We found 88 Reddit comments about Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.
The book is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
This book is similar. Basically, we're happier as hunter-gathers, but you could never go back unless you're OK with 90% of people dying off due to starvation.
I too enjoyed reading Sapiens.
The book goes in-depth how much of the world is a "fiction" around us - LLCs aren't real, baseball's rules aren't real, capitalism isn't real. But if the reader's takeaway means that "fiction" == "not real and therefore meaningless", they've hugely missed the point.
Great question. Again, I struggle with being concise but I will try.
Belief is hard. I'm still trying to understand it myself. The short answer is, at the end of the day- I still feel like a believer. Like, I wake up many mornings and feel like nothing has changed for me. I think this suggests that Mormonism is far more than just a belief system. I still feel Mormon. It's still a very natural instinct to pray when I'm stressed.
Logically, I don't believe in God, but I still feel like I do and so I still pray. I think this is the actual definition of Mormon faith- a hope for things. I hope that someone or something hears my prayers, but I know it is very unlikely. But it's a habit and practice I value.
I don't believe in the literal truth claims of most things, only because I have a very different understanding of how to view it thanks to my professional historian friends who have taught me how to think of things from a sort of dispassionate, scientific way.
That shows me, and experience has shown me that things don't have to be literal to have meaning. Have y'all read Sapiens? I love the way Harari talks about constructs and myths. Everything is a myth- everything- equality, human rights, religion, all of it. I sort of take that approach.
So what do I believe? It's hard to pin down. I have a testimony in the messiness of it all. I bear my testimony that humans are super illogical and messy and broken, acting out of hurt and scarcity sometimes, and other times acting out of generosity and kindness. I see this acted out through Mormonism daily. It certainly isn't specific to Mormonism, but I've learned it all through a Mormon lens and I really value that.
So I believe in the Mormon movement. In Mormon people to do good and bad things in a very Mormon way. I love the Mormon communities we have and actually feel spiritually fed in seeing the complexity of it all. To me, divinity is found in collective human experience and I see that in Mormonism.
I know that doesn't make a lot of sense and isn't sufficient. We want temple recommend answers to this sort of thing. Everything else feels like deflection. But the reality is, it's not deflection- I just am not sure how to articulate that my mind and body are very complicated in Mormonism. So the easiest thing to say is that I still feel Mormon and I still feel like a believer. My brain is just more naturally oriented towards belief than skepticism. That's caused me plenty of problems along the way.
I certainly also have a lot of harmful scripts I'm still unpacking but I'm committed in a very Mormon-dilligence sort of way to deconstructing that so i reserve the right to constantly change my mind.
Belief really is complicated and complex. But I certainly no longer believe in a literal, traditional way we usually define belief. But I think that sort of belief requires a very underdeveloped way of looking at the world and most believers I know these days don't subscribe to a sort of blind-faith, immature, take-your-word-for-it belief. There are certainly many that do, but there are also very smart and thoughtful people who let belief be complicated.
You should read Sapiens, the author explains how the agricultural revolution was a horrible thing for mankind.
tl;dr : We stopped eating diverse foods, which were then more prone to parasites, began to live together and spread diseases among us, stopped running like our bodies are supposed to and began working with our backs curved, which gave us hernias and stuff, etc.
The book isn't just about the agricultural revolution, it's about the history of our species from the first homo sapiens to right now. Amazing book, very trippy.
Cliff Notes video version of Sapiens (good book)
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's excellent.
For those who don't want to watch the video:
Big Ideas in Brief by Ian Crofton
Sapiens: a Brief History of Human Kind by Yuval Noah Harari
Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by Sandra Blakeslee and Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky
The Brain: A Beginner's Guide by Ammar Al-Chalabi, R. Shane Delamont, and Martin R. Turner
Ill go ahead and put in a plug for the book I'm reading right now: The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
I don't think so.
I took an online class based on this book and it has a good theory in it. It's been a few years but, IIRC, Harari says that the followers of monotheistic religions are almost required to suppress or eliminate other religions and their deities. If your god is the only true god, all other gods must be false gods or your entire religion is false. Nobody likes their religion being called a false religion, especially when they're deeply emotionally invested in the religion.
Basically, IMO, calling pagan gods "demons" is the result of a smear campaign against those gods and religions tied to them by monotheistic religions. Polytheistic/pagan religions are much older than monotheistic religions, but one of the results of this drive to prove that YHWH is the one "true god" is that some of the other deities became "demons". And the Bible, of course, has to reflect this bias.
Yes, you have some people who believe in monotheistic religions and are more secular. But this smear campaign was run by the church and people who were/are deeply religious and fundamentalist.
No worries! Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a really good book if you're into this kind of thing.
trust. Humans are unique animals in this way.
Read Sapiens by Yuval-Noah-Harari
Blows up and articulates how strange human culture is, and how weird that we just accept "the way things are"
Yeah a pig is a lot worse for instance. I may also be influenced a bit by having recently read a book that goes a great way to question how we humans inflict pain on other sentient beings without thinking twice as long it is for food production. You get fined for kicking a dog, but we subject farm animals to all sorts of treatments that would qualify as torture if used on humans. Why is it not ok to have human slaves, but fine to enslave animals? In a monotheistic worldview god allows both. In a scientific world view we should have neither.
For those interested this is the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095
I can strongly recommend it though it may challenge your beliefs about who we humans are in the grand scheme of things.
Sorry that was a bit offtopic. And yes I still eat meat and consume dairy products.
I've been reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, due to an interest in the history of the human species brought about by an Intro to Biological Anthropology class I'm in. I'm maybe three chapters in so far, but I'm engrossed. Harari theorizes that the reason that Homo Sapiens were able to outlive all the other Homo species is our ability to conceive fiction, our ability to conceptualise things that don't exist, like religions, nations, etc. This isn't really a historic text, but it's well written and seems to be worth reading if you have an interest in the topic. I'd like to read some critical reviews from experts in the field, though.
There's a lot you have wrong here. I'm fairly sure your posting in good faith, so I'll try to hit all your points
> Yes I understand that some religion uses it as cover
They do. And it makes them and it makes them intellectually dishonest, at best, and flat out liars, at worst.
