Best 229 of Yuval Noah Harari quotes - MyQuotes

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Yuval Noah Harari
By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

En 1776, los Padres Fundadores de Estados Unidos establecieron el derecho a la búsqueda de la felicidad como uno de los tres derechos humanos inalienables, junto con el derecho a la vida y el derecho a la libertad.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark. In modern times, a small diʃerence in skin colour, dialect or religion has been enough to prompt one group of Sapiens to set about exterminating another group.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Science finds it hard to decipher the mysteries of the mind largely because we lack efficient tools. Many people, including many scientists, tend to confuse the mind with the brain, but they are really very different things. The brain is a material network of neurons, synapses and biochemicals. The mind is a flow of subjective experiences, such as pain, pleasure, anger and love. Biologists assume that the brain somehow produces the mind, and that biochemical reactions in billions of neurons somehow produce experiences such as pain and love. However, so far we have absolutely no explanation for how the mind emerges from the brain. How come when billions of neurons are firing electrical signals in a particular pattern, I feel pain, and when the neurons fire in a different pattern, I feel love? We haven’t got a clue. Hence even if the mind indeed emerges from the brain, at least for now studying the mind is a different undertaking than studying the brain.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

When you inflict suffering on yourself in the name of some story, it give you a choice: 'Either the story is true, or I am a gullible fool.' When you inflict suffering on others, you are also given a choice: 'Either the story is true, or I am a cruel villain.' And just as we don't want to admit we are fools, we also don't want to admit we are villains, so we prefer to believe that the story is true.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Behind this monstrous shield, liberal democracy and the free market managed to hold out in their last bastions, and Westerners could enjoy sex, drugs and rock and roll, as well as washing machines, refrigerators and televisions. Without nukes, there would have been no Woodstock, no Beatles and no overflowing supermarkets. But in the mid-1970s it seemed that nuclear weapons notwithstanding, the future belonged to socialism.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

That’s how history unfolds. People weave a web of meaning, believe in it with all their heart, but sooner or later the web unravels, and when we look back we cannot understand how anybody could have taken it seriously. With hindsight, going on crusade in the hope of reaching Paradise sounds like utter madness. With hindsight, the Cold War seems even madder. How come thirty years ago people were willing to risk nuclear holocaust because of their belief in a communist paradise? A hundred years hence, our belief in democracy and human rights might look equally incomprehensible to our descendants.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Europe in the days of Columbus, Copernicus and Newton had the highest concentration of religious fanatics in the world, and the lowest level of tolerance. The luminaries of the Scientific Revolution lived in a society that expelled Jews and Muslims, burned heretics wholesale, saw a witch in every cat-loving elderly lady and started a new religious war every full moon. If you travelled to Cairo or Istanbul around 1600, you would find there a multicultural and tolerant metropolis, where Sunnis, Shiites, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Armenians, Copts, Jews and even the occasional Hindu lived side by side in relative harmony. Though they had their share of disagreements and riots, and though the Ottoman Empire routinely discriminated against people on religious grounds, it was a liberal paradise compared with Europe.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Since long intestines and large brains are both massive energy consumers, it’s hard to have both.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Tarih boyunca peygamberler ve felsefeciler, büyük kozmik plana duyulan inanç olmazsa düzen ve birliğin yok olacağını iddia ettiler. Bugünse kozmik bir tasarıya inanmaya devam edenler, küresel düzen karşısındaki en tehditkar unsurlardır.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

All the world’s plants capture only about 3,000 of those solar exajoules through the process of photosynthesis.3 All human activities and industries put together consume about 500 exajoules annually, equivalent to the amount of energy earth receives from the sun in just ninety minutes.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis - they are nothing but the perpetuation of chance events supported by myths.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The Buddha taught that the three basic realities of the universe are that everything is constantly changing, nothing has any enduring essence, and nothing is completely satisfying. You can explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy, of your body, or of your mind – but you will never encounter something that does not change, that has an eternal essence, and that completely satisfies you.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

