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History & Archeology

Yuval Noah Harari: ‘We are quickly acquiring powers that were always thought to be divine’, The Guardian

The historian and author, 40, on censorship, the power of artificial intelligence to read emotions and why this century will spawn the useless class

Yuval Noah Harari


I’m a historian. I really like the past. But most people seem far more interested in what you can tell them about the future.

The agricultural and industrial revolutions were about changing the world outside us. This century will be about changing the world inside us – making new entities with new kinds of brains. We are quickly acquiring powers that were always thought to be divine.

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I grew up in a small industrial suburb of Haifa, in Israel. As far back as I remember I was interested in big questions. Who are we? What are we doing here? But the chances to discuss philosophy were quite thin on the ground.

Censorship works now not by hiding things from you but by overwhelming you with facts, so we don’t know what is important and what is not important. I think people are desperate for big, coherent narratives.

Read the full story at The Guardian, by Tim Adams




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