Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari
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Ming made 7 highlights on Sapiens
This was one of the key points that really blew my mind - we have romanticized the agricultural revolution as a major step in human civilization (which it was), but we have never actually been taught to appreciate the toil it took on the average commoner, and how it might actually have been a major step backward for them. Learning this was a major step in helping me appreciate history much better and not taking the toll of human progress lightly.
Never admit that the order is imagined.
For all our modern disdain of money and capitalism and yearning for tribal trust, these are actually the most effective systems of trust ever developed.
Humans rights is an imaginary concept. (flames coming)
In the modern world, we measure ourselves not against our peers, but against the imaginary images we see on television and billboards.
This is one of the most controversial points in the book, because it touches on such a core point of contention in society - the idea that society as a whole can degenerate since one could pass on their genes even if they are wholly unremarkable. This is in sharp contrast to the past where superb mental facilities were needed in order for survival (and hence gene passing) Thoughts? I'm not sure how I feel about this.
The saddest example yet of how evolution success means nothing for the happiness of individual creatures. Genes spreading != happiness or success.
Like these highlights? Get the book here.
Minute Inc. 2017