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Yuval Noah Harari - In the news 
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Post Yuval Noah Harari - In the news
Interview with Yuval Noah Harari ‘The idea of free information is extremely dangerous’
The Guardian, Andrew Anthony 8/5/18

As his new book is published, the bestselling author talks fake news, meditation and appearing with Natalie Portman.
Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian who has written two bestsellers: Sapiens, which examined the course of early human history, and Homo Deus, which speculated on where we might be heading as a post-human species. His new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, is an exploration of the difficulties that confront us at the present.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/201 ... 21-lessons



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DWill, geo
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:09 pm
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Post Re: Yuval Noah Harari - In the news
‘Humans are a post-truth species’
In his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the bestselling author turns his attention to the problems we face today. Here, he argues that ‘fake news’ is much older than Facebook.

Extract from his upcoming book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

8/5/18
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/201 ... -homo-deus



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Post Re: Yuval Noah Harari - In the news
Thanks for bringing this up, LanDroid. In light of the "censorship on social media" thread, it is a perspective worth examining.

I worry a little that Harari is tweaking people by treating religion as "effective fiction" when the comparison to Putin's manipulation is a false equivalence. First, we live in a time when journalistic standards of verification are assumed, and so a claim about use of guns by pro-Russian militias in Ukraine is a different beast.

Second, one can make a good case that made-up stories of magical events in ancient times, such as those told about Pythagoras and Siddhartha Gautama, were expected embellishment intended to convey cosmic significance, with no more intent to fool people than the claim of Robin Hood firing an arrow that split another arrow. Reactionary defense of the literal accuracy of Biblical miracle stories is pretty much a modern phenomenon, raised because awareness of such claims by other cultures, during the Renaissance, led to questioning. The questioning, in turn, was taken as a challenge to the church authority.

I am not saying the stories were ever true, but I am saying that their telling was not primarily a manipulation by power-hungry authorities, and we should be careful about calling them "just fake news."



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DWill, Robert Tulip
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:58 pm
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Post Re: Yuval Noah Harari - In the news
I'm not even sure that fiction was necessarily a category anciently. contrasted with non-fiction. The Greeks developed rational philosophy, but its general use wasn't widespread or lasting. We didn't get to the point where a scientific standard of knowledge was feasible until the late Middle Ages. Since that time, the tools have been available that Harari recommends we employ to separate true information from fake. We can also distinguish a particular instrumental use of fiction from fiction that, as you say, could have been generated for quite different reasons, reasons not having to do directly with the competition for power. Such might have been the case with narratives used in religion.

Harari strikes me as a wise man for one so young. Calling humans a post-truth species might well be telling it like it is, but there is a danger that some might get from this, as you also say, the idea of false equivalence, because don't we all make and fall for fictions? If we all do it, then calling out another person is hypocrisy. Putin, and defenders of Trump, are good at working this angle. They want to make everyone cynics. But being committed to a self-critical quest to keep the line between the real and the made-up as distinct as possible, is important and is about all that separates us from this post-truth world.



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Harry Marks
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:26 pm
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