Is Yuval Harari a Shlemiel? Yes, he is a lovable idiot!


by Geoffrey Clarfield,

Most people reasonably well read in the social sciences and the contemporary study of evolution, know that Yuval Harari is wrong about most things.

Below is a recent essay pointing out his factual and logical errors. Yet he is world famous. Why?

Having lived in Israel and met this character “type” many times, it is usually found among poor uneducated people but now there is one with a Phd!  I believe that Harari fulfills the role of a Shlemiel: a character from Yiddish literature who is at the same time lovable, self-deprecating, deluded, clever in some ways and a woefully ignorant, fallible “know it all” who is not aware of how wrong he is about the world. However, his audience knows it and gains compassion by watching him flail around in life. That is the charm of this theatrical role.

Here is a short intro to the character type the Shlemiel and then an essay on Harari’s poor scholarship and unsupportable predictions.

Harari is now as famous as Woody Allen and there is a reason for it.

I believe that Harari has missed his calling and should have gone into acting. He is young and one can only hope.

2 Responses

  1. Is desecration of a gravesite one of our rights protected by the 9th Amendment? Or, is it simply a grave insult? When it’s your remains turn to be disinterred, will your ghost dig the reason why?

  2. I can’t believe that so many people take Harari seriously. When I read it, I was continually struck by the unsubstantiated claims and speculations, as well as by the “pop” presentation of an article about science that clearly selected claims for their value as fashion or controversy, not for their credibility or explanatory value. This book is not atypical of our culture today, a culture that looks at science and reason and the intellect as the province of a small elite group rather than as the desired foundation of a complex culture and society that prizes intellectual accomplishment and respects the scientific process as much as its
    products. Harari is part of the Decline and Fall of a society that has abandoned the very tools that allowed it to survive and thrive. It pretends to be science but has no more reality than the world as seen by the irrationalists, the ideologues and the religious believers. Worst, it distracts people from actually reading and researching the most credible scientists among us and thus reduces us to mere culture consumers rather than intelligent skeptics seeking valid substantiation for the claims of the authors of the books they read.

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