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#138- The Edge of Humanity A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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19 September 2018 22:21
 

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Yuval Noah Harari about his new book “21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” They discuss the importance of meditation for his intellectual life, the primacy of stories, the need to revise our fundamental assumptions about human civilization, the threats to liberal democracy, a world without work, universal basic income, the virtues of nationalism, the implications of AI and automation, and other topics.

#138- The Edge of Humanity A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari

This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
 
Twissel
 
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20 September 2018 00:13
 

I very much enjoyed the conversation.

I consider Harari to be one of the clearest thinkers of our time.

 
 
RedSeed
 
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20 September 2018 05:50
 

Very interesting conversation. Harari says Americans should avoid impeaching Trump to try and preserve his die-hard supporters’ trust in the system, but putting aside the fact I’d say that Trump supporters are already a demographic most likely to have no trust in the system - that camel’s back is already broken - what about the trust of the rest of the country? I have been shocked at how Trump has been able to ride roughshod over American ethics and integrity, institutions, even laws. When will he be challenged? When will the antibodies kick in? I am not American, I can’t even imagine how the majority of Americans feel. Maybe that’s an extra point, impeaching Trump would restore trust in America from the outside too, and just as Trump emboldens ambitious cretins the world over maybe if America pulls itself together that will also have a positive effect of helping extinguish populism elsewhere.

[ Edited: 20 September 2018 05:55 by RedSeed]
 
Russco79
 
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21 September 2018 04:07
 

You’re suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.  Everything about Trump is blown up to proportions never ever witnessed by a flagrantly bias media.  It’s actually jawdropping if you are a neutral observer the extent to which this is occurs though is perfectly easy to explain since the media in the clickbait internet age has completely lost it’s way.

Now I am no fan of Trump.  But once you allow for the fact he is a loose-talker, or put much less charitably he talks endless crap, his actions are perfectly benign in terms of lawbreaking or ethics breaking.  They are conservative and stupid, but nothing illegal or immoral yet.  The Russia investigation may dig up some solid stuff, but it’s been going on so long any betting person would be wise to hold off any money.

Trump really isn’t smart enough to be this evil grandmaster.  He doesn’t think before he opens his mouth but thats pretty much it.  Most of the hate stirred up in his base is just in response to ceaseless poisonous attacks from the other side.  Trump is a product of the toxic state of politics in America, not the creator of it.

 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 04:28
 

Neutral observer?
Stop kidding yourself.

Compared to the Nixon, Clinton or Benghazi investigations, the Mueller probe has barely started. In that time, it has produced tons of verdicts and many guilty pleas - any betting person is certain that Mueller will produce an incredibly comprehensive report on how Russia interfered in the Election.
I agree that Trump will most likely turn out to be nothing but a puppet to Putin, someone too untrustworthy to actually bring into the conspiracy. But that doesn’t make him innocent.

 
 
Russco79
 
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21 September 2018 05:13
 

It’s produced barely anything of real importance.  It’s proved Trump is a hopeless judge of character that’s for sure but very unlikely he did anything criminal.  The idea that Trump is a puppet of Putin is just daft.  For starters what would be his motive?  You really think Trump is the kinda guy who would think he needs help?  He’s just a walking ego who think he can do anything.  A arrogant loudmouth buffoon who’s not smart enough to pull off any devious plan.  Any collusion that man orchestrated would have been dug up by now he is simply too incompetent to pull off anything.  Look at his campaign.  Look at the administration. You think this guy can pull of a sophisticated ploy with a foreign government to steal an election without leaving a trace that takes over two years to find?  He would have boasted about it by now!

We’ll see what the investigation comes up with.  I’m betting it’s a load of smoke without fire.

 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 05:22
 

You are working under the illusion that Trump is the focus of the Mueller investigation - he is not.
Russian interference is the focus, with all the actors in and out of the Trump campaign as accomplices.
Trump, by the admission of some of his lawyers and those who have worked for him, is most certainly guilty of Obstruction.

For anyone wanting to preserve this democracy, this should be a big deal.

 
 
RedSeed
 
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21 September 2018 05:35
 
Russco79 - 21 September 2018 04:07 AM

You’re suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

That has to be some Fox News nonsense, right? I could just as easily say you are suffering from an invented syndrome that implies you are ignorant and naive rather than deranged. It reminds me of ‘Islamophobia’ in its use, designed to negatively reframe people with real concerns to make them easy to dismiss.

I don’t think he’s a comic book evil genius playing out an impossible plan at all, that is closer to Putin’s role in the world. Trump’s a greedy, impulsive, unprincipled, extremely narcissistic oddball with great admiration for authoritarians and seemingly little for American systems and institutions. Give that person the most powerful position in the western world, not to mention leadership of a party of enablers with control of congress etc. and you could have some problems! Unless you’re anyone with a vested interest in the US’s influence and alliances withering, of course.