> and I also know that almost all atheists believe that life just started as a coincidence and evolved to where it is now
OK, so a couple of things here. The first is that atheism doesn't have anything to say on the matter of abiogenesis, or evolution. Atheist is the response to a claim. The lack of a belief in god(s). That's it. And second, while there are some common beliefs among atheists, no one is saying that life started as a "coincidence". The beginnings of life are largely unknown.
> and that intelligent design is a direct attack to that believe but still why the hate,
What do you mean by hate? I don't see that, and I've been a secular activist for 30 some odd years. ID isn't a direct attack on atheism, it's a concerted effort to rebrand creationism in an attempt to get it into class rooms. The liars at The Discovery Institute have admitted as much. And you not familiar with the Wedge Document?
> I thought they were supposed to be the rational ones
As I said, atheists aren't a monolith. Being an atheist doesn't mean you're rational. People can arrive at an atheist position for bad reasons.
> but every time a scientist releases their evidence for ID no matter how convincing and scientific it is
That has never happened. Ever. There's no such thing as a "creation scientist". Are you aware that organizations like The Discovery Institute create their own publications so they can call their work peer reviewed?
> you will still see it pasted on an atheist forum and shitted on with no real refutes but instead insults about how dumb and stupid the scientist ,
Insults are wrong, but there's typically nothing to refute.
> how intelligent design is just pseudoscience
It's not even pseudoscience. It's a religious claim that can't be supported. At all.
> or just the usual religion argument counters like if God created humans then who created God,
That's not the argument. The argument your referring to properly stated, would be "If everything has a cause, what caused god?". I'm not a huge fan of this response to the Cosmological Arguments, but it's a legitimate one.
> if god is perfect then why is the human body so terribly designed or other arguments like these that depends entirely on god being the Christian one or must be perfect, omnipresent etc.
We can only response, or refute, to the claims we're presented. Most Christians claim that god is perfect, and omnimax. Calling out the contradictions in these statements in, again, legitimate.
> In the end both theories are not 100% proven
OK, again, this is lack of understanding about what science is. A scientific theory isn't a guess, or unsupported conjecture. A theory in science is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results.
Also, science doesn't "prove" things, let alone to 100% certainty. And, when a conclusion can't be reached , that doesn't mean that all assertions are equiprobable. For example; if we have a large jar filled with jellybeans, but we don't know how many there are in the jar, is one billion as likely the correct answer as two hundred? Of course not.
> and both have their faults like an ID believer will also argue that if life randomly started then why has it no happen again
No one is saying that life start randomly. Please stop building this strawman. I bet if you googled this, you'd find many, many scientific responses to this question.
> or if life randomly started because of the different nature of early earth then why do we have only one common ancestor not hundreds.
We did have more than one. I suggest you read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It's brilliant, and it will straighten you out on some of this stuff. If you have a PO BOX, I'll send you a copy.
> So why the bias to ID, why is it that God must be imaginary and that is it?
Because there is zero evidence of ID. Zero. All they have to offer are strawmen, Arguments of Ignorance, and Incredulity. And attempts to poke holes in legitimate science. At best.
The time to accept a proposition is when it's indicated by evidence. Not before.
Ovo je isto zanimljiva knjiga: https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095
I'm currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, and he spends some time discussing the collective myths we invent (money, countries, religion, etc.). I would highly recommend the book, it's quite interesting.
Sapiens is an excellent book about the history of humans and it is a super easy, thought-provoking read. Puts into perspective how short modern humans have been around in the scheme of all humankind
Great question and a good answer. It's called the Cognitive Revolution and is described in more detail here
Some personal favorites:
Give a read to Sapiens, namely the gossip theory (which I'm quoting) and cognitive revolution fundamentals, it might give you another perspective.
One of my favorite guests on the Joe Rogan Experience was Johann Hari who gets really deep into how depression and values interact. He pretty much talks about a lot of the same stuff at the beginning of that book Sapiens - for thousands of years we evolved to use whole villages to raise children and now we're at this point, at least in Western society, where (misquoting Hari here) 'most people don't have someone they can turn to in a time of need.'
Essentially, many of us are pushed like round or square pegs into the wrong hole our entire lives and yeah, of course you're going to be depressed. But our society values working hard at the sake of happiness so don't complain or you're a bitch. Annnd, depression should probably be treated with a healthy diet, exercise, free cows, and more - not just popping a pill.
This comment feels meandering and I wasn't sure what to say but this thread had a lot of pain. Seriously, this video helped me through a tough time a few weeks ago and then I quit the job that was making me miserable! Got an offer for an equivalent job today and probably a better one next week. Maybe don't quit your job but that was what I needed to do to make my life enjoyable.
Find something that intrinsically gives you happiness and go for it.
Edit: I cannot link. Also, don't let Bro Jrogan scare you off, he's chill
If you're interested, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, is an incredible book where such ideas and many more are examined.
I have been struggling with the same thing, after years of being what some people might think of as a bit of a workaholic, once I got to “Now I can’t work, what do I do” (After I got done struggling with “Now I can’t work, who am I), this is what I came up with:
Exercise: Everything I have read thus far, highly encourages persons with MS to get as much exercise as they can get. All of the stories I read about MS that make you think “I would like to experience what that person is experiencing” start out with “I got MS, and I thought my life was over, but then I got very serious about sleep, diet, and exercise”) This gentlemen just posted a very nice one on this very subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/MultipleSclerosis/comments/ca5lem/something_uplifting_after_two_and_a_half_years_i/
One of the challenges for me was as someone who used to be fairly athletic years ago, for me exercise was a way to enjoy the wonders the human body was capable of, and going for a short, shuffling walk at the end of which I was exhausted felt… I don’t know, not great. At that point I went to a talk on MS and one of the doctors that was speaking talked about the importance of exercise, and relayed a series of stories about exercise and MS. One of them was about a gentlemen who had lost the use of everything but his left arm. His words were something like “That arm is one of the most important things going on in my practice, it’s the arm he uses to order food, to facetime with his children…”, and then he went on to describe the stretching and exercise he would do to try to preserve as much function as possible.
