Steven Pinker and Yuval Noah Harari in conversation

Today post is going to be a short one as I just want to share this latest conversation between two of my favourite thinkers Steven Pinker and Yuval Noah Harari.

Yuval Noah Harari & Steven Pinker in conversation

It is a 45-minute conversation so it is not too long and you can watch it easily on the way to work or during lunch. If you have read many of Steven and Yuval’s books, then you may not find the substance of the conversation very new. It is pretty much aligned with what they have written on their various books like:

However, I like the conversation because:

  • A conducive format for an intellectual discussion: I like the format because it doesn’t have the usual distraction like the audience reaction, the overly enthusiastic moderator interruptions. Instead, this is an intimate setting where the two speakers sit together on a small round table. They can see each other when they speak, rather than facing the audience.
  • Steven and Yuval, each had enough time to express their thinking clearly.
  • While they agree on some broad themes and critical issues, there are differences between their thinking. However, they remain respectful and actively listen to each other. You may ask why I highlight this point. Well, this is often not the case in many of the conversations when speakers have different points of view.

That’s about it from me as I don’t want to comment too much and spoil your experience of listening to them.



One comment

  1. Excellent interaction between two rigorous and openminded public intellectuals–thank you for making this so readily accessible.
    A thought I had about the threat of AI/algorithmic rule in employment decisions . . . the program that displaces the interviewer may very well make better decisions re someone’s fitness and fit for a position, but only if the environmental demands that the work is designed to address is static. But it takes evolving expertise at the scene, not an algorithm, to evaluate a worker’s creative adjustments to novel circumstances.

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