Thomas Friedman is one of the world’s greatest champions of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism works great when most people have high levels of physical health, mental health (called Chitta Shuddhi in Sanskrit) and intelligence (called Buddhi in Sanskrit).  In my opinion human beings can acquire these things through their own effort. [Many neuroscientists disagree with me that “environment” can appreciably increase measured IQ.]

Listening to Thomas Friedman makes clear how much new technologies such as AI benefit those with physical, mental health and intelligence. In my view countries with less post modernist syndrome (which colonizes the mind with inferiority complex, a lack of self confidence, and a lack of freedom of thought, intuition and feeling) especially benefit from globalized neoliberalism and technological innovation. Implicitly this benefits Asians. Very soon China will have more billionaires than America; India too will follow in less than a generation. How will post modernists react?

Yuval Noah Harari worries about what will happen to the world’s “idle class”–which I would define as those with limited physical, mental health and intelligence. Other takeaways include how neoliberal globalization:

  1. benefits young more than old,
  2. increases interdependence (the weakness of our enemies is now a greater threat than the strength of our enemies),
  3. increases the power of every individual for good and bad,
  4. and reduces the value of formal graduate and undergraduate degrees and formal certifications of ability (increasingly actual knowledge and actual ability matters more in the age of AI).

Thomas Friedman says that any single individual will soon be able to destroy the world or help the world. Therefore we all depend on others applying their version of the golden rule. Friedman emphasizes the value of respecting and listening to others and how to become a “humiliation, dignity and diversity” assistant.

Here are two questions:

  1. How best to reduce the percentage of the world’s people who have limited physical, mental health and intelligence?
  2. What to do to help those with limited physical, mental health and intelligence and avoid destabilizing the world?

PS. As an aside, Yuval Noah Harari talks about South Asia and Israel Palestine at the India conclave:

We are about to become Gods of creation who control cosmic processes. We are about the create the first known artificial life [that humans are aware of] and upgrade our species more than the earth has upgraded life over billions of years of evolution through genetic therapy, bio-engineered body parts, brain therapy [I would include meditation, religion and spirituality in this] and by incorporating artificial intelligence into our brains and nervous systems. How do our various cultures, nationalisms, philosophies and religions guide us with cosmic processes? [I think a lot although Yuval Noah Harari is more skeptical.]

If thousands of people believe something for a month, it is fake news. Yuval Noah asserts that if millions of people believe something for a very long time that can become religion. The interviewer Yuval Noah Harari about the Ramayana. Yuval Noah Harari responds that parts of the Bible have historical evidence and parts of the Bible doesn’t have historical evidence such Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Yuval said he believes in the mysterious God about which we know nothing (or infinitesimally little) rather than the lawgiver God about which we know too much.

Yuval has been practicing Vipassana meditation for 17 years and was just at a 60 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. Yuval finds this very useful in trying to determine reality closer to as it truly is.  He notes that without being able to understand ones own reality one cannot hope to be able to understand and transcend all global geopolitical, cultural, economic, civilizational trends [I would add all global norms and all global meta narratives].

Yuval says:

  1. The purpose of life is to be able to observe reality as it is without running away to fantasies, stories and fiction.
  2. So many of our problems come from our fantasies.
  3. We are hacking human beings and deciphering how the biochemical processes of the body, nervous system and brain work:
    1. We have less free will than we think.
    2. Soon corporations and intelligent people will be able to control our minds without our conscious awareness that they are doing so.
    3. We might have a dictatorship of our minds that we cannot understand or free ourselves from.

Michio Kaku explains how humans are becoming superhuman in this less than three hour video call Next World:

In eastern texts we have had superhumans many times in the past and this was deemed dangerous. As a result the Eastern civilizations (and I suspect the Egyptian and Sumerian ones) strongly discouraged the use of breathing, stretching, meditation, sound and science to improve the nervous system, brain and intelligence. The knowledge of how to convert a human being into a superhuman was a closely guarded secret. However, the secret has been smashed open. Now the world confronts the question of whether to use science to sharply improve physical health, mental health and intelligence in ways that transform humans into superhumans. What does everyone think?

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