yuval noah harari
intro’d to Yuval in his tedglobal london 2015 – what explains the rise of humans
on the individual level.. same as chimp..
the real difference is on the collective level…
(we) can cooperate both flexibly and in large numbers…
ie: bees can’t renegotiate the way they work.. and chimps can’t coop in large groups.. need to know each other
good and bad coop, ie: prisons, concentration camps, …
what enables us to coop in such a way: imagination...
we can coop flexibly.. with countless numbers of strangers.. because we can create and believe fictional stories.. and as long as everyone believes..
humans use language to describe reality but also to create fictional reality
human rights are just a story we have invented… take a human.. cut him open.. you find organs… but you want find any rights.. the only place you find rights is in the stories we have invented and spread around… same true of political field…ie: states, nations… not an objective reality… a mountain is an objective reality.. ; cooperations – legal fictions; money – has no objective value
money is the most effective story because it is the only story that everybody believes… not everybody believes in rights/nationalism…
ugh.. making up money.. measuring transactions/us.. is killing us
we live in a dual reality.. objective and imaginative
today… the most powerful forces in the world are these fictional entities … based on these fictional stories… entities that exist only in our own imagination
– – –
on keeping happy with drugs and computer games
rat park ness
Yuval Noah Harari (born 24 February 1976) is an Israeli historian and the author of the international bestsellerSapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. He is a Professor at the Department of History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
on the future.. and imagination…
Harari’s main argument is that Sapiens came to dominate the world because it is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers. He argues that prehistoric Sapiens were a key cause of the extinction of other human species such as the Neanderthals, along with numerous other megafauna. He further argues that the *ability of Sapiens to cooperate in large numbers arises from its unique capacity to believe in things existing purely in the imagination, such as gods, nations, money and human rights.
and/or.. belief in gods/nations/money/rights.. has helped us to lose our ability to cooperate.. to lose our interconnectedness..
Harari claims that all large-scale human cooperation systems – including religions, political structures, trade networks and legal institutions – owe their emergence to Sapiens’s distinctive cognitive capacity for fiction. Accordingly, Harari reads money as a system of mutual trust and sees political and economic systems as more or less identical with religions.
He concludes by considering how modern technology may soon end the species as we know it, as it ushers in genetic engineering, immortality and non-organic life. Humans have, in Harari’s chosen metaphor, become gods: they can create species.
? or so we think..
sociological research has shown that the max ‘natural’ size of a group bonded by gossip is about 150 individuals.. most people can neither intimately know, not gossip effectively about, more than 150 human beings.. there is no need for formal ranks/titles/ law books to keep order… but once threshold of 150 ic crossed.. thing scan no longer work that way.. you cannot run a division w thousands of soldiers the same way you run a platoon.. successful family businesses usually face a crises when grow larger..
so.. we’re doing history of humans.. and comparing our capabilities to how we act in war and business..
i think we can have a way of living for over 7 bn.. if we aren’t using these man made measures..
how did homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold, eventually funding cities comprising tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires ruling hundreds of millions.? the secret was probably the appearance of fiction. large numbers of strangers can *coop successfully by believing in common myths..
so.. is coop successfully meaning …ie: being able to fight a war.. raise profit..
so..really saying.. in order to play a fake game of life.. have to believe a fake story..
i keep hearing this book is about the need to tell stories.. i don’t know if this type is behooving humanity
telling effectie stories is not easy. the difficulty lies not in telling the story, but in convincing everyone else to believe it
dang.. wrong kind of story.. that’s where your happy went.. ie: life as a sales pitch..
much of history revolves around the question: how does one convince millions of people to believe particular stories about gods, or nations, or limited liability companies… yet when it succeeds it gives sapiens immense power.. because it enables millions of strangers to coop and work towards common goals..
oy.. work et al..
the hunter gatherer way of life (adam and eve) differ significantly from region to region and from season to season, but on the whole foragers seem to have enjoyed a more comfortable and rewarding lifestyle than most of the peasants, shepherds, labourers and office clerks who followed in their footsteps.
for 2.5 mn yrs humans fed hunting and gathering.. then.. histories biggest fraud – 10 000 yrs ago – agriculture revolution
scholars once proclaimed agri rev was great leap forward for humanity.. they told a tale of progress fuelled by human brain power..
