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Sapiens or “How I Decide to Read a Book”
Pricing policy About our prices. We're committed to providing low prices every day, on everything. So if you find a current lower price from an online retailer on an identical, in-stock product, tell us and we'll match it. But together, they developed a holistic, rather than fractured, view, Scerri explains. Basically, the team needed to put everything, including common assumptions in their fields, up for debate.
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That was the best way to resolve conflicting theories and develop a cohesive view of the various findings. So, the researchers met for three days and hashed out ideas head-to-head. To integrate the work of so many different scientists and put together all the different findings, the team had to develop a common language. As a team, the researchers weaved their different theories into a cohesive story that makes more sense and accounts for complexity.
With this latest paper, scientists have done just that, shifting our view on our African origins and upending the single human birthplace story. There are not parallel paths proposed, just a vague condemnation of agriculture before he takes on the subject of religions. Here, he talks of the evolution of monotheism from the polytheistic systems that abounded before.
I felt he did not discuss in sufficient death the animist systems which still dominate Africa, South America, and the Arctic among others. He seems to favor Buddhism the pages there have a much more tolerant and fawning tone than those of the other religions which seemed a little intellectually dishonest to me - I mean if he is trying to develop a dispassionate argument about how religions develop, he should not take a particular position without announcing it first.
Anyway, after this, the book covers the industrial revolution and brings us up to modern times. Honestly, I felt that the end of the book really soured the whole product for me. Well, I was already annoyed with all the cute phrases and the prolific use of "! But when the author sets up an argument about where we should be headed as a human race, he then goes off on bizarre tangents about cyber technology and refers to an obscure Project Gutenberg which unless I missed something major earlier in the book, he never mentioned before.
I felt that the last chapter just came out of nowhere and made absolutely no sense. Perhaps, as other reviews here on GR have suspected, no one actually reads this book, preferring to leave it unsullied on their coffee table as a prop to their showoff intellectualism.
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In any case, it didn't do it for me. Unfortunately, my in-laws who bought me Sapiens also bought me the sequel so I suppose I will be guilted into reading it at some point. In conclusion, I prefer reading REAL history books with caffeine rather than this decaffeinated, saccharin substitute for them. I am not alone in my disdain for this over-publicized waste of trees.
A commitment to a reductionist, mechanistic view of Homo sapiens may give us some insight into some of the aspects of our past most tied to our material nature.
And it asks us to pretend that we are not what we know ourselves to be — thinking and feeling subjects, moral agents with free will, and social beings whose culture builds upon the facts of the physical world but is not limited to them. View all 45 comments.
Michael Finocchiaro Sounds interesting! Nov 05, AM. Bryan Alexander It's brilliant. Very, very funny throughout, especially if you're a fan either of history or comic books. Manages to get in a lot of history. We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction.
Cueva de las manos in Argentina. The art in this cave dates from 13, to 9, years ago. I find this photograph to be very emotional to think about because this band of Humans are saying The pursuit of happiness is one of the many big themes that Yuval Noah Harari covers in this remarkable book about the history of Homo Sapiens. He brings us from the beginning of our known history to the present and offers his interpretations and evaluations of our conduct along the way. There are many points in the book where he crystallized my thinking about a subject, and there are several other points where he encouraged me to think about what I know in different ways.
Now, I want to make sure with what time I have left to spend it pursuing something much more meaningful and satisfying than the pursuit of more and more money.
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This book will make you uncomfortable. You may disagree with some of his conclusions, but do not use that as an excuse to not read the book. He will also enlighten you on other points that very well may help shape your personal philosophy. I have been thinking about reading the book for some time, but what convinced me was all the one star reviews for the book on Amazon. It was quickly apparent to me that most of those reviews were written by religious people who never read the book but were told they should be offended by it because of his opinions on religion.
It was far from a dominant religion at the time. It is hard to fathom that it was a moment of altruism. He was an intelligent man and must have felt that Christianity offered the best way to better control his people and unite them under one concept, instead of the host of gods that polytheism offered. The big revelatory moment for me was when he talked about individualism. Take up whatever job suits you, even if community elders frown. Live wherever you wish, even if you cannot make it every week to the family dinner.
You are no longer dependent on your family or your community. We, the state and the market, will take care of you instead. We will provide food, shelter, education, health, welfare and employment.
We will provide pensions, insurance and protection. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state and the market are the mother and father of the individual, and the individual can survive only thanks to them. Standing as individuals has made us weaker, not stronger. We are accused of a form of co-dependency if we are too attached to our extended family or our friends.
We used to be able to set disagreements aside and focus on what we do agree on, like Have all these technological advances made us happier? To a degree yes, but also very unhappy in other aspects. The demands on our attention are more immediate and all consuming. Even when we relax, we are not really relaxed. Every new invention just puts another mile between us and the Garden of Eden. I could have had even more!
I borrowed the book from the library, but I already know I will need to own this one because a book like this needs to be readily available to help me better explain my own thoughts. I could have written a review as long as the book itself because there are so many assertions in this book that cause the mind to expand and make new connections across a myriad of subject matters. I hope it will be for many of you as well. We are gods on this planet, and we need to change our view of how we see ourselves in the context of the planet and the future.
View all 30 comments. Jan 28, Sean Barrs the Bookdragon rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , 4-star-reads.
This is a hugely ambitious book; it takes a very broad approach, condensing huge topics into short chapters in an attempt to provide a basis for the development of our entire species. Human history is that of ecological disaster. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we fuck up the ecosystem and leave our mark of destruction. W This is a hugely ambitious book; it takes a very broad approach, condensing huge topics into short chapters in an attempt to provide a basis for the development of our entire species.
When we developed our massive brain, we came up with new and creative ways to dominate and control our environments and these were often destructive and to the detriment of all other forms of life. We learnt to survive.