Some days of course are better than others, on the good ones I try to get in as much exercise as possible. On the bad ones, well I can do less, but I try to do what I can. One thing that has helped for me is thinking of the MS like a foe. It wants to destroy you, take things away, crippled you (I realize this is silly anthropomorphizing, but I feel like it helps me maintain a good state of mind). On the days I feel good, it makes it easier to go out and do what exercise I can, it feels like I am gaining on my foe. On my bad days, I think “Alright, you got me today, but let’s see how I feel tomorrow, perhaps the MS leaves a hole and I can slip through”. Somehow approaching it this way makes me feel slippery and determined, rather than crippled.
Reading: When I was younger I read a great deal, but it fell off as my career picked up. I got to a point where I would only read a handful of books a year. Now with more time, I have been spending more time with a book.
I recently finished Sapiens, and very much enjoyed it: https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095
I am now working my way through the histories of Herodotus (and am finding them fascinating): https://www.amazon.com/Landmark-Herodotus-Histories-Robert-Strassler/dp/1400031141/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=landmark+histories&amp;qid=1562946514&amp;s=books&amp;sr=1-1
Watching: The wife and I watch some TV together, and we have both been on history kick. We have been watching some of the great courses, and really enjoying the experience. Some of our favorites:
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/show/the_rise_of_rome?tn=Also+By+This+Professor_0_3 Everything I have seen by Greg Aldrete is good, he seems to conduct creditable scholarship (For example, he calls out when historians disagree on some topic, shares the views of both camps, and THEN shares his thoughts), and he tells a fantastic story.
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/show/living_history_experiencing_great_events_of_the_ancient_and_medieval_worlds?tn=The+Great+Courses+Plus+Online+History+Courses+_0_70 Robert Garland takes moments out of history and works to make them come alive. I would argue that (at least for me) he succeeds spectacularly in this series.
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/food-a-cultural-culinary-history The history of food, and history told with an eye to how everything has been shaped by food.
In addition to these, there are countless other good ones. As someone who purchased some great courses in the past (at what were some fairly exorbitant prices even on their sales), I very much like their new subscription model where you pay a fee each month and have access to everything. You can try out a lecture and see if you enjoy the lecturer style.
Gaming: Weirdly, being sick has destroyed a lot of the fun of gaming for me. Before I got sick, gaming was a thing I enjoyed “After I did my work”. Now that I don’t have work to be done with, someone how I don’t feel like I have “Earned the right to game”. Not saying this makes sense, necessary, but of course we feel how we feel. I have continued to play EVE Online (which I played before I got sick), albeit at a much lazier pace. I played through much of the latest Zelda with my 6 year old, which was fun, and recently played through FAR: Lone Sails which is a quiet, atmospheric puzzle solving game that involves piloting a vehicle through a post apocalyptic wasteland. Despite that description, I feel like the game is more soothing then it is anything else. It’s beautiful made, it was an enjoyable experience.
In addition to this jazz, I have of course been spending time with my wife and children. After my last flare I was spending a lot (almost all) of my time in the house, and more recently I have been making plans to see friends. Because my energy does not last so long, I have been trying to do lunches, perhaps meet a friend on their lunch break at work. The lack of outside the family adult contact once I stopped working has been weighing on me, and having a chat with an old friend has been a real boost.
In the academic world this is called the cognitive revolution.
I really recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind which touches this topic when the author talks about the formation of culture and civilisation.
So I recently read Sapiens, which is a book that attempts to explain human history from a bit more of a cultural perspective.
I found it absolutely fascinating (and started reading guns, germs, and steel afterwards because I wanted more), and I was wondering if you’ve read it and what you thought about it.
Also, in terms of relating to the podcast, I kind of agree with Grey on just disconnecting (from social media at least). I don’t think it’s psychologically healthy to be exposed to that as often as we are
As she said, the potential to do harm and to do good is huge. This is in all dimensions.
The good side is to make the world even more connected for mutual enrichment. Our species's great leap was the ability to cooperate with large amounts of unknown people, this means trade with them (see https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095).
We want to interact with other groups because we want to trade with them. To do this, we need communication, which is flexible but also standardized: languages. Trade is the biggest drive to language, the same way trade is the biggest drive to money (and only from this we derive the concept of store of value BTW).
All of this makes me pretty confident that we need bitcoin (cash), it is the natural step forward. We can only cooperate in higher degree if we can eschew the trust element, that's why national issued "cryptocurrencies" are an uninformed move to keep the obsolete alive, it won't work, I'm 100% confident of that.
The "evil" part of it is the perception that if I control communication, I control the economy. If I control money, I control trade, I control cooperation, I control an important part of communication.
Hence the tension.
ps: that's why I always agreed with Ver on how stupid core's concept of "bitcoin as reserve of value" really is, it is fundamentally flawed.
ps2: Teal Swan, whoa, what an alluring human being :D
This is actually the thesis of Yuval Harari's book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Essentially, he believes that what separates humans from other animals is our ability to create and collectively believe in common fictions, allowing for greater social cohesion.
Because making loose correlations between anecdotal observations is a lot easier than thinking about socioeconomic issues. Because humans are hardwired to be tribal, and most of our self selected tribes are monochromatic. Sapiens, Outliers, and The Tipping Point touch on these flaws in our wetware.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Good and Real - each could be considered a canon of rationalist thought on evolution of humankind and ethics respectively.
For books, The Fossil Trail and The Complete World of Human Evolution are good overviews, while Sapiens and Lone Survivors are interesting accounts of evidence about the emergence of our species.
I also really recommend the CARTA lectures available on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1B24EADC01219B23.
You can browse through that playlist to look for interesting topics, or search for something like 'carta university california' or 'carta uctv' or 'carta uctv [topic]' to see what's popular, or follow YouTube's recommendations between videos. Each one is pretty short at ~20 min, with 3 sometimes linked in hour-long videos.
There's a wide range of evidence and interpretations about things like coexistence of varieties vs intra-population diversity, the general nature and causes of genetic structure between populations, extinction due to direct conflict or competition vs. other factors, and so on - so it helps to see the range of viewpoints between different researchers, and range of evidence and interpretations from different fields.
These are some examples:
Emergence of Homo:
Sapiens origins, population movements, non-sapiens admixture:
>Who/which are the best Israeli musicians/bands in your opinion?
I like Avraham Tal (singer) he has unique and stirring songs
>How much can you understand Arabic (or other Semitic languages) just basing on Hebrew?