that tale is a fantasy.. no evidence that people became more intelligent w time.. foragers knew the secrets of nature long before agri rev, since their survival depended on intimate knowledge of animals they hunted and plants they gathered.. rather than heralding a new era of easy living, the agri rev left farmers w lives generally more difficult and less satisfying than those of foragers..
who was responsible (for fraud) neither kinds/priests/merchants. the culprits were a handful of plant species, including wheat, rice and potatoes. these plants domesticated homo sapiens rather than vice versa
wheat did not give better diet.. economic security.. security against violence..
the currency of evolution is neether hunger nor pain, bu rather copies of dna helixes.. just as econ success of co is measured only by number of dollars in bank not by happiness of its employees, so evolutionary success of a species is measured by number of copies of its dna..if no more copies remain.. species is extinct.. just as co w/o money is bankrupt..
copies are what’s killing us.. copies for the myths we swim in
agri rev was a luxury trap
wrong kind of luxury..
why didn’t humans abandon farming when the plan backfired..? partly because it took generations for the small changes to accumulate and transform society and, by then, nobody remembered that they had ever lived differently
science of people ness
pursuit of an easier life resulted in much hardship.. happens to us today.. college grads.. demanding jobs.. vowing will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire.. but .. have large mortgages.. et al.. what are they supposed to do .. go back to digging up roots.. no, they double their efforts and keep slaving away..
one of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations..
again.. wrong kind of luxury
the story of the luxury trap carries w it an important lesson. humanity’s search for an easier life released immense forces of change tha transformed the world in ways nobody envisioned or wanted.. ..
above scenario explains the agri rev as miscalculation. it’s very plausible. history is full of far more idiotic miscalculations. bu there’s another possibility. maybe it wasn’t the search for an easier life .. maybe sapiens had other aspirations.. and were consciously willing to make their lives harder in order to achieve them..
this discrepancy between evolutionary success and individual suffering is perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the agri rev.. when we study narrative of plants such as wheat and maize, maybe the purely evolutionary perspective *makes sense. yet in case of animals.. and sapiens.. each w complex world of sensation and emotions, we have to consider how evolutionary success translated into individual experience..
schooling the world.. stripping land .. making it produce one thing rather than diverse.. doesn’t make sense.. makes money.. but not sense..
the stress of farming had far reaching consequences.. was foundation of large scale political and social systems.. these forfeited food surpluses fuelled politics, wars, art and philosophy.. fuelled peasants.. more and more people to cram together in to large villages.. but then food surpluses and transportation were not enough.. so .. ie: affluent lawyers..
the problem at the root.. is that humans evolved for millions of years in small bands of a few dozen individuals. the handful of millennia separating the agri rev from thd appearance of cities, kingdoms empires was not enough time to allow an instinct for mass coop to evolve..
via 2 convos
mythology, the ancient sociolgists would have thought, could not possible enable millions of strangers to coop on a daily basis.
but that turned out to be wrong. myths, it transpired, are stronger than anyone could have imagined.. when the agri rev opened opps for the create of crowded cities.. people invented stories about great gods, motherlands and joint stock co’s to provide the needed social links.. while human evolution was crawling at its usual snail’s pace, the human imagination was building astounding networks of mass oop, unlike any other ever seen on earth..
? if talking econ.. deadly networks..
taxes, corp’s.. B and bs..
code of hierarchy even w/in family..
like hammurabi’s code, the american founding document promises that if humans act according to its sacred principles, millions of them would be able to coop effectively.. living safely and peacefully in a just and prosperous society..declaration of independence..
just as people not ‘created’.. certainly not evolve to be ‘equal’.. equally, there are no such things as rights in biology.. there are only organs, abilities and characteristics.. birds fly not because thy have a right to fly but because they have wings..
equity.. everyone getting a go everyday..
we believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to coop effectively and forge a better society.. imagined orders are not evil conspiracies or useless mirages.. rather, they are the only way large numbers of humans can coop effectively..
disagree.. hugely disagree.. and this seems to be big theme as to how we get to betterness…
an imagined order cannot be sustained by violence alone. it requires some true believers as well… ..impossible to org an army solely by coercion.. some of the commanders.. must truly believe in something..
how do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as christianity, democracy or capitalism? first, you never admit that the order is imagined.. you always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature.
you also educate people throughly.. from the moment they are born, you constantly remind them of the principles of the imagined order.. which are incorporated into anything and everything.. ie: fairy tales, dramas, paintings, songs,, propaganda, architecture, recipes, fashions..
