A Future Unknown

  1. The state and market became a central aspect in human culture after the collapse of family and local community. Harari talks about how both the state and market played huge roles with the coming of the industrial revolution. Harari states “The Industrial Revolution gave the market immense new powers, provided the state with new means of communication and transportation, and placed at the government’s disposal an army of clerks, teachers, policemen and social workers” (Harari P.358). Harari goes on to explain that the state and market over time grew to weaken the bonds of family and community. After the loss harari mentions “ Many of us now bewail the loss of strong families and communities and feel alienated and threatened by the power the impersonal state and market wield over our lives” (Harari P.360). Now in modern times it’s easy for us to look at the state and market but much has changed since the time of strong local communities.  

2. I think historians should consider the role of looking to the past and influence the direction of scientists. As we go forward with the breaking the law of natural selection we should be careful how we tread. By replacing these laws to laws of intelligent design we are able to change and design sapiens. We must be careful with how far we can design species. Harari states “Biological engineering is deliberate human intervention on the biological level aimed at modifying an organism’s shape, needs or desires, in order to realise some preconceived cultural idea, such as the artistic predilections of Eduardo Kac” (Harari P.399-400). Historians should use past ideas to help scientists not get carried away.   


2 thoughts on “A Future Unknown”

  1. Hi Sage, I enjoyed reading your post and enjoyed seeing how you interpreted the text. You mention how “Historians should consider the role of looking to the past and influence the direction of science”, and I think you make a great point. History is important in many aspects and the advancements of science is definitely included. You also mention the collapse of families and local communities, what do you mean by this? Personally I feel like I have a very strong family relationship and for many people, their small communities are often akin to an extension of their family and would do anything for them. I would be interested to hear your thoughts, Thanks!

  2. While I agree with your point about historians influencing where the science goes in the future, I feel like it might be necessary to point out that human beings have been “breaking” the law of natural selection and modifying organisms for a very long time now, it is simply the method that has changed. The problem is not that we can suddenly modify organisms, it is that we can suddenly do it very quickly, accurately, and cheaply. I think what is important is not necessarily that historians influence the ideas of scientists, but rather that more scientists understand the history of the matter, or perhaps that more scientists become historians themselves.

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