By Alec Hogg
Like anyone who has read Yuval Noah Harari‘s bestseller, I’m particularly attentive when his name appears in articles. Someone possessing the encyclopaedic knowledge to write Sapiens is a great guide through the noise bombarding us daily.
Harari’s giant intellect offers us some good news. In a recent piece for the FT, Harari reckoned the world is actually in pretty good shape. More people are dying from suicide or car accidents than from war and crime; more from obesity than starvation. That’s a very different place to humanity’s norms.
A bigger reason for optimism, he adds, will be when we all settle down and swap panic for bewilderment: “Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from a feeling that one knows exactly where the world is heading. Bewilderment is more humble and therefore more clear-sighted.” And the starting point for solutions.
Man has always been best served by seekers with open minds. Its most destructive agents are the ignorant who don’t know what they don’t know. Fortunately there are many more of the former than the latter among us. Thanks for the reminder, Prof.