most people do not wish to accept that the order governing their lives is imaginary, bu tin fact every person is born into a pre existing imagined order, and his/her desires are shaped from birth by its dominant myths. our personal desires thereby become the imagined order’s most important defences
voluntary compliance et al
friends give advice often tell each other ‘follow your heart’ but the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth century romantic myths and 10th cent consumerist myths.. ie: coke.. do what feels good..
even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order..ie: let’s consider the popular desire to take a holiday abroad.. there’s nothing natural or obvious about this.. people today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism..
not the same as following your heart.. diff.. begs we detox.
the dollar, human rights and the us of america exist in the shared imagination of billions and no single individual can threaten their existence.
these imagine orders are inter subjective, so in order to change the we must simultaneously change the consciousness of billions of people, which is not easy.. a change of such magnitude can be accomplished only with the help of a complex organisation such as a political party an ideological movement or a religious cult..
however to establish such complex org’s it’s necessary to convince many strangers to coop w one another.. and this will happen only if these strangers believe in some shared myths.. it follows that in order to change an existing imagined order, we must frist believe in an alt imagined order
or.. let’s try just believing in ourselves.. in listening to our hearts.. everyday.. true.. this change begs 7 bn leap.. the sync matters.. but today we can facil that chaos..
there is no way out of the imagined order..
there wasn’t.. perhaps.. but today we can..
large socieites foun din some other species such as ants and bees are stable and reislient becaseu most of the info needed to sustain them is encoded in the genome. .. its dna programmes teh necessary behaviors forwhaver role it wil fulfil in life.. hives can be very comlex social sgructure containignmny diff kindns of workers.. such as harvesters, nurses and cleaners bu t so far researchers ahve failed to locate lawyer bees. bees don’t need lawyers becaseu there is no danger that tehy migh forget or violate the hive constitution. the queen does not cheat the cleaner bees of their food, andd they never go on strke demanding higher wages
not about humans being that different.. more about humans not listening deep enough like bees and ants do..
the fact that bees and ants don’t have lawyers..bankers.. B.. we should listen to that..
it’s not that we need them and ants/bees don’t.. it’s that they are listening to the rhythm.. and we aren’t.. we never have.. so we don’t think it’s possible..for us to have that sync.. rhythm.. not that it can’t happen for us.. it’s that we don’t trust us..
but humans do such things all the time (violate..cheat.. demand wages).. because the sapiens social order is imagined, humans cannot preserve the critical info for running it simply by making copies of their dna and passing these on to the progeny.
they don’t need to.. the rhythm is already in us.. we just have to quit drowning it out
a conscious effort has to be made to sustain laws/customs, procedures/manners.. otherwise the social order would quickly collapse
it already has collapsed.. the innate order has been buried.. so this fake order.. which you are calling imaginary order .. which is kind of bad.. because it’s more coercive/propaganda ish.. than imaginary.. (imagination will drive us beyond our innate rhythm.. everyday).. and since it’s collapsed.. we’re using this man made violence to keep us inline (laws.. customs.. et al)
ie: when hammurabi passed his dna to his offspring, it did not encode his ruling that a superior man who killed a commoner woman must pay thirty silver shekels.. hammurabi deliberately had to instruct his sons in the laws of his empire, and his sons and grandsons had to do the same
huge red sign.. that that is not what we should be doing.. if we have to teach it.. (not to mention how ridiculous this ie of what is being passed).. pretty good change it’s not us..
empires generate huge amts of info. beyond laws, empires ahve to keep accounts of transactions and taxed, inventories aof miliatary supplies and merchant vessels.. and
? says who..?
for millions of years people stored info in a single place – their brains. unfortuenately the human brain is not a good storage device for empire sized databases for three main reasons
there’s a reason we can’t store that .. storing empire databases is not us
1\ capacity is limited 2\ humans die 3\ brain adapted to store only particular types of info..
all the stuff listed.. math.. blah blah.. measure..judge .. b/B
unfortunately, complex human societies seem to require imagined hierarchies and unjust discrimination
not true.. coerced/manufactured societies have them.. but they don’t work.. and it certainly isn’t a requirement for humanity to live out its interconnectedness.. in fact.. we can’t if we keep on w the hierarchy ness..
hierarchies serve an important function. they enable complete strangers to know how to treat one another w/o wasting the time and energy needed to become personally acquainted..
