Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎

1976 CE –

Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

Harari lives with his husband in a small, cooperative community near Jerusalem where he teaches, and writes thoughtful, challenging books. His best-seller, Sapiens—already translated into 45 different languages—examines our history going all the way back to the Cognitive Revolution 70,000 years ago and describes an unconventional but hard-to-dismiss view of progress, technology, free will, and the future. A strong advocate for animal rights and close student of S. N. Goenka, he practices and teaches Vipassana meditation as well as using it as a research tool for developing his understanding of history, evolution, and the nature of human cultur

Eras

Sources

Sapiens

Unlisted Sources

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

Quotes by Yuval Harari (34 quotes)

“Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so.”

Themes: Evolution

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“Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history... the fate of industrially farmed animals [is] one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time.”

Themes: Agriculture

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“If governments and corporations succeed in hacking the human animal, the easiest people to manipulate will be those who believe in free will.”

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“Things are better than ever before. Things are still quite bad. Things can get much worse. This adds up to a somewhat optimistic view because if you realize things are better than before, this means we can make them even better.”

Themes: Progress

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“a dramatic increase in the collective power and ostensible success of our species went hand in hand with much individual suffering... This discrepancy between evolutionary success and individual suffering is perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from the Agricultural Revolution.”

from Sapiens

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“We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Conflict

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“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined ordered such as Christianity, democracy, or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature.”

from Sapiens

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“When Alexander the Great once visited Diogenes as he was relaxing in the sun and asked if there were anything he might do for him, the Cynic answered the all-powerful conqueror, 'Yes, there is something you can do for me. Please move a little to the side. You are blocking the sunlight.'”

from Sapiens

Themes: Materialism

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“This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.”

from Sapiens

Themes: History

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“The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest!’ The supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy!’”

from Sapiens

Themes: Consumerism Greed

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“The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody can live up to. Most Christians did not imitate Christ, most Buddhists failed to follow Buddha, and most Confucians would have caused Confucius a temper tantrum. In contrast, most people today successfully live up to the capitalist–consumerist ideal.”

from Sapiens

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“[Capitalist–consumerism] is the first religion in history whose followers actually do what they are asked to do... most people today successfully live up to this ideal... the rich remain greedy and spend their time making more money and the masses give free reign to their cravings and passions and buy more and more.”

from Sapiens

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“Consistency is the playground of dull minds.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Paradox

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“Biology enables, Culture forbids. ”

from Sapiens

Themes: Culture

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“Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Money

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“So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief.”

from Sapiens

Themes: God

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“One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Economics

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“The romantic contrast between modern industry that 'destroys nature' and our ancestors who 'lived in harmony with nature' is groundless. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of life.”

from Sapiens

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“Happiness does not really depend on objective conditions of either wealth, health or even community. Rather, it depends on the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Happiness

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“The most common reaction of the human mind to achievement is not satisfaction, but craving for more.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Desire

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“Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Any large-scale human cooperation – whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city or an archaic tribe – is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.”

from Sapiens

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“Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.”

from Sapiens

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“In 2012 about 56 million people died throughout the world; 620,000 of them died due to human violence (war killed 120,000 people, and crime killed another 500,000). In contrast, 800,000 committed suicide, and 1.5 million died of diabetes. Sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Health Longevity

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“Voltaire said about God that ‘there is no God, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murder me at night’. Hammurabi would have said the same about his principle of hierarchy, and Thomas Jefferson about human rights. Homo sapiens has no natural rights, just as spiders, hyenas and chimpanzees have no natural rights. But don’t tell that to our servants, lest they murder us at night.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Deception

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“Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.”

from Sapiens

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“People are usually afraid of change because they fear the unknown. But the single greatest constant of history is that everything changes.”

from Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

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“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realized how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress.”

from Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

Themes: Ignorance

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“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

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“In the past, censorship worked by blocking the flow of information. In the twenty-first century, censorship works by flooding people with irrelevant information. [...] In ancient times having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore.”

from Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

Themes: Control

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“Every day millions of people decide to grant their smartphone a bit more control over their lives or try a new and more effective antidepressant drug. In pursuit of health, happiness and power, humans will gradually change first one of their features and then another, and another, until they will no longer be human.”

from Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow

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“The Agricultural Revolution was a trap... This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.”

from Sapiens

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“Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to puy a prouct... Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Consumerism

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“Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism... [it] tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can... go traveling in distant lands, sample various kinds of relationships, try different cuisines different style of music”

from Sapiens

Themes: Travel

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“Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids... Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.”

from Sapiens

Themes: Ambition

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