6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:Iris)

6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:Iris)

文章Iris Wu » 週六 5月 12, 2018 10:04 pm

Hi, All:

YoYo Book Reading group was formed in 2017. We have read a few novels last year. Early this year, we decided to challenge ourselves with the first non-fiction book, “Sapiens: The Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Harari. The English version of the book was published in 2014, and soon it was listed as a New York Times best-selling book and quickly translated into 45 languages.

The book describes how human history has been shaped by a couple of major revolutions. These revolutions have enabled humans to take over the globe and put humankind on the verge of playing gods and overcoming natural selection. Many arguments of the book have sparked great debates in our LINE group and most of the conversation was recorded in the YoYo forum : http://yoyo.club.tw/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=4526.

For many of YoYo members who did not get time to read the book, here are some referencing materials for our meeting discussion on 6/12:
1) Banana in the Heaven, TEDxJaffa, by Yuval Noah Harari:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZa4sdIwV04
2) Sapiens – Why you need to read this book?
https://medium.com/@HeathEvans/sapiens-why-you-need-to-read-this-book-7ebde126f2ea
3) Notes on – Sapiens: The Brief History of Humankind
https://medium.com/ceoeducation/notes-on-sapiens-a-brief-history-of-mankind-26e35553bd7d

If you have time to explore more on the subject, here are Dr. Harari’s lectures:
1) Coursera: A Brief History of Humankind with Dr. Yuval Noah Harari (Courses on YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ4eg7Zj5OY&list=PLBOXjuzxIKcrqTyqh2Wwh6B86sIN-42di&index=2
2) Yuval Harari: "Techno-Religions and Silicon Prophets" | Talks at Google
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6BK5Q_Dblo

Questions Suggested for Discussion:
    1) What makes us human?
    According to the author, human history has been shaped by three major revolutions: Cognitive Revolution, Agricultural Revolution and Scientific Revolution. In your opinion, which one is the most important to humankind? Why is that so?

    2) Agricultural Revolution:
      a) Are we Sapiens only pillaging the natural resources and always acting as the “terminator” to other species on the earth?
      b) Why does the author say it is the history’s biggest fraud? Do you agree?
      c) Did it set humankind on the road to prosperity or perdition? Why?
    3) Imagined Orders:
    A natural order is a stable order. There is no chance that gravity will cease to function tomorrow, even if people stop believing in it. In contrast, an imagined order is always in danger of collapse, because it depends on myths, and myths vanish once people stop believing in them.
      a) How do you feel about living in a world filled with “make believe” orders (laws, morals, money, corporations, etc.)?
      b) What are some of the imagined orders that have collapsed? What are the ones shaping up in our generation? Can people get away from these imagined realities? Why? Can we “improve” them?
      c) Is “justice” an imagined order as well? Do you agree that “there is no justice in history”?
    4) Family and Community:
      a) With the rise of individualism, is the collapse of the family and the local community a good thing or bad thing for sapiens?
      b) What is the future of the relationships between individuals and the state?
      c) Will states replace more family functions?
      d) What services and responsibilities do you want the state to do for you?
    5) History and Happiness:
      a) "We are far more powerful than our ancestors, but are we much happier?" Why or why not? (http://www.ynharari.com/topic/happiness/)
      b) What is "the meaning of life?" ( Harari Interview on Drugs and the meaning of life (video 7:00-12:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ6IS1Upc70
      c) Are human beings evolved for happiness? Do you think all the fictional constructs (i.e.imagined orders) and the technological innovation that we've come up with have contributed to or detracted from our pursued individual and collective happiness?
    6) Debate: In a century or two, homo sapiens will be replaced by a different kind of beings."
    ("Will the Future Be Human?": Dr. Harari's speech at World Economy Forum on 1/24/18
    https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2018/sessions/will-the-future-be-human
    )

    7) Free round table chat:
      a) Name one argument/concept from the book that you agree with most and one you question about.
      b) How would you recommend (or simply just describe) this book to others?
      c) What could be done for a better book reading process?
      d) Next book and group leader selection.
***********************************************************************************************************************************
Agenda:
6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
7:50 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:25pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:25 ~ 9:05pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
9:05 ~ 9:25pm Summarization (20 mins)
9:25 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements ********************************************************************************************************************************************
聚會日期:列於該貼文主題內
聚會時間:當天請準時於 6:45 pm 到達 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
星期二聚會地點:丹堤濟南店
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Leon » 週六 5月 12, 2018 11:39 pm

Wow! This kind topic only can be found in YOYO.
When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Rock » 週日 5月 13, 2018 10:45 am

Yes, it is. 8)
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Rock » 週日 5月 13, 2018 10:46 am

The great finale is coming. Looking forward to it. :lol:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Way » 週日 5月 13, 2018 9:59 pm

Yes, this topic is only found in such a quality English club like Yoyo. Fantastic arrangement and persistent focus by our respectable Iris, really amazing!
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Iris Wu » 週六 6月 02, 2018 12:51 pm

Thanks, Way!
I guess it’s time to wrap up the journeys, both my insignificant trip and our grand tour sailing through the whole Homo Sapiens history.

