Yuval Noah Harari, The Futuristic Historian

Yuval Noah Harari is considered by many to be the most important humanist of today, since he is one of the few thinkers who has dared to look to the future from a very solid critical perspective and from a perspective that questions values, democracy and the fate of societies.

This interesting Israeli writer conquered the world mainly with two interesting works. One of them has been Sapiens: From animals to gods. A Brief History of Humanity (2014), in which he makes an intelligent review of all of history. This work has been translated into more than 50 languages ​​and sold more than 8 million copies in just a few years.

The history of ethics is a sad tale of wonderful ideals that nobody fulfills .”

-Yuval Noah Harari-

Yuval Noah Harari’s second famous work was Homo Deus: A Short History of Tomorrow  published in 2016 and as successful as the previous one. In this book, Harari makes a projection about what awaits us in the future as a species and opens up disturbing questions about that tomorrow. It basically states that during the next century everything will be radically transformed.

Yuval Noah Harari, a brilliant historian

Yuval Noah Harari was born in Israel on February 24, 1976. His family  comes from Eastern Europe. He was born in Israel due to his Polish grandmother moving there in 1934.

Harari grew up in the city of Haifa and studied history and international relations in her country. He went on to earn an MA in History and later a Ph.D. from Oxford in the same discipline.

Since 2008, he has been a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, his studies focused on medieval  and military history . This gave him the substrate to write Sapiens: From Animals to Gods , an ambitious work that basically covers the entire history of mankind. His great contribution is to address that history as a global whole, since the beginning of time.

That work catapulted him to fame and he soon found himself giving lectures in different parts of the world. With Homo Deus  he became a celebrity and began to be considered the most important intellectual of today in the whole world.

The Silicon Valley Lighthouse

During 2018, Yuval Noah Harari toured the United States, promoting his latest work, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century . During that tour something happened that he himself did not expect: he discovered that the great personalities of Silicon Valley were his admirers and saw him as a kind of guru.

The research division of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) extended an invitation for them to have a private meeting. Likewise, Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix , hosted a dinner in his honor. Yuval Noah Harari was perplexed, as his work is particularly critical of technological society and the computer giants.

Harari has pointed out that the heavyweights of the Internet have been shaping people’s minds, in a brutal way. For the same reason, today people have their brains ” hacked ” and they think exactly what those large multinationals want them to think. With this, the concept of democracy has been put at risk, and even human freedom itself.

A futuristic historian

Everything indicates that the Silicon Valley giants not only admire and value the ideas of Yuval Noah Harari, but are particularly attracted to the lifestyle of this historian. Harari is openly gay and lives with his partner, Itzik Yahav, in a ” moshav. This is a type of cooperative community of a rural nature, in Israel.

Likewise, Harari does not use mobile phones, an aspect that draws attention, since he knows them very well and has analyzed their impact in a very lucid way in his works. On the other hand, this historian dedicates two hours to meditation every day and chooses two months each year to isolate himself and live in complete silence. It is also vegan.

Beyond these particularities, Yuval Noah Harari has generated important reflections on the direction the world is taking. Think that we are close to a society in which many men are going to be replaced by robots in their jobs, creating a mass of virtually useless people, while an increasingly smaller elite runs the world.

He has also said that by 2100 death will be a matter of the past. Likewise, the current trend is to make us less and less free and more self-deceived. His ideas have been like a warning bell, which many in the world are listening to.