BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週一 2月 26, 2018 7:01 am

Dear YoYo Readers:

For the first book in 2018: “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”, our preliminary reading plan is:
2/11-2/28: Part I
3/1-3/31: Part II & Part III
4/1-4/30: Part IV (1)
5/1-5/19: The rest of Book
We will adjust the schedule accordingly if we find we can speed up.
Where to get the Sapiens book?
1) Recommended by Ryan/Anne...
http://www.books.com.tw/products/F013580414
2) You may check with Rock for other electronic version - Thank you!

************************************* Kick-off announcement on 2/14/2018 ****************************************************************
    Dear Passengers:

    This is flight# BR2018 (Book Reading 2018). Our itinerary and destination is as posted in our most recent group Notes. Please double check your ticket. If you find you 誤上賊船, it is never too late to excuse yourself, otherwise, welcome on board!

    Our first part of journey will take you to travel through the 13 billion years of history of Earth. Please just sit tight and relax. If you need to get off the plane during the ride for any reason, you are free to do so anytime. This is not United Airlines, so you will not be “dragged off or beaten to unconsciousness”. :)

    Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Reading!
    Iris
************************************************************************************************************************************************
I do want to give you a heads-up: You may get lost in Part I, but don’t give up. I myself read it twice and made some notes/graphs which really helped me get going. You will find yourself wanting to highlight almost every sentence in the book. Well, at least I did.
Let’s see how it goes and we can set some small sessions to share our thoughts.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週一 2月 26, 2018 7:03 am

(By Iris)
I was going to say, for this book, it's better to look the bigger picture. Don't be bogged down by the details. Grab some major concepts from the author, yes, he needs to use some "facts" to prove his points, but you can skim those facts and only think about what he was trying to say.

For example, you can ignore all those other “humans” (Homo xxxx, names, where they were, etc.) The point is Homo Sapiens drove them extinct (drove all other “humans” to their extinction). Sapiens was meaningless/marginal for long, long time. We were only not what we think, the master of the globe, until very recently (70,000 years vs. billion/million years of life of the earth). And because of the hardship and suffering of Sapiens on the road to their position today, Sapiens are actually dangerous and cruel.

(By Joseph)
Don't worry. I got your point. The author sometimes elaborate his interpretation of the history. For instance, instead of being majestic like other predators, the evolution of human was too short for the whole ecosystem to adapt, and that might be the reason mankind remind being underdog and became cruel and dangerous. Just like you mentioned.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週一 2月 26, 2018 7:24 am

Food for thought on the book of “Sapiens":

(2/14/18):
Tashi:
界 kingdom
門 phylum
綱 class
目 order
科 family
屬 genus
種 species

Iris:
Thanks, Tashi! Yes, Genus and Species are good to know while reading the first part of the book: Homo is genus (Man, human genus) and there were many species under Homo genus (e.g. Homo erectus). Homo Sapiens (Wise Man) was just one of them, but eventually Sapiens is the only surviving species after driving all other humans to their extinction.

Tashi:
Yes. I just read that we might be the root cause of driving other Homo brothers to extinction.
Reading this process gave me a very strange feeling
Not that easy to describe. Like I had been part of the process and I am still in the process

Iris:
Yeah, I remember there is a paragraph, saying that not to believe those environmentalists/tree-huggers, the truth is that our ancestors have never lived peacefully with nature. As described, Homo Sapiens are like series killers in the whole evolution process and we are part of it. When the time line was expanded, we do have different feelings about ourselves, don't we?

Joseph:
I’ve done part one ch.2 and got some food for thought.
The power of gossiping.

(2/15/18)
Tashi:
I can not help but thinking why Sapiens immigrate/wander from Africa to other continent. Is that an original desire like some people today risking their life challenging Mount Everest?

Michael:
Why do people risk their lives challenging Mount Everest? I think they are seeking self-actualization. As for Sapiens, I think they are for survival reasons, I guess

Tashi:
But its not practical to wander over 1000 miles for survival, is'nt it? At that time, wild animals are everywhere.
Maybe they can't produce food so they just kill every animal easy for hunting and then find more in the next place?

Michael:
Maybe it is just out of curiosity and the desire to explore the world

Tashi:
If its true. At that time they seem feel have nothing to lose so they risk every thing to explore
Is it possible that they have leader to follow like Moshe?
Or each of them have guts and just stick together to adventure

Michael:
People tend to stick together to prevent animal attack. Sure. And a leader was there to lead people is very possible too

Joseph:
Very philosophical conversation!

