Sapiens (A Brief History of Humankind)
; Yuval Noah Harari
This is just a book review.
These are not my words.
I. The Cognitive Revolution
> 13.5 billion years ago, Big Bang happened. 300,000 years after, atoms became molecules. 3.8 billion years ago, Earth became formed. 70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens came.
Conitive Revolution (70,000 years ago)
Agricultural Revolution (12,000 years ago)
Scientifc Revolution (500 years ago)
> Each animal shares its ancestor according to its specie. We humans are from apes. Humans first evolved in East Africa about 2.5 million years ago from an earlier genus of apes called Australopithecus, which means ‘Sourthern Ape.’ Humans in Europe and Western Asia evolved into Homo neanderthalensis. The more eastern regions of Asia were populated by Homo erectus.
> Today there are many species of foxes, bears, and pigs.
> The best thing fire did was cook.
> Most scientists agree that by 150,000 years ago, East Africa was populated by sapiens that looked just like us. The author claims that the Chinese and Koreans are a mixture of sapiens and Erectus.
> Sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans were almost, but not quite, entirely separate species.
> Neanderthals has extingushed.
> The period from about 70,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago witnessed the invention of boats, oil lamps, bows, arrows, and needles.
> There must be the Tree of Knowledge.
> Our language evolved as a way of gossiping because we are social animals. Only sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched, or smelled.
> Legends, myth, gods, and religions appeared for the first time with the Cognitive Revolution.
> 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.
> Even gossip has its limits. According to a research, the maximum size of a group bounded by gossip is about 150 individuals.
> Modern people do their jobs well because they believe in myth, laws, God, and ideas.
> Two million years ago, genetic mutations resulted in the appearance of a new species called Homo erectus.
> There has been no significant improvement in our tool-making capacity over the last 30,000 years. However, our capacity to cooperate with large numbers of strangers has improved dramatically.
> Sapiens lived between the Cognitive Revolution of 70,000 years ago, and the start of the Agricultural Revolution was about 12,000 years ago.
> The Stone Age should be called the Wood Age, because most of the tools used by ancient hunter-gathers were made of wood.
> Foragers moved house every month, every week, and sometimes even everyday. All forager societies that have survived into the modern era have been influenced by neighbouring agricultural and industrial societies.
> Each hunter-gather society is different and even in the same region. Each tribe has different language, culture, etc.
> Dogs were the first domesticated animals by Homo sapiens and this occurred before the Agricultural Revolution. Most sapiens bands lived on the road, roamjing from place to place in search of food. Their movements were influenced by the changing seasons, the annual migrations of animals and the growth cycles of plants. Bands settled down when food sources were rich and they used techniques to preserve the food by drying, smoking, and freezing. Sapiens bands also studied a lot: mpas, seasons, poisons, medications, weapons, enemies, etc.
> Hunter-gathers work 35 to 45 hours a week. Ancient foragers regularly eat dozens of different foods; they eat fruits, vegetalbes, and meats. Ancient foragers underwent wars too. Sapiens knew how to make a boat.
> A lot of giant aniamls vanished. It is not possible to believe that creatures are gone because of climate changes. Sea creatures has adapted well under harshy climate changes. There is a reason of the extinction of large animals. They breed slowly. The pregnancy is long. Also, sapiens are guilt with this. Mammoth was the best target by sapiens.
II. The Agricultural Revolution
> About 10,000 years ago, sapiens started planting and farming. Agricultural Revolution began around 9500 – 8500 BC. 10,000 years ago wheat was just a wild grass. The feature of the Agricultural Revolution is that is the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions. In most agricultural societies at least one out of every three children died before reaching twenty.
> Stonehenge dates to 2500 BC, and was built by a developed agricultural society. Foragers and Agricultural generations had religions. The transition of hunter-gathering to Agricultural generations happed to feed more workers to build structures. The domestications of animals began. Farming enabled populations to increase so radically and rapidly. The vast majority of farmers lived in permanent settlements. Unlike foragers, farmers must always keep the future in mind.
> Food shortages did not cause most of history’s wars and revolutions.
– The French Revolution by affluent lawyers, not by peasants
– The Foman Republic Power by noble ones
> According to Hammurabi’s Code, people are divided into two genders and three classes: superior people, commoners, and slaves. Hammurabi was the Babylonian King most famous.
