Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

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George the original one
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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by George the original one » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:14 pm

Note slavery... Hmm, so Australian aborigines must also be an exception to the egalitarian hunter-gather concept?

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by theanimal » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:26 pm

GTOO- Is that based off the one sentence about the angry women? C'mon, George you're really stretching it here. :)

I direct you to the wikipedia entry again:
The egalitarianism typical of human hunters and gatherers is never perfect, but is striking when viewed in an evolutionary context. One of humanity's two closest primate relatives, chimpanzees, are anything but egalitarian, forming themselves into hierarchies that are often dominated by an alpha male. So great is the contrast with human hunter-gatherers that it is widely argued by palaeoanthropologists that resistance to being dominated was a key factor driving the evolutionary emergence of human consciousness, language, kinship and social organization
Edit: Ah, you edited your post..You're misreading what the article says.
They possessed no beast of burden, and seem not to have hit upon the idea of enslaving captives as burden bearers.
(emphasis mine)

George the original one
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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by George the original one » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:43 pm

Mea culpa. Didn't have my reading glasses on!

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by jacob » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:04 pm

This is the most interesting book I've read in ... at least a couple of years.

Recommended!

I'll add it to my "I wish I had written that"-list.

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Ego
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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Ego » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:49 am

Harari mentioned that it would happen. Today we officially enter the epoch of human-selection evolution. Who needs natural-selection when we can genetically modify humans in the embryo? :shock:

http://www.nature.com/news/chinese-scie ... os-1.17378

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Dragline » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:09 am

Harari was featured on Econ Talk this week discussing his book: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2015/1 ... ri_on.html

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Ego
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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:39 am

Dragline wrote:
Dragline wrote:An interesting interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vllgib842g
A very critical issue discussed starting at minute 34 or so about the potential future of medicine.
I thought of this when I saw the commercial for Craig Venter's new Human Longevity Inc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDed5VYR7Jk

Seemed like something from a Stephen King miniseries.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Chad » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:23 am

And, the potential Stephen King miniseries begins:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/54 ... e-therapy/

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Ego » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:24 am

A fabulous talk between Harari and Kahneman from Edge.

Death is Optional
https://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noa ... s-optional

Edit to add:

KAHNEMAN: What I find difficult to imagine is that as people are becoming unnecessary, the translation of that into sort of 20th-century terms is mass unemployment. Mass unemployment means social unrest. ....

We may be seeing that in the growing inequality now, we may be seeing the beginning of what you're talking about. But have you thought, in the same way as you're thinking in interesting and novel ways about technology, have you thought about the social side?

HARARI: My best guess at present is a combination of drugs and computer games as a solution for most ... it's already happening. Under different titles, different headings, you see more and more people spending more and more time, or solving their inner problems with drugs and computer games, both legal drugs and illegal drugs. But this is just a wild guess.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:58 pm

If you're a member at Audible, Sapiens is only $4.95 this week. http://www.audible.com/pd/Science-Techn ... B00SXJF7J4

Just FYI if you didn't want to read the book because of the length. Perkins is a pretty good narrator.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by fiby41 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:49 pm

I read the book last April/May...

He also uses/succumbs to using the Judaeo-Christian lens/narrative when looking at history no less.

One aspect of viewing from this lens is that just because something has happened, it ought to have happened anyway/ it was the right thing to have happened.

You cannot use this lens to look at pre-history (before written records go) and this most definitely is not the evolutionary perspective or the only perspective.

Another aspect is, for example, one that finds mention in the book, the British hindered the industrialization of India beyond textile production and tea plantations, but hey they built a train station to facilitate this exploitation, so it must be a good thing.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Ego » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:56 pm

Harari's new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

http://www.economist.com/news/books-and ... ture-shock

“SAPIENS”, Yuval Noah Harari’s previous book which came out in 2011, looked to the past. Zipping through 70,000 years of human history, it showed that there is nothing special about our species: no divine right, no unique human spark. Only the blind hand of evolution lies behind the ascent of man. That work ended with the thought that the story of Homo sapiens may be coming to an end. In his new book, “Homo Deus”, the Israeli historian heads off into the future.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Eureka » Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:44 pm

I am very much looking forward to Homo Deus. I cannot think of any book that has excited me more than Sapiens so my expectations are top high, but I have a feeling that they will be fulfilled.

