Thursday, November 3, 2022

A SIMPLE way to listen to my guy, Yuval Noah Harari


Ed listened and loved it. If he can do it so can you!


You know I love love love the author / philosopher / historian Yuval Noah Harari.

Today a very simple way is available to listen to some of his greatest ideas via a podcast. It is not about the election, but it is about the way the world is moving. And it is such a brilliant perspective. 

He talks about why humans have become the dominant creature on the planet despite not being the strongest, quickest or maybe even smartest animal. But we have stories. (You have to listen, or listen to me describe it, but it fully makes sense in context).

Anyway, if you have time, please listen to him. It might be very hard to read his bestselling non-fiction books; Sapiens, Homo Dues, and 21 Lessons for the 21 Century. But getting much of that content via a simple podcast discussion is so very very worth it.

Search in your podcast app for "The Grey Area" from Vox. And choose the one that says "Yuval Noah Harari thinks humans are unstoppable"


During the interview he also spoke a bit about our political divisions in a historical context, to which I am going to sum up because it is a new take for me.

First, he sees our US political division as bad, but not nearly the worst we have had recently. In the 1960s there was more domestic terrorism and violence than now. And we made it through that.

The "problem" now is that no one is playing the "Conservative" role. Maybe better to say our "unique situation", rather than problem. Anyway, typically progressives want change, sometimes radical change, and the conservatives want to keep the status quo. Depending on the issue, history has generally moved towards a progressive position giving individuals more rights over time.

He says it is like having a foot on the gas and one on the brake. If Conservatism is too strong, both feet are on the brakes and there is no movement (say Russia right now). If Progressivism is too strong, both feet go on the accelerator and you crash.

But in America right now, both parties are pushing for radical change, and no one is on the brake. Here he thinks of the "brake" as support of current institutions. Both sides are pressing the gas, but in different directions.

Interesting idea, right?

Listen to him, I no doubt didn't get all the nuance in this post.

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