[The American Declaration of Independence]
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unqlienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
[The Biological Version]
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure.
> There is a soldier because he or she believes in something, such as God, honour, motherland, mangood, or money.
> Christianity would not have lasted 2,000 years if the majority of priests failed to believe in Jesus. As well, American democracy would not have lasted 250 years if the majority of Presidents and congressmen failed to believe in human life.
> How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order? You never admit that the order is imagined.
> Everybody is wrong and right.
> In the past, human beings were unequal.
> Individualism did not exit during the Medieval periods.
> Nowdays, people live in the imagined order, such as romantic, nationalist, capitalist, and humanist myths that have been around for centuries.
> There is a difference between humans and animals. For example, a chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday.
> Romanticism encourages us to have a lot of different experiences and experiments.
> Consumerism lies in us saying that we must consume as many products and services as possible in order to be happy.
> Inter-subjectives are the points to bring imagined orders; they are more like common senses.
> The system builds imagined orders. Dollar and human rights can be good examples too. Even if we don’t believe in them, it doesn’t matter to the society.
> In order to change inter-subjectives, we must simultaneously change the billions of people. In order to establish a complex organization, we need to convince many strangers to cooperate one another. If these strangers believe in some shared myths, you will build a complex organization.
> Between 3500 BC and 3000 BC, Sumerians created writing, which enabled the limitation of a brain. Early time, people used writing for mathematical data. Ancient people began to use catalogues, dictionaries, calenders, forms, etc.
> There is no known biological difference between slaves and free people. Human laws and norms have turned some people into slaves and others into masters.
> Complex human societies require imagined hierarchies and unjust discrimination. Differences in natural abilities play a role in the formation of social distinction.
> Although high-class one and low-class one have the same gifts, their successes of being rich are different. All societies are based on imagined hierarchies but not necessarily on the same hierarchies.
> The best way to establish the social systems with great authorities was to separate lower groups as pollutions.
[From the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, the European conquerors imported millions of African slaves to work the mines and plantations of America.]
1. African slaves were closer and cheaper.
2. Africa already had a well-developed slave trade.
3. African slaves were already used to the climates.
> For there reasons, they did not choose other slaves.
> Though the slaves were freed, the racist myths that justified slavery persisted.
> The reason for the crime rates of the black is that they are not educated well; black people also could not have good jobds. The historical fact that the black was slaves makes the black live in United States.
> In many societies women were simply the property of men. Men and women are separated but not with biological reasons.
> In truth, our concepts ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ are taken not from biology, but from Christian theology.
> All cultures valued manhood over womanhood.
> The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women, and that they have used their greater physical power to force when women into submission, However, this is not that true.
> Men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why throughout history warfare has been a masculine prerogative. There is a theory that men have been programmed to be ambitious and competitive, and to excel in politics and business, whereas women have tend to move out of the way and dedicate their lives to raising children. However, this is not that true too.
III. The Unification of Humankind
> After the Agricultural Revolution, human societies grew ever larger and more complex, while the imagined constructs sustaining the social order also became more elaborate.
> The birth of culture, which is the copperation of millions of strangers appeared. Cultures has gone through a lot of contradictions and restrictments.
> History has a direction.
> The Latin language spread through western and central Europe, then split into local dialects that themselves eventually became national languages.
> The best way to appreciate the general direction of history is to count the number of separate human worlds that coexisted at any given moment on planet Earth.
> Today we are used to thinking about the whole planet as a single unity, but for most of history, Earth was in fact an entire galaxy of isolated human worlds.
> For 12,000 years, nobody on Earth knew the existence of Tasmania.
[The Four worlds]
1. The Mesoamerican world, which encompassed most of Central America and parts of North America
2. The Andean world, which encompassed more of western South America
3. The Australian world, which encompassed the continent of Australia
4. The Oceanic world, which encompassed most of the islands of the south-western Pacific Ocean, from Hawii to New Zealand.
> Today almost all humans share the same systems: geopolitical systems, economic systems, legal systems, etc. They still argue and fight, but they argue using the same concepts and fight using the same weapons.
