Summer Reading – Yuval Noah Harari
Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli professor of history, incredible author and a global thinker.
This is a brief review of four of his pieces of work, all of which I highly recommend!
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
This popular science best-seller is arguably responsible for catapulting Harari onto the international stage.
This book is a journey from the very beginning of humankind all the way through the cognitive, agricultural and scientific revolutions. Faith, borders, money, consumerism – how is it that society became so?
This book explores why and how our species came to rule Planet Earth.
But our self-acclaimed title at the top of the food chain didn’t come quietly. This book doesn’t hold back shedding light on some of the gravest mistakes we have ingrained in our own history. Nor does it shy away from underlining the man-made problems casting shadows on our future.
This book is a masterpiece drawing on history, psychology, and economics – a must-read for an informative and thought-provoking journey through the history of our kind!
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
Harari follows up Sapiens, with a glance through the looking glass into our future. He reflects on the unimaginable strides humankind has made in the past century.
Somehow, we harnessed the power of technology and science, elevating ourselves to god-like powers on Planet Earth.
So, what comes next? Will we finally crack the old-age case and master the art of happiness? Or will technology become so powerful to put an end to the desperate chase of immortality?
And, for our next strides into the future, what price will our planet have to pay?
This book explores the themes that are relevant to us today and that will shape our world in the years to come.
Essay: “The world after coronavirus”
( https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-6858-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75 )
The Financial Times published this essay of Harari’s back in March of last year, when the world was enthralled with its very first battle against coronavirus. Sitting here today, this piece is so interesting to reread with almost 18 months of hindsight.
Yuval Noah Harari sheds lights on themes that have dominated the headlines for the past year and a half.
He probes the question of morality behind government surveillance – in the name of health, how much is too much? And when all of this data is collected, and the pandemic is a thing of the past, where exactly will it go and what exactly will it be used for? How and where do we draw the lines?
He then touches on trust – trust in science, each other, and the government. Accountability – amongst ourselves and of authority.
And finally, he highlights the importance of global cooperation both in the face of the health and ensuing economic crises.
Essay: “Lessons from a year of Covid”
The FT follows up Harari’s original essay, with a second written a year later.
Harari reflects on how the virtual world became a refuge as the physical world around us crumbled under the pressure of the rapidly spreading virus. With automation and digitalisation in our corner, it seemed we had everything we needed to overcome the pandemic.
It was the transparency, cooperation, structure, and authority that were missing from the scene.
This essay is a valuable reflection on the past year – where we won, where we lost, where we had to learn. A must-read!