Episode 99

Published on:

5th Apr 2024

Yuval Noah Harari: Eat Bugs and Live Forever

Yuval Noah Harari is a historian, a writer, and a popular 'public intellectual'. He rose to fame with Sapiens (2014), his popular science book that sought to outline a 'History of Humankind' and followed this up with a more future-focused sequel, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016). More recently, he's been converting his insights into a format targeted at younger people with Unstoppable Us: How Humans Took Over the World (2022). In general, Harari is a go-to public intellectual for people looking for big ideas, thoughts on global events, and how we might avoid catastrophe. He has been a consistent figure on the interview and public lecture circuit and, with his secular message, seems an ideal candidate for Gurometeratical analysis.

Harari also has some alter egos. He is a high-ranking villain in the globalist pantheon for InfoWars-style conspiracy theorists, with plans that involve us all eating bugs and uploading our consciousness to the Matrix. Alternatively, for (some) historians and philosophers, he is a shallow pretender, peddling inaccurate summaries of complex histories and tricky philosophical insights. For others, he is a neoliberal avatar offering apologetics for exploitative capitalist and multinational bodies.

So, who is right? Is he a bug-obsessed villain plotting to steal our precious human souls or a mild-mannered academic promoting the values of meditation, historical research, and moderation?

Join Matt and Chris in this episode to find out and learn other important things, such as what vampires should spend their time doing, whether money is 'real', and how to respond respectfully to critical feedback.


Show artwork for Decoding the Gurus

About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
Support This Show

About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

Profile picture for Christopher Kavanagh
A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

Profile picture for Matthew Browne
An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.