Yuval Noah Harari: What explains the rise of humans?
In his book "Homo Deus," Yuval Noah Harari explores the future of humankind: the destinies we may set for ourselves and the quests we'll undertake. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
were insignificant animals.
about prehistoric humans
much greater than that of jellyfish
we control this planet.
from insignificant apes,
in a corner of Africa,
between us and all the other animals
to a dog or a pig, or a chimpanzee.
on the individual level,
to a chimpanzee.
and put us together on some lonely island,
to see who survives better,
on the chimpanzee, not on myself.
wrong with me personally.
of you, and placed you alone
and all other animals
because they are the only animals
and in very large numbers.
the bees, the ants --
but they don't do so flexibly.
in which a beehive can function.
or a new danger,
the social system overnight.
execute the queen
of worker bees.
the dolphins, the chimpanzees --
one of the other.
cooperate with you?
the two abilities together
and still do so in very large numbers
against 1,000 chimpanzees,
for the simple reason
cannot cooperate at all.
or into Wembley Stadium,
with 100,000 chimpanzees.
gather there in tens of thousands,
and effective networks of cooperation.
of humankind throughout history,
or flying to the moon,
on individual abilities,
flexibly in large numbers.
that I'm giving now:
of about 300 or 400 people,
all the people who have organized
and the crew members of the plane
yesterday, to London.
who invented and manufactured
which are recording what I'm saying.
who wrote all the books and articles
over the Internet,
we don't know each other,
this global exchange of ideas.
traveling to some distant chimpanzee band
or about elephants,
not always nice;
have been doing throughout history --
some very horrible things --
on large-scale cooperation.
are a system of cooperation.
and prisons and concentration camps.
to convince you perhaps that yes,
cooperate flexibly in large numbers.
to cooperate in such a way?
with countless numbers of strangers,
the animals on the planet,
in the same fiction,
the same rules,
their communication system
There's a lion, let's run away!"
over there! Let's go and get bananas!"
not merely to describe reality,
there is a god above the clouds!
and send you to hell."
that I've invented,
norms and laws and values,
to give you a banana
you'll go to chimpanzee heaven ..."
of bananas for your good deeds.
believe such a story.
in zoos and research laboratories.
by believing in the same fictions.
to build a cathedral or a mosque
they all believe in the same stories
is that exactly the same mechanism
of mass-scale human cooperation,
are based on a belief in human rights.
are just a story that we've invented.
about homo sapiens.
cut him open, look inside,
neurons, hormones, DNA,
are in the stories
over the last few centuries.
very good stories,
that we've invented.
in modern politics are states and nations.
you can ever smell it.
in the global economy
for a corporation,
it has no objective value.
of paper, the dollar bill.
these master storytellers --
whom I've never met before,
which I can actually eat.
I'll give you a banana."
a worthless piece of paper
the most successful story
and in the dollar bill.
and American religion
to American dollars.
because we live in a dual reality.
in an objective reality.
of objective entities,
and lions and elephants.
in an objective reality.
and trees and lions and elephants.
of this objective reality
like money, like corporations.
as history unfolded,
more and more powerful
forces in the world
and trees and lions and elephants
of fictional entities,
like the World Bank --
in our own imagination.
a new book out.
yet translated into ...
the translation as we speak.
understand it correctly,
that we are experiencing right now
make our lives better,
just as the industrial revolution did."
of the urban proletariat.
history of the last 200 years involved
and the new problems and opportunities.
massive class of useless people.
in more and more fields,
computers will out-perform us
and economic question
so many humans for?"
we have is to keep them happy
like a very appealing future.
in the book and now,
about the growing evidence
we are just kind of at the beginning
of possibilities before us.
of a new massive class of useless people.
the division of humankind
into virtual gods,
to this level of useless people.
coming up in a year or two.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERYuval Noah Harari - Historian, author
In his book "Homo Deus," Yuval Noah Harari explores the future of humankind: the destinies we may set for ourselves and the quests we'll undertake.
Why you should listen
In his book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, Yuval Noah Harari explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century -- from overcoming death to creating artificial life. He maps the future and asks fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? How will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? The book has sold four million copies since its publication in 2016.
Harari's previous book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, explores what made homo sapiens the most successful species on the planet. His answer: We are the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in our imagination, such as gods, states, money, human rights, corporations and other fictions, and we have developed a unique ability to use these stories to unify and organize groups and ensure cooperation. Sapiens has sold eight million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and President Barack Obama have recommended it as a must-read.
Harari lectures as a Professor of history at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he specializes in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? Harari has written for newspapers such as The Guardian, Financial Times, the Times, Nature magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
Harari's new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, will take the pulse of our current global climate, focusing on the biggest questions of the present moment: What is really happening right now? What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? What should we pay attention to? The book will be published in multiple languages in September 2018.
Yuval Noah Harari | Speaker | TED.com