By Derek Gille
Welcome to The Podcast Plug, where we do just that. Each week we will be plugging our favorite podcasts, both old and new, of all genres.
Leave us a comment or email us and let us know your podcast recommendations for a shot at a future feature.
THIS WEEKS PICK:
Podcast: Yuval Noah Harari: Getting Interviewed
Episode duration: 1 hour
Background & description:
Yuval Noah Harari has emerged as one of the most influential intellectuals of his day. Harari has authored three best-selling books; Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. He is currently a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Due to the nature of history PhD programs, historians often become experts on isolated and specific events or time – Harari earned his analyzing letters sent home from soldiers during medieval ages. Now, Harari occupies the role of a macro-historian, interested in topics playing out on large time-scales over vast environtments. – Was the individual human better off after the Agricultural Revolution? How have the advances of science changed our understanding of free-will? How will the bio-tech and AI revolutions shape the future of humans?
Harari argues that all large-scale human cooperation, be it economies, nations, religion ect., is based on fictional stories. There is no physical reality of the United States, the lines on our maps are nowhere to be found across south Texas, however the US remains a nation with boarders because we all agree that the story is true.
Human rights – the keystone of the liberal democracies that dominate contemporary government – is a story. This does not mean that this is not a good story, or that it isn’t better than other stories told. When you look inside a human you see many things, none of which are human rights. There is no physical reality to this, it is a story told that becomes true only once many accept it.
Sapiens gives us a history of Homo Sapiens, how this storytelling allowed for unprecedented large scale cooperation, which lead us to dominate the planet. Homo Deus looks deep into the future, asking if the stories we tell ourselves today can withstand the coming changes. 21 Lessons focuses on today, discussing issues we are facing right now.
Why we like it:
Harari offers insightful, thought-provoking ideas in both his books and throughout these interviews. There are things for all of us to learn within this podcast, some of which may help you navigate the current and coming landscape of our world.
Some of our favorite episodes:
#1 Mark Zuckherburg and Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation
#3 Yuval Noah Harari and Steven Pinker in Conversation
#9 The Ted Interview
#8 Making Sense with Sam Harris – 138
You can listen to Yuvals’ podcast on the iHeartRadio app, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.