Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Sapiens - One Book That Will Teach You All Of Human History

Insight into author’s lifestyle

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  is a book by Professor Yuval Noah Harari, published in Israel in 2011, later to be translated into English and other 39 languages as well. A book that has brought knowledge to the ones who were seeking for it and controversial discussions as well to the ones who questions its grounds regarding human history.

Professor Yuval Noah Harari

Professor Yuval Noah Harari is an Oxford educated, born and raised in the Israel of the 70s (1976), who now is a lecturer for the Department of History in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research started in the area of warfare, gradually emphasizing aspects of macro-historical questions regarding the evolution of humans and their link with history and biology.

More than his lecturing at the University, writing, publishing, and voluntary actions, Harari has developed an online course in English following his book title, and more than 100,000 people have already learned his insights into the history of our humankind.

As to understand his research work and books in correlation with his open minded self, Harari is openly gay, vegan and obtained a clear view upon his life by practicing meditation.

Since 2000, Harari has been meditating for two hours everyday, taking silence retreats and he makes of meditation a way into the depths of research. Interesting as well to know is that since September of last year, the professor does not hold a smartphone.

Insights into the book

The author believes that homo sapiens became the ones who took control of this world in the human history simply due to our ability to believe in imagination, more complex in its essence. And from this ability comes our structuring, our lifestyle and how we organize ourselves into a society.

In this book he explains the history of humankind along with our modern values. He believes money are the symbol of mutual trust, the capitalism resembles a religion and the crimes committed for our meat intake is the worst crime of all times, as he states all of these on his website.

Sapiens invites us to not only connect past developments with present concerns, but moreover to question our basic narratives of the world.

-Yuval Noah Harari

It is well known that humans have been living on this planet for 2.4 million years, while homo sapiens have been here for only 150,000 years. So it must be interesting to observe how in such a short time comparative to history, humans have become so in line with life and managed to survive.

Sapiens Book

This book has two main frameworks which limit the possibilities of description, namely evolutionary biology which allows life to evolve within set boundaries and culture, which happens between the aforementioned boundaries.

As a summary, Professor Harari explains that the human history may be broken down to four major categories, namely when Sapiens finally evolved imagination, followed by when he was able to farm for himself, further by political insights awareness and finally by the importance of science into his life.

Thus, the first revolution was cognitive and it allegedly happened 70 thousands years ago, when we started to spread more all over the world. The second revolution was agricultural, and we became more of the farmers identity rather than hunters. The science revolution happened 500 years ago and is now rapidly, in comparison with our slow evolution, headed towards bioengineering revolution, when our species might as well be replaced by cyborgs and bioengineered species of humans.

During our agricultural evolution, Harari claims that it was then when our species “cast off its intimate symbiosis with nature and sprinted towards greed and alienation", due to our relationship with grains. Simply explained, Sapiens began to farm for himself and drew himself further away from nature’s “natural” role in feeding us. More to be said of this is the fact that Harari claims that “modern industrial agriculture might well be the greatest crime in history".

The author somehow voices that Sapiens, while understanding how farming works, raised more serious problems such as starvation, due to the fact that maybe some of them could not do what others did in terms of farming.

To trace back our species and our impact on the world, Harari feels the need to emphasize on this idea “The most important thing to know about prehistoric humans,” Harari writes, “is that they were insignificant animals with no more impact on their environment than gorillas, fireflies or jellyfish.” It might seem a bold statement to set in such a daunting environment of this book, but ideas are worth to be mentioned.

Many ideas which are either thrilling in their essence and simplicity or somehow controversial, are shared in this book, and many recommends it in order to ask yourself some basic questions such as who we are as species.

One review that might just give the needed boost of curiosity to read it is the following:

No species has been able to make the firstlings of his brain into the firstlings of his hand so rapidly, or with such dramatic consequences. If we are about to change, then at their best Harari’s narratives, theories, conjectures and connections give us ways of thinking about what we’ve been like so far.

-The telegraph

And to conclude this article, Harari says

Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.

Source1 || Source2 || Source3

Sapiens - One Book That Will Teach You All Of Human

No comments:

Post a Comment