Sapiens (2)

How did Homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold, eventually founding cities comprising tens of thousands of inhabitants and empires ruling hundreds of millions? The secret was probably the appearance of fiction. Large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths. Yet none of these things exists outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.

Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens has thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as gods, nations and corporations.

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.

One of history’s few 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. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without it.

History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.

Most people claim that their social hierarchy is natural and just, while those of other societies are based on false and ridiculous criteria. Modern Westerners are taught to scoff at the idea of racial hierarchy. They are shocked by laws prohibiting blacks to live in white neighborhoods, or to study in white schools, or to be treated in white hospitals. But the hierarchy of rich and poor – which mandates that rich people live in separate and more luxurious neighborhoods, study in separate and more prestigious schools, and receive medical treatment in separate and better-equipped facilities – seems perfectly sensible to many Americans and Europeans. Yet it’s a proven fact that most rich people are rich for the simple reason that they were born into a rich family, while most poor people will remain poor throughout their lives simply because they were born into a poor family.

Unjust discrimination often gets worse, not better, with time. Money comes to money, and poverty to poverty. Education comes to education, and ignorance to ignorance. Those once victimised by history are likely
to be victimised yet again. And those whom history has privileged are more likely to be privileged again.

Most sociopolitical hierarchies lack a logical or biological basis – they are nothing but the perpetuation of chance events supported by myths.

Ever since the French Revolution, people throughout the world have gradually come to see both equality and individual freedom as fundamental values. Yet the two values contradict each other. Equality can be ensured only
by curtailing the freedoms of those who are better off. Guaranteeing that every individual will be free to do as he wishes inevitably short-changes equality.

 

Money is also the apogee of human tolerance. Money is more open-minded than language, state laws, cultural codes, religious beliefs and social habits. Money is the only trust system created by humans that can bridge almost any
cultural gap, and that does not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, race, age or sexual orientation. Thanks to money, even people who don’t know each other and don’t trust each other can nevertheless cooperate effectively.

(Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Sarari)

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Sapiens

Archaic humans paid for their large brains in two ways. Firstly, they spent more time in search of food. Secondly, their muscles atrophied. Like a government diverting money from defence to education, humans diverted energy from biceps to neurons.

Today our big brains pay off nicely, because we can produce cars and guns that enable us to move much faster than chimps, and shoot them from a safe distance instead of wrestling.

In contrast, humankind ascended to the top so quickly that the ecosystem was not given time to adjust. Moreover, humans themselves failed to adjust. Most top predators of the planet are majestic creatures. Millions of years of dominion have filled them with selfconfidence. Sapiens by contrast is more like a banana republic dictator.

Some scholars believe there is a direct link between the advent of cooking, the shortening of the human intestinal track, and the growth of the human brain. Since long intestines and large brains are both massive energy consumers, it’s hard to have both. By shortening the intestines and decreasing their energy consumption, cooking inadvertently opened the way to the jumbo brains of Neanderthals and Sapiens.

Homo sapiens is primarily a social animal. Social cooperation is our key for survival and reproduction. It is not enough for individual men and women to know the whereabouts of lions and bison. It’s much more important for them to know who in their band hates whom, who is sleeping with whom, who is honest, and who is a cheat.

(Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Sarari)

 

Decât niște creativitate :)

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Tot din Timișoara citire (no bine, asta e, în vest s-a răsturnat căruța cu idei 🙂 ), câștigătorii unei competiții locale destinate proiectelor de tineret primesc plăcuțe de recunoaștere pe scaunele sălii de spectacole din centrul de tineret. În plus sala a fost renovată cu sponsorizări și cu voluntari (no vedeți la ce sunt buni voluntarii? 🙂 ) și parțial companiile au putut licita o parte din scaune. Plus de anul viitor oamenii vor gestiona un nou muzeu din zona industriilor creative (plus ateliere șamd).

Filmele sunt precum întâlnirile :)

Dacă te-a fascinat prima oară, la a doua te dezamăgește ușor și la a treia te aduce cu picioarele pe pământ. La următoarele te duci în limita inerției, motivat mai mult de popcorn, cafea și gradele din pahar, asta presupunând că ești o ființă optimistă din fire. În caz contrar, fiecare episod nou te va plictisi sau enerva până la momentul la care vei spune “atât” și vei trece mai departe. Sau vei înghiți în sec și vei aștepta să ia altul decizia pentru tine, complăcându-te într-o relație de așteptat finalul. Poate la următorul sezon, că uite ăsta mai prinde un an (cine ar fi crezut?)…

Și mai sunt și acelea mediocre pe linie, de la care nu ai nicio așteptare măreață, dar care-s bune pentru zile în care nu vrei să faci nimic, nici măcar să gândești.

Și dacă vei da peste acea senzație dulce, de fluturi în stomac, de emoții sincere și dezinteresate, atunci deschide bine ochii și lasă-l să-ți pătrundă în suflet și creier. Și fă-le un playlist prietenilor pentru zilele de toamnă care vor veni 🙂

Center Stage On Pointe

Honey 3: Dare to Dance

BrainDead

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