1. Italian restaurants have spaghetti in tomato sauce.
2. Polish and Irish restaurants have potatoes.
3. Indian restaurants have hot chilles.
4. Swiss cafes have shipping-creamed hot chocolate.
> However, none of these foods is native to those nations.
> Money, empires, and religions spread; then, they laid the foundation of the united world of today.
> What was so important about gold, which could not be eaten, drunk, or woven, and was too soft to use for tools or weapons?
> The rise of cities and kingdoms and the improvement in transport infrastructure brought about new opportunities for specialisation.
> The first methods of currency are shells, cattle, skins, salt, grain, bread, cloth, and promissory notes. Today our money is a number; it is not a thing like a cash. For money can convert, store, and transport wealth easily and cheaply, it made a vital contribution to the appearance of complex commercial networks and dynamic markets. Money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever devised. History’s first known is Sumerian barley money, which appeared around 3000 BC.
> The first coins in history were struck around 640 BC by King Alyattes of Lydia, in western Anatolia. They had marks to set the values and to show the authority.
> Total strangers could easily agree on the worth of a Roman denarius coin, because they trusted the power and integrity of the Roman emperor, whose name and picture adorned it.
> Coins are very practical, while barley is not. To construct the complex society, coins are created. Think of taxes and salaries. Even India used the denarius of Rome. The whole regions believed in gold and silver. Without this shared belief, global trading networks would have been impossible.
> In India, gold was nothing; in mediterranean, god was very worthy. What would happen next? Merchants travelling between India and the Mediterranean would notice the difference in the value of gold. To make a profit, they would buy gold cheaply in India and sell it dearly in the Mediterranean. Folloingly, the demand of gold in India would skyrocket.
> Money built the cooperations among strangers.
[Money is based on two universal principles.]
1. With money as an alchemist, you can trun land into loyalty, justice into health, and violence into knowledge.
2. With money as a go-between, any two people can cooperate on any project.
> These principles have enabled millions of strangers to cooperate effectively in trade and industry.
> Human communities and familes have always been based on belief in ‘priceless’ things, such as honour, loyalty, morality, and love.
> Money united the worlds but not quite.
> The force was not always an answer; with strategies, Scipio Aemilianus, Rome’s foremost general, defeated the Numantians.
> Modern Spanish law dirives from Roman law; Spanish politics is built on Roman foundations.
> There is no justice in history.
An empire is a political order with two characteristics.
1. To qualify for that designation you have to rule over a significant number of distinct people, each possessing a different cultural identity and a separate territory.
2. Empries are characterised by flexible borders and a potentially unlimited appetite.
> Cultural diversity and territorial flexibility give empires the central roles in history.
> Not all empires were autocratic.
> Empire is a very stable form of government.
> In many cases, the destruction of one empire hardly meant independence for subject peoples. Instead, a new empire stepped into the vacuum created when the old one collapsed or retreated.
> Building and maintaining an empire usually required violences and oppressions.
> Imperial elites used the profits of conquest to finance not only armies and forts but also philosophy, art, justice, and charity.
> The first empire was the Akkadian Empire of Sargon (2250 BC).
> Cyrus was empire of Persia. He cared people. He did not see himself as a Persian king ruling over Jews. He was also the king of the Jews, and thus responsible for their welfare.
> Sapiens instinctively divide humnity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they.’
> In Chinese traditions, Heaven chooses the most worthy person or family and gives them the Mandate of Heaven. This person or family then rules over all under Heaven for the benefit of all its inhabitants.
[Empries actively spread a common culture for two reasons.]
Reason 1: to make their life easiler
Reason 2: to gain legitimacy (more power)
> The modern India state is a child of the British Empire. The British killed, injured, and persecuted the inhabitants of the subcontinent, but they also united a bewildering mosaic of warring kingdoms, principalities and tribes, creating a shared national consciousness and a country that functioned more or less as a single political unit.
> Since around 200 BC, most humans have lived in empires.
> As of 2014, the world is still politically fragmented, but states are fast losing their independence. Not one of them is able to execute independent economic policies, to declare and wage wars as it pleases, or even to run its own internal affiars as it sees fit.
> Religion has been the third great unifer of humankind, alongside money and empires. Religion can thus be defined as a system of human norms and values that is founded on a belief in a superhuman order.