People still have different religions and national identities. But when it comes to the practical stuff – how to build a state, an economy, a hospital, or a bomb – almost all of us belong to the same civilisation. There are disagreements, no doubt, but then all civilisations have their internal disputes. Indeed, they are defined by these disputes. When trying to outline their identity, people often make a grocery list of common traits. That’s a mistake. They would fare much better if they made a list of common conflicts and dilemmas. For example, in 1618 Europe didn’t have a single religious identity – it was defined by religious conflict. To be a European in 1618 meant to obsess about tiny doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants or between Calvinists and Lutherans, and to be willing to kill and be killed because of these differences. If a human being in 1618 did not care about these conflicts, that person was perhaps a Turk or a Hindu, but definitely not a European.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Whatever path we take, the first step is to acknowledge the complexity of the dilemma and to accept that simplistically dividing the past into good guys and bad guys leads nowhere. Unless, of course, we are willing to admit that we usually follow the lead of the bad guys.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Dataism adopts a strictly functional approach to humanity, appraising the value of human experiences according to their function in data-processing mechanisms. If we develop an algorithm that fulfils the same function better, human experiences will lose their value. Thus if we can replace not just taxi drivers and doctors but also lawyers, poets and musicians with superior computer programs, why should we care if these programs have no consciousness and no subjective experiences? If some humanist starts adulating the sacredness of human experience, Dataists would dismiss such sentimental humbug. ‘The experience you praise is just an outdated biochemical algorithm. In the African savannah 70,000 years ago, that algorithm was state-of-the-art. Even in the twentieth century it was vital for the army and for the economy. But soon we will have much better algorithms.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Para conseguir la felicidad real, los humanos necesitan desacelerarla búsqueda de sensaciones placenteras, no acelerarla.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Fiction isn't bad. It is vital. Without commonly accepted stories about things like money, states or corporations, no complex human society can function. We can't play football unless everyone believes in the same made-up rules, and we can't enjoy the benefits of markets and courts without similar make-believe stories. But the stories are just tools. They should not become our goals or yardsticks. When we forget that they are mere fiction, we lose touch with reality.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

That’s how history unfolds. People weave a web of meaning, believe in it with all their heart, but sooner or later the web unravels, and when we look back we cannot understand how anybody could have taken it seriously.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The Scientific Revolution proposed a very different formula for knowledge: Knowledge = Empirical Data × Mathematics. If we want to know the answer to some question, we need to gather relevant empirical data, and then use mathematical tools to analyse the data. For example, in order to gauge the true shape of the earth, we can observe the sun, the moon and the planets from various locations across the world. Once we have amassed enough observations, we can use trigonometry to deduce not only the shape of the earth, but also the structure of the entire solar system. In practice, that means that scientists seek knowledge by spending years in observatories, laboratories and research expeditions, gathering more and more empirical data, and sharpening their mathematical tools so they could interpret the data correctly. The scientific formula for knowledge led to astounding breakthroughs in astronomy, physics, medicine and countless other disciplines. But it had one huge drawback: it could not deal with questions of value and meaning. Medieval pundits could determine with absolute certainty that it is wrong to murder and steal, and that the purpose of human life is to do God’s bidding, because scriptures said so. Scientists could not come up with such ethical judgements. No amount of data and no mathematical wizardry can prove that it is wrong to murder. Yet human societies cannot survive without such value judgements.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