Rock:
Evolution goes in a very, very long time span.
Why do the bears go north and turn white?
It's not a journey of decades; it's a journey of thousands of years and many many generations.

Joseph:
Call from the wild!

Michael:
Yeah, there is an expression => Nature calls

Joseph:
Wetting Bed

Luis:
Evolution? Why only us, since there are/were so many other primates/human species out there..

Joseph:
Because Homo Sapiens, that means us, can live in lies that shared together.

Wen-Han:
For Luis question, yes, the evolutions should have happened on all primates, but some progressed faster than the others, and then the extinctions as the winner took it all.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週一 2月 26, 2018 7:25 am

(2/16/18)
Iris
(@Tashi) Why Sapiens migrated out of Africa?
The book did not ascertain the reasons of Sapiens’ migration and dispersion. Maybe it’s because there isn’t determined archeological evidence to clearly explain the process, but most of archeologists seem to agree upon some possible reasons, such as
- food availability due to climate change, competition, disaster, disease and
- the normal nomadic movement
In addition, I think, similar to the refugees in current societies, people who were not accepted by their group pursued their new lives voluntarily or involuntarily somewhere else.
True, the journey was risky, but as the author pointed out, mastering the usage of fire and being able to acquire fur, animal skins to keep themselves warm made the migration a bit easier. As Rock pointed out, the dispersal of Sapiens from African to other continents was not a journey of decades, it took tens of thousands of years and many, many generations.
Can we say, “The grass is always greener on the other side” is kind of common mentality motivating antient and modern Sapiens to move from place to place?
(Notes: "The glass is greener" mentality probably includes Michael's points about human's curiosity and desire for adventure, in addition to the mentioned involuntary reasons.)

Anne (2/19/18):
Hi all, this book is far more interesting than I think.
The author give us many examples of archaic sapiens' behavior and cognitive development echoed the modern humans behavior and culture.
The ability of gossiping enables human networking with others to establish the society and to create fiction, ghost, religion etc.

Joseph:
@Anne Lin imaginative reality shares by Sapiens is the determine ability that form groups that above 150 members. That made our ancestors strong enough to bring down everything and drive nearly every species to extinction.

Anne:
@余思亮Joseph Human species is a incredible creature on planet. Our high intelligence enable us to rule the world.

Joseph:
@Anne Lin imaginative reality shares by Sapiens is the determine ability that form groups that above 150 members. That made our ancestors strong enough to bring down everything and drive nearly every species to extinction.

Rock:
Not always extinction. Domesticated animals boom a lot.
Mice and roaches prosper, too.

Joseph:
Yes, "Among all the world's large creatures, the only survivors of the human flood will be humans themselves, and the farmyard animals that serve as galley slaves in Noah's Ark," (The last sentence of Part One)

Iris:
Right, Sapiens is the only species that can create fictional reality. Gods, religions, business corporations, law and order, according to the author, are all fictional reality that we believe in collectively. It makes us powerful in both good and evil directions.
Domestication is an interesting concept. Who do you think got domesticated? The plants (wheat, rice...), domesticated animals or Sapiens ourselves? It is very fun to see from the author’s view point in the very beginning of Part II.
(Go, Go, our dear readers! Soon you will find out the answer! :)

Tashi:
I feel like the key to keep survive is to keep prove our species' potential
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週一 2月 26, 2018 7:25 am

Sherry: (2/20/18)
Hi there, I finished Part I, finally :p
The author should be a good teacher. He explains the complicated ideas in a simple and clear way, using lots of images and metaphors.

(2/21/18)
Wen-han:
when I was reading chapter 2, I ran an analogy, following the steps from the book, to wonder the tangible evidences representing YoYo club, and, no surprise, there were no tangible evidences of YoYo club. It's an imaginative group working for the same cause
Then I think of the meaning of diploma, and understand the value of it is also imaginative, similar to monetary notes that it will be discussed in later chapter
understanding the abstract is the key for Sapiens to evolve. Actually it reminds me a similar development for human babies. when in infant stage, a baby seeing the ball rolling beneath the chair will consider the ball disappear
it won't be until later stage, like 2 or 3, would the baby develop the ability to understand the abstract that the ball is not disappear but hiding

Rock:
Yes, Yoyo is an imaginative body… Same as China

Sherry:
Since Wenhan mentioned monetary notes, it is interestingly to note that contrary to intellectual property, money (or banknotes and coins) are categorized as tangible property (at least in my field), although in nature they are quite another story.

