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Top 500 Yuval Noah Harari Quotes (2022 Update)
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Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “From a historical perspective, the spiritual journey is always tragic, for it is a lonely path fit for individuals rather than for entire societies. Human cooperation requires firm answers rather than just questions, and those who foam against stultified religious structures end up forging new structures in their place.”
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: “The less political violence in a particular state, the greater the public shock at an act of terrorism.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We like to see underdogs win. But there is no justice in history. Most past cultures have sooner or later fallen prey to the armies of some ruthless empire, which have consigned them to oblivion. Empires, too, ultimately fall, but they tend to leave behind rich and enduring legacies. Almost all people in the twenty-first century are the offspring of one empire or another.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Just as the Atlantic slave trade did not stem from hatred towards Africans, so the modern animal industry is not motivated by animosity. Again, it is fuelled by indifference.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “By contrast, AlphaZero had not been taught any chess strategies by its human creators – not even standard openings. Rather, it used the latest machine-learning principles to teach itself chess by playing against itself. Nevertheless, out of 100 games that the novice AlphaZero played against Stockfish 8, AlphaZero won 28 and tied 72 – it didn’t lose once. Since AlphaZero had learned nothing from any human, many of its winning moves and strategies seemed unconventional to the human eye.”
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: “If you experience sadness without craving that the sadness go away, you continue to feel sadness, but you do not suffer from it. There can actually be richness in the sadness. If you experience joy without craving that the joy linger and intensify, you continue to feel joy without losing your peace of mind.”
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: “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.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “If pupils suffer from attention disorders, stress and low grades, perhaps we ought to blame outdated teaching methods, overcrowded classrooms and an unnaturally fast tempo of life.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Turing knew from personal experience that it didn’t matter who you really were – it mattered only what others thought about you. According to Turing, in the future computers would be just like gay men in the 1950s. It won’t matter whether computers will actually be conscious or not. It will matter only what people think about it. The.”
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: “In the minds of the illiterate peasants, who did not speak Latin, “Hoc est corpus!” got garbled into “Hocus-pocus!” Thus was born the powerful spell that can transform a frog into a prince and a pumpkin into a carriage.6.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “In order to provide every person in the world with the same standard of living as affluent Americans, we would need a few more planets – but we have only this one. If progress and growth do end up destroying the ecosystem, the cost will be dear not merely to vampires, foxes and rabbits, but also to Sapiens.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Soon, books will read you while you are reading them.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “If Kindle is upgraded with face recognition and biometric sensors, it can know what made you laugh, what made you sad and what made you angry. Soon, books will read you while you are reading them.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Throughout this book we have repeatedly asked what makes humans superior to other animals. Dataism has a new and simple answer. In themselves, human experiences are not superior at all to the experiences of wolves or elephants. One bit of data is as good as another. However, a human can write a poem about his experience and post it online, thereby enriching the global data-processing system. That makes his bits count. A wolf cannot do this.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Can a nation really suffer? Has a nation eyes, hands, senses, affections and passions? If you prick it, can it bleed? Obviously not. If it is defeated in war, loses a province, or even forfeits its independence, still it cannot experience pain, sadness or any other kind of misery, for it has no body, no mind, and no feelings whatsoever. In truth, it is just a metaphor.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Christians slaughtered Christians by the millions to defend slightly different interpretations of the religion of love and compassion.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “When considering automation, therefore, it is wrong to compare the abilities of a single human driver to that of a single self-driving car, or of a single human doctor to that of a single AI doctor. Rather, we should compare the abilities of a collection of human individuals to the abilities of an integrated network.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Modern Germans were created from the merger of Saxons, Prussians, Swabians, and Bavarians, who not so long ago wasted little love on one another.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Intelligence is the ability to solve problems. Consciousness is the ability to feel things such as pain, joy, love and anger.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “People usually compare themselves to their more fortunate contemporaries rather than to their ill-fated ancestors. If you tell a poor American in a Detroit slum that he has access to much better healthcare than his great-grandparents did a century ago, it is unlikely to cheer him up. Indeed, such talk will sound terribly smug and condescending. ‘Why should I compare myself to nineteenth-century factory workers or peasants?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “It is extremely hard to discover the truth when you are ruling the world. You are just far too busy.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Most humans never enjoyed greater peace or prosperity than they did under the aegis of the liberal order of the early twenty-first century. For the first time in history, infectious diseases kill fewer people than old age, famine kills fewer people than obesity, and violence kills fewer people than accidents.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Reliable information about who could be trusted meant that small bands could expand into larger bands, and Sapiens could develop tighter and more sophisticated types of cooperation.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The prevailing feeling is that too many opportunities are opening too quickly and that our ability to modify genes is outpacing our capacity for making wise and farsighted use of the skill.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Perhaps in the twenty-first century populist revolts will be staged not against an economic elite that exploits people but against an economic elite that does not need them anymore.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Yet once biologists concluded that organisms are algorithms, they dismantled the wall between the organic and the inorganic, turned the computer revolution from a purely mechanical affair into a biological cataclysm, and shifted authority from individual humans to networked algorithms.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Cultures are mental parasites that emerge accidentally, and thereafter take advantage of all people infected by them.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “All social mammals, such as wolves, dolphins, and monkeys, have ethical codes, adapted by evolution to promote group cooperation.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “You cannot experience something if you don’t have the necessary sensitivity, and you cannot develop your sensitivity except by undergoing a long string of experiences.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “We are suddenly showing unprecedented interest in the fate of so-called lower life forms, perhaps because we are about to become one.”
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: “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: “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: “The ability to navigate is like a muscle – use it or lose it.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Organs evolve to perform a particular function, but once they exist, they can be adapted for other usages as well. Mouths, for example, appeared because the earliest multicellular organisms needed a way to take nutrients into their bodies. We still use our mouths for that purpose, but we also use them to kiss, speak and, if we are Rambo, to pull the pins out of hand grenades.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Yet Smith’s claim that the selfish human urge to increase private profits is the basis for collective wealth is one of the most revolutionary ideas in human history – revolutionary not just from an economic perspective, but even more so from a moral and political perspective. What Smith says is, in fact, that greed is good, and that by becoming richer I benefit everybody, not just myself. Egoism is altruism.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Politics, too, is a second-order chaotic system. Many people criticise Sovietologists for failing to predict the 1989 revolutions and castigate Middle East experts for not anticipating the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011. This is unfair. Revolutions are, by definition, unpredictable. A predictable revolution never erupts.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “People who believe in the hi-tech Ark should not be put in charge of the global ecology, for the same reason that people who believe in a heavenly afterlife should not be given nuclear weapons.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “The single most remarkable and defining moment of the past 500 years came at 05:29:45 on 16 July 1945. At that precise second, American scientists detonated the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico. From that point onward, humankind had the capability not only to change the course of history, but to end it.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Democratic elections usually work only within populations that have some prior common bond, such as shared religious beliefs or national myths. They are a method to settle disagreements among people who already agree on the basics.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “A single priest often does the work of a hundred soldiers – far more cheaply and effectively.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Prophets of doom warn that sooner or later Homo sapiens will exhaust the raw materials and energy of planet Earth. And what will happen then?”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Facebook AI can not only identify ‘meaningful communities’, but also ‘strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together’.”
Yuval Noah Harari Quote: “Did you ever vote about the internet?”
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: “In the future, however, we may see real gaps in physical and cognitive abilities opening between an upgraded upper class and the rest of society.”
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