In the coming decades, it is likely that we will see more Internet-like revolutions, in which technology steals a march on politics. Artificial intelligence and biotechnology might soon overhaul our societies and economies – and our bodies and minds too – but they are hardly a blip on our political radar. Our current democratic structures just cannot collect and process the relevant data fast enough, and most voters don’t understand biology and cybernetics well enough to form any pertinent opinions. Hence traditional democratic politics loses control of events, and fails to provide us with meaningful visions for the future. That doesn’t mean we will go back to twentieth-century-style dictatorships. Authoritarian regimes seem to be equally overwhelmed by the pace of technological development and the speed and volume of the data flow. In the twentieth century, dictators had grand visions for the future. Communists and fascists alike sought to completely destroy the old world and build a new world in its place. Whatever you think about Lenin, Hitler or Mao, you cannot accuse them of lacking vision. Today it seems that leaders have a chance to pursue even grander visions. While communists and Nazis tried to create a new society and a new human with the help of steam engines and typewriters, today’s prophets could rely on biotechnology and super-computers.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Listen, Google,’ I will say, ‘both John and Paul are courting me. I like both of them, but in a different way, and it’s so hard to make up my mind. Given everything you know, what do you advise me to do?’ And Google will answer: ‘Well, I know you from the day you were born. I have read all your emails, recorded all your phone calls, and know your favourite films, your DNA and the entire history of your heart. I have exact data about each date you went on, and if you want, I can show you second-by-second graphs of your heart rate, blood pressure and sugar levels whenever you went on a date with John or Paul. If necessary, I can even provide you with accurate mathematical ranking of every sexual encounter you had with either of them. And naturally enough, I know them as well as I know you. Based on all this information, on my superb algorithms, and on decades’ worth of statistics about millions of relationships – I advise you to go with John, with an 87 per cent probability of being more satisfied with him in the long run. Indeed, I know you so well that I also know you don’t like this answer. Paul is much more handsome than John, and because you give external appearances too much weight, you secretly wanted me to say “Paul”. Looks matter, of course; but not as much as you think. Your biochemical algorithms – which evolved tens of thousands of years ago in the African savannah – give looks a weight of 35 per cent in their overall rating of potential mates. My algorithms – which are based on the most up-to-date studies and statistics – say that looks have only a 14 per cent impact on the long-term success of romantic relationships. So, even though I took Paul’s looks into account, I still tell you that you would be better off with John.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

¿Cómo se hace para que la gente crea en un orden imaginado como el cristianismo, la democracia o el capitalismo? En primer lugar, no admitiendo nunca que el orden es imaginado.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The collapse of the family and the local community and their replacement by the state and the market.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Does God exist? That depends on which God you have in mind. The cosmic mystery or the worldly lawgiver? Sometimes when people talk about God, they talk about a grand and awesome enigma, about which we know absolutely nothing. We invoke this mysterious God to explain the deepest riddles of the cosmos. Why is there something rather than nothing? What shaped the fundamental laws of physics? What is consciousness, and where does it come from? We do not know the answers to these questions, and we give our ignorance the grand name of God. The most fundamental characteristic of this mysterious God is that we cannot say anything concrete about Him. This is the God of the philosophers; the God we talk about when we sit around a campfire late at night, and wonder what life is all about.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

It is much easier to live with the fantasy because the fantasy gives meaning to the suffering.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom - we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Rather, when famine, plague or war break out of our control, we feel that somebody must have screwed up, we set up a commission of inquiry, and promise ourselves that next time we’ll do better.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The result will not be an Orwellian police state. We always prepare ourselves for the previous enemy, even when we face an altogether new menace. Defenders of human individuality stand guard against the tyranny of the collective, without realising that human individuality is now threatened from the opposite direction. The individual will not be crushed by Big Brother; it will disintegrate from within. Today corporations and governments pay homage to my individuality, and promise to provide medicine, education and entertainment customised to my unique needs and wishes. But in order to so, corporations and governments first need to break me up into biochemical subsystems, monitor these subsystems with ubiquitous sensors and decipher their working with powerful algorithms. In the process, the individual will transpire to be nothing but a religious fantasy. Reality will be a mesh of biochemical and electronic algorithms, without clear borders, and without individual hubs.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Por el contrario, la ciencia dice que nadie alcanza la felicidad consiguiendo un ascenso, ganando la lotería o incluso encontrando el amor verdadero. La gente se vuelve feliz por una cosa y solo una: las sensaciones placenteras del cuerpo.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The fourth and ultimate method is to create a dogma, put our trust in some allegedly all-knowing theory, institution or chief, and follow them wherever they lead us. Religious and ideological dogmas are still highly attractive in our scientific age precisely because they offer us a safe haven from the frustrating complexity of reality. As noted earlier, secular movements have not been exempt from this danger. Even if you start with a rejection of all religious dogmas and with a firm commitment to scientific truth, sooner or later the complexity of reality becomes so vexing that one is driven to fashion a doctrine that shouldn’t be questioned. While such doctrines provide people with intellectual comfort and moral certainty, it is debatable whether they provide justice.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