?.. what?.. you mean how to play the game.. how to treat one another is already in us.. covered up in a lot of us.. most of us.. but already there..
in g b shaw’s pygmalion, henry higgins doesn’t need to establish an intimate acquaintance w eliza doolittle in order to understand how he should relate to her..
not all people get people get the same chance to cultivate and refine their abilities. whether or not they have such an opp will usually depend on their place w/in their society’s imagined hierarchy
yeah.. that’s exactly what we have the means to change now.. everyone.. every one.. getting a go everyday.. equity
for complex commercial system to function, some kind of money is indispensable..
ok.. but commercialism is killer to humanity..so money is not indispensable.. it’s the poison.. that measuring ness.. of transactions/us.. killer
money is thus a universal medium of exchange that enables people to convert almost everything into almost anything else..
perhaps.. but we don’t need it for relationship.. and affluence.. and.. it messes with us more than it aids ..exchange ness is killer
because money can convert, store, and transport wealth easily and cheaply, it made a *vital contribution to the appearance of complex commercial networks and dynamic markets..
contributing to the death of us
even if we wanted to finance pure science unaffected by political, economic or religious interests, it would probably be impossible.. our resources are limited after all.. ask a congressman to allocate an additional million to nsf for basic research.. to channel limited resources we must answer questions such as what is more important..
alive/awake/free people/artists.. that’s what’s most important..
we have the means for 7 bn scientists.. everyday.. not impossible.. just blocked..
money has been essential both for building empires and for promoting science. but is money the ultimate goal of thee undertakings, or perhaps just a dangerous necessity..
neither.. we don’t need money.. empires.. we don’t need to promote science.. if we’re all free..
most people don’t appreciate just how peaceful an era we live in. none of us was alive a thousand years ago, so we easily forget how much more violent the world used to be.. and as wars become more rare they attract more attention. many more people think about the wards raging today in afghanistan and iraq than about the peace in which most brazilians and indians live..
what about indian farmer suicides.. what about..
war in 2000 killed 830 000.. suicide 815 000 and rising..
how is this not violence..? how is this peaceful?
the decline of violence is due largely to the rise of the state..
incarceration.. kids on drugs prescribed by parent/drs.. ugh..
what about the refugee situation..?
today humankind has broken the law of the jungle.there is at last real peace, an not just absence of war..
book published 2015
the last 500 yrs have witnessed a breathtaking series of revolutions. the earth has been united into a single ecological and historical sphere. the econ has grown exponentially, and humankind today enjoys the kind of wealth that used to be the stuff of fairy tales..
sorry .. but that’s crap..
maybe a handful of people have what you say.. but they are lonely too.. it has to be all of us..
science and the industrial rev have given humankind superhuman powers and practially limitless energy
is that why ie: puerto rico is still w/o power..? and 33 000 some names were just released of those that have died escaping via ocean..
the social order has been completely transformed, as have politics, daily life and human psychology..
really..? changed to more being diagnosed as bi polar.. more as in more money spent on meds..?
ie: outside mental health et al
but are we happier..
so far historians have avoided raising thee questions.. not to mention answering them.. they have researched.. politics, society, econ, gender, disease, sexuality, food, clothing.. yet they have seldom stopped to ask how these influence human happiness.. since humans generally use their capabilities to alleviate miseries and fulfil aspirations ti follows that we must be happier than our medieval ancestors and they must have been happier than stone age hunter gatherers..
but his progressive account is unconvincing..
affluence w/o abundance et al
this romantic insistence on seeing a dark shadow behind each invention is a dogmatic as the belief in the inevitability of progress. perhaps we are out of touch w our inner hunter gatherer, but it’s not all bad. ie: over last two centuries modern medicine has decrease child mortality from 33% to less than 5%. can anyone doubt that this made a huge contribution to the happiness not only of those children who would otherwise have died, but also of their families and friends..