[The Power of Religion]
1. Religion hold that there is a superhuman order, which is not the product of human whims or agreements.
2. Based on this superhuman order, religion establishes norms and values that it considers binding.
[The Conditions of Religion]
1. It must espouse a universal superhuman order that is true always and everywhere.
2. It must insist on spreading this belief to everyone.
> When polytheists conquered hugh empires, they did not try to convert their subject. The Egyptians, the Romans and the Aztecs did not send missionaries to foreign lands to spread the worship of Osiris, Jupiter or Huitzilopochtli, and they certainly didn’t dispatch armies for that purpose. The only god that the Roman long refused to tolerate was the monotheistic and evangelising god of the Christians. The Roman Empire did not require the Christians to give up their beliefs and rituals, but it did expect them to pay respect ot the empire’s protector gods and to the divinity of the emperor.
> Judaism had little to offer other nations, and throughout most of its existence it has not been a missionary religion. Christians began organising widespread missionary activities aimed at all humans. Islam too began as a small sect in a remote coner of the world, but in an even stranger and swifter historical surprise it managed to break out of the seserts of Arabia and conquer an immense empre stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to India.
> The monotheist ideas played central roles in world history. Monotheists have tended to be far more fanatical and missionary than polytheists.
> Since monotheists have usually believed that they are in possession of the entire message of the one and only God, they have been compelled to discredit all other religions over the last two millennia, monotheists repeatedly tred to strengthen their hand by violently extermination all competition. It worked.
> People often felt difficulty to digest the monotheist idea fully. They have continued to divide the wolrd into “we” and “they”, and to see the supreme power of the universe as too distant and alien for their mundane needs.
> Dualistic religions flourished for more than a thousand years. Sometime between 1500 BC and 1000 BC a prophet named Zoroaster was active somewhere in Central Asia. That is Zoroastrianism. This religion saw the world as a cosmic battle between the good god Ahura Mazda and the evil god Angra Mainyu.
> There is no trace of the belief in the Old Testament, which also never claims that the souls of people continue to life after the deat of the body.
> Diverse religions appeared from each different regions round the world.
> As long as the pain continues, we are dissatisfied and do all we can to avoid it. Yet, even when we experience pleasant things we are never content.
> The main ambition of the Nazis was to protect humankind from degeneration and encourage tis progressive evolution. The Aryan race had the finest qualities – rationalism, beauty, integrity, and diligence. Other races, such as Jews and blacks, were Today’s Neanderthals, possessing inferior qualities. The fittest humans would inevitably drown in a sea of unfit degerates. Humankind would become less and less fit with each passing generation – which could lead to its extinction.
> How long can we maintain the wall separating the department of biology from the departments of law and political science?
> Life scientists argue that human behaviour is determined by hormones, genes and synapses, rather than by free will.
> History can not be explained deterministically and it can not be predicted because it is chaotic. Markets are different from the weather. Markets can not be predicted with computers like weather systems because of a lot of varieties.
> History’s choices are not made for the benefit of humans. For examplke, there is no proff that Christian was better.
> A lot of scholars see cultures as a kind of infection or parasite, with humans as its unwitting host. For example, nationalism can be a deadly plague that spread throughout the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, causing wars, oppression, hate, and genocide. Religions are the same things too.
IV. The Scientific Revolution
> The total value of goods and services produced by humankind in the year 1500 is estimated at $250 billion, in today’s dollars. Nowdays the value of a year of human production is close to $60 trillion.
> Suppose a single modern battleship got transported back to Columbus’ time. In a matter of second it could make driftwood out of Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria and then sink the navies of every great world power of the time without sustaining a scratch.
> In 1500, few cities had more than 100,000 inhabitants. Most buildings were constructed of mud, wood, and straw. A three-storey building was a skyscraper.
> In 1500, humans were confined to the earth’s surface. They could build towers and climb mountains, but the sky was reserved for birds, angels, and deities.
> On 20 July 1969 humans landed on the moon.
> At 05:29:45 on 16 July 1945, American scientists detonated the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico. From that point onward, humankind had the capability not to change the course of history, but to end it.
> The historical process that led to Alamogordo and to the moon is known as the Scientific Revolution.
> Science needs more than just research to make progress. It depends on the mutual reinforcement of science, politics, and economics.