Rock:
I casually finished part 3, only to find there is still 54% in part 4.
The best is yet to come, great.
The writer murmured many many codes of Hammurabi. Grert writing skill to show people how he feels about law.
Hitler is a Darwinian who really put it into practice. What's wrong with him? (pun)

Wen-han:
Darwinism was seriously and deliberately twisted by people who interpreted it to fit in their agendas

Iris
Now, I am so behind… got to return to monkey stage and limit my circle to less than 150, so I don’t have to entertain a whole bunch of people…
Wenhan’s analogy is great. YoYo club is a fiction. A group of people were enticed to believe it can improve your English skills, and eventually become smarter and have a better life. The belief and promise would not work for monkeys. :)
Monetary system itself is a big imaginative and fictional story. As the author pointed out Sapiens is the only species live in dual reality: the objective reality (mountain, river, etc.) and a fictional reality (the stories we made up, such as religions, laws, business entities and things (bank notes, bills) we thought they are tangible are actually relying on the stories we collectively made up and believe in. Professor Harari is a historian specialized in macro-history. He made a lot of efforts to emphasize the “fictional reality” which made us so powerful that we can extend our existence much beyond the physical world (the objective reality.)
How do Sapiens obtain this (abstract, imaginative, fictional) ability? How does a baby acquire it? How do Sapiens evolve to gain the ability to understand the abstract? Luis was asking why Sapiens had evolved differently since so many animals were out there? I guess there aren’t clear answers. Maybe we were “programmed”?
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 2月 27, 2018 5:46 pm

2/22/18:
Sherry:
I just started chapter 7. I have been feeling miserable since reading chapter 5, and chapter 6 hit me even harder. I really need to brace myself for the following chapters

Iris:
I am on the same page, Sherry, physical page and mental page. :(
And I am guessing there is NO "happy ending" in this book... Think about this, according to the author, Sapiens is like "Terminator", after they terminate everything, what else will be left to support them? We continue the evolution, what do you think humans will be like in thousand years? A gigantic head (brain) with very short legs and small hands (because we only need fingers to type or swipe the device)? Or maybe just a cyborg...

Sherry:
I just recalled a yoyo meeting when we talked about birth rate, a member (I forget who) said he had no intention to have children. The reason was that it was a mistake for humans to exist on earth, and he would ‘contribute’ his mite to the extinction of human species… >”<

Rock:
Yeah, "Why would any sane person lower his or her standard of living just to multiply the number of the copies of the Homo sapiens genomes?

Sherry:
So far I think the author does not try to answer any questions, but just to leave us more questions...

Yvonne:
Totally agree!
Harari just tells us the storyline (the big history) of the evolution and development/destruction of the humankind, and leave a lot of questions for us to think.

Tim:
When it comes to cerebral power, more must be better.
But if that were the case, frogs would by now have launched their own space programme. :sun:

Iris:
Good point, Tim! We don’t know how the human brain evolved and how it will evolve in the next thousand years. Right, size may not determine everything.
It’s great to see all your comments.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週三 2月 28, 2018 12:54 pm

(02/28/18)
Iris:
I just finished Part II Agricultural Revolution (Chapter 5 to Chapter 8). What do you think about the ideas in this chapter?
1) Do you agree that agricultural revolution makes Sapiens’ life more miserable?
2) Who are the victims of the agricultural revolution? How do you feel about the individual suffering and the catastrophe of animals caused by the revolution?
3) What do you think about the fact that we are living under an “imagine order”? (not a biological/physical order).
4) In the last chapter of Part II, why the author said “there is NO justice in History”? Agree with it?

Rock:
About (1), I don't agree. If being foragers were better than farmers, why did they choose farming instead of gathering and hunting?
Mother earth is not always kind. Gathering vs. growing food, I guess the latter one is more productive.

