il cosmo…………..ma chi gode della formula della liberta' e felicita……………………..si godra' l'esistenza SALTANDO FORA DALLA PIGNATA…………….pivello di ebreo IUVAL NOAH HARARI…………..IN KULO ALLA IPOCRISIA DELLA RAZZA UMANA……………….!

  30. A lot of very wobbly ideas being promoted here in a very confident package. For example, around 30:44 Harari says "the best test of reality I know is the test of suffering …. If you want to know if a story is about a real entity or a fictional entity then you should just ask can this entity suffer?" He then goes on to argue that Google can't suffer so it is not real. But by this definition the ground under your feet is unreal too and so is the keyboard I am typing on.

  31. At 57.00 Harari says that "if you want to commit genocide then you begin by hacking the disgust mechanisms in the brain." A closer look at the roots of the Holocaust shows that you first need to have intellectual respectability for racism … which comes very conveniently from Darwinsim which is the foundation for all Harari's thinking.

    The full title of Darwin’s revolutionary publication was “On the Origin
    of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured
    Races in the Struggle for Life.” The second part of the title shows that
    Darwin’s ideas were overtly racist. In the eighty years between its
    publication and the outbreak of the WWII, people were enthusiastically
    applying the ‘favoured race’ logic to public policies in Europe and

    In “From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism
    in Germany,” Professor Richard Weikart shows how Darwinist thinkers in
    Germany began applying the good of the race as the sole criterion of
    public policy. What started as proposals to control the breeding of people
    who were considered racially inferior, ended with the gas chambers for a
    whole people group. Richard Evans, Professor of Modern History,
    University of Cambridge, also recognises the role of a variety of Darwinist
    writers and scientists in providing Hitler and the Nazis with the scientific
    justification for their policies.

    I explore these ideas carefully in my forthcoming book: www.faithtechbook.com

  32. I don't understand why so many commenters think that the host was dumb/incompetent. I think he did fine. Not stellar, but fine. After all, Google is known for its programmers, not talkers.

  33. A great video despite the uninspired interviewer, repeatedly interrupting and unable to engage with the answers he was getting.

  34. "Compassion is the basis for any society" is the leftists bias perspective on this question. The work of Johnathan Haidt shows that "authority", "sanctity" and "ingroup purity" also provide an important basis for group survival.

  35. 49:50 till end: A warning for people of the nations promoting a prejudice or a hatred towards a country or a race or a religion.

  36. It's a real shame that Harari is a moral relativist.

    Harari needs biology lessons.

    Morals are built-in our biology.

    Everyone know the same thing about being unjustly accused. Your biology tells you that truth serves compassion and justice. Every human knows the same truth.

    No, morals are not purely psychological. Morals are not whatever you happen to think.

    Every human needs compassion to survive infancy, and everyone looks for love at the end of life.

    There's no subjectivity involving the function of biology to social order.

    It's a shame because otherwise he seems really bright.

    Biology lessons are in order. Learn about the functions of emotions and instincts.

  37. Harari begins "21 Lessons for 21st. Century" with a call for clarity in a world deluged by irrelevant information. No one can provide this clarity as effectively as Harari. For this reason I have given this book to all my children and have recommended it to my friends. Read it, reflect on it, to help you explore what you can (and must) do to build a sustainable and humane future for all persons.

    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 Shi Jingping in Donald Trump and in the North Korean version Kim John Ong in Harry Truman."

  39. @25:00 philosophy might have little power but economic theory did and does exert this kind of power: for instance telling that profit is good, and you should maximize shareholders value no matter what. So, it is not exactly true that this happens for the first time.

  40. SOS…SOS…SOS…From…Iran
    Please help free Iran from Evil Islam and Mafia state Russia.
    Islam is a dangerous virus so is Russian Mafia state.

  41. Just the final words! Lol
    Funny thing is that the youtube here suggests you some video links to click! Lol

  42. I have question regarding evolution and my ancestors. How many ancestors experiences do I incorporate in my genes. Let’s assume that a new generation is born every 20 years. The purpose is to calculate all ancestors 2000 years backward. Let’s begin with simple calculation 200 years backward which means 10 generations backward. One generation back equals 1*2, two generations back equals 1*2*2, three generations back equals 1*2*2*2, ten generations back equals 2^10 = 1024 ancestors for 200 years back. In order to simplify calculations I round 1024 to 1000 or 10^3. Now let’s calculate ancestors backward 400 years which equals to 1000 * 1000, backward 600 years equals 1000*1000*1000, backward 2000 years equals 1000^(3*10) = 10^30. That means that all my ancestors backward 2000 years equals to the number 1 followed by 30 zeros! Did I really have ancestors 2000 years backward?

  43. I have read Homo sapiens. It is intriguing book and I have learnt a lot. Although I didn’t agree with some contents of the book, it captivated me like no other one. Looking forward to read the other books of the writer.

  44. White is so not in sync with what Harari is saying. Wish Google had got someone who was on Harari's page to pin him.

  45. "At the time of crisis philosophy has little power, you act from your gut, not from your philosophical theories".

  46. This guy is 100% right and 100% naive. The education system hasn't been about such topics as discussed here since they decided that indoctrination was far more important.

  47. Sadly, Mr Wilson White cannot reach the actual reasoning that Prof Yuval is trying to demonstrate. Result being a high quality talk becomes pure entertainment.

  48. I use Harari in my teaching as he is thought provoking and gets you to think to try and become = more aware and knowledgable about the WHY – WHAT – HOW – WHERE – WHEN in our lives. We must understand that this planet is fragile.

  49. This is one of the most important books of all times. And I especially love the fact that at the end of the book he is promoting meditation but a stripped down version of meditation without the religious dogma attached. I agree with the other comments that this book should be required reading for every man, woman and child!

  50. Crap – he’s argues human beings have no free will – so that means he has not chosen his own actions, his own path – he’s merely a product of his environment- so no praise is due for his supposed insight. The discussion about the possibilities of Ai is nothing new either. I could watch for example the movie Elysium or Ai and talk about the same Ai concepts. He’s just a fast talking/motivational speaker guy with an agenda- and that’s fine – but I’m not convinced in the least that he’s a genius. I agree with some of his points and not others – these are conversations we have at the dinner table – not genius.

  51. When can I order my Google ditch digger 2000. I heard if I order early I
    can get my repair robot X1 so I am covered when my digger 2000 goes

  52. If his fucking zionists buddies did not steal 21 trillion dollars from the United States, and they did not get the United States in a perpetual war and all that money was redistributed to the people.

    We did not have to reinvent ourselves over and over.

    Fuck you asshole.

    Some of as are awake.

    Just ask yourselves if Andrew Jackson was brought back to life what would he do.

    He would fuckin shut down federal reserve.

    On day 1.

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