While watching "Fauda" last year (an Israeli tv series about Israeli unite disguised as Arabs to collect intelligence and make operations and arrests in the Palestinian authority) I realized that there are many words in Arabic which resemble Hebrew
>How are the relationships between the Mizrachim and the Ashkenazim?
As the time goes by the differences between the two are blurring more
>How are the Ethiopian Jews treated in your opinion?
There is some racism from private people and not from the government which gives them many privileges as scholarships and affirmative actions
>What's the greatest thing about living in Israel? What's the worst thing about living in Israel?
The greatest thing in my opinion (as one who had also lived abroad) is to feel Jewish pride, to see the renascence of the ancient Jewish identity in Israel (Judea) after 2000 years and having our own country and military to take care of ourselves
The most irritating thing in my opinion is the feeling that here is too much corruption, especially on the municipal levels, I've seen many bribery and such stuff that I feel that it's not fair for the law abiding citizens who work their ass off for a decent salary. I also think that some of the public sector is not efficient in that there is much hidden unemployment. People who literally contribute nothing and get large salaries just because they have "connections" with the right people - although those phenomenons here aren't as bad as in 3d world countries and I think there is some improvement and efficiency under Netanyahu's tenures
>Got any good (and translated) Israeli poets or writers to recommend?
Edit: in second thought I remember that Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by prof. Yuval Noah Harrari was a good read
>Why are Israeli girls so cute?
I think that it's because of 2 main causes:
As far as the book recommendations go, it would be good if you could qualify what kind of books you're interested in (e.g. philosophy, psychology, history, science, etc.).
Books I recommend:
Psychology (or: On Human Nature)
The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime
Thinking, Fast and Slow (my personal favorite)
The Undiscovered Self
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Strategy: A History
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Marxism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism
Economics in One Lesson
Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government
As always, the list of books to read is too long, so I'll stop here.
Wow, I didn't know he wrote a book dedicated specifically to "the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe". East India Company has been a subject of intrigue for me since the first time I got to know of its exploits during school. This company had an army (not mere mercenaries) to fight kingdoms! Imagine that in today's time. In Sapiens, Harari briefly mentions them, and the trinity of Imperialism-Capitalism-Scientific Revolution that swept the entire globe from Europe. Reading John Keay's unbiased narrative and propensity to be poetical in A History, The Honourable Company looks like an amazing read. And something that I naturally want to know more of, once getting at least some idea of the grand history of this country. Thank you!
Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin. The author discusses this same theme of The Great Turning. Argues that people in modern western society are pathologically orientated towards adolescent things, and among our main problems is that few of us mature fully, and few of us can ever be considered elders who guide each other towards a wise way of life. He also argues that we historically have developed equally in both nature and culture, but modern people spend their lives solely in culture, and lack understanding of the natural world.
Future Primal by Louis Herman. The author lays out a big picture view of human history and how the solutions for the future we face can be found in the past among primitive cultures. He links his own personal struggles to the planetary struggles we face, and shows that it is true that the personal and planetary are linked.
The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out huamn history, and "how the illusion of a seperate self has led to our modern crisises".
Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. Looks at how primitive economies differed from our own, and how we can come to a different understanding of economics and wealth in our own society.
The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein. Lays out a vision for what the world could be and how we could organize ourselves in a wiser way.
Limited Wants, Unlimited Means an analysis of the economics of hunter-gatherer societies by an actual Economist. Very in depth look at the different foundational beliefs and practices. This is the most scientific and in depth book I've ever come across on this subject.
Eaarth by Bill McKibben. Goes into great detail on the the stark reality of the effects that climate change have already had and will likely have over the next decades and century. Finsihes by making reccommendations for how to make a life on a rough new planet.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. A look at the deep history of our species. This book presents an understanding about what humans are and where we've come from that I think is hard to get anywhere else, really great work.
Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. Very similar to the theme of my above post, the author explains how this new movement is much larger than you might think, and could soon become one of the largest cultural movements in all of human history.
Active Hope by Joanna Macy. On "how to deal with the mess we are in without going crazy".
Greening of the Self by Joanna Macy. An exploration into the idea that we are interdependent with the ecology around us.
Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken and others. A look at how we can start a green industrial revolution.
The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones. Lays out the idea that one solution- work on constructing a sustainable infrastructure- can fix our two biggest problems: the ecological crisis, and the rampant poverty and inequality in our society.
Spiritual Ecology: the cry of the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and others. Outlines a spiritual perspective of what is happening to the world, and how we can remedy it, rooted in Buddhist thought.
Changes in the Land by William Cronon. A look at how the ecology of New England has been altered since Europeans first set foot there.
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. This is one of the classics of nature writing by a great naturalist. I include it here because I think it fits, and shows how much of this in not new thinking. Leopold talks about his experiences in nature and from living off the land, and lays out his own 'land ethic' for how best to coexist in nature.
The Evolving Self: a psychology for the third millennium by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Explains the authors view of psychology and how to find meaning in the modern world. Talks about playing an active role in the evolutionary processes of life, and linking that up with your own personal evolution.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimerer. Brings together scientific understanding, indigenous wisdom, and respect for nature and for plants, in a very poetic book.
The Future of Life by E. O. Wilson. Wilson is one of the greatest biologists of our time, and gave us many of the foundational concepts that we use today, such as popularizing the idea of "biodiversity" and the desire to preserve it. Here he talks about the future of life and the challenges we face in preserving the Earths biodiversity.
Half Earth by E.O. Wilson. Here Wilson lays out his strategy for saving the biodiversity of the Earth and preserving it through the hard times it will face in the future, by devoting fully half of the surface of the Earth to wildlife habitats. This book just came out so you might not be able to order a copy yet.
If you know of any other books or media in this sort of genre feel free to post it.
"Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind" - also by Yuval Noah Harari
Coming to this a little late but wanted to say that (a) I completely agree, and (b) I'd take it a little further.
The thought that there was some Valhalla of wonderful food in earlier days is easily proven wrong. We live in the best time for eating there has ever been. For instance this article explains at some length and convincingly to me that food has only improved. Think about it - name one major city in the US where food was better 15 years ago. I can't think of any.