Intelligence squared has an enlightening episode on Harari and his new book which makes me want to read it even more.

http://www.intelligencesquared.com/even ... homo-deus/

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Dragline » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:05 pm

Interesting video. Especially liked the statistics about death at minutes 5-7, but that's just me trying to determine what I should really be worried about.

I will read the book, but this was by far the weakest part of Sapiens -- Harari is great on history, but is no futurist. His inability to understand the fundamental and technical differences between machine intelligence and human intelligence he appears to acknowledge as a weakness, but then tries to sweep it under the rug and pretend it doesn't matter for the purpose of making sweeping predictions about the future.

And he mistakenly tries to push all of the past into the past as over and done, when the human tendency is to look back and bring things forward. You can easily imagine a 22nd century cult devoted to "primitive" nuclear technology intent on blowing up a major city and succeeding.

It was interesting that he softened the word "myth" from Sapiens to just "fiction". Still waiting for "narrative", which is what I think he really means.

His observation that rapidly changing technology will make many people essentially useless as employees is already occurring in my view and seems to be a reflection of many parts of society today. These are the relatively uneducated and unskilled people overdosing and committing the suicides noted in minutes 5-7.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Ego » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:22 pm

Harari's got a new book coming soon, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

“If Sapiens was about the past, and Homo Deus was about the future and distant future of humankind, the new book is about the present, and what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the coming revolution of the 21st century.”

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/ ... ationalism

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by fiby41 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:57 pm

"Modernity is a deal. The entire contract can be summarised in a single phrase: humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power.” – Yuval Noah Harari

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:47 pm

Just finished a few days ago. Very enjoyable read. I thought his division of reality into objective, subjective, and inter-subjective was quite illuminating. It seems to me that he threw more than enough "-isms" into the inter-subjective category to offer challenge to most any human's bag of assumptions. I didn't even take notice of his usage of the term "myth", but I felt a bit of the sting of "Gotcha" when he made it clear to me that I am a participant in the cult of "liberal humanism." However, I don't quite buy his take that the liberal humanist inter-subjective belief/concept of "all humans equal" is entirely dependent on Christian belief that all humans have a soul.

As others mentioned, I agree that his science is a bit skimpier than his history. I'm surprised that Jacob didn't take umbrage with his quick-handed dismissal of energy resource depletion issues. I am nothing resembling an expert myself, but it seems kind of like he skipped right over the last 30-40 years of research, but then projected forward from that earlier perspective. Also, his take on scientific ethics seems very Green-Tech-Capitalist-Progressive, although I would give him credit for likely being the first who would nod agreement, "guilty as anyone/everyone" if his own bias was pointed out.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by jennypenny » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:17 pm

Ego wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:22 pm
Harari's got a new book coming soon, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.
It dropped today.

I'll post a summary when I'm finished.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by jennypenny » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:03 am

I finished it but I'll hold off on a summary for others who are reading it.

It's worth borrowing from the library. Harari is a good writer so it's an enjoyable read, even if you don't agree with his conclusions.

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Re: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Human Kind

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:42 pm

I haven't read sapiens, I have it on hold.

But I did just read through the thread again, since it has come up again. And I have to agree with GTOO.
George-The PNW natives, like the natives up the coast in SE Alaska, weren't really hunter-gatherers in the traditional sense. Because of the plentiful salmon runs and varied ocean life it made much more sense to settle by the rivers and ocean for extended periods of time, instead of being constantly on the move.
This ideal of Hunter gatherers as idealized ERE societies, is all fantasy. About as accurate as thinking Fabio is the proto pirate. Fine for fantasy and fiction, but no basis in reality.

So if PNW natives don't count, what does? Every tribe of every race had a first contact with European culture in the last 5 centuries or so. Every one of them had protocols for dealing with enemies and strangers. Each was unique to that culture. The Crow approach to an enemy was completely different from an Apache or an Australian Aborigine. They didn't develope these differences on the fly, they had dealt with enemies before.

It's almost like humans behave like humans, even without a eurocentric judeochristian patrarchy to inspire them to be all warlike. :roll:

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