Culture One - Discussions on Cultural Differences
Next meeting:September 14, 2 pm. On August 10th, we discussed the first part of Chapter 3, "The Human Spark," in Homo Deus. Harari poses the question, "What is so special about Homo Sapiens,” compared to our hominid cousins (e.g., Neanderthals), and to other mammals, in terms of emotions, intelligence, accomplishments, as well as mind, consciousness, and brain, along with the ability to engage in large-scale cooperation.
We did not cover the crucial final parts of Chapter 3, namely the "The Web of Meaning," which describes three types of human realities: objective reality (e.g., perceptually experienced), subjective reality (e.g., internally experienced pain), and the third, intersubjective reality (e.g., shared human imagination). Thus, we'll start our September meeting by discussing the reliance of humans on their ability to construct shared intersubjective entities.
In addition, we will study next Chapter 4, "The Storytellers," in which we address Sapiens' ability to live in a triple-layered reality and the potential impact of twenty-first century technologies. For example, consider the relatively recent invention of both writing and money, approx 5,000 years ago. The effects of these skills and entities had huge effects on the governments, religions, and economies, of cultures, societies, and countries.