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Top 500 Yuval Noah Harari Quotes (2023 Update)
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Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Each of these three problems – nuclear war, ecological collapse, and technological disruption – is enough to threaten the future of human civilization. But taken together, they add up to an unprecedented existential crisis, especially because they are likely to reinforce and compound one another.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “There was nothing special about humans. Nobody, least of all humans themselves, had any inkling that their descendants would one day walk on the moon, split the atom, fathom the genetic code and write history books.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “When agriculture and industry came along people could increasingly rely on the skills of others for survival, and new ‘niches for imbeciles’ were opened up.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Humans are in danger of losing their economic value because intelligence is decoupling from consciousness.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Morality doesn’t mean “following divine commands.” It means “reducing suffering.” Therefore in order to act morally, you don’t need to believe in any myth or story.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Once politicians can press our emotional buttons directly, generating anxiety, hatred, joy, and boredom at will, politics will become a mere emotional circus.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Since humans are individuals, it is difficult to connect them to one another and to make sure that they are all up to date. In contrast, computers aren’t individuals, and it is easy to integrate them into a single flexible network.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Data religion now says that your every word and action is part of the great data flow, that the algorithms are constantly watching you and that they care about everything you do and feel. Most people like this very much. For true-believers, to be disconnected from the data flow risks losing the very meaning of life. What’s the point of doing or experiencing anything if nobody knows about it, and if it doesn’t contribute something to the global exchange of information?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The algorithms controlling humans work through sensations, emotions and thoughts.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “However, over the last few decades the life sciences have reached the conclusion that this liberal story is pure mythology. The single authentic self is as real as the eternal soul, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. If I look really deep within myself, the seeming unity that I take for granted dissolves into a cacophony of conflicting voices, none of which is ‘my true self’. Humans aren’t individuals. They are ‘dividuals’.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “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.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Nobody is ever made happy by winning the lottery, buying a house, getting a promotion or even finding true love. Peopleare made happy by one thing and one thing only – pleasant sensations in their bodies.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Then what will happen tomorrow? Nobody knows.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Domesticated chickens and cattle may well be an evolutionary success story, but they are also among the most miserable creatures that ever lived. The domestication of animals was founded on a series of brutal practices that only became crueller with the passing of the centuries.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Two particularly important nonhuman abilities that AI possesses are connectivity and updatability.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Capitalism won the Cold War because distributed data processing works better than centralized data processing, at least in periods of accelerating changes.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “By waving a colorful flag and singing an anthem you transform the nation from an abstract story into a tangible reality.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “True, hundreds of millions may nevertheless go on believing in Islam, Christianity or Hinduism. But numbers alone don’t count for much in history. History is often shaped by small groups of forward-looking innovators rather than by the backward-looking masses. Ten thousand years ago most people were hunter-gatherers and only a few pioneers in the Middle East were farmers.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Famine, plague and war will probably continue to claim millions of victims in the coming decades. Yet they are no longer unavoidable tragedies beyond the understanding and control of a helpless humanity.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “A common enemy is the best catalyst for forging a common identity, and humankind now has at least three such enemies – nuclear war, climate change, and technological disruption.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Modern-day science is a unique tradition of knowledge, inasmuch as it openly admits collective ignorance regarding the most important questions.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Money is 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.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Moreover, most faiths turned death into the main source of meaning in life. Try to imagine Islam, Christianity or the ancient Egyptian religion in a world without death. These creeds taught people that they must come to terms with death and pin their hopes on the afterlife, rather than seek to overcome death and live forever here on earth.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “For more than 2 million years, human neural networks kept growing and growing, but apart from some flint knives and pointed sticks, humans had precious little to show for it. What then drove forward the evolution of the massive human brain during those 2 million years? Frankly, we don’t know.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Do we enter the immigration debate with the assumption that all cultures are inherently equal, or do we think that some cultures might well be superior to others?