Will the Next Big Revolution Create a Worthless Class of Humans?

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, joined Glenn on radio for an enlightening discussion about his latest book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, an equally compelling and provocative book about humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods with technology.

"This promises to be a fascinating conversation," Glenn said prior to introducing Dr. Harari.

He also read an excerpt from Homo Deus that should make the average human squirm:

The main products of the 21st century will not be textiles, vehicles, and weapons, but bodies, brains, and minds. While the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class. The way humans have treated animals is a good indicator of how upgraded humans will treat us.

"I disagree with this guy on some major fundamental issues, but this book is so important because it tells you what is coming. Are you going to be able to avoid this? Absolutely not. Technology is on the march --- and it's a good thing --- but what does it actually mean to you?" Glenn said.

He also gave a warning.

"There are lots of things in it that are agonizing, especially to people of faith. He's not a guy who believes in God, and that's fine, but get through that. Pass by some of the stuff that you disagree with because the point of this book is what is coming. We don't have to agree on the facts of what to do about it, but this is what is coming --- and you really need to understand that.

In this first segment, Glenn and Dr. Harari touched on the following topics:

• The real threat to jobs is algorithms and computers and robots

• A certain class of people will become worthless by an economic and military viewpoint

• Technology is subject to humans and their ethical, philosophical and political views

• The models created in the 20th century to understand and manage society and politics can't work anymore

PART 2: What Kids Learn in School Today Will be Irrelevant in 20 to 30 Years

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: The main products of the 21st century will not be textiles, vehicles, and weapons, but bodies, brains, and minds.

In the book, Homo Deus, while the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class.

The way humans have treated animals is a good indicator of how upgraded humans will treat us. Democracy and the free market will collapse once Google and Facebook know us better than we know ourselves, and authority will shift from individual humans to network algorithms.

Humans won't fight machines or AI. They will merge with them. We are headed toward a marriage, rather than a war.

This promises to be a fascinating conversation. Yuval Harari. Author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Welcome to the program, sir. How are you?

YUVAL: Hello. It's a pleasure to be here.

GLENN: You're over at -- you teach history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. You have a PhD in the subject from Oxford. And your book has now been translated into 40 different languages. You're on a whirlwind here.

YUVAL: Yes. I mean, it's quite surprising, even for me. I mean, ten years ago, I was a specialist in medieval history, writing about the crusade and things like that. And now I'm mostly talking about cyborgs and artificial intelligence and genetic engineering and things like that.

GLENN: So, Yuval, I'm fascinated by your book and your perspective and point of view. And we disagree on an awful lot of things. But I don't disagree what you say is coming. And I don't believe that the average American -- or the average citizen in Europe or Russia or wherever, understands what's coming in the next ten to 20 years.

They have -- they have no clue how -- how entire -- how life itself is going to be transformed.

YUVAL: Yeah. I think part of the danger -- we can discuss and disagree about the potential solutions, but first, we need to agree about the problem. It's real. It's there. And I am very concerned there's very little public discussion of these issues.

GLENN: Yeah.

YUVAL: For example, if you looked at the presidential election in the US, there was a lot of talk about job loss to Mexico, to China, and so forth. But almost no talk at all about job loss due to automation.

GLENN: Yes.

YUVAL: And the replacement of more and more people by algorithms and computers and robots in the job market.

GLENN: So, Yuval, I have been saying this now for a while, and I don't think people have their arms around it. You know, when a president or a candidate or anybody anywhere around the world, a prime minister says, "We're going to get your jobs back," they're not coming back. They are being taken by progress. And the great minds of the world right now are not looking on how we can get a lower unemployment number. They're looking at a world that the unemployment number should be at 100 percent. Not 4 percent.

YUVAL: Maybe not 100, but, yes. I mean, in the next ten, 20, 30 years, we'll see, for example, self-driving cars and vehicles replacing taxi drivers and bus drivers and truck drivers and so forth. And robots replacing textile workers. But it's not just manual labor. Similarly, many doctors are likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence, that can diagnosis disease, better than any human being because it can simply go over immense amounts of biological data about you and your entire medical history in a way that no human being has any chance of doing. So you're talking not just about manual labor, but even doctors and teachers and lawyers, some of their jobs are also at risk.

GLENN: Tell me what you mean by, "While the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class."

YUVAL: Well, the danger is, as more and more jobs are being automated, people will be pushed out of the job market. And they'll not just be unemployed, they will be unemployable. Of course, some new jobs are likely to -- to be created, but it's not clear whether, say, a 50-year-old unemployed taxi driver or truck driver will be able to reinvent himself or herself as let's say a software engineer. In the past, when automation took away jobs in agriculture and then in industry, new jobs were always created to fill the gap. But people could make the transition. I mean, if you lost your job as -- on a farm and you moved to, say, Detroit or Dearborn and started working in a car factory, this was possible.

Similarly, if you lost your job in the factory and then you moved to working in -- as a cashier in Walmart, this was also possible because you moved from one low-skill job to another low-skill job. But now, if the low-skill jobs are disappearing and you have new jobs, let's say in Silicon Valley designing virtual worlds, you're not going to be able to make the transition because you don't have the necessary training.

And then we might see hundreds of millions of people being pushed out of the job market, and the creation of a completely new class of economically worthless people. I mean worthless of course not from the viewpoint of their mother or husband or children. Worthless from the viewpoint of the economic system and of the military system.

If you look at --

GLENN: Go ahead.