For centuries scientists too accepted these humanist guidelines. When physicists wondered whether to get married or not, they too watched sunsets and tried to get in touch with themselves. When chemists contemplated whether to accept a problematic job offer, they too wrote diaries and had heart-to-heart talks with a good friend. When biologists debated whether to wage war or sign a peace treaty, they too voted in democratic elections. When brain scientists wrote books about their startling discoveries, they often put an inspiring Goethe quote on the first page. This was the basis for the modern alliance between science and humanism, which kept the delicate balance between the modern yang and the modern yin – between reason and emotion, between the laboratory and the museum, between the production line and the supermarket.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

When a thousand people believe some made-up story for a month - that's fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years - that's religion, and we are admonished to call it fake news in oder not to for the feelings of the faithful.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

How can we distinguish what is biologically determined from what people merely try to justify through biological myths? A good rule of thumb is ‘Biology enables, Culture forbids.’ Biology is willing to tolerate a very wide spectrum of possibilities. It’s culture that obliges people to realize some possibilities while forbidding others. Biology enables women to have children – some cultures oblige women to realize this possibility. Biology enables men to enjoy sex with one another – some cultures forbid them to realize this possibility. Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The current technological and scientific revolution implies not that authentic individuals and authentic realities can be manipulated by algorithms and TV cameras, but rather that authenticity is a myth. People are afraid of being trapped inside a box, but they don’t realise that they are already trapped inside a box – their brain – which is locked within a bigger box – human society with its myriad fictions. When you escape the matrix the only thing you discover is a bigger matrix. When the peasants and workers revolted against the tsar in 1917, they ended up with Stalin; and when you begin to explore the manifold ways the world manipulates you, in the end you realise that your core identity is a complex illusion created by neural networks.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Tales viajes (los espirituales) son fundamentalmente diferentes de las religiones, porque el objetivo de las religiones es cimentar el orden mundano, mientras que el de su espiritualidad es escapar de él.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Total annihilation has a way of sharpening people's minds.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as humanism gained increasing social credibility and political power, it sprouted two very different offshoots: socialist humanism, which encompassed a plethora of socialist and communist movements, and evolutionary humanism, whose most famous advocates were the Nazis. Both offshoots agreed with liberalism that human experience is the ultimate source of meaning and authority.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

When humans began cultivating the land, they thought that the extra work this required will pay off. 'Yes, we will have to work harder. But the harvest will be so bountiful! We won't have to worry any more about lean years. Our children will never go to sleep hungry.' It made sense. If you worked harder, you would have a better life. That was the plan. The first part of the plan went smoothly. People indeed worked harder. But people did not foresee that the number of children would increase, meaning that the extra wheat would have to be shared between more children. Neither did the early farmers understand that feeding children with more porridge and less breast milk would weaken their immune system, and that permanent settlements would be hotbeds for infectious diseases. They did not foresee that by increasing their dependence on a single source of food, they were actually exposing themselves even more to the depredations of drought. Nor did the farmers foresee that in good years their bulging granaries would tempt thieves and enemies, compelling them to start building walls and doing guard duty.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The only thing we can try to do is to influence the direction scientists are taking. Since we might soon be able to engineer our desires too, perhaps the real questions facing us is not 'What do we want to become?', but "What do we want to want?' Those who are not spooked by this question probably haven't given it enough thought.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng led seven huge armadas from China to the far reaches of the Indian Ocean. The largest of these comprised almost 300 ships and carried close to 30,000 people.7 They visited Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and East Africa. Chinese ships anchored in Jedda, the main harbour of the Hejaz, and in Malindi, on the Kenyan coast. Columbus’ fleet of 1492 – which consisted of three small ships manned by 120 sailors – was like a trio of mosquitoes compared to Zheng He’s drove of dragons.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

So the best advice I could give a fifteen-year-old stuck in an outdated school somewhere in Mexico, India or Alabama is: don’t rely on the adults too much. Most of them mean well, but they just don’t understand the world.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Religion is a system of human norms and values that is founded on belief in a superhuman order. The theory of relativity is not a religion, because (at least so far) there are no human norms and values that are founded on it. Football is not a religion because nobody argues that its rules reflect superhuman edicts. Islam, Buddhism and Communism are all religions, because all are systems of human norms and values that are founded on belief in a superhuman order.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

