Not your grandfathers revolutions

The revolutions that Harari talks about being what shaped modern civilization as it is today is the agricultural revolution and the cognitive revolution. The agricultural revolution was when the neolithic people started to stay in one fertile area, instead of hunting and gathering they started farming and raising livestock. This was a huge shift because it came after years and years of people being nomadic and never staying in one place too long. As a result of the agricultural revolution, cities began to take shape and kingdoms were established. This was a major shift into the culture of what shaped modern day civilization for years in the future. If it were not for the agricultural revolution, we would still be running around the fertile crescent looking for the next meal for the day. The other major revolution that Harari outlined being what made modern civilization what it is, is the cognitive revolution. The cognitive revolution, some might consider, isn’t nearly as important as the agricultural revolution. However, the cognitive revolution is what set into motion the studies of not only the mind, but also a lot of the technological fixes that we live with in today’s society. To clarify, the cognitive revolution is a time when science began to research more into the inner workings of the mind and understanding it.

Harari explained that homo sapiens became so dominate due to the geographical location they found themselves in when they decided to settle down in the agricultural revolution. This point of view definitely makes sense to me,as the land was fertile, and there were multiple resources working in their favor. The animals around the area as well were easy for homo sapiens to hunt and to domesticate eventually, leading to an extra food source to build the civilizations on. I am skeptical however as to why other regions that have these domesticable animals and fertile lands were not teeming with other dominant successful life, such as homo sapiens were in the fertile crescent.

1 thought on “Not your grandfathers revolutions”

  1. Mr. Pendergast,

    Your summary of the agricultural and cognitive revolutions is well thought out and concise, and you posit some excellent points about the odd singularity of homo sapiens development. However, I think you miss a little of the significance that a cultural mythology played in the creation of large scale communities. The creation and belief in a society wide mythology is the framework for a hierarchical culture, and without the threat of divine reward and retribution a population is far less likely to cooperate and coalesce. A joint mythology also adds an important element of nationalism for a community, bolstering the self image and perception of personal place, and engenders a much greater sense of tribal loyalty.

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