Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes III

Sapiens can cooperate in extremely flexible ways with countless numbers of strangers. That’s why Sapiens rule the world, whereas ants eat our leftovers and chimps are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.

How did Homo sapiens manage to cross this critical threshold [of living and working together in numbers not much more than 150], eventually founding cities comprising tens of thousands and empires ruling hundreds of millions? The secret was probably the appearance of fiction. Large numbers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths.

There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.

Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have been living in a dual reality of rivers, trees, and lions; and, on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations, and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became very more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google.


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