Fuel for Thought

The Cognitive Revolution was essentially our “ability to transmit larger quantities of information about the world surrounding Homo sapiens” (Harari 37). These new quantities of information included information about Sapiens social relationships and things that don’t really exist such as tribal spirits, nations, limited liability rights, and human rights. With this new ability to transmit larger amounts of information, Sapiens began to be able to plan and carry out more complex actions and form larger groups that were better able to cooperate. Furthermore, Sapiens were also able to rapidly innovate social behavior. The Agricultural Revolution was Sapiens new found ability to grow and raise their own food. This new ability is one of the main reasons for our population explosion. “The essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions” (Harari 83).

Harari explains that homo sapiens became dominant due to our ability to create and talk about the imagined world around us. He claims that by inventing entities that we can believe in, from religious gods to corporations, is the reason that homo sapiens were able to dominate our world in the way we have. I personally agree with his explanation. I found one of his most persuasive arguments on page 31 when he said that “the difficulty lies not in telling the story, but in convincing everyone else to believe it.” Furthermore, “…when it succeeds, it gives Sapiens immense power, because it enables millions of strangers to cooperate and work towards common goals.” I believe in the fact that power comes in numbers and when this power comes from people working together to create things, like the society we live in, it’s no surprise to me that Sapiens have become as dominant a species as they are now. I agree with Harari that the Cognitive Revolution is what’s to blame for homo sapiens dominance.

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