[The Characteristics of Modern Science]
A. The willingness to admit ignorance
B. The centrality of observation and mathematics
C. The acquisition of new powers.
> The Scientific Revolution has not been a revolution of knowledge.
> Premodern traditions of knowledge such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism asserted that everything that is important to know about the wolrd was already known through scriptures.
[The two types of ignorance of ancient tradition]
1. Individual Ignorance
ex) If you don’t know, ask to someone else.
2. Collective Ignorance
ex) What you trying to know is unimportant and irrelevant to Christianity.
> Scientists still do not know and say so.
> The willingness to admit ignorance has made modern science more dynamic, supple, and inquisitive than any previous tradition of knowledge. Mere observations, however, are not knowledge. In order to understand the universe, we need to connect observations into comprehensive theories. Earlier traditions usually formulated their theories in ters of stories. Modern science uses mathematics.
> A new branch of mathematics was developed over the last 200 years to deal with the more complex aspects of reality: statistics.
> Over the centuries, science has offered us many new tools. Some are mental tools, such as those used to predict death rates and economic growth. Even more important are technological tools.
> In varied places, people developed new technologies but ththese were usually created by uneducated craftsmen using trial and error, not by scholars pursuing systematic scientific research.
> Science is used for every department in modern periods. Also, science has been used for military power. A lot of scientists contributed themselves to their countires during World War and World War II.
> Up until the 19th century, the vast military revolutions were the product of organisational rather than technological changes. In ancient time, every kingdom had similar weapons. Superior swords do not make any differences. The most important military invention of China was gunpowder.
> One of the reasons that people have not contributed to science is a religion. Many people believed that a messiah would come and end all wars, famines, and even death. Also, there is the story of Babel Tower. People believed that any attempt to go beyond human limitations would lead to disaster.
> The leading project of Scientific Revolution is to give humankind eternal life. Even if killing death seems a distant goal, we have already achieved things that were inconceivable a few centuries ago. In 1199, King Richard the Lionheart was struck by an arrow in his left shoulder. Today we would say he incurred a minor injury.
> In old time, a lot of babies died. The reason is not because of poverty. They could not last even a year. They could last just eight years or not even twenty.
> A few serious scholars suggest that by 2050, some humans will become a-mortal.
> We are living in a technical age.
> The fields of science were limited in old time. In 16th century, kings and bankers channelled enormous resources to finance geographical expeditions around the world but not a penny for studying child psychology. This is because kings and bankers surmised that the discovery of new geographical knowledge would enable them to conquer new lands and set up trade empires, whereas they couldn’t see nay profit in understanding child psychology.
> Science is unable to set its own priorities because they vary according to cultures and values. Also it is incapable of determining ahat to do with its discoveries.
> The discovery of vitamin C changed a lto of things.
> The Scientific Revolution and modern imperialism were inseparable.
> Only at the end of the 15th century did Europe become a hothouse of important military, political, economic and cultural developments. Rome’s Western European provinces were a poor wild west and Northern Europe was desolate. Between 1750 and 1850 Europe’s golden days came up. By 1900 Europeans prevailed in economics.
> In 1950 western Europe and the United States together accounted for more than half of global production.
> Almost everyone on the planet views politics, medicine, war and economics through European eyes, and listens to music written in European models with words in European languages. Even China is growing with European bases.
> The world’s first commercial railroad opened for business in 1830 in Britain.
> The Chinese and Persians did not lak technological inventions. They lacked the values.
> Modern science and capitalism have been together.
> Both scientist and conqueror began by admitting ignorance – they both said, ‘I don’t know what’s out there.’ They both felt compelled to go out and make new discoveries.
> European imperialists set out to distant shores in the hope of obtaining new knowledge along with new territories. This is difference from other kingdoms. Rome is one example. The Romans conquered other places for power.
> The discovery of America was the foundational event of the Sceientific Revolution. America became Europeans’ target.
> Europe did not enjoy an outstanding technological edge. What made Europeans exceptional was their unparalleled and insatiable ambition to explore and conquer.
> In old time, kingdoms did not believe in the existence of other kingdoms.
> Asian kingdoms heard that the Europeans had discovered something big. However, they displayed little interest in these discoveries. They continued to believe tha the world revolved around Asia with no competition.