And if you go back further in time, you find that agriculture is coincident with higher population but also with malnutrition. This book is awful in some parts but it explains at length the accepted knowledge that agriculture = more people, but is also = disease and malnutrition at significant levels.
Skipping forward, I think 'modern' agriculture starts with crop rotation, Source, and pretty soon you have the British Agricultural revolution that kickstarts the industrial revolution.
Coincident with that you have the greatest rise in per-capita GDP there has ever been. Source, The Great Divergence.
And then that's why I get to work at a desk instead of doing mind-numbing, back-breaking work in the fields, and that's why I enjoy more material plenty than anybody could imagine 200 years ago, and why I can choose among multiple places, in my major urban center, to get pretty damn good pho. Lo those many years ago when I was young, sushi was a foreign concept. Now I can get it (or a rough approximation of it) in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere.
There is a downside to removing people from their food. There is also a downside to industrial agriculture. A lot of folks eat out more often. We have lost the spiritual connection to our food in large part that is created by hunting for your food or growing it and shepherding it the whole way through. We don't take food as seriously, and we don't contemplate as closely where it came from. We are complicit in the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi and in the overuse of antibiotics in, and ill-treatment of, our livestock, to name but a couple examples.
But come the fuck on. I more than likely owe my life to my forebearers moving away from the fields and working in factories. I certainly owe my material comforts to that. I don't have to wonder whether I'm going to have a crop failure and starve to death.
That some of us can turn back and re-discover a better connection with food is a wonderful luxury. Appreciate it as such.
Got the timeline of the universe from here, here, and from the book Sapiens by Yuval Harari. The years are not exactly the same from all sources but I tried to triangulate. Also it doesn't make a big difference since I'm converting it to a 72 year period (made all the conversions on excel). Average lifespan of a human being is 71.5 years over the 2010-2015 period according to this Wikipedia article; this is the primary source.
Read this book. It'll blow your mind :)
I just searched using a string with a couple unique words; specifically, I just searched for the quote "Henceforth [...] engines"
I'm currently reading and rereading:
It's this one https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095. Ada bagian where he talks about how spices and other common food source like potato move around the world.
I know exactly what you mean! I'd call myself a monkey when explaining my desires/belief structures all the time, even before my first experience with hallucinogens.
I think my thought process in nightclubs or parties was always more self-scrutinizing, due to approach anxiety, so it was easy for me to sit there and start philosophizing about the social dynamics, and how this guy was trying to seduce this girl, and whether it seemed to be working or not, and what signals I was putting out by acting uncomfortable, etc. And how weirdly simplistic it was, on some level (and I'm sure there was also some aspect of belittlement out of sour grapes as well).
You'd probably like this, if you haven't read it yet. It sort of gives me hope that even though we might all be monkeys clamoring for power now, there are other, more healthy ways for monkeys to feel good and live in harmony with each other, too: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC387823/
Oh, and you might also like the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (it's soooo interesting!!)
If you like to read - I suggest you pick up a copy of “Sapiens”, it helped me sort out who I am and where I came from and how we deal with the world around us.
I highly recommend read this book about this topic : Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. This book is very easy to reed and explain a lot about Religion and gods.
There is a great chapter about this in the book Sapiens. If this is your kind of thing, you will probably love that book. Basically, humans drove them to extinction through hunting and habitat loss due to farming and agriculture. As humans became better hunters with more advanced tools, it became more advantageous to be smaller and hide than it did to be large and able to fight. As human communication and cooperation advanced, they became better hunters through teamwork and coordination. They also began to desire a greater prize (a large kill that could feed their booming population). The evidence in support of this is the fact that large species thrived in places where humans were not. As humans expanded across the globe, the large species began to vanish from those places.
Highly recommend the book, but you can read about it here too.
In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari writes about the birth of language as instrumental to human cooperation beyond the tribal level, including the capacity to create and share complex stories that create meaning for people beyond food, shelter and sex.
This ties into the idea of Egregores, autonomous psychic entities created from groupthink who take on a life of their own.
I should add, the thing I am finding is that postmodernism has a lot of overlap with what you can read in this book Sapiens. It's just that, while Harari stops at saying social concepts are socially constructed, the postmodernists say everything is. And while Harari says these stories are useful ways to coordinate - postmodernists say all language function only to dominate.
That last thing is another thing Peterson finds objectionable, and where I believe he thinks marxism was snuck in the backdoor -postmodernists seem to make an exception from "the world is made of words, even words"-view of the world, when it comes to one thing, which is power. Power is real (but chairs are not).
This is what Foucault brought to the table, with the concept biopower, which is that "language is oppression". "meaning that language functions in such a way as to render nonsensical, false, or silent tendencies that might otherwise threaten or undermine the distributions of power backing a society's conventions—even when such distributions purport to celebrate liberation and expression or value minority groups and perspectives."
Which leads to his "his rejection of what he deemed to be Enlightenment concepts of freedom, liberation, self-determination, and human nature. Instead, Foucault focused on the ways in which such constructs can foster cultural hegemony, violence, and exclusion."
So, there you have it. If you believed that. That the world is made of words, and words are made of words. And not only that, but words are only used to foster violence and suppress people - so naturally dialogue is not something you want, you would basically just setting yourself up to being dominated without knowing it sort of.
And there is no objectivity or truth to figure out really, since all words are just pointing to other words. I mean this is a really bleak, dark view of the world, that just happens to have some truth in it, very well described in the book Sapiens.
Here is a good write-up of some of the evidence. I have seen it mentioned in other places too - Sapiens maybe, but I could be misremembering.
I know that Weston A Price did a bunch of work in this area too.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Harari, Yuval Noah https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062316095/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_Sem-ybGNRZW9Z
Here's the amazon page
ps. The books I mentioned are kinda embarrassed to tell, but I do really like Pop science books!
My books are including Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers' Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered, (Thai) The war that never won: History of fighting between humans and germs and more. Also I bought the complete series of The Famous Five, because I loved it since childhood and the artwork for this edition is really cute! It gives me the nostalgic feeling.
But as I told, I can just open some pages and leave it behind. Such a long journey to be an adult I guess. :/
Sapiens! Based on your library this might be up your alley.
Follow it up with Homo Deus if you like it.
