Yuval Noah Harari and Terence McKenna

I would like to promote this TED dialogue on Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide, by Yuval Noah Harari, despite still suspecting that the speaker has possibly cherry-picked most of his original ideas from the rich and diverse idea pool of our lord and savior, Terence McKenna!

I claimed this once before and was questioned by a friend, that why I even care who said it first? [Hell, I don’t!]. That what matters most for the message is that it spreads itself afterall, under any brand. And I do agree that we need good salesmen and “insiders” to tune down crazy but crucially good ideas and to make them digestible for certain crowds who control the planet. Important crowds as business-oriented as our politicians, or as constipated and rigid as the mainstream body of the scientific enterprise, in this case for the easily-impressed TED community. So it is still good for those memes to be transmitted under any brand, whether the messenger is carrying an original mutation or not. That’s not the point here.

The point is that a picture of something is rarely as good as the actual deal itself. And if you, for example, would have the chance to meet the predecessors of Dalai Lama you wouldn’t practice Yoga or Zen or whatever mindfulness with a rather successful Yoga teacher in Oslo sentrum! Would you?

You wouldn’t, independent from the revenue that the Yoga school generates or the number of their social media subscribers. They may be clever and passionate enough to understand some of those messages and turn them in to a self-promoting successful carrier, and in good faith even. But I think it leaks out if something is the real deal, or just a useful modification.

So I repeat, if you had been exposed to a good deal of the diverse meterial laid out humbly in the 80s and 90s by a bunch of crazy marginalized visionary thinkers including Terence McKenna (who has huge blunders himself, no doubt), then the book Sapiens and similar contents would not have much more value to add to you, let alone impressing you.

The lost treasure I am refering to was largely limited to a tiny audience, a ring of psychedelic substance users and hidden in controversy and censorship, up until lately that it has become digitally accessible. Many of those videos are put up by stoned fans and sound like propaganda as accompanied by rave music and cheesy fractal images which may be a turn off, however, you may as well find yourself searching through them for the actual substance.

Our society is in a way double screwed. Rational goal-oriented folks are largely brain-washed while open-minded intuitive people are irrationally stoned, in a metaphorical sense. Too little overlap between practicallity and vision.

Anyhow, if I believe in the genuinity of the prizes that this guy has won (including something called the Polonsky Prize for “Creativity and Originality”), at best the jury was largely unaware that these have been said decades ago.

Cleverly modified, or simply redundant, I would like to promote this dialogue. We need many more of these guys in troubled times like this. So, thumbs up!

Author: admin

Paranoid Data Scientist Based in Oslo

1 thought on “Yuval Noah Harari and Terence McKenna”

  1. Thank you for this. I came across Sapiens several years ago and it blew me away. Then Harari came out with HomoDeus and I devoured it. Both brilliant compelling books. Only recently I came across a community of new friends who all knew of Terence McKenna and in the last few weeks watched many of his YouTube videos. Also a compelling thinker, who left us far too soon. You make a valid point about cherry picking Harari may have done. And good to recognize how you chose to take a high road on calling Harari out on it – well done. However to his credit, Harari has acknowledged the influence the author of Guns Germs & Steel, Jarred Diamond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.