Sherry:
I beg to differ. For question 1, yes, I think we are trapped in a lifestyle that our genes do not cater to. What makes Sapiens’ life more miserable is that even though we know it’s a mistake, we cannot free ourselves from it
I am in the middle of chapter 8, but I’d also like to answer question 2 and 3:
For Q2, the animals that are domesticated, the animals that become extinct or endangered because of agricultural revolution, and ironically, Sapiens himself are all victims of this revolution. I really had a hard time getting through Chapter 5. :’(
For Q3, It’s terrible to think that God, human right, and equity are all human imagination. All the hard work and achievement we make based on our faith today may collapse tomorrow. I think we need to think beyond the box, the box of our social order and social norm. But just as the author said, “when we break down our prison walls and run towards freedom, we are in fact running into the more spacious exercise yard of a bigger prison”

Rock:
Wow, Sherry, you're so good. "I beg to differ" is a cool phrase.
What you mentioned about Q3 reminded me a TED talk, the Paradox of Choice", in which he said "Everybody needs a fishbowl…"

Iris:
At first, I thought the author glorified the foragers’ life, too!
Fighting with beasts (tigers, lions, etc.) would be much more tense than farming under the sun, but I guess at the end, his arguments kind of swayed me into believing that the foragers were probably mentally more free. “Happiness and misery” were possibly measured by the state of mind from the author’s perspective in this regard.
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週三 2月 28, 2018 12:56 pm

(02/28/18)
Iris:
By the way, I don't quite like chapter 8. I quickly flipped through it. I kind of feel the arguments supporting his NO justice didn't seem to be very persuasive. I am thinking our cynical readers would have much better thoughts on this? :)

Wen-han:
I tried to quicky browse the chapter 8 to recall the contents and my interpretation may not be correct
first, is there an absolute baseline for justice? I guess the answer is No.
The creation of Justice is based on orders, the ruling orders
Could the Code of Hammurabi represent the justice? It was yes then but definitely not for today, especially it divides people to citizens and slaves. So, it may sound brutal for that there is no justice in history, let's ask a question backward to verify it, was justice born/created naturally, out of nowhere?
If there is an example of justice, the way to right the wrong, about absolutely just not being affected by time, people, religion..., we should have learned it, but I personally cannot recall any ot it. So, "there is no justice in history", is a clever title to draw readers' attentions and itself is logically and philosophically correct.
similar to the proposition "there is no man to live forever", my two cents.
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週日 3月 04, 2018 11:21 pm

Yvonne:
Justice lies in the “eyes” or “minds” of people. It’s quite tricky so it cannot be objective at any time.
Sometimes we think there is justice in someone or something because we choose to believe in them. When people with different points of view from ours will not agree with us, and it is not surprising of course. In terms of human history, it depends on whose viewpoints you are looking for or representing, and then you can come to your own conclusion that if that part of history is just or fair.
But what is ‘history’?
The immense diversity of imagined realities that Sapiens invented, and the resulting diversity of behavior patterns, are the main components of what we call ‘culture’. Once cultures appeared, they never ceased to change and develop, and these unstoppable alterations are what we call ‘history’.

Rock:
In terms of the world of Sapiens, there is fundamental justice which we can tell easily. We don't kill another sapiens for no reason, for example.
But we developed many layers of justice based on our "imagination", too. These concepts of justice changes from time to time.

Luis:
If Sapiens's evolove and evolution were out of imagination then, Justice is out of imagination too. That's for sure!! It's a concept created by Sapiens, out of their imagination. Of course, as it evloves with Sapiens, the nature/notion of it would possibly be different through time and by areas. That's why people kill others for some reasons, yeah, because of evolution we don't kill others for no reason, could be called, JUSTICE.

Wen-han:
I am a bit confused. Lions don't kill lions for no reasons either. Neither the elephants nor the tigers. Is that justice as well? Or it is it just the orders of nature.
I may have to further check the Wikipedia about the definition of justice. But the no killing example sounds very much the biological behavior to me.
So from my personal perspective, no killing is not really called justice, but how to deal with killing. Very often we read the storyline " I wanna see the justice served" and then it is back to the concept, that justice is much up to various factors and circling back to the title we discussed.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週日 3月 04, 2018 11:25 pm

Rock:
Maybe the no killing example is from biology, and lions also do it, too.
I thought the definition of justice is doing the right thing based on one's belief. Lions also don't kill when they are not hungry, but I guess they don't think too much about it. On the other hand, some people do kill without reason. They kill because they enjoy doing it. And I guess they also has a belief to support them doing so.

