I’ve always been fascinated by the big questions. Why are humans so different from all other living things? Just a few tens of thousands of years ago, we were no more significant than dragonflies or elephants and now we are in charge of the planet. If it were just our brains, Neanderthals and sperm whales should be the rulers. If it were just our ability to cooperate, ants, bees, or wolves would have won out.
Yuval Noah Harari’s book Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, does a great job explaining how we came to be where we are. (teaser hint, the solution is in our stories, AKA intersubjective reality)
His follow up book, Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow just came out. I read it on the flight back from Australia. I plan to re-read it when I’m on a proper sleep schedule, I’m sure I’ll get more out of it.
He has some predictions about our future that are exciting and some that are unexpected. I was also fascinated by his analysis of the hidden assumptions we make in modern life.
I’ll share more about it soon, in the meantime, please enjoy Yuval’s overview of Sapiens in his TED Talk.
To your health,