Reddit is no good for this - especially this sub which is informed by the right-wing press, which in turn is owned by right-wing billionaires - the press basically sells audiences to advertisers, its no good as a news source - especially the Telegraph, Mail and Sun. Read as much as you can from everywhere - and never forget to check who owns what you are reading and what they want you to think and why.
https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095 is worth a go as background.
In his book Sapiens, Harari talks about this issue at length.
>As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kinds of entities that they have never seen, touched, or smelled. Legends, myths, gods, and religions appeared for the first time with the Cognitive Revolution. Many animals and human species could previously say ‘Careful! A lion! Thanks to the Cognitive Revolution, Homo sapiens acquired the ability to say. ‘The lion is the guardian spirit of our tribe.' This ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language…You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.
>Any large-scale human cooperation — whether a modern state, a medieval church, an ancient city, or an archaic tribe — is rooted in common myths that exist only in people's collective imagination. Churches are rooted in common religious myths. Two Catholics who have never met can nevertheless go together on crusade or pool funds to build a hospital because they both believe God was incarnated in human flesh and allowed Himself to be crucified to redeem our sins. States are rooted in common national myths. Two Serbs who have never met might risk their lives to save one another because both believe in the existence of the Serbian nation, the Serbian homeland and the Serbian flag. Judicial systems are rooted in common legal myths. Two lawyers who have never met can nevertheless combine efforts to defend a complete stranger because they both believe in the existence of laws, justice, human rights, and money paid out in fees.
Blog source for the above quotes and an excellent review of this topic from the book.
A quote from the above blog:
>Harari is quick to point out that these aren't lies. We truly believe them, and we believe in them as a collective. They have literal truth in the sense that if I trust that you believe in money as much as I do, we can use it as an exchange of value. But just as you can't get a chimpanzee to forgo a banana today for infinite bananas in heaven, you also can't get him to accept 3 apples today with the idea that if he invests them in a chimp business wisely, he'll get 6 bananas from it in five years, no matter how many compound interest tables you show him. This type of collaborative and complex fiction is uniquely human, and capitalism is as much of a collective myth as religion.
I find that science history and biography gives a good understanding of scientific methods, and when written for the lay-person, doesn't get so bogged down in technical jargon.
Here are a few of my favorites:
This is an actual discussion in Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind!
Something about how one Nomadic traveler accidentally dropped wheat seeds as he traveled and humankind flourished along that path due to the easy cultivation of the Wheat. The author obviously explains the theory much better than I can.
What would be considered safe for retirement plans? There aren't any other investments available that can be liquidated on the spot at the decision of the retirees that also provide the amount of growth necessary to have a retirement plan worth anything.
I don't really see how this law would destroy Comcast, at all. It would radically harm working class people with retirement plans, but the wealthy people in control of Comcast would develop complex legal arrangements via contracts and insurance to ensure that their business would continue otherwise.
For example: suppose such a law passes and all shareholders are held directly liable in proportion to their ownership. This effectively destroys limited liability capitalism. Share prices of every company would drop as every charity, retirement fund, investment bank, and regular person sells as fast as they can. The economy suffers another Great Depression due to the sell-off. Smaller firms die. The larger ones, like Comcast, will have the capital to buy back their shares and "go private." The individuals owning those shares could then put the shares into a trust - they would be the grantors and trustees, but the beneficiary (the individual with legal title to the property) would be a well-paid fall guy. That fall guy would likely never have the money necessary to cover any of a company's legal obligations; the company would become judgment proof.
Destroying limited liability capitalism in this way would not kill Comcast. But it would essentially halt all economic growth and cement wealth even more firmly into the upper classes. Before limited liability, economic growth was essentially zero. Limited liability capitalism (read: the distribution of risk and reward behind an artificial legal entity) is the engine that enabled the global economy to grow so rapidly since the 1500s. This is what enables the vast majority of humans to have the wealth necessary to be something besides subsistence farmers. Check out Sapiens for an explanation.
Ill check that out, that's right up my alley.
I think it is definitely important to recognize just how removed from nature humans have become, especially in a philosophical context. Arriving at hard line to define what is or isn't natural is quite difficult though.
If you like this sort of stuff I have some book recommendations too that are along the same lines:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0062316095?vs=1 (author of this one is a bit opinionated, but still the book is very worh it.)
Don't know. But now, all those outstanding warrants for low-level charges have been retired.
At one point in time, 42% of New Yorkers had slaves. That's a mind blowing number. Almost $170K a year (and those numbers are 4 years old now) now to put a kid in Rikers for a year. That's another mind-blowing statistic. So we have some history to work through.
Highly recommend "Sapiens", somehow all of us "tribes" survive in places like NYC, it's so amazing.
> NEW YORK — New York is indeed an expensive place, but experts say that alone doesn't explain a recent report that found the city's annual cost per inmate was $167,731 last year — nearly as much as it costs to pay for four years of tuition at an Ivy League university.
I listening to http://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-A-Brief-History-Humankind/dp/0062316095 which i'm pretty sure you would like.
One point that was of interest to me is that the whole point of science could be said to be the acceptance of ignorance.
During the dark ages even up to Christopher Columbus most people believed that old sacred texts contained all knowledge that would ever be needed.
As soon as the idea became popular that it was important to admit not knowing and just looking and seeing where the evidence leads that real progress happened.
If you only pick and choose evidence that supports your preconceived conclusions knowledge stops.
The fundamental problem is the idea that the Bible is true.
For anyone interested, this TED Talk is awesome. It talks about turning on genes in chickens to bring back some of their dinosaur traits.
EDIT: On an ever so slightly related note, I am currently reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and it's fascinating. It points out how what differentiates homo sapien from other species (there are around 15 in all) was the cognitive ability to use fiction in everyday lives.
Typical primates stay in groups of a few dozen or so, and they all know who they can and can trust. Any groups larger than that tend to have problems because there is no way to control the group.
The ability to create mythologies and stories (religion) allowed for far greater control of much larger groups of people because they collectively believe in the entity (whether good or bad) on a collective level where no one has proof of the story or myth, but everyone around you believes so it's all good.
Shot put is a very specific athletic sport to stack hunter gatherers against? It's like complaining that they are not the greatest basket ball players, are noobs in eSports or suck at cycling.
Of course a trained professional will win from a layman especially in areas where skill becomes more important.
