Temperance is a virtue, to pursue stable and balanced behavior is not only good on a personal level but also on a larger group-sociological and societal scale. Sometimes however, it’s hard to not feel disgusted by something a person does which you can’t help but notice.
There is this weird phenomenon called Ted-talk going on for some time now where leaders in their field give live-changing talks. The question remains to be seen whether the talk will change the lives of audience members or their own. Popularization (even of the simplest things) is extremely difficult. Making highly specialized experiences/knowledge understandable for them who have no matching world of experience at all, usually results in a public that ends up being entertained with “facts” that are not even wrong.
Ted talks seem to favor speakers who are not very aware of this fact, or worse they don’t even care. And then there is the kind of speaker who is in a different league all together. This is the kind of guy who has a multilayer very impressive answer/solution for every question/problem.
This is how it starts out with bullshit artists usually. They enter the stage by telling the public 2 or three stories which are constructed in a solid way while also locking in on a number of popular worldviews of the new chic, the in crowd, or (we live in digital after all nowadays) influencers. Just imagine Jordan Peterson but with a wish to remain popular no matter what and without the knack for self-destruction.
Wait, you don’t have to imagine that, here….is…… Yuval Noah Harari. Even compared to Jordan Peterson however this guy comes with some luggage. The former is a clinical psychologist, the latter is a mediaeval historian. The former when entering hostile territory explains his origins and structure of thought and takes on a battle stance. The latter extrapolates (some aspects of) history and says this is difficult. To paraphrase: You lose your job as a truckdriver/factoryworker, there are new jobs: engineering software or building virtual reality games, how are you going to do that? Just read that again: a hero of silicon valley has his own interpretation of “learn how to code”. Then followed by his conclusion: Yes it is hard and because of that the truckdriver/factoryworker does not see himself in the glorious future and ends up being a trumpist.
It basically boils down to: Yes, they are loser assholes on the dung heap of history, but there is some inherent cause for pity. What really is needed now is a new economic model AND of course the kind of government to implement this new kind of economic model. Because let’s face it: The job of the government is to (better) redistribute. A small power differential is in play here; victims are of course i. a. truckdrivers etc.. AND do not forget the code-monkeys. Harari is really talking about all the smart people in California, New York and Being. Really, that is where everybody ( who is into the future) wants to live/is living. Does this guy ever go out? If not, then could he please just look at some demographics just for a minute or two? It is not that difficult: if more people are moving out of a certain place then there are people moving in, that place is sub-optimal. This is where the best of the software developers have to go to? Good luck with that. The whole dream of striking it big with some IPO is certainly over by now, there is just as much chance you will become a famous AND prosperous movie star. It is possible but would you wish movie stardom even on your enemy? This power differential is not only ignored, but as indicated above: the government needs to do some more redistributing. That is what governments the world over, all throughout history have always done have they not? Harari is a professor in history, so he knows, does he not?
That is for now. Let’s look at the future. The problem is: We have no shared fiction, or stories for global cooperation. Obviously what we need is something we all believe in, so we will walk the same road and be happy. In the mean time humanity will be hacked. This means some company’s A.I. knows you better then you know yourself. That is inevitable, that is going to happen listen to Harari, look in to his eyes, that will happen. Your life is going to be determined by company’s or the government or a combination of those that is it. Maybe you will notice this, maybe not. But ancient philosophical questions become engineering either software or biological engineering. The algorithm decides your live not you. This is the arc of the future, go for it, because you know, if you are not on the side of the future, you are not on the right side of the future, need I say more?
The future is going to be very difficult even for intelligent people like Harari. But there is something you can do (aside from just going along to get along). Get to know yourself now, before it is to late!
Meditate, Harari does it 2 hours (almost) every day. It is difficult, it is hard, it is painful and it is suffering, but if you know yourself, you will be able to cooperate better with “the algorithm”. (Can somebody please do something terrible to the fist person who named a couple of lines of program an algorithm).
OK, so we are in trouble even, when we are Harari, but we can lessen the pain.
It seems to me we are way beyond history being extrapolated to futurism here. Harari sounds like a lovechild of Timothy Leary and L. Ron Hubbard, and don’t tell me that this is not possible, you know that nowadays it is totally possible for two men to get a lovechild. The only question I have is: is Harari going for DOI (a new super LSD) or is he going for Scientology 2.0? Probably a mix of the two? We will need at least both of them to keep believing in and following the liberal-social-democratic narrative. I mean if you have to be proud of your biological son being a DID -system/majority-fem, doing a lot of acid or Psilocybin is a trivial thig isn’t it.
The last point of Harari’s view of the coming future is the revolutionary aspect of the hack of humanity. A.I. will be there, it will know us for what we are and the change/revolution begins.
I know he is a mediaeval historian, but surely he must know something about some small thingies as there are the French and the Russian revolution (there are more, but let’s leave it at that). As revolutions go, he cannot be thinking that the French revolution happened on 5 may 1789 or the Russian revolution happened on 8 march 1917. Things were going on quite some time before that, those day were just the moment the blood really began to flow through the streets.
If you think highly of Harari go for it. Like real communism, the future has never been tried. All we have to do now is just go along to get along ( and Meditate!!! ). One day the future will be there.