Author Topic: Books and new Ideas  (Read 1931 times)

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Offline John Raabe

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Books and new Ideas
« on: June 20, 2015, 08:34:32 AM »
We might use this area of the forum to let others know what new ideas we find of interest. Here's my contribution:

The Invention of the shared social mind

This idea just won't get out of my head. The ideas come out of the Sapiens book by Yuval Harari. He is a worldwide conceptual phenomenon and the hottest historian in some time.

There are all kinds of lectures and TED talks you can find with a search on the title or author's name. He has recently done a very condensed overview of the overriding concept (link below) - that some 70,000 years ago a human band invented a new use for their increasingly complex art of vocalization and started talking about something more than the physical objects (tigers, mountains and rivers) that were in their environment. They started talking about ideas - concepts that could only be shared with other minds. These ideas were viral but didn't exist in the objective physical world. What a firestorm that must have created.

http://ideas.ted.com/why-humans-run-the-world/

Here is the Amazon book link where you can listen to a short reading and "Look inside"
http://www.amazon.com/Sapiens-Humankind-Yuval-Noah-Harari/dp/0062316095/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434815966&sr=1-1&keywords=sapiens

I see there is now a paperback edition (I am still only 1/2 way through the hardbound book).

In my opinion, this mental innovation was the historical demarcation line where we stepped away from our animal past and into the confusing and dangerous role of masters of the planet. This was the tempting apple of knowledge of good and evil and boy did we bite into that apple! We have been creating fictional (made up) ideas that people make real by their belief ever since. Things like money, religion, countries and empires.

Harari talks about gossip being one of the first uses of this shared mind power. Interesting thought. How would that work?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2015, 03:39:43 PM by John Raabe »
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Offline hpinson

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Re: Books and new Ideas
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 08:30:15 PM »

Offline John Raabe

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Re: Books and new Ideas
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 03:09:06 PM »
The history of Prohibition sounds enticing, especially timely with what is currently happening with marijuana laws.

I enjoyed the PBS video by Ken Burns. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/prohibition/
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Offline Adam Roby

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Re: Books and new Ideas
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 04:58:54 PM »
I just watched the first clip of that PBS special.  I never realized how bad drinking had become, and can now understand what lead to prohibition in the first place.  I will no doubt continue with it over the next few weeks...  5 hour special after all.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Books and new Ideas
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2015, 10:31:43 AM »
That is a good Burns special. I might re-watch it...

Looks like an interesting book on the period too. In fact I'll add them all to my "want to read" list.
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