April 21, 2020

Sapiens पढेपछि

युवल नोआ हरारीको चर्चित किताब 'Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind' साथमा भएको धेरै भएको थियो तर पढ्ने मेसो परेको थिएन । केहि दिन अगाडि पढिभ्याइयो । यो किताबको बारेमा धेरै चर्चा भइसकेको छ विश्वव्यापी रुपमा।

अरु आम इतिहासका पुस्तकभन्दा यो फरक छ, शाशकहरुलाई भन्दा आम  मानवजातिलाई केन्द्रमा राखेर लेखिएको छ । तिथिमिति र घटनाक्रमहरुको सपाट वर्णनभन्दा पनि समग्र मानवजातिको चेतनाको विकासक्रमको दस्तावेज भन्दा हुन्छ । मानवजातिको विगत र वर्तमानको सजीव ब्याख्या त छ नै, भविष्यका बारेमा समेत केहि अनुमानहरु गरेका छन् हरारीले ।

समग्र मानवजातिको इतिहास व्याख्या गर्ने क्रममा उनले पश्चिमी सभ्यताको आधारभूमिलाई बढी पछ्याएका छन् । औद्योगिक क्रान्तिपछिको मानव इतिहास निश्चित रुपमा पश्चिमी दबदबाको इतिहास हो तर मानव जातिको चेतनाविकासको व्याख्यामा पूर्वमा विकसित जीवनशैली, प्रविधि र दार्शनिक मान्यताहरुको पनि अलिक बढी चर्चा गरेको भए हुने थियो जस्तो लाग्छ ।

किताब पढीरहँदा धेरै ठाउँमा ओशोले बिभिन्न प्रवचनमा मानवजातिका बारेमा बोलेका कुराहरुसंग मिल्दाजुल्दा विचारहरु भेटें मैले । हरारीले ओशोका बारेमा के सोच्छन् भन्नेचाहिँ मलाई थाहा भएन तर आफ्ना यिनै विचारहरुका कारण पनि ओशोले धेरै विरोध र अवरोधको सामना गर्नु परेको थियो । यी विचारहरु अहिले शायद स्विकृत हुँदै गएका छन् ।

एउटा रुचिकर, ज्ञानवर्धक र नवीन तर्क र अनुमानले दिमागलाई हल्लाउन सक्ने गज्जबको किताब पढेको सन्तुष्टि दिन्छ जो कसैलाई Sapiens ले, त्यसमा कुनै सन्देह छैन ।

केहि टिपोटहरु किताबबाट:

We still inhabit the hunter-gatherer world. Our ------ conflicts and our sexuality are all the result of the way our hunter-gatherer minds interact with our current post-industrial environment.
Most of the infectious diseases that have plagued agricultural and industrial societies (such as smallpox, measles and TB) originated in animals and were transferred to humans only after the agricultural revolution.
(Page 58)

The wandering bands of storytelling Sapiens were the most important and most destructive force the animal kingdom had ever produced.
(Page 69)

The historical records make Homo Sapiens look like an ecological serial killer.
We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.
(Page 82)

The transition to agriculture began around 9500 ~ 8500 BC in the hill country of south-eastern Turkey, western Iran and the Levant.
(Page 87)

About domestication of plants and animals in page 87 - 88

No new plant of animal domestication in the last 2000 years.
Our minds are those of hunter-gatherers, our cuisine that of ancient farmers.
(Page 88)

The agricultural revolution certainly enlarged the sum total of food at the disposal of humankind, but the extra food did not translate into a better diet or more leisure. Rather it translated into population explosion and pampered elites. The average farmer worked harder than the average forager and got a worse diet in return. The agricultural revolution was history's biggest fraud.
(Page 90)

The essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions.
Agricultural Revolution was a trap !
(Page 94)

One of history's few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.
(Page 98)

Cattle: one of the most successful animal species ever to exist (genetic proliferation) . At the same time, they are some of the most miserable animals in the planet.
(Page 108).