Iris:
Let’s take from the author’s viewpoints (p.146), “Biology” tolerates many possibilities. “Whatever is possible is by definition also natural…. Unnatural behavior, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist.” (從生物學眼光,凡可能發生的都是自然的。不自然的事是不可能存在的。)

Justice is part of “imagined order”. It claims that something “unnatural” (such as killing, unethical, inequality, etc.) should be forbidden. But taking from Biology point of view, there is nothing unnatural, then, there is nothing called (in)justice.
“Evolution has NO purpose.” (p.147)
老子道德經: “天地不仁,以萬物為芻狗”。
What do you think? Don’t they mean something similar?

Rock:
I guess justice is about decisions in solving the problems between people.

Iris:
Actually I don't think justice is only about things between people. I think how people treat monkeys is part of justice, too.
And I need to take back my statement. It's not "majority people", it probably should be "As long as the people who have the power to define the social order believe it is justice, then it is justice".

Luis:
It's for sure there had not been JUSTICE such thing until it was invented, out of human's imagination. In addition to that, imagination veries from people to people under different environments so, guess instead of solving problems, it's also a way to manage/manipulate people I would say. All in all, it's for the good of evolution, or part of it if I may say so. otherwise, if it was by biological nature, in which it's of no justice as the author says, the world would be in chaos and hard to progress lo~ simply put, JUSTICE is in nowhere and, everywhere.. XD
Or in everywhere but nowhere haa~
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 3月 06, 2018 11:26 am

(03/05/18)
Yvonne:
"Without justice, it won't bring chaos to the world, but without ruling orders, it would." --> Pretty persuasive statement!!+1
My vote goes to Wenhan, what a great mentor’s thinking!
Thank Iris for your reminders, serving like bookmarks for us.
I am really really a slow reader. Wondering how you can finish so many chapters ahead of me?

Luis:
It's said law is a system, justice is a concept that is the basis of this particular system -- It's just an idea I agree with..

Rock:
I guess it comes from the justice book of Sandel…)
the Mesopotamian pantheon – appointed Hammurabi ‘to make justice prevail in the land, to… (Ch. 6)

Wen-han: But this kind of agenda to make the code sacred was very popular, wasn't it? Based on the development of sapient, from village to tribe and to a nation. I am guessing the laws are accumulated by the needs.

Rock: Of course you're right. And Hammurabi didn't code the judgement of ancient China. The concept of law is not developed in one time and one place.

Kooper: My two cents: Without justice, those who feel they have been constantly short-changed will eventually stand up to fight, leading to what we call revolution or rebellion, depending on whether it succeed or fail. Revolution, or rebellion, usually come with chaos.

Wen-han: Yes, and that in a way proves the laws were not established to meet justice, so there were revolutions or rebellions
And then it comes to a new end, say a revolution, that the majority or the new power's needs were met, then they altered the laws and claimed them justice.
Here the ruling orders or laws are the real one to maintain the orders, justice is the cover. But don't get me wrong, I am no cynical but trying to recall what I learned from the book.
Also for Sandel's book, if my memory serves me right, it actually lectures the justice is in reality selective and biased, which I found myself to easily find the connections to this sapient book.
If the justice has to be realized by laws, then it logically and philosophically can’t be absolute just, because men are biased ( and women too!)

Rock:
Yes. Even AI will be biased because it's created by sapiens.
I wonder if there is a difference between "intentionally biased" and "unintentionally biased"....
The cure to cynicism is belief. I will try not to sound cynical this time. I believe there are law makers who really follow justice, though they are unintentionally biased and their laws are not perfect.
Back to the imperfect law and justice. Once you got one eye for an eye, and one arm for an arm, That was justice.
Now most of us don't do that and say that it should be done in another way, but it doesn't mean the old way is not just.

Joseph:
@Rock Chang Though I didn't follow the context of your discussion, I really like your point and the attitude.
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 3月 06, 2018 11:27 am

(03/06/18)
Iris:
I think the discussion of “Justice” does not seem to be on the same page. I am more on Wen-han side on this specific topic, maybe we were trying to interpret from the author’s point of view which was a view across biology, archeology and not just human history. I am sure we will spark more discussions when we get to Michael Sandel’s book/lectures of “Justice” which is focusing more on moral reasoning.

