Posts in Yuval Noah Harari
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

Ours is often called an information economy, but at a moment when access to information is virtually unlimited, our attention has become the ultimate commodity. In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of efforts to harvest our attention. Wu’s narrative begins in the nineteenth century, when Benjamin Day discovered he could get rich selling newspapers for a penny. Since the early days, the basic business model of “attention merchants” has never changed: free diversion in exchange for a moment of your time, sold in turn to the highest-bidding advertiser.

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

In this artful, informative, and delightful book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war -- and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.

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Chimpanzee Politics

The first edition of Frans de Waal's Chimpanzee Politics was acclaimed not only by primatologists for its scientific achievement but also by politicians, business leaders, and social psychologists for its remarkable insights into the most basic human needs and behaviors. Twenty-five years later, this book is considered a classic. As we watch the chimpanzees of Arnhem behave in ways we recognize from Machiavelli (and from the nightly news), de Waal reminds us again that the roots of politics are older than humanity.

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Brave New World

Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order--all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.

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