History is something that very few people have been doing while everyone else was ploughing fields and carrying water buckets.
(Page 114)

C. 1776 BC - code of Hammurabi
1776 AD - USA Declaration of Independence
(Page 117 - 118)

Writing is a method for storing information through material signs (memory outside brain).
Sumerians invented writing.
Other large societies: bees, ants, etc. But all required info ingrained in their DNA. But as Sapiens live in imagined world, info ingrained in DNA is not enough. They need memory outside their brain too.
(Page 138)

Its telling that the first recorded name in history belongs to an accountant, rather than a prophet, a poet or a great conqueror.
(Page 139)

Quipu - Inca 'computer'

When humans try to regain control of the rebellious script, it responds by attempting to wipe out the human race.

Imagined orders + devised scripts = mass cooperation networks

Gender is a race in which some of the runners compete only for the bronze medal.
(Page 117)

Money ----- represents systematically the value of other things.
(Page 197)

Money can convert, store and transport wealth easily and cheaply.
Money isn't a material reality -  it is a psychological construct.
(page 200)

Religion: A system of human norms, ------ belief in superhuman order
(Page 238 - 239)

Atman (आत्मा) - polytheism. Polytheism is open minded, rarely persecutes 'heretics' and 'infidels'.
(Page 238 - 239)

Chapter 12 - The Law of Religion

syncretism - into single great world religion

'Level 1 chaos' - e.g. weather predictions : Is not influenced by the prediction
'Level 2 chaos' - e.g. market predictions : Is influenced by the prediction itself
(Page 267, 268)

Revolution, by definition, unpredictable. A predictable revolution never erupts.
(Page 268)

The Gilgamesh Project (defy death)
(Page 297)

Science is a very expensive affair.
(Page 302)

Europe ruled the world due to the mentality of conquest.
(Page 316)

Astronauts and the old native Indian man
(Page 318)

Like evolution, history disregards the happiness of individual organisms -----.
(Page 371)


Credit is the difference between today's pie and tomorrow's pie.
(Page 345)

"Egoism is altruism".
(Page 348)

The first and most sacred commandment of the new capitalist creed; The profits of production must be reinvested in increasing production. Capitalism distinguished 'capital' from 'wealth'.
(Page 349)

(Page 384 - 385)

The tragedy of industrial agriculture is that it takes great care of the objective needs of animals, while neglecting their subjective needs.
(Page 385)

World population: 700 million in 1700, 950 million in 1800, 1.6 billion inn 1900, 6 billion in 2000, and near about 7 billion in 2020

Millions of years of evolution have designed us to live and think as community members. Within a mere two centuries, we have become alienated individuals.
(Page 403 - 404)

If I bake a cake from flour, oil and sugar, all of which has been sitting in my pantry for the past two months, it doesn't mean that the cake itself is two months old.
(page 407)

Imagined community: 'Madonna Fans",
Consumer tribe
(page 408)

These days, every year is revolutionary.
(Page 409)

"It was the best of time, it was the worst of time."
(Page 410)

Each and every victim is a world destroyed, a family ruined, friends and relatives scarred for life.
(Page 410)

No war, because of (i) high price of war (ii) wealth not in material but in minds of professionals   (iii) peace more lucrative as trade is easy   (iv) peace loving elites
(page 416 - 418)

---- we are destroying the foundations of human prosperity in an orgy of reckless consumption.
(Page 424)

"If you have a why to live, you can bear almost any how." - Nietzche
(Page 437)

Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary process that operate without goal or purpose.
Any meaning the people ascribe to their lives is just a delusion.
(Page 438)

Can genetic engineering change the social structure too?
(Page 451)

Inter-brain-net : Cyborg : Collective memory bank
(Page 456 - 457)

Are computer viruses living creatures?
(Page 457 - 458)

The road to near perfect medicine
(Page 459)

Gilgamesh Project is the flagship of science. It serves to justify everything science does.
Impossible to stop Gilgamesh - impossible to stop Frankenstein

Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one.
We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and ------, yet never finding satisfaction.

Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don't know what they want?
(Page 466)

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