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Made You Think

Apr 24, 2018

Today, we are used to thinking about the whole planet as a single unit, but for most of history, earth was in fact an entire galaxy of isolated human worlds.

In this episode of Made You Think, Adil, Neil and I continue to discuss Sapiens by Yuval Harari. In this second part we cover the most recent part of Human and Society evolution and how we moved from scattered collection of isolated human beings to a cohesive global civilization.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the daily life of most humans ran its course within three ancient frames: the nuclear family, the extended family and the local intimate community. Most people worked in the family business or their neighbours’ family businesses. The family was also the welfare system, the health system, the education system, the construction industry, the trade union, the pension fund, the insurance company, the radio, the television, the newspapers, the bank and even the police. Yet throughout history, such imagined communities played second fiddle to intimate communities of several dozen people who knew each other well. The intimate communities fulfilled the emotional needs of their members and were essential for everyone’s survival and welfare. In the last two centuries, the intimate communities have withered, leaving imagined communities to fill in the emotional vacuum. The two most important examples for the rise of such imagined communities are the nation and the consumer tribe.

We cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Cognitive Dissonance as a survival feature of human beings
  • The absurd of national identity when talking about ethnic cuisine
  • Industrial Revolution, Internet, and the re-framing of communities
  • Who was the first guy to circumnavigate the world
  • How merchants shaped today’s world
  • Meaning of Happiness

And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Sapiens by Yuval Harari!

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault, a book that covers Postmodernism, a kind of Religion according to Harari, as well as our notes on The Way of Zen, to know more about Buddhism and the search of Peace.

Be sure to join our mailing list to find out about what books are coming up, giveaways we're running, special events, and more.

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Show Topics

1:37 – The Arrow of History. How we moved from scattered collection of isolated human beings to a cohesive global civilization.

2:11 – From considering cognitive dissonance a bug of our mind to a feature that helps us manage contradictory beliefs. Examples: Democrats and Republican, Religion, and positions on immigration examples. The truth is that we don’t think in binary.

6:35 – "Traditional" ethnic recipes are made with non traditional ingredients. The idea of national identity fall into the absurd. Countries that claim an identity did not exist 200 or 300 years ago.

11:06 – The result of today's globalization comes from 3 groups: Money, States, and Religion. Commerce would be the first thing that started tying people together. Money as the foundation of States and Religion.

15:56 – The moment religions scaled. How Christianity may have spread to support Constantine the Great’s plans for the Mediterranean. The traits of "successful" Religions.

19:56 – Tangent. Buddhist Monks that accept and inflict violence. Zen Buddhism.

21:16 – Politics in the new Religion. Constitution as the new God. Ways Catholicism's circumvented monotheism to absorb local religions.

24:38 – The challenge of growing and functioning all together. Science, the secret of success. Memetics vs Postmodernism.

25:33 – Globalization leading us to two concurrent and opposing directions: integrating us on a global scale (access to the same stores/products/music/culture) while dividing us in islands (internet groups). Subcultures. Turning point where we assumed we know what was in the world, to assume we didn't. Maps with empty spaces example.

28:25 – Space exploration and old World exploration is driven by greed and money. Science and dominance comes as an effect rather than a cause.

35:30 – Tangent. How tea got into India. Origin of Tea.

37:09 – Merchants and Capitalism. The importance of credit to enable entrepreneurship and permit the development of the current world. Crypto may spread with the availability of cryptocredit.

41:12 – War of merchants. The history under Wall Street. Why the British took Hong Kong. The main problem with pure market capitalism is that it's going to create growth, but we are not sure if it is in a good direction. People blinded by Capitalism.

47:00 – Industrial Revolution. Mentality shift to optimize for our own pleasure rather than building something bigger than ourselves. Gunpowder and steam engines example. E-Sports may lead the trend to monetize attention.

50:48 – Internet and micro-communities replacing local intimate physical ones and old “imagined” ones like States. Peculiarities, power, and limits of such communities.  Some people argue that the Donalds subreddit was one of the big factors to turn Trump president.

57:11 – The costs and levels of different levels of communication: personal meeting, phone call, texting. The pattern that occurs with new technologies. Being aware and controlling unwanted effects of tech, to not fall tangled in it.

59:55 – Happiness. The lottery ticket and car accident examples. Happiness as a function of baseline, and framed under objective conditions vs subjective expectations. Effects of the Internet and Social Media on nowadays expectations. Buddhism goals and nuances of the translation of old Sanskrit to current languages.

1:08:08 – Sponsors! Here ends Sapiens. Check the 1st part or buy Homo Deus (kind of a 3rd episode on Sapiens) and prepare for the next episode. We were enjoying Cordyceps Elixir Mushroom Coffee from Four Sigmatic. We also suggest the Adaptogen one. Get 10 to 15% discount with our link. Also, try Jocko White Tea (buy it using our Amazon link). Always, Perfect Keto for all your ketosis needs. Really good products to get into and sustain ketosis. They have keto friendly protein powder, MCT oils, and nice pre-workout boost. Kettle & Fire is our provider of fine bone broth. They’ve got beef, chicken, chicken with mushroom. It helps you get over the flu and is a perfect treat for a cold night. Get up to 33% OFF with our link or get it at Whole Foods. Give us a review on iTunes, tell your friends, register to the email list and you’ll know about books that are coming.

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