This book has opened my mind up in so many different ways! I don’t know about you but high school did not sufficiently explain these concepts to me. Sorry about the tangent, but I needed to rant. Money: before there was currency, the people of the world bartered whenever there was a need for an exchange of goods. The issue with bartering was there were no set regulations, how do 10 brooms compare to 10 apples? Cultures eventually invented money to combat these issues. Harari argues that money led to cooperation because everyone uses it, no matter what culture a person belongs to. The example used in the book is how the Roman denar was a perfectly acceptable currency in most foreign nations; even India, which was relatively very far away from Rome. Empires: if you really think about it, the people of the world are really not that different. We all rely on technology, eat eachothers’ food, consume the same media, and sometimes speak the same language. A large reason that the world is this way it is are empires. Harari says that the world in the past was made up of many more cultures than there are today. When an empire conquers and controls another culture – that culture eventually gets incorporated into that empire’s existing culture. Throughout history cultures have been filtered through different empires, basically unifying humankind. Harari does make a point that we are still going through this process, but it is easy to believe that the world eventually will have even fewer distinct cultures. Religion has been brought up frequently in past weeks, so I will keep this brief. Religion: faith spans across many nations and cultures. Islam, for example, is worshipped on most continents, the worshippers may have different culture and look physically different but they are unified by faith.
YES, I agree with Harari with his reasoning behind why we study history. He means that history allows our society to understand why we are in the situations we are in. Take racism in America for example, racism did not just magically appear in America. Studying history allows us to understand why America is racist and how this problem does not have to persist. Studying the history of science and technology is integral to understanding society. Our society lives off of technology and scientific discoveries, they are driving factors.