Yuval Noah Harari’s Quick Primer on How to See Into the Future

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One of my favorite one-liners is the joke by economist Paul Samuelson that the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions. It highlights the idea that sometimes we’re bad prognosticators because we see “trends” that were really just data points.

So how do you tell the signal from the noise? How do you know when something new is also something big? How much do our primate brains and changing weather patterns tell us about the future of immigration or war or online dating apps?

“I don’t think of history as much about studying the past as about studying change,” says Yuval Noah Harari, a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the New York Times bestseller Sapiens. “And one of the main tools for studying change is looking at past changes in human society and political systems.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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