> The first Chinese world map to show America was not issued until 1602 – and then by a European missionary.
> For 300 years, Europeans enjoyed undisputed master in America and Oceania, in the Atlantic and the Pacific. When the Ottomans, Persians, Indians and Chinese woke up and began paying attention, it was too late.
> Modern science and modern empires were motivated by the restless feeling that perhaps something important awaited beyond the horizon – something they had better explore and master.
> When the Muslims conquered Inda, they did not care the backgrounds of India. When British conquered India, they did.
> In the 1830s, a British officer Henry Rawlinson was sent to Persia to help the Shah train his army in the European style. Rawlinson was very curious and explored a lot. He was benefitial to Persia too.
> A lot of imperialist scholars dedicated to ther lives for the other contries. They looked for new discoveries. Modern Europeans came to believe that acquiring new knowledge was always good.
> The conquerors returned the favour by providing scientists with information and protection, supporting all kinds of strange and fascinating projects and spreading the scientific way of thinking to the far coners of Earth.
> Money has been essential both for building empires and for promoting science.
> For better or worse, in sickness and in health, the modern economy has been growing. In 1500, global production of goods and services was about $250 billion; today it hovers around $60 trillion. In 1500, annual per capita production averaged $550, while today a prson produces, on the average, $8,800 years
> A bank account keeps growing but cash. The fact is that this is not a deception, but rather a tribute to the amazing abilities of the human imagination. What enables banks and the entire economy to survie and flourish is our trust in the future. Humankind was trapped in cash systems for thousands of years. As a result, economies remained frozen. Then, in the modern era, ‘credit’ appeared.
> Adam Smith claims that the economy is a ‘win-win situation.’ “If I am poor, you too will be poor since I can not buy your products or services.” Smith claims that being rich is being moral.
> A pharaoh was pours resources into a non-productive pyramid is not a capitalist. This is the rule of capitalism: “The profits of production must be reinvested in increasing production.”
> When capitalist governments and business consider investing in a particular scientific project, the first questions are usually their benefits.
> Everything depends on the people in the labs. For that reason, scientific project investments always return profits.
> Capitalism played a decisive role not only in the rise of modern science but also in the emergence of European imperialism. And it was European imperialism that created the capitalist credit system in the first place.
> Most non-European empires of the early modern era gained profits through taxes and plunders.
> The European conquest of the world was increasingly financed through credit rather than taxes, and was increasingly dircted by capitalists whose main ambition was to receive maximum returns on ther investments.
> Columbus is a good example of credit. He got funds from Queen Isabella. Then he discovered America. With the Spaniards, he found a plenty of gold, silver, sugar, and tobacco.
> In the 16th century, Spain was the most powerful state in Europe.
> The Dutch defeated the Spanish because they are mofe financially equipped with credit systems. Most of kingdoms prevailed over others had fundamental credit systems.
> The most notorious example of how governments did the bding of big money was the first Opium War, fough between Britain and China. In the first half of the 19th century, the British East India company and sundry British business people made forunes by exporting drugs, particularly opium to China. Millions of Chinese became addicts, debilitating the country both economically and socially.
> In 1840, Britain declared war on China for ‘free trade.’ China agreed to let Britain do drug business in China. Britain also demanded the control of Hong Kong, a secure drug base of Britain.
> Greece finally became free, but freedom came with a huge debt that the new country had no way of repaying. The Greek economy was mortgaged to British creditors for decades to come.
> The amount of credit in an economy is determined not only bu purely economic factors such as the discovery of a new oil field or the invention of a new machine but also by political events such as regime changes or more ambitious foreign policies.
> A country’s credit rating is far more important to its economic well-being than are its natural resources.
> Capital and politics influence each other.
> Belief in the free market is as niave as belief in Santa Claus. The most important economic resource is trust in the future.
> In a completely free market, unsupervised by kings and priests, avaricious capitalists can establish monopolies or collude against their workforces.
> In the Middle Ages, sugar was a rare luxury in Europe.
> Slave trades happened by private companies. As well, free-market capitalism was not fair.
> Christianity and Nazism have killed millions out of burning hatred.
> It is not an empire but a private company did the worst things to the colonies.
