Cognitive Ammunition

Harari does an excellent job of illustrating the ways we, as Homo Sapiens, have ended up being the way we are today. The Cognitive and Agricultural Revolutions were the foundation for our separation from just another species, to a most dominant one. The Cognitive Revolution was where we first saw that separation. Homo Sapiens were now able to “transmit information”. This meant that informations about the world, relationships, and even non-existent things, like religion, were now a part of their society. The revolution allowed for larger, more cohesive, groups of people could together for the betterment of the group (Harari 37). This lead to the Agricultural Revolution. For the first time in history, species of plants and animals were being manipulated for another species. Pulling our species away from our hunter-gatherer roots, we became domesticated by our agriculture. Thought many benefits came from this, there were many consequences. Our bodies were not made for this work and we began to have for more ailments and illness. Harari states this revolution was a trap as it kept more people alive but under worse conditions (Harari 83).

The first part of the book discusses the ways through which Homos Sapiens became what we are today as well as the many theories that go along with that journey. I believe the Cognitive Revolution is the largest reason we became as dominant as we are and found this argument to be very persuasive. Without the ability to communicate both real and imaginary ideas, our global dominance would not have been possible. In regards to imagined order, Harari states “We believe in a particular order not because it is particularly true, but because believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society”( Harari 110). The cognitive revolution has lead us to this point where we cooperate for the good of one another.

One thought on “Cognitive Ammunition”

  1. Hi Mia!

    I strongly agree with the beginning of your post talking about how well Harari illustrates Sapiens development into the dominant species. I think his ability to clearly and creatively paint history’s portrait with text is what makes it an incredible book to read. While reading through the book, I keep coming back to the same thought of “just how speculative is this book?” There is so much up in the air that isn’t confirmed and I have to keep reminding myself of that so I don’t completely buy into it. Anyways, I also agree with your interpretation of the Cognitive Revolution being the reason we pulled ahead in developmental terms. Before Harari explained the power behind unison and shared beliefs, I had never thought of that as being such a large advantage for survival.

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