Certain martial arts such as Jiu Jitsu and Wing Chun favor smaller or more skilled performers.
But even the best female female martial artist will struggle against a stronger opponent if she is 1.50m (4.9feet) and up against a 2.2m (7.2feet) male. Myths of the short person in martial arts
All I am saying is, when given similar training, ancient hunter gatherers would dominate our current day athletes.
Fossil records shows that after we started with agriculture our bones and muscle mass started to dwindle. We did get very efficient in specialised areas such as our brains which shrunk 10% in the past 20,000 years and processing certain food that became important to ancient famers such as corn and milk. (Though to be fair it is uncertain if our minds became more efficient or if we basically domesticated ourselves)
Have you ever read Yuval Harari's book, Sapiens? This isn't really an answer to your question, but based on this post, I think you would like it.
Interesting. I've always assumed Dan drew his evolution rants from [Sapiens] (https://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095) Do you know if Harari uses Lamarckian ideas?
>"Fake news" and "alternative facts" actually prove that you can't revise recent history. Regardless of what you say, you can't change the events if people are alive who witnessed it. That's why any one who uses those terms aren't taken seriously.
The problem with this is that people read what agrees with them and disavow any differing opinions. If people look no further than their normal news source, then they could be misunderstanding current events. Have to read multiple several news sources, as many different angles as possible, to infer what you believe is an accurate representation of the event.
>Then why even provide the source?
I do not want to pretend to be an expert. This is provided as an entry point for people interested in further reading and what the current state of the situation is.
>The fact is Egypt is in Africa, and Europeans/Arabs didn't invade until millenia after the pyramids were built. Things are a black and white issue because it's the world we live in. I'd never have to even make this argument, if it weren't about black & white to begin with. Ancient white civilizations are credited with these discoveries and advancements, not because they were first, but because they were white.
This saddens me to read it. We will never get past these issues when people are too stubborn to see it any other way. And I never debated that humans didn't originate in Africa. Science agrees with that, and I'd hope most people are in agreement as well. For an interesting read that goes into a bit more detail about this, check out "Sapiens:
A Brief History of Humankind". Issues will always be black and white as long as you use a filter to see them that way. And to briefly revisit your response about white civilizations stealing Egyptian discoveries; that is just patently false. You learned about papyrus and mummification for instance? Egyptians were hosts to all sorts of discovery that is to their credit.
>Yes, because those events are fairly recent in human history and include genocide, slavery, and oppression of my ancestors. I can't move on from it because the ancestors of the people that committed the atrocities, and their descendants, never made things right.
And does the same go for genocidal events throughout history like that in Rwanda?
>You don't know that for sure, and even stated that you can't say with absolute certainty that some other ethnic or racial group would have done the same thing, because there's no reset button.
Violence is a part of our nature, but so is the dignity, compassion, and love that comes with "helping your fellow neighbor" that you speak of at the end of your argument.
And you don't either. That's the point. If you push the reset button time and time again, you may get a different outcome. But given how human history evolved during those critical points, it is a reasonable assumption that any group outstripping their competitors in weapons and innovation would have done what they could to secure their dominance/future.
>I'm not gonna pretend like I have the solution, but I know at the very least, reparations and the end of white supremacy is where it begins. These two things lie in the hearts of white people, and aren't something black people can give themselves.
You see the white supremacists on the news right now, but those people are not what we feel. We abhor those people, we want just as much for them to go away, and I do think that we need to do more to stand up to them and move them out. People need to understand that Trump has done this nation no favors by giving them a voice.
Social reparations are a great idea. But monetary reparations are not. Who gets it, how much? Who has to pay? What if there is no trace of slave ownership in your history? What if you are a recent immigrant? What happens to the people who don't get the money?
>We can build our way out of poverty, rebuild our communities, end drug addiction, and gang violence...but there'll still be a white person somewhere to call us all niggers.
Sure, there will always be a racist somewhere. It is a numbers game. There will always be someone believing something; that is the problem we face with religious extremism. But how do you effectively combat it? That is not so simple, and it is a problem we all desperately want to solve.
>The solution to the revision of history being carried out is to educate our children at home. Buy them books and teach them about the other ancient civilizations.
There are more and more black people doing that every day, and there'll come a time, when they'll show up in your classrooms and correct the teacher when they begin their lessons on revised history. How do you think those teachers are going to treat them?
YES YES YES YES YES!!!!! That is EXCELLENT! We have to realize that education does not stop at the parking lot of the school! Foster curiosity, education, learning in the home, it will benefit everyone. Can you imagine what this world would be if people did that? It would be so much better. We wouldn't have many of the petty divides that exist today. Creationism vs Evolution as an example.
>White supremacy is a problem, and it's ubiquitous. It's not just the cross burning, violent shit you see on TV, or at Charlottesville. It's in our education, our media, our tastes, it's to a point where even non-white people unknowingly take part in it through their own language, beliefs, and attitudes.
I agree with the first part, and want to do everything reasonable to put an end to it. But your second part edges on a racist remark. Where is the line drawn between white people allowing to have a culture and it becoming white supremacist?
>That's the truth, no matter how many accounts you long on to downvote in disagreement with.
I only have one account, I could care less whether there is a positive or negative number there. It is about discussion.
>I'll leave you at it. You can have the last word and log onto your other accounts to downvote me if you want.
Again, not doing that. I'm sorry this is your first thought.
>You clearly just wanna argue and gaslight. You've moved so far from my original point, that I've had to argue prehistorical remains, textbook publication, human nature, and what we're doing to fix it.
Come on, really? Why does an opposing viewpoint have to lead to petty insults and character attacks? There is no gaslighting here. I saw you said things that I believed were very biased in a way of misrepresenting historical events, I responded with a point of view to counterbalance that. If you treat everyone who doesn't hold your view as a gaslighter or agitator, then you are closing the door to open discussion; and that is exactly what this country needs right now. I'm really sorry you feel this way, I do not deny that there is a lot of work to be done. But let's work together to do it right, and to be proactive in avoiding these events in the future.
No, that's a very broad overview of the latest findings in the Political Sciences on how Dictatorships work. The Dictator's Handbook is a pretty informative book on the structure and ,holding of power. Power is rooted in voting blocs for Democracies and money for everything else. Any structure used to maintain or use power results in governance.
