Liliana Ianculescu's Reviews > Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
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February 26, 2018 – Started Reading
February 26, 2018 – Shelved
February 26, 2018 –2.93% "In contrast, humankind ascended to the top so quickly that the ecosystem was not given time to adjust. [...] Having so recently been one of the underdogs of the Savannah, we are full of fears and anxieties over our position, which makes us doubly cruel and dangerous. Many historical calamities, from deadly wars to ecological catastrophes, have resulted from this over-hasty jump."
February 28, 2018 –7.9% "telling effective stories is not easy. the difficulty lies not in telling the story, but in convincing everyone else to believe it."
March 2, 2018 –11.51% ""The heated debates about Homo Sapiens' natural way of life miss the main point. ever since the Cognitive Revolution, there hasn't been a single natural way of life for Sapiens. there are only cultural choices, from among a bewildering palette of possibilities. ""
March 2, 2018 –12.42% "The human collective knows far more today than did the ancient bands. But at the individual level, ancient foragers were the most knowledgeable and skillful people in history."
March 4, 2018 –16.7% "Were the Australian extinction an isolated event, we could grant humans the benefit of the doubt. But the historical record makes Homo Sapiens look like an ecological serial killer."
March 4, 2018 –21.9% "Why did people make such a fateful miscalculation? For the same reason that people throughout history have miscalculated. People were unable to fathom the full consequences of their decisions."
March 4, 2018 –22.12% "One of history's iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it."
March 10, 2018 –27.99% ""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 large numbers of humans can cooperate effectively.""
March 13, 2018 –34.76% "[...] most abilities have to be nurtured and developed. Even if somebody is born with a particular talent, that talent will usually remain latent if it is not fostered, honed and exercised."
March 14, 2018 –36.34% "Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis - they are nothing but the perpetuation of chance events supported by myths. [...] Since the biological distinctions between different groups of Homo Sapiens are, in fact, negligible, biology can't explain the intricacies of Indian society or American racial Dynamics."
March 16, 2018 –39.28% "in Times of War, men's control of the armed forces has made them the Masters of civilian society, too. They used their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars, and the greater the number of wars, the greater men's control of society. This feedback loop explains both the ubiquity of war and the ubiquity of patriarchy."
March 19, 2018 –41.53% "Consistency is the playground of dull minds."
March 20, 2018 –42.89% "In fact, no social animal is ever guided by the interests of the entire species to which it belongs."
March 25, 2018 –46.73% "Christians and Muslims who could not agree on religious beliefs could nevertheless agree on a monetary belief, because whereas religion asks us to believe in something, money asks us to believe that other people believe in something."
April 6, 2018 –56.43% "[...] suffering is not caused by I'll fortune, by social injustice, or by divine whims. Rather, suffering is caused by the behaviour patterns of one's own mind. [...] When the mind experiences something distasteful it craves to be rid of the irritation. When the mind experiences something pleasant, it craves that the pleasure will remain and intensify. Therefore the mind is always dissatisfied and restless."
April 6, 2018 –56.88% "A person who does not crave, cannot suffer. [...] Buddha: " He encapsulated his teachings in a single law: suffering arises from craving; the only way to be fully liberated from suffering is to be fully liberated from craving; and the only way to be liberated from craving is to train the mind to experience reality as it is""
April 11, 2018 –77.43% "Banks are allowed to loan $10 for every dollar they actually possess, which means that 90% of all the money in our bank accounts is not covered by actual coins and notes."
April 12, 2018 –78.56% ""Yet Smith's claim that the selfish human urge to increase private profits is the basis for collective wealth is one of the most revolutionary ideas in human history - revolutionary not just from an economic perspective, but even more so from a moral and political perspective. What Smith says is, in fact, that greed is good, and that by becoming richer I benefit everybody, not just myself. Egoism is altruism."
April 17, 2018 –82.62% "The bear hug between capital and politics has had far-reaching implications for the credit market. The amount of credit in an economy is determined not only by purely economic factors, such as the discovery of a new oil fields or the invention of a new machine, but also by political events such as regime changes or more ambitious foreign policies."
April 17, 2018 –82.84% "in its extreme form, belief in the free market is as naive as belief in Santa Claus. There simply is no such thing as a market free of all political bias. The most important economic resource is trust in the future, and this resource is constantly threatened by thieves and charlatans."
April 19, 2018 –83.52% "Some religions, such as Christianity and Nazism, have killed millions out of burning hatred. Capitalism has killed millions out of cold indifference coupled with greed."
April 30, 2018 –88.04% "In medieval Europe, aristocrats spent their money carelessly on extravagant luxuries, whereas peasants lived frugally, minding every penny. Today the tables have turned. The rich take great care managing their assets and investments, while the less well-heeled go into debt buying cars and televisions they don't really need."
May 2, 2018 –95.94% "If people are richer and healthier, then they must also be happier. [...] Perhaps people in modern affluent societies suffer greatly from alienation and meaninglessness despite their prosperity. And perhaps our less well-to-do ancestors found much contentment in community, religion and a bond with nature."
May 2, 2018 –96.61% "Prophets, poets and philosophers realized thousand of years ago that being satisfied with what you already have is far more important than getting more of what you want."
May 7, 2018 – Finished Reading