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For over a third of a century I have had darkish hair, I wear glasses. I watch too much TV. I read a little. I gave up smoking on 1st January 2007. I would rather be in Hawaii. In 2005, I held the title of ``Greatest Sword in all France'' In 1991 I won a the 1V form prize.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sapiens

I was a bit disappointed with this.

I was hoping for a more in depth look at our ancestors, particularly during the cognitive revolution.
 I did learn that chimps spend 5 hours a day chewing. I found the book more an overview. A useful one, but one that skirted the problems, and issues.

For example, during the discussion about money, and specifically credit. Noah, uses the Spanish monarchy as an example of a state that repels credit in contrast with the Dutch republic. Or he later use the British industrial revolution to expand on the railway

I think he missed things, such as the importance of dairy farming, Europe's division. The break of church and state. The dumb luck of missing the mongol invasion. That said I think the book acts as a good primer-particularly when talking about economics, and the rise of the modern capitalist /scientific state 

His critique of capitalism is interesting. I agree that markets can never be totally unregulated so, you accept this and go forward. The analogy with the agricultural revolution ultimately their were too people to go back. I think at some points Noah is too sympathetic to the Hunter gathers,

See

https://quillette.com/2017/12/16/romanticizing-hunter-gatherer/

I was surprised to see such effort spent on thinking about animal conditions., There were two criticisms to be made to this. One the suffering of farm animals, leads to cheap protein. We may be selecting for factory farming, and indeed modern biotech may solve that, or simply wealth.   The conversation about the benefits of empires did interest me. The fact that well dressed and pious Dutchmen owned slaves was well made.

As I said a good primer, like Jareds Guns, Germs and steel You have to start some where

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