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Sapiens rule the world because we alone can cooperate flexibly in large numbers, then.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “In truth, so far modern medicine hasn’t extended our natural life span by a single year. Its great achievement has been to save us from premature death, and allow us to enjoy the full measure of our years.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “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?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Don’t believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We thought we were saving time; instead we revved up the treadmill of life to ten times its former speed and made our days more anxious and agitated.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Homo sapiens look like an ecological serial killer.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “With regard to other animals, humans have long since become gods. We don’t like to reflect on this too deeply, because we have not been particularly just or merciful gods.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “If somebody describes to you the world of the mid twenty-first century and it sounds like science fiction, it is probably false. But then if somebody describes to you the world of the mid twenty-first century and it doesn’t sound like science fiction – it is certainly false. We cannot be sure of the specifics, but change itself is the only certainty.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The third way to change the laws of life is to engineer completely inorganic beings. The most obvious examples are computer programs and computer viruses that can undergo independent evolution.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Hammurabi and the American Founding Fathers alike imagined a reality governed by universal and immutable principles of justice, such as equality or hierarchy. Yet the only place where such universal principles exist is in the fertile imagination of Sapiens, and in the myths they invent and tell one another. These principles have no objective validity.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Yet the real potential of future technologies is to change Homo sapiens itself, including our emotions and desires, and not merely our vehicles and weapons. What is a spaceship compared to an eternally young cyborg who does not breed and has no sexuality, who can share thoughts directly with other beings, whose abilities to focus and remember are a thousand times greater than our own, and who is never angry or sad, but has emotions and desires that we cannot begin to imagine?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Sapiens rule the world because only they can weave an intersubjective web of meaning: a web of laws, forces, entities and places that exist purely in their common imagination. This web allows humans alone to organise crusades, socialist revolutions and human rights movements.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom, and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that I know exactly where the world is heading – down. Bewilderment is more humble, and therefore more clear-sighted. If you feel like running down the street crying ‘The apocalypse is upon us!’, try telling yourself ‘No, it’s not that. Truth is, I just don’t understand what’s going on in the world.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Anton Chekhov famously said that a gun appearing in the first act of a play will inevitably be fired in the third. Throughout.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “This is the deep reason secular people cherish scientific truth: not in order to satisfy their curiosity, but in order to know how best to reduce the suffering in the world.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Studying history aims to loosen the grip of the past. It enables us to turn our head this way and that, and begin to notice possibilities that our ancestors could not imagine, or didn’t want us to imagine. By observing the accidental chain of events that led us here, we realise how our very thoughts and dreams took shape – and we can begin to think and dream differently. Studying history will not tell us what to choose, but at least it gives us more options.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Money is based on two universal principles: a. Universal convertibility: with money as an alchemist, you can turn land into loyalty, justice into health, and violence into knowledge. b. Universal trust: with money as a go-between, any two people can cooperate on any project.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this is no longer true: Homo sapiens is transcending those limits. It is now beginning to break the laws of natural selection, replacing them with the laws of intelligent design.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Consider a resident of Berlin, born in 1900 and living to the ripe age of one hundred. She spent her childhood in the Hohenzollern Empire of William II; her adult years in the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Third Reich and Communist East Germany; and she died a citizen of a democratic and reunified Germany. She had managed to be a part of five very different sociopolitical systems, though her DNA remained exactly the same.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Soon, books will read you while you are reading them.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Imagined orders are not evil conspiracies or useless mirages. Rather, they are the only way large numbers of humans can cooperate effectively.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Humans nowadays completely dominate the planet not because the individual human is far smarter and more nimble-fingered than the individual chimp or wolf, but because Homo sapiens is the only species on earth capable of cooperating flexibly in large numbers. Intelligence and toolmaking were obviously very important as well. But if humans had not learned to cooperate flexibly in large numbers, our crafty brains and deft hands would still be splitting flint stones rather than uranium atoms.”
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