There are too many good quotes to describe both of Harari's books, Sapiens: a Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. The books have been well received by the public even if some historical shortcuts make some expert's eyebrows rise.
The main thing that I liked about it is how it puts the reader into perspective of time.
We might feel, as a species, that we own this planet. We take the Earth as granted and cannot even start to phantom it without us, while in reality, our civilization is just a drop in time comparison to the ocean of species that covered it, and likely will. We might feel like we own it now in a way, because we span this world entirely and have mapped out most of it.
But we just started to map time.
However, the last century has seen in itself more changes than any other before it. The industrial revolution was one leap forward. We walked on the moon, which inspired generations to achieve more. But, most importantly, we invented a new way to transport knowledge and intelligence. This in itself allowed the most prolific decades that we have ever seen and will be the basis of many more to come.
For centuries, humans had to face three main challenges: famine, plague and war. In developed countries, obesity is now more of a problem than starvation. Vaccines and modern medicine have reduced plague to rare events, even if bursts can occasionally occur (localized or not). We can, finally, be hopeful that wars between superpowers are remains of a world where one civilization thought it had to conquer the neighbor's share of the pie of resources to expand. Modern technologies and globalization have, on the contrary, shown that it is much more advantageous to collaborate to collectively grow the pie.
There is so much mechanisms at play that we don't even see because they appear too slow to our naked eye. One that is there for certain, however, is the march forward of intelligence.
September 2, 2018
Comments by Mathieu Maender