I am on the Part of Human Unification process.
His “cosmic spy satellite viewpoint” on human unification process could be controversial again, “money”, “imperial empires”, etc., are they merits or faults for human beings? Do we buy his opinions?
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 3月 13, 2018 9:54 am

(03/06/18) Continue...
Rock:
The idea of "small empires" is interesting. I've never thought that empires can be small.
I agree with him. Empires are not necessarily evil, and democracy is not always perfect.
Evolution continues. Some day in the future, people will look back at us and say…We are so stupid. ☹

Iris:
"Hindsight is always 20/20". How do we feel about the Code of Hammurabi? For another hundred years, who knows if capitalism, technology, and democratic system may all well be condemned?
By the way, is "democracy" a byproduct of modern imperialism, too? (Yeah, the liberalism, individualism those concepts. It's an open question.)

Wen-han:
Why so? By the way, is "democracy" a byproduct of modern imperialism, too?
I am not sure if I do really catch your question, but right at the moment we were born, we have been living in the westernized ways.
Literally right at the moment, I suppose we were all born in the hospitals…. the system, doctors, and nurses were all trained by western ways

Iris:
I was thinking about Rock’s comments, “Empires are not necessarily evil, and democracy is not always perfect.”
The western ideology, like liberalism and democracy system spread along with the modern imperial empires, such as The Great British Empire.
If we are thinking the Imperialism has some merits to human beings, what are those? Is democracy one of them?

Wen-Han:
It reminds me the comparison of Ching Dynasty and Japan Empire before Sino-Japan war. China tried to learn the technologies from western but kept Chinese way to reform while Japanese changed themselves deep from their bones
eventually democracy is not necessarily good but it is the value delivered by the powers

(03/09/18)
Rock:
Americans nowadays maintain that their government has a moral imperative to bring Third World countries the benefits of democracy and human rights,
even if these goods are delivered by cruise missiles and F-16s.
Well said

Iris: Yes, 春秋之筆!
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Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 3月 13, 2018 9:57 am

(03/11/18)
Iris:
For our Sapiens readers:
One question: Throughout the Part II and Part III, the author seems to believe evolution only brings more misery to individuals.
And he said “History’s choices are not made for the benefits of human beings.”
Do you agree? Do you really feel we are more miserable than our ancestors (foragers or farmers)?
How about history’s choices? Why he said so? Didn’t we have some control in our destinations?

Rock:
Hi, captain, but I was not being sarcastic. Understanding why people now are possibly more miserable actually makes me happier. Because I see the solution… is right there….
(This book is easy, and each chapter can be read separately. The best thing is, we already have the background knowledge to read this book; it’s about us sapiens.

Tanya:
I think the evolution of genes doesn't give a damn about your "feelings".
and I have this meme here for you guys…
(True Detective by Matthew David McConaughey, “I think human consciousness is a misstep of evolution”)

Luis:
What the meme says is quite interesting.. (Yes, but what does that mean?  Rock asked)
Iris Wu
YOYO member
 
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註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: BR2018-1: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

文章Iris Wu » 週二 3月 13, 2018 9:58 am

(03/11/18) Continue....
Iris:
1) I kind of understand what Rock said about reading this book making him happier. For me, knowing why human beings are miserable makes me stupidly think I become wiser.
2) Hi, Kat: It is nice to see you back! I missed the meeting yesterday because of too many obligations recently. I hope to see you and chat with you again soon!
3) Tanya brought up an interesting quote about evolution. (By the way, I could not recognize Matthew McConaughey in the meme, either. I like the roles he played in Contact and Interstellar. :)
What does it mean by “human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution”?
Follow the lead, the original scripts from the TV Series “True Detective” gives us a clue:
“We became too self-aware... We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, that accretion of sensory experience and feelings, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody's nobody... “
It seems Professor Harari has similar comments: from pure biology point of view, you only find organs in your body, and you cannot see “righteousness” or “conscience” there. Evolution has no purpose. We have too much self-awareness, so we have too much wishful thinking that we control/manage the evolution to make it work for our own benefits.

Luis:
Guess it's about feeling. You feel good or bad about others, or about how others feel about you.. Primitive sapiens might not have the problems
I'm talking about the meme. Consciousness controls our happiness, and more often than not, it also influences our behaviour. That's why it's said to be a tragic misstep in evolution, I guess.
Or say it's my interpretation of the sentence.

Wen-han: I thought it was very biblical, since adam and eve had taken a bite of an apple

Iris: Self-awareness
Iris Wu
YOYO member
 
文章: 605
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

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