Unknown artists Mariano, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Unknown artists Mariano, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Inventing Society with Yuval Noah Harari

Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas, near the town of Perito Moreno in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. Picture taken in 2005.
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About This Episode

How did humans come to create society? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Yuval Noah Harari, historian and author of “Sapiens” & “Unstoppable Us,” discuss our species’ ability to cooperate, the role of artificial intelligence, and more.

What empowered humans to take over the world? Learn about the role of fiction in maintaining societal order. Are we susceptible to societal collapse? Is money just a concept? We explore cryptocurrency and the role of trust in our economies. How is it that we trust strangers? 

You will learn about astrophysics’ historical link to politics. Is there a way to intentionally destabilize a society? We discuss the US Constitution and its important role in the broader history of lawmaking. Find out how artificial intelligence can be biased and its potential impact on society. How has AI already radically changed our world? We also explore the state of surveillance and potential threats to our privacy. 

Are science denial and rejection of history intertwined? How do we build trust in institutions? We break down why many people gravitate to charismatic fascist leaders over a large institution. Do our basic human instincts screw us over sometimes? Is peace achievable? All that, plus, a message of hope and acknowledgement of human progress. 

Thanks to our Patrons James Wilson, Zachary Webb, Haris Dilberovic, and Sam McGilvery for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

In This Episode

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