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Bingecast: Yuval Harari’s Silly Dystopian Ideas

Will infotech and biotech erode human agency, subvert human desires, and render free-market economics obsolete?  At first glance, there looks to be a wide gap between the future of AI and the destruction of democracy. Some futurists claim to have jumped that chasm. In a cheery little column published by the Atlantic, Yuval Noah Harari posits AI will ultimately destroy democracy and favor Digital Dictatorships. What is his argument and does it hold water?

Show Notes

  • 00:55 | Introducing Jay Richards
  • 02:50 | Yuval Noah Harari’s view of the future
  • 06:20 | Democracy and Tyranny
  • 07:46 | Ownership of data
  • 08:15 | Responding to Harari
  • 09:40 | Survival of Democracy and military technology
  • 11:00 | World War II and Man in the High Castle
  • 12:14 | Harari and ordinary people
  • 15:35 | A new useless class
  • 16:40 | Bespoke labor
  • 18:20 | Moravec’s paradox
  • 21:30 | Democracy and the Free Market
  • 24:49 | Creativity and chess
  • 28:16 | Homo Sapiens, Homo Deus, and the fate of mankin
  • 28:51 | Mistaking philosophical debates for debates about technology
  • 29:41 | Forecasting about the future
  • 31:11 | Reinventing ourselves
  • 33:01 | Dilbert and talent stacks
  • 34:56 | The rise of digital dictatorships
  • 36:15 | Hordes of bots
  • 38:56 | Democracy versus dictatorship
  • 40:55 | Airplanes, radar, and the obsolescence of military technologies
  • 42:50 | From what does innovation originate
  • 43:30 | Why did information processing favor democracies?
  • 43:55 | The death of democracy, religion, and art
  • 44:45 | eHarmony and the role of AI in the human drama
  • 46:10 | Surrendering our decisions to a computer
  • 46:45 | The role of religion and supposition
  • 49:00 | A prognosis, a more concerted study of the human mind
  • 51:14 | Avoiding the concentration of wealth
  • 52:30 | Comparing Harari with George Gilder’s Life After Google
  • 54:35 | “Ordinary people”
  • 56:10 | Worrying more about Brave New World than 1984
  • 57:40 | Evolving AI and devolving humans
  • 59:35 | What can we expect from Harari
  • 01:00:30The Atlantic as a helpful distillation

References and Resources


Bingecast: Yuval Harari’s Silly Dystopian Ideas