The Unifying Force

In this week’s reading of Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari  the topic of the unification of humankind is presented.  This takes the form of three pillars that lead to the unification of humankind  money, empires, and religions.  First money’s contribution to unifying humankind can be explained by this quote “ in the first century Ad, roman coins were accepted medium of exchange in the markets of India…”(p. 184). This exemplifies how money replaced the complicated barter system and strengthened ties between cultures that were set up by the next force of unification. This force is empires and this line  Harari  show how those cultures were formed “The empire’s new citizens adopted roman imperial culture with such zest that, for centuries and even millennia after the empire itself collapsed, they continued to peak the empire’s language’ to live by the empire’s laws, and to believe inn the chistian god that the empire had adopted from on of its levantine provinces.”.  Tha quote explains that the vastly different peoples of many tribes were united under the empire and that the empire gave them a singular culture that would persist after the empire’s destruction. This culture would enable the societies that would rise out of the empires to work together on common ground.  Lastly religions united people from widely different cultures. This is exemplified when Harari talks about the types of people and their different culture you would see around Ka’aba. Also in the reading we get to see what value Harari sees in studying history on “We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that the present situation is neither natural nor inevitable, and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.” (p. 241).  I believe that Harari is saying that we often when looking towards the future only see a few logical paths that lay before us, but if we look to history there are many illogical twists that history has taken.  This shows today not to dismiss the illogical path as it might be the one that we go down. The value in studying the history of science and technology is much the same. When we look at that history we see the inventions/breakthroughs as inevitable but at the time they might have been unthought of.  This shows us that today the looney ideas of some scientists may be the future breakthroughs that our kids are taught.

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