Notes from the recent conversation between Daniel Kahneman and Yuval Noah Harari

  • There are two most important things to understand. The first is that nothing is deterministic. There are many potential outcomes to this pandemic.
  • It all depends on our decision. We can decide to for instance to react to the pandemic through a global corporation and this will result in more cooperation and this will result in a more cooperative world afterward or we could decide to react to the pandemic by competition, isolation, and greater nationalism and this will be the world.
  • The other main thing is that different people in different countries will have different outcomes. There is a lot of discussion on how the economy will emerge from the pandemic, a U shape recovery, or a V-shaped recovery. I think it will be a K shape recovery, some things going up sharply and some things going down sharply. For example, tourism is collapsing and digital industries are wealthier than ever.
  • Some countries and regions will come out of this more powerful than before and some might be completely bankrupt.
  • Humanity doesn’t have a single future or a single outcome. What should we teach our kids depends on who we are and where do we live. Some skills can be more helpful in one place than the others.
  • For the first time in human history, we have no idea how the world will look like in a very short time. Throughout history, we always knew that whatever happens, the basics of human structure such as the job market, skills needed won’t change. But for the first time, we have no idea what the job market will look like, what skills people will need.
  • For the first time in history, the deep structure of human beings is likely to start changing. We are the same animals we were in the middle age, we are still the same animals we were in biblical times or even the stone age. This is why we can easily connect to the works of art from thousands of years ago. Humanity- the body, the brain, the mental structure, mental structure of people are now open to greater and greater manipulation and it is a reasonable bet that in a century or two, our planet will be dominated by entities that are much more different than us than we are different from the neanderthals or even chimpanzees.




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