Quotes from “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari

Alexander Chorny
Alexander Chornyhas quoted3 years ago
Don’t believe tree-huggers who claim that our ancestors lived in harmony with nature. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology.
Коля Русин
Коля Русинhas quoted5 months ago
‘Happiness Begins Within.’ Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness. Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.
njjjjhgyj
njjjjhgyjhas quotedlast year
The most important impact of script on human history is precisely this: it has gradually changed the way humans think and view the world.
Lindsay Foran-Harpe
Lindsay Foran-Harpehas quotedlast year
A human handprint made about 30,000 years ago, on the wall of the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in southern France. Somebody tried to say, ‘I was here!’
Anastasiya Matsulevitch
Anastasiya Matsulevitchhas quotedlast year
Consumerism has worked very hard, with the help of popular psychology (‘Just do it!’) to convince people that indulgence is good for you, whereas frugality is self-oppression.
Adi Safuan
Adi Safuanhas quoted2 years ago
The gossip theory might sound like a joke, but numerous studies support it. Even today the vast majority of human communication – whether in the form of emails, phone calls or newspaper columns – is gossip. It comes so naturally to us that it seems as if our language evolved for this very purpose.
Zauresh Amanzholova
Zauresh Amanzholovahas quoted2 years ago
One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations. Once people get used to a certain luxury, they take it for granted. Then they begin to count on it. Finally they reach a point where they can’t live without i
Simon Dunlop
Simon Dunlophas quoted3 years ago
The White Australia policy which restricted immigration of non-white people to Australia remained in force until 1973.
Konstantin Perepelin
Konstantin Perepelinhas quoted3 years ago
Imagine how things might have turned out had the Neanderthals or Denisovans survived alongside Homo sapiens. What kind of cultures, societies and political structures would have emerged in a world where several different human species coexisted? How, for example, would religious faiths have unfolded? Would the book of Genesis have declared that Neanderthals descend from Adam and Eve, would Jesus have died for the sins of the Denisovans, and would the Qur’an have reserved seats in heaven for all righteous humans, whatever their species? Would Neanderthals have been able to serve in the Roman legions, or in the sprawling bureaucracy of imperial China? Would the American Declaration of Independence hold as a self-evident truth that all members of the genus Homo are created equal? Would Karl Marx have urged workers of all species to unite?
Simon Dunlop
Simon Dunlophas quoted3 years ago
Genus Homo’s position in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle. For millions of years, humans hunted smaller creatures and gathered what they could, all the while being hunted by larger predators. It was only 400,000 years ago that several species of man began to hunt large game on a regular basis, and only in the last 100,000 years – with the rise of Homo sapiens – that man jumped to the top of the food chain.
Simon Dunlop
Simon Dunlophas quoted3 years ago
Whereas chimpanzees spend five hours a day chewing raw food, a single hour suffices for people eating cooked food.
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
the late nineteenth century, many educated Indians were taught the same lesson by their British masters. One famous anecdote tells of an ambitious Indian who mastered the intricacies of the English language, took lessons in Western-style dance, and even became accustomed to eating with a knife and fork. Equipped with his new manners, he travelled to England, studied law at University College London, and became a qualified barrister. Yet this young man of law, bedecked in suit and tie, was thrown off a train in the British colony of South Africa for insisting on travelling first class instead of settling for third class, where ‘coloured’ men like him were supposed to ride. His name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
The process of assimilation was often painful and traumatic. It is not easy to give up a familiar and loved local tradition, just as it is difficult and stressful to understand and adopt a new culture
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
The wild Germans and painted Gauls had lived in squalor and ignorance until the Romans tamed them with law, cleaned them up in public bathhouses, and improved them with philosophy. The Mauryan Empire in the third century BC took as its mission the dissemination of Buddha’s teachings to an ignorant world. The Muslim caliphs received a divine mandate to spread the Prophet’s revelation, peacefully if possible but by the sword if necessary. The Spanish and Portuguese empires proclaimed that it was not riches they sought in the Indies and America, but converts to the true faith
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
must bring the benefits of culture. The Mandate of Heaven was bestowed upon the emperor not in order to exploit the world, but in order to educate humanity.
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
The benefits were sometimes salient – law enforcement, urban planning, standardisation of weights and measures – and sometimes questionable – taxes, conscription, emperor worship. But most imperial elites earnestly believed that they were working for the general welfare of all the empire’s inhabitants.
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
Often enough, it was the empires themselves which deliberately spread ideas, institutions, customs and norms. One reason was to make life easier for themselves. It is difficult to rule an empire in which every little district has its own set of laws, its own form of writing, its own language and its own money. Standardisation was a boon to emperors.

A second and equally important reason why empires actively spread a common culture was to gain legitimacy.
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
The first emperor of the united Chinese empire, Qín Shĭ Huángdì, boasted that ‘throughout the six directions [of the universe] everything belongs to the emperor . . . wherever there is a human footprint, there is not one who did not become a subject [of the emperor] . . . his kindness reaches even oxen and horses. There is not one who did not benefit. Every man is safe under his own roof
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
This new imperial vision passed from Cyrus and the Persians to Alexander the Great, and from him to Hellenistic kings, Roman emperors, Muslim caliphs, Indian dynasts, and eventually even to Soviet premiers and American presidents
fadllymur
fadllymurhas quoted2 days ago
Dinka’ simply means ‘people’. People who are not Dinka are not people. The Dinka’s bitter enemies are the Nuer. What does the word Nuer mean in Nuer language? It means ‘original people’. Thousands of miles from the Sudan deserts, in the frozen ice-lands of Alaska and north-eastern Siberia, live the Yupiks. What does Yupik mean in Yupik language? It means ‘real people’.3
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