Yuval Noah Harari’s book: Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind was one of the most popular and powerful books of 2014. It quickly made its way to Barack Obama’s, Mark Zuckerberg’s and Bill Gates book club. The book is provocative and explains the rise of humankind in a stirring and vivid narrative.
Here is our round-up of some of the most thought-provoking quotes from the book which will leave you stupefied.
Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism.
You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven
History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.
Each year the US population spends more money on diets than the amount needed to feed all the hungry people in the rest of the world.
Hierarchies serve an important function. They enable complete strangers to know how to treat one another without wasting the time and energy needed to become personally acquainted.
Our language evolved as a way of gossiping.
Sapiens can cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers. That’s why Sapiens rule the world, whereas ants eat our leftovers and chimps are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.
A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.
We believe in a particular order not because it is objectively true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society. Imagined orders are not evil conspiracies or useless mirages. Rather, they are the only way a large number of humans can cooperate effectively.
When the Spaniards first arrived in Mexico, natives bearing incense burners were assigned to accompany them wherever they went. The Spaniards thought it was a mark of divine honour. We know from native sources that they found the newcomers’ smell unbearable.
Poverty, sickness, wars, famines old age and death itself were not the inevitable fate of humankind. They were simply the fruits of our ignorance.
Sociological research has shown that the maximum ‘natural’ size of a group bonded by gossip is about 150 individuals.
Nobody is ever made happy by winning the lottery, buying a house, getting a promotion or even finding true love. People are made happy by one thing and one thing only – pleasant sensations in their bodies.
As long as my personal narrative is in line with the narratives of the people around me, I can convince myself that my life is meaningful, and find happiness in that conviction.
Wheat, rice and potatoes. These plants domesticated Homo sapiens, rather than vice versa.
Attention grabbing isn’t it? Buy on now – Amazon