 

 
Russco79
 
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21 September 2018 05:41
 

Sure. But now we’re using more sensible language.  Obstruction is of course a bad thing, but is it an aberration we’ve never witnessed before worthy of panic stations?  I don’t think so.  Clinton lied and lied and lied.  The dems trashed the lives of all his accusers.  The whole game is a dirty disgusting business.  My main point is that the endless news cycle of Trump bashing is way overblown and people shouldn’t think the American political system is any real trouble.

Re Trump Derangement Syndrome it’s not a serious term.  Just one that conveys someone who is blowing the threat from Trump way out of proportion.

Trump is a narcissistic oddball who probably does admire authoritarians in his dumb non-thinking way.  But the way he talks and acts seems to be disjointed from his actions.  Sounds weird I know.  I just don’t see the impending catastrophe that some people do.

 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 05:47
 

Ah, Whataboutism - proof that you have run out of arguments.

Trump has done tremendous damage to the relationship with our allies. He has put the US an extra 1.5 trillion in debt. He is destroying jobs with stupid tarrifs. And he is refusing to protect our election against interference.

These are facts.

 

[ Edited: 21 September 2018 05:49 by Twissel]
 
 
Russco79
 
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21 September 2018 06:20
 

Tremendous— that’s Trump lingo!  An exaggeration. The next president will be able to repair them in one meeting plus he has a point on a lot of issues, he just fumbles the delivery.  The debt is terrible I agree, though who was advocating cutting spending?  Certainly not Hilary. The Tarrifs are stupid but he managed to reduce taxes which will boost employment, currently the employment numbers are up.  Maybe tarrifs will be a problem but again it’s no aberration.

Ask yourself if you had to place a large bet on US democracy making it intact to the next election cycle and the economy ticking along without any great shakes what would be the odds?  Likely overwhelming favourite.  My point is simply the hysteria is overblown and causing as much damage as any threat Trump poses.

 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 07:04
 

Every economist agrees that companies don’t need tax cuts - this is simply money down the drain. Clinton would have saved it for the inevitable downturn.
Clinton also didn’t clock about 6 lies per day - no public figure in the history of the US has lied as much as Trump.
And I noticed you ignored protecting the US voting system, something that Clinton would have made a priority.

How can we protect the country if we refuse to safeguard the elections?

You know who is hysterical about this?
The entire Intelligence Community.

[ Edited: 21 September 2018 07:07 by Twissel]
 
 
Russco79
 
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21 September 2018 07:17
 
Twissel - 21 September 2018 07:04 AM

Every economist agrees that companies don’t need tax cuts - this is simply money down the drain. Clinton would have saved it for the inevitable downturn.

With respect this is such a non-sensical statement I don’t know where to begin so I won’t.

I ignored the protecting comment as we had already discussed it.  He lies and he talks rubbish I’m not denying that.  I’m simply saying should people be at panic stations?  No.  Seems Harari agrees.

 

[ Edited: 21 September 2018 07:19 by Russco79]
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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21 September 2018 08:13
 

Given the twentieth century history of things like trade wars, isolationism and nationalism combined with our nations specific history on these issues I don’t think minimizing the danger of a Trump presidency makes any sense at all. Of course we should not give credence to rumor or hyperbole but the effect that Trump style rhetoric and policy has on culture in general is consistently disastrous. I don’t care whether he slept with porn stars but I do care that he persistently praises fascist leaders. I do care that he bites down hard on any chance to maximize partisan polarization. If you don’t think this stuff is really dangerous I must say I don’t think you are paying attention.

 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 08:33
 
Russco79 - 21 September 2018 07:17 AM
Twissel - 21 September 2018 07:04 AM

Every economist agrees that companies don’t need tax cuts - this is simply money down the drain. Clinton would have saved it for the inevitable downturn.

With respect this is such a non-sensical statement I don’t know where to begin so I won’t.

now you know how I feel about everything you posted so far.

Are you, by any chance, a supply-side economist?

Russco79 - 21 September 2018 07:17 AM

I ignored the protecting comment as we had already discussed it.  He lies and he talks rubbish I’m not denying that.  I’m simply saying should people be at panic stations?  No.  Seems Harari agrees.


on a side note: are you a Russian troll that you are not concerned about the 2018 and 2020 election being hacked?


There are no panic stations: you are just imagining that. Trump is simply the stupidest person to ever be President. It doesn’t hurt to repeat that at every opportunity.
Not-Trumpers simply try to slow him as much as possible (including those in his administration) and try to make sure that the government gets some checks-and-balance from the House after the Midterms.
If the Dem don’t take the House, then I’m going to start panicking.

[ Edited: 21 September 2018 08:39 by Twissel]
 
 
Twissel
 
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21 September 2018 08:41
 

Compared to the Panic on the Right after Roe v. Wade or Obamacare, people are very calm, btw.

 
 
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