[The Two Characteristics of Capitalism]
1. Capitalism has created a world that nobody but a capitalist is capable of running.
2. If we just wait a little longer and allow the pie to grow a little bigger, everybody will receive a fatter slice.
> Economic growth also requires energy and raw materials, and these are finite. When they run out, the intere system will collapse.
> We wento through Industrial Revolution, which allowed us to use energies. It started from Britain.
> The birth of E = mcc happened (E = m*squre c)
> Industrial Revolution allowed us to use new energies. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the human energy market was almost completely dependent on plants. Industrial Revolution effectively solved the slow economic growth problem. Undustrial Revolution also allowed us to use new substances.
> The author describes Industrial Revolution as Second Agricultural Revolution.
> We went through Consumerism. Manufacturers deliberately design a short-term goods and invent new and unnecessary modes of perfectly satisfactory products that we must purchase in order to stay ‘in.’
> 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.
> The capitalist and consumerist ethics are two sides of the same coin, a merger of two commandments. The supreme commandment of the rich is ‘Invest.’; the supreme commandment of the rest of us is ‘Buy.’
> Humankind has taken over the world; se are much more then wild animals.
> The resources available to humankinds are constantly increasing.
> As humans use their power to counter the forces of nature and subjugate the ecosystem to their needs and whims, they might cause more and more unanticipated and dangerous side effects.
> Industrial Revolution created timetables.
> Now we have a community. A long time ago, family took cares of everything. If someone had no family members, that person had to find a new family.
> Consumerism and nationalism work a lot to build a community, establisehd with a lot of strangers.
> Most people don’t appreciate just how peaceful an era we live in.
> The death rates of humans in wars are less than the death rates of humans in accidents.
> The average modern person is far less likely to die at the hands of another person than in premodern societies.
> Britain retreated and retired from their colonies. Soviet peacefully retired too.
> Real peace is not the mere absence of war; real peace is the implausibility of war. There has never been real peace in the world.
> Nuclear weapons have turned war between superpowers into collective suicide, and made it impossible to seek world domination by force of arms.
> While the price of war soared, its profits declined. Today wealth consists mainly of human capital, technical know-how and complex socio-economic structures such as banks.
> We are witnessing the formation of a global empire
> History has still not decided where we will end up.
> Each person has different DNA and it determines the pleasure of the one.
> What is important is to get to know as many different approaches as possible and to ask the right questions.
> Now human beings are going over limitations and natural selections.
> At some stage organisms such as giraffes, dolphins, chimpanzees and Neanderthals evolved consciousness and the ability to plan ahead.
> About 10,000 years ago during Agricultural Revolution, sapiens who dreamed of fat, slow-moving chickens discovered that if they mated the fattest hen with the slowest cock, some of their offpsring with each other, you could produce a line of fat, slow birds.
> Still we human beings had limitations. Spiens could use selective breeding to detour aournd and accelerate the natural-selection processes that normally affected chickens, but they could not introduce completely new characteristics that were absent from the genetic pool of wild chickens. However, today we can mutate and create new species.
> Those three designs will happen: biological engineering, cyborg engineering or the engineering of inorganic life.
> We can even change the gender of a specie.
> A gene extracted from an Arctic fish has been inserted into potatoes, making the plants more frost-resistant.
> We also aim to revive extinct creatures as well. A team of Russian, Japanese, and Korean scientists has recently mapped the genome of ancient mammoths, found frozen in the siberian ice. They are trying to bear a mammoth through an elephant. We are also in a project to create a Neanderthal. We will create a superhuman too. The main obstacles are the ethical and political objections that have slowed down research on humans.
> The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, a US military research agency, is developing cyborgs out of insects.
> We are creating cyborgs too. A hearing aid is one example.
> Retinal Implant, a government-sponsored german company, is developing a retinal prosthesis that may allow blind people to gain partial vision.
> Jesse Sullrian uses two bionic arms.
> We are even building a brain aid and AI as well.
> Will we use our DNA as ID, resume, or a documentation?
> It is very interesting that nobody foresaw the internet.
> The next stage of history will include not only technological and organisational transformations, but also fundamental transformations in human consciousness and identity.
> Scientists will tell you why they study: “We are dong this to cure diseases and save human lives.”
> We sapiens are getting becoming Gods.
> We have mastered our surroudings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. However, did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world?