A Brief History of Humankind
By: Yuval Noah Harari
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Politics & Social Sciences, Anthropology
Just finished this. What a great book. This is a no bullshit look at the history of humans. I love books that aren't pushing an agenda or trying to change you. As the author follows the history of humankind, he doesn't make judgements on anything, only comments on what humans have done and why it may have happened that way. This is a rare book that it doesn't matter what you're own personal beliefs are, it has a ton of eye opening information on how humans function.From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution - a number one international best seller - that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human".
One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one - Homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?
Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago, with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because, over the last few decades, humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Separate from the book, after pondering the meaning of life, why we exist, etc. I've come to the conclusion that there is only one thing that really matters when it comes to homo sapiens. Survival of the species. Spreading out over the globe and eventually into space is basically survival of the species. Nothing else matters or is secondary to that one objective.
I'm not a big John Lennon fan but this quote is spot on. It doesn't matter what your situation is, rich or poor, if you aren't happy or finding inner peace with what you're doing, it's just wasting time. Ultimately, I don't think anything matters either way and there is no purpose to life. Observing others, it seems most feel like they accomplished something by having kids but that is basically the primary human mission, survival of the species.When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
All the other BS like "saving the planet" etc is back to survival of the species.
For me, interesting topics include figuring out if we actually are living in a simulation. It's the most likely scenario to me. The answers to that may come from looking inward, not outward, finding out what consciousness is. Physical reality is impossible to me. No matter how far back you take it or break it down into smaller parts, ultimately it's currently impossible for it to exist (to me). With that said, you're consciousness doesn't necessarily need anything physical. Our brains seem to act as a tuner for consciousness much like a radio tunes in a specific frequency. DMT appears to play with that tuner and open up other "frequencies" kind of like hacking cable and getting channels you aren't supposed to get.
Finding out what consciousness is should be the primary objective. It may not need anything in the physical world/simulation to exist which makes it the only thing I believe does exist. The possibility of being in a simulation is high. When you dream, unless it's a lucid dream, you believe it's real. A dream is a simulation that you fully believe is real. Advancing VR technology keeps demonstrating how we can fool our bodies/mind into thinking something is real.
tldr: nothing matters except pursuing if there is anything more to what consciousness is, or if it's just a byproduct of evolution.