Thoughts to make the final discussion (or debate) more lively are needed. Any suggestions are very much appreciated!
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Rock » 週四 6月 07, 2018 2:43 pm

I wonder if the collapse of the family and the local community, up to now, is a good thing or bad thing for sapiens, and what the future of the relationships between individuals and the state be? Will states replace more family functions? What services would you want the state to do for you and responsibilities would they have?
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Iris Wu » 週五 6月 08, 2018 12:52 am

Good questions, Rock!
The collapse of family and community is part of "permanent results" from industrial revolution (ch. 18). It deeply affects our happiness, but we may not necessarily realize it. The author brought it up to serve as a good reminder for human beings when choosing our directions. I added it to our question list.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Iris Wu » 週五 6月 08, 2018 1:15 am

I understand the question list is overwhelming and we definitely won't be able to discuss all of them in depth, but the book covers such a wide spectrum and long time horizon, and the author provided us with so much fresh insight into the history of our own species, it is very hard to just pick and choose. For the meeting, attendees can focus on the ones that you are more interested in to prepare and present.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Rock » 週日 6月 10, 2018 9:29 pm

Iris Wu 寫: c) Is “justice” an imagined order as well? Do you agree that “there is no justice in history”?


Because I am ignorant, so I'd like to define "justice" first. I guess it means, to most of us, a "sense of right and wrong".

1. Is "love" an imagined order? I don't think so. If "love" is not, then "justice" is not, either. Sapiens grew out of their peers from this "cognitive revolution" and, from then on, some things are hard-wired in their genes. Languages, concepts of love, justice, are some examples. There is only one exception I can think of which is an extreme and is very rare in the world. Can you guess what it is?

2. "There is no justice in history." is a statement in the book, which is an exaggeration and not meant to be taken literally. I personally prefer to say "There is no history in history." Why? Because much of it is fabricated. :lol:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Michael-liu » 週一 6月 11, 2018 12:38 am

Rock 寫:
Iris Wu 寫: c) Is “justice” an imagined order as well? Do you agree that “there is no justice in history”?



1. Is "love" an imagined order? I don't think so. If "love" is not, then "justice" is not, either. Sapiens grew out of their peers from this "cognitive revolution" and, from then on, some things are hard-wired in their genes. Languages, concepts of love, justice, are some examples. There is only one exception I can think of which is an extreme and is very rare in the world. Can you guess what it is?

:


wow, very difficult to guess. Below are my wild guesses, and probably none of them is the answer.

Homosexuality? Motherhood? Fatherhood? Immortality? Laughter? Happiness? Faith? Dreaming? Incest? Empathy? Suicide? Freedom? Soul? Feelings?
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Iris Wu » 週一 6月 11, 2018 5:05 am

Rock 寫: 1. Is "love" an imagined order? I don't think so. If "love" is not, then "justice" is not, either.

Interesting! Right, maybe we need to define Love, Justice first.
Some animals eat their babies. Is it "no love"? Most animals do not eat their own kind; humans are not cannibals. Is it "love" or "biological nature"?

Whatever happened is "natural". The natural things do not have meaning. With language (thanks to our cognitive evolution), we purport them with some value: "love", "justice", "happiness", "morality", "ethic", etc. Each one mixed its biological nature piece with the imagined reality developed over human history. The statement, "There is no justice in history", may just take from its biological nature point of view?
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Rock » 週一 6月 11, 2018 8:13 am

@Michael, the only case I can think of without the sense of right and wrong, or love is "feral child".




Iris Wu 寫:...
Whatever happened is "natural". The natural things do not have meaning. ...


@Iris, then maybe we should define "natural", too? :lol:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Janice Wang » 週一 6月 11, 2018 12:53 pm

Iris, you can always really get to the bottom of life’s gripping questions, and your upcoming hosting speaks for itself once again that you are the most iconic representative of Homo sapiens and the best purveyor of food for thoughts in YOYO. Conversely, my answers below are hinged upon partially reading the notes you provided, which only covered question 1 & 2 by far. 老板娘,Please allow me to slip through the cracks and take a shortcut this time.

I think neither Cognitive nor Agricultural nor Scientific Revolution is destined to play second fiddle to humans’ history as they seem like a trinity that are affiliated closely to one another and respectively represent the significance of humans’ revolution related to our minds, physiques, and brains. I simply can’t imagine singling out any of them that would still make the remaining whole and form us as human beings.

Given what we have done to earth, can human beings still be eligible to dominate many more millions of years to come? The final verdict may be subjected to how we plan to treat the planet during our “probation” ! Hope we can all be exonerated from facing the music of disappearing from the universe! Furthermore, despite human beings’ notoriously insatiable desire for craftiness, I still beg to differ the theory that the Agricultural Revolution is the root cause of some problems that we are facing now, such as population explosion, social/class division, exploitation and diet problems….etc. To me, those seem to be some manageable side effects that come with a revolution or shall we associate these problems with man-made mistakes of clumsy implementation ? So to speak, we will never be able to find out if there were any other better ways to beat the so called “fraud” to have a better solution to feed and lead humankind to where we are now as we cannot undo history; however, what we save, saves us and I optimistically believe that the ongoing Scientific Revolution can probably debilitate or make amends with the problems that stem from its former stage, the Agricultural Revolution.

Have fun hosting!
最後由 Janice Wang 於 週日 8月 19, 2018 9:45 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 3 次。
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Re: 6/12(Tue) Sapiens:The Brief History of Humankind (Host:I

文章Iris Wu » 週一 6月 11, 2018 3:36 pm

Rock 寫:
Iris Wu 寫:...Whatever happened is "natural". The natural things do not have meaning. ...
@Iris, then maybe we should define "natural", too? :lol:

Now, I think the biggest fraud in human history is "the invention of language" and the worst revolution is cognitive revolution. The two combined fabricate a world that is full of never-ending justified assertion. Language is a monster! :)
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