Revolutionizing the food chain

The cognitive revolution is the first stage of important human development according to Harari. The ability of homo sapiens to imagine a story that was beyond their immediate physical surroundings. Harari claims these shared stories allows us to cooperate on a large scale. The agricultural revolution was a shift from hunter-gatherer societies to a more stable way of life by planting and harvesting crops for resources. This agricultural shift benefited society by allowing for more stationary living situations and a larger population. Harari listed some of the things lost “The wholesome and varied diet, the relatively short working week, and the rarity of infectious diseases have led many experts to define pre-agricultural forager societies as ‘the original affluent societies’.” He warns that this a rose-colored view of history by reminding readers that infant mortality rate was off the charts and that an injury that would be considered minor nowadays could mean death back then.


As touched on in the above paragraph Harari believes that the basis for human dominion over the earth is our ability to create a narrative that people can fall in line under. The shared story allows us to cooperate with complete strangers. This cooperation allows us to live in large groups that will dominate. A single person is not much of a threat to the earth, let alone many of its inhabitants, a few million of us are giving earth a run for its existence. This is a very persuasive argument because it fundamentally makes sense. There are other creatures that have large brains, thumbs, and that use tools. I don’t know of one animal theology or art. The closest thing I can think of are bowerbirds who make pretty homes to attract a mate, and that is still physically bound.


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