This governance structure is something deeply wired into humanity. This was the conclusion to another book I read called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. The premise of the book is that there has to be a reason why Homo Sapiens came to be the dominate Homo species on this planet. And it was the best guess of the author that it was Homo Sapiens ability to collectively believe in fictional structures that allowed them to unite in groups bigger than tribes. These fictional structures are what we today would know as laws, governments, states, nations, corporations, etc.
It was a long way around, but in short you can't separate government and power. One concept always induces another. Its a fundamental part of human nature.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
A great book. Awesome big picture perspective and helps put so many different ideas in place. Almost done reading it.
Hey! This is my kind of contest. Here's my list:
There are all kinds of obscure forces at play. You'd probably love this book - it's written by a historian, and it's one interesting story after another, all tied up tightly with a few bows (also a top pick by Obama, Gates and Zuckerberg):
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
If this sounds interesting to anyone, I highly recommend the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
It covers a lot of early evolutionary characteristics around and after the Cognitive Revolution (when we arguably "became human"). Some of my favorite parts are in depth discussions around how evolutionary prepositions like a belief in the supernatural/religion may have increased odds of survival (although may or may not have improved individual life quality).
The author's name is Harari, not Harris.
Sapiens suggested it's a characteristic of monotheism.
Yeah no high density living means filth, communicable disease could not exist. Hunting-gathering means that they had variety of food and plenty of exercise. Read Sapiens: a brief history of humankind
I highly recommend the book Sapiens for a discussion of how we got here. His latest book is also great on describing the severe challenges we will face in the near future.
Here is the post for archival purposes:
>A few of my assumptions.
<li>The oldest coin currency that we know is a Sumerian bronze piece dating from before 3000 BC. </li>
<li>The Sumerians also created writing which was a basic form of accounting. </li>
<li>Humans were able to grow, in part, beyond what normal forces of natural selection because our ability to believe in intersubjective</strong> realities. The are subjective realities shared between many people. Such realities are money, gov., and countries. (talked about in Sapiens by yuval noah harari)</li>
<li>These intersubjective realities allowed us to cooperate in scales unknown to other animals. </li>
<li>Money is an intersubjective reality</li>
<li>Money only has value because people all believe it has value (intersubjective)</li>
>These intersubjective realities take decades to build and are a function something like this: time to build = ((impact on people) * (inherent trustworthiness)) / (quantity of people involved in the reality)</strong>. The problem is Bitcoin's trustworthiness is low, because it's not backed by an established asset such as gold. The impact on people is critical, because money... and the quantity of people in the reality is **everyone on earth</strong>. If Bitcoin can provide legitimate value to our world and annihilate other currencies, I think it will take decades for the world to adopt it.
>Next, the electricity per transaction is 524kWh per transaction (on average) per this . That's enough energy to power 5000+ 100 Watt lightbulbs. How is that sustainable when you scale up to billions of transactions per hour on a global scale?
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind It is a factual book with a cynical overtone, which is why it worked so well for me.
Brave New World by Huxley. One of the best dystopian novels out there.
Thanks, I'll check it out! Just to clarify this is the book you're talking about? https://smile.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095
Wiki only mentions three, but the book I'm reading mentions around 6.
If you like reading I highly recommend this book! It's taught me some very valuable things and increased my understanding of society, as well as giving me a new way to look at society. :)
You are so dangerously naive. Is your first name Neville?
This false concept of policy is one of the biggest obstacles for libertarians. It’s why they think we are crazy. And honestly your belief is crazy. It only works if the entire world is filled with stoners like yourself with the same motivations, culture, religion, and priorities.
You simply can’t understand that people do place missile launchers on the rooftops of elementary schools and hospitals. It’s so far outside of your personal logic that you assume that it’s false, and that western civilization is a fright blight.
You are two steps away from being a leftist demanding white genocide. It’s insanity.
If you still have the ability to reason, instead of emotioning your decisions through life, there’s some very important concepts for you in this book:
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062316095/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_7apYzbXZ318T9
Probably, I'm not religious and tend to agree, but compared to what? So is football - do you think it was given to us in the primordial soup or something? So are lots of other stuff, from Manchester City, human rights, Peugeot the automotive mfg, the French state, genders and to a large extent race. All that stuff are human constructs that depend on the unique ability humans have of constructing non-natural narratives and holding common beliefs about them - it's actually what separates our species from other animals and what separated the homo sapiens from other species of homo (other human species that used to exist), like the neardental, etc, and the reason why the Sapiens species ended up dominating the planet. I strongly recommend Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari (an atheist historian and scientist) which is very much about this.
Anti-Catholic bigotry was a staple of the KKK; and Stalin and Mao; and Nazis - so you're far from alone.
Anyway, one doesn't need to be erudite or get philosophical or resort to historical analogies to know what's wrong with that: it's just the lack of basic decency, aka, not being an unhinged asshole. There's simply something to be said about not acting like a jerk to other people because of different systems of beliefs. It's called common decency. I don't know, it's just about being a good person, or at least the normal, okayish, one, and not the demented lunatic going around throwing slurs and insults.
Synthetics started getting actually good around 2011, with at least some if not most of the impetus coming from a feeling that the EU might prohibit the use of badger hair (cf. ivory prohibitions). Mühle took an early lead, but quite a lot has happened. Check out, for example, these articles in Sharpologist, and note the dates.
Memes (in the Richard Dawkins sense—cf. Chapter 11 of The Selfish Gene) are subject to the Darwinian laws that follow from inheritance with some variation and limited resources, which brings natural selection into play: those memes with variations favoring reproduction will survive, just as is true for lifeforms, only memes evolve at a MUCH faster rate. The recent book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is, in effect, a history of the evolution of memes. It seemed to me that many of his insights and much of his account required looking at things from a meme point of view, though he doesn't even mention memes until the middle of the book, and then only briefly and diffidently. (Bayesian statistics was initially looked down upon by classical statisticians as not quite the thing, but quite a few found that Bayesian statistics actually worked really well, so they started using it in secret and, when publishing, translated their results back into classical statistical terminology and methods. It seems that the same dynamic is at play here, with a reluctance to talk explicitly about memes, even though they explain a lot.)