1\ we’ve made other things much worse.. zoom out.. the balance is staggering.. 2\ if we were free.. we’d have more improvements that just child mortality rate
the first step is to define what is to be measured..
the first step is to stop measuring..
there is only one historical development that has real significance. today, when we finally realise that the keys to happiness are in the hands of our biochemical system, we can stop wasting our time on politics and social reforms, putsches and ideologies and focus instead on the only thing that can make us truly happy: manipulating our biochemistry. if we invest billions in understanding our brain chemistry and developing appropriate treatments, we can make people far happier than ever before, w/o any need of revolutions. prozac for ie does not change regimes, but by raising serotonin levels it lifts people out of their depression.
dang man.. read outside mental health.. at least..
meaning of life.. huxley’s disconcerting world is based on the biological assumption that happiness equals pleasure. to be happy is no more and no less than experiencing pleasant bodily sensations.. since our biochem limits the volume and duration of these sensations the only way to make people experience high level of happiness over an extended period of time is to manipulate their biochem system.
but that defn of happiness is contested by some scholars.. kahneman…
find meaning to life.. increase human knowledge.. fights to defend homeland.. build new co’s
so perhaps happiness is sync ing one’s personal delusions of meaning w the prevailing collective delusions.. does happiness really depend on self delusion..?
happiness based on feeling pleasant sensations.. then re engineer biochem.. if asked on feeling meaningful.. then delude selves.. is there a their alt..?.. to know truth about self..
the only thing we can try to do is to influence the direction scientists are taking. but since we might soon be able to engineer our desires too, the real question 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.
is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want..
Scott Santens (@scottsantens) tweeted at 3:01 AM – 25 Nov 2017 :
“There will always be jobs if people are prepared to work for sufficiently low wages. But the big question is whether people are going to be better off as a result of automation in the future. Some will. Some won’t.” https://t.co/xytBkJ8bRO #basicincome https://t.co/u6lJ111eAH (http://twitter.com/scottsantens/status/934361278763724801?s=17)
In his bestselling book Homo Deus, the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari makes a simple point about why the future of work may differ drastically from its past. Since the Industrial Revolution, he writes, “As old professions became obsolete, new professions evolved, and there was always something humans could do better than machines.” People in developed countries went from “fields and flocks” to industrial jobs, and then into service industries. “Yet this is not a law of nature,” he points out, “and nothing guarantees it will continue to be like that in the future.” ..t.. With many jobs in service industries on the verge of being automated away, what new work will there be for the millions of people who currently do them?
There are two broad schools of thought about what is happening to paid employment in the 21st century…
1\ technology ..does away with some jobs, it usually creates others.
2\ The other view is more downbeat, and points to the possible dawn of what Harari describes as “the useless class”: large numbers of people who will have no economic value. In this view of things, we need to accept that if paid employment will soon be in much shorter supply, we have to come up with radical answers – starting with the introduction of a universal basic income..t
let’s go root radical – ie: money less.. for all of us
we’re all going to have many careers and jobs over our long working lives now. We’re going to be employed and self-employed – that distinction’s going to go, I think. But the important thing is to have really good basic education, plus some cultural traits like resilience, curiosity and adaptability… and at various points, we’re all going to have to retrain.” ..t .. – Aviva’s chief digital officer is Andrew Brem @abrem
march 14 2018
What’s Next for Humanity: Automation, New Morality and a ‘Global Useless Class’
“Liberal democracy trusts in the feelings of human beings, and that worked as long as nobody could understand your feelings better than yourself — or your mother,” he said. “But if there is an algorithm that understands you better than your mother ..t..and you don’t even understand that this is happening, then liberal democracy will become an emotional puppet show,” he added. “What happens if your heart is a foreign agent, a double agent serving somebody else, who knows how to press your emotional buttons, who knows how to make you angry, how to make you bold, how to make you joyful? This is the kind of threat we’re beginning to see emerging today, for example in elections and referendum.”
deeper problem is that most of us are not ourselves.. algo is simply 1\ labeling you w inhumane metrics .. 2\ from observations of a manufactured you.. no comparison to 1\ your being ness 2\ a mother’s knowing ness
In the 20th century, discrimination was used against entire groups based on various biases. It was fixable, however, because *those biases were not true and victims could join together and take political action. But in the coming years and decades, Mr. Harari said, “we will face individual discrimination, and it might actually be based on a good assessment on who you are.”
*biases in algos not true.. so fixable.. if we’re wise enough to not miss the opp
If algorithms employed by a company look up your Facebook profile or DNA, trawl through school and professional records, *they could figure out pretty accurately who you are..t.. “You will not be able to do anything about this discrimination first of all because it’s just you,” Mr. Harari said. “
*so not true.. metrics don’t even come close