Esteban LV's Reviews > Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
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If you want a truly global and historical view on the last, oh, I don't know, two or three million years, and particularly 200 thousand years, then this is the book to read.

It starts quick, easy, more factual than not, entertaining and very interesting. It really doesn't tell us anything we don't already know (if you're interested and know the basic minimum of anthropology and history, that is), but it puts it all in the plate for easy digestion. I think it deserves two reads to sink all in.

Unfortunately, after the agricultural revolution it starts to spread (quite like homo sapiens!) and tries to then cover a lot of topics, to the detriment of the book, because then we're jumping from this to that, from cookie sized bit of information to another one, jump jump, restlessly "changing" subject. It loses focus, and as a reader it's easy to lose interest.
Also, you get the impression that the factuality (?) is lost somewhat, and every bit of information is just the author's opinion (which, it has to be said, aligns mostly with latest discoveries, but the feeling of reading Twitter is just there).

All in all, a more than decent read, I'll go as far as to say it should be required reading in high school, because of the broad and "eye opening" description and interpretation of the several revolutions homo has brought with him (cognitive, agricultural, scientific). Yes, everyone should read this in school.

Setting the history of homo aside, something that I didn't expect and was very pleased to find (and really this is the part why I recommend this to be read in school, because it really has the power to change points of view), was the explanation of everything human, our myths (religion, politics, capitalism, feminism, etc.), in terms of our cognitive revolution, of how we think, how our consciousness works. That is, of course, accurate, but really hard to study, because we live inside our world with the laws and myths we ourselves have created: it's almost impossible to study those intrinsically human things apart from who we really are at the moment. As an example, we can't really "judge" Spain for the conquest of México in terms of the Mexica people, because the ideologies, laws, religion, and even language we'd use for that—for the judgement—were brought to us by Spain at the conquest! So we can't but fall into the myths of the age we live in.

The last part, tries to "predict" a bit The Singularity (which every sci-fi author has tried to describe, but by definition is indescribable), grasps focus again, as the possibilities we can envisage today are few and most surely wrong to a certain extent.

Yes, enjoyable, "eye opener" as I've said. Highly recommended.

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Reading Progress

November 10, 2017 – Shelved
November 10, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2017 – Started Reading
November 24, 2017 – Finished Reading

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