“Ideas change the world only when they change our behavior.”
-Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus
I highlighted the above quote while reading the book Homo Deus (recommended btw). At first I thought the meaning was self-evident, but on a second reading it seems to delve into the human psyche and the root of what motivates us. We all have ideas; some are sublime, some are mundane, most are somewhere in between. The power comes from the understanding that ideas motivate and change the world, and also ideas that motivate and change our own worlds.
Some ideas, whether we agree with them or not, cause us to evaluate our current behavior, do some soul searching, and consider change as an option. But it’s the really big ideas that impact us, change our behavior and the world. From smart phones to YouTube to AirBnB to Uber, all these ideas have either directly or indirectly changed our behavior and in the process changed our world. While not all changes work out to be “the greatest good for the greatest number” it is a process that leads to progress. Apple only introduced the iPhone in 2007 and I’m sure many of us can’t imagine life without or before our smart phones.
Bottom Line: Time flies and our memories are short.