It is the responsibility of all of us to invest time and effort in uncovering our biases and in verifying our sources of information. As noted in earlier chapters, we cannot investigate everything ourselves. But precisely because of that, we need at least to investigate carefully our favourite sources of information – be they a newspaper, a website, a TV network or a person. In Chapter 20 we will explore in far greater depth how to avoid brainwashing and how to distinguish reality from fiction. Here I would like to offer two simple rules of thumb. First, if you want reliable information – pay good money for it. If you get your news for free, you might well be the product. Suppose a shady billionaire offered you the following deal: ‘I will pay you $30 a month, and in exchange, you will allow me to brainwash you for an hour every day, installing in your mind whichever political and commercial biases I want.’ Would you take the deal? Few sane people would. So the shady billionaire offers a slightly different deal: ‘You will allow me to brainwash you for one hour every day, and in exchange, I will not charge you anything for this service. The second rule of thumb is that if some issue seems exceptionally important to you, make the effort to read the relevant scientific literature. And by scientific literature I mean peer-reviewed articles, books published by well-known academic publishers, and the writings of professors from reputable institutions. Science obviously has its limitations, and it has got many things wrong in the past. Nevertheless, the scientific community has been our most reliable source of knowledge for centuries. If you think that the scientific community is wrong about something, that’s certainly possible, but at least know the scientific theories you are rejecting, and provide some empirical evidence to support your claim.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

The most important question in twenty-first-century economics may well be what to do with all the superfluous people. What will conscious humans do, once we have highly intelligent non-conscious algorithms that can do almost everything better? Throughout history the job market was divided into three main sectors: agriculture, industry and services. Until about 1800, the vast majority of people worked in agriculture, and only a small minority worked in industry and services. During the Industrial Revolution people in developed countries left the fields and herds. Most began working in industry, but growing numbers also took up jobs in the services sector. In recent decades developed countries underwent another revolution, as industrial jobs vanished, whereas the services sector expanded. In 2010 only 2 per cent of Americans worked in agriculture, 20 per cent worked in industry, 78 per cent worked as teachers, doctors, webpage designers and so forth. When mindless algorithms are able to teach, diagnose and design better than humans, what will we do?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Humans have this remarkable ability to know and not to know at the same time. Or more correctly, they can know something when they really think about it, but most of the time they don’t think about it, so they don’t know it. If you really focus, you realise that money is fiction. But usually you don’t focus. If you are asked about it, you know that football is a human invention. But in the heat of the match, nobody asks you about it. If you devote the time and energy, you can discover that nations are elaborate yarns. But in the midst of a war you don’t have the time and energy. If you demand the ultimate truth, you realise that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth. But how often do you demand the ultimate truth?

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on Earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world?

By Anonym 19 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

Well, if you believe in the romantic story, but you are not in love, you at least know what the aim of your life is: to find true love. You have seen it in countless movies and read about it in innumerable books. You know that one day you will meet that special someone, you will see infinity inside two sparkling eyes, your entire life will suddenly make sense, and all the questions you ever had will be answered by repeating one name over and over again, just like Tony in West Side Story or Romeo upon seeing Juliet looking down at him from the balcony.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

For thousands of years, philosophers, thinkers and prophets have besmirched money and called it the root of all evil. Be that as it may, money is also the apogee of human tolerance. Money is more open-minded than language, state laws, cultural codes, religious beliefs and social habits. Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age or sexual orientation.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Yuval Noah Harari

In 1939 war was probably a counterproductive move for the Axis powers – yet it did not save the world. One of the astounding things about the Second World War is that following the war the defeated powers prospered as never before. Twenty years after the complete annihilation of their armies and the utter collapse of their empires, Germans, Italians and Japanese were enjoying unprecedented levels of affluence. Why, then, did they go to war in the first place? Why did they inflict unnecessary death and destruction on countless millions? It was all just a stupid miscalculation. In the 1930s Japanese generals, admirals, economists and journalists concurred that without control of Korea, Manchuria and the Chinese coast, Japan was doomed to economic stagnation.8 They were all wrong. In fact, the famed Japanese economic miracle began only after Japan lost all its mainland conquests.