YUVAL: If you look at the military, you see that there, it's already happening. In the 20th century, the best armies in the world relied on recruiting millions of the millions of ordinary soldiers. But today, the best armies in the world rely on relatively small numbers of highly professional soldiers that need a lot of training. And they increasingly rely on sophisticated and autonomous technology, like drones and cyber warfare. So militarily, most humans today are already useless. If there is a war, there is nothing to do with most humans.

The same thing may happen also in the civilian economy.

GLENN: So this is where -- you know, my father died a few years ago. And he was in his -- he was in his 90s. And he -- he was born in 1926. And he said to me right before he died, he said -- he said, "Son, look at philosophy. Where has philosophy really grown? Are we different as people? People, ourselves, are we different than we were, you know, 2,000 years ago?" We still are kind of fighting exactly the same things. You know, it starts over with every generation, where you have to, you know, find yourself. And, yes, we're not cavemen. But we're still the same people on the verge of going bad. And he said, "Then look at technology, when I was born, we didn't even consider that we could go to the moon. Technology is -- is moving way past us, and we have to have deeper philosophical questions being asked and answered by ourselves and as a -- as a world, because it's -- it's -- the questions are becoming too big.

And what happens is, when man usually gets behind technology and you have people up at the top that think that they are God and you have a bunch of worthless people, things like genocide happen. How do we guard against worthless people?

YUVAL: Well, first of all, we need to realize that technology is not destiny. And technology is never deterministic. Some of the people who are very enthusiastic about technology, they tend to depict the future as kind of, this is the only thing that can happen. But it's never true. Every technology can be used in many ways. You cannot just stop all research in artificial intelligence or in genetics. But you can certainly influence what we will do with it.

To take a similar example, in the 20th century, we had a lot of new technology, like trains, electricity and radio and television and cars. You could use this technology to create a communist dictatorship or a Nazi regime of a liberal democracy. The trains and the radio didn't tell you what to do with them. This was really up to -- to humans and to their ethical and philosophical and political views.

And it's the same with artificial intelligence and genetics and so forth. We still have choices to make about it. And --

GLENN: I --

YUVAL: And I agree with you, that philosophy now is probably more important than ever before.

GLENN: Than ever, yeah.

YUVAL: Because we are becoming more powerful than ever before, and we need to answer some very deep philosophical questions in order to know what to do with that power.

GLENN: I use this term lightly, but I'm a friend of Ray Kurzweil. I've talked to him several times. And I have said to him -- and didn't mean this as, you know -- he took it in the spirit in which it was intended: Ray, the way you answer questions about, well, don't worry, it will only be used for the good and, you know, there is no death, and we're all going to be fine, and everybody is going to want to have this technology, and the worthless people, if you will, they'll want to get the upgrade. And there's nobody that's not going to want to buy into this system -- I said, "What makes you different than some of the really good Nazi do-gooders that were really in there saying, 'I really -- we're going to change the world with this,' but it went awry? You know, you're blind. You're blind to this."

And it's gravely concerning to me that there doesn't seem a lot of -- there doesn't seem to be a lot of, "Should we do these things? What are the ramifications of doing these things?" It's man just saying, "Oh, my gosh, we can do these things. Let's do it." I want to get your thoughts on that when we come back.

[break]

GLENN: So, Yuval, let me just restate that question that I asked you before we went into the break and state it this way: Where is the balance between a catastrophist and a -- and a utopian? Where is the correct place to fall on this. I'm -- I so love the technology that is coming, but I also have a pretty healthy fear of what it can mean.

YUVAL: I think it comes together. I mean, we want reality to be simple, that we have like bad technology and good technology. It just doesn't work like that. Every technology, as I said, can be used both for good and for bad. Take radio, because we're now on the radio. So you could use radio as Goebbels and Hitler and the communists did in the 1920s and '30s, to brainwash millions of people.

GLENN: Right.

YUVAL: And you could use radio to enlighten them and to help create a healthy democracy, in which people are well informed about what's happening and in which people can view and air their opinions.

So radio itself, it is a great invention, or it's a terrible invention. It's neither. It depends what we do with it. And I think this should be the attitude towards the new inventions of our century.

GLENN: Okay. So, Yuval, we have about 90 seconds here. Then we have to take another quick break. Then we have more time on the other side.

YUVAL: Oh, okay.

GLENN: The -- the problem is, is we're in -- and I think people think this is a political left, right tension that we're feeling right now. It's a political war. I think everything is at its breaking point. It doesn't work anymore. Life doesn't work at this speed with the old structure. And so the whole thing -- it's like the Industrial Revolution. It's just about to flip. And that's the underlying tension that we're feeling. But those people who are in power right now, they're going to do everything they can to grab this technology and drag us back into dusty old concepts of control that are -- are nightmarish. Do you agree or disagree?

YUVAL: I think the old model just won't work. This is the one thing we can be certain about. None of the models we created in the 20th century to understand society and politics and to manage society and politics, they can't work anymore. We need something new. Yes, people will still try to grab control, but it will be a completely different kind of control. It could be far more scary.

Especially if, indeed, more and more control will shift away from humans to algorithms.

GLENN: Okay.

YUVAL: And more and more decisions will be taken, not by any dictator, but by a computer.

GLENN: Okay. So let's go there. Take a quick three-minute break, and then we'll come back there to -- what was it he said? No, it could be much, much more scary. Okay. I hadn't thought of that possibility yet. Homo Deus is the name of this book. A Brief History of Tomorrow. This is the book that every elite is reading.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.