Group reading and discussion of Chapter 8 - "There is No Justice in History"

(Why I’m doing this: This book blew our mind and we think it might blow your mind as well.) 

Watch a 6 minute video by the author of this book ]

This time we'll read Chapter 8 - "There is No Justice in History" (I'll take the scan offline after the meeting).We'll bring copies of the whole chapter to the meeting. We'll all read it, marking portions that we find interesting and chatting about them in an informal manner. These conversations lead to deep investigation into the nature of humankind, where it came from and where it's going. FEEL FREE TO JOIN EVEN NOT HAVING READ THE BOOK OR THE CHAPTER. I'll bring some light snacks and drinks.

 

* ABOUT THE BOOK *

One of the Amazon reviewers sums it up nicely: “If the proverbial Martian were to write a history of Humankind, and s/he were capable of empathy, it might look something like this book.” (http://www.amazon.com/From-Animals-into-Gods-Humankind/product-reviews/1478237856/)

This isn’t a boring history book that speak of what happened in Rome in the year XYZ. Instead the author tells the story of humankind through its great episodes, such as agriculture, money, imperialism, religion, science, capitalism, industry. It’s as if you were to zoom out a million times and look at humankind from afar. You don’t see all of the details but a coherent story emerges (or at least the author describes it this way). To gain a new perspective on the world, it’s probably a good idea to understand more of how it became what it is. I think that this book is likely one of the most effective ways to do that.

In parallel to this book club, the author is running a free on-line class on Coursera, starting on August 11th. https://www.coursera.org/course/humankind

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  • Solana F.

    Of course I did not pinpoint what I felt was missing from the discussion until the conversation on the way home... I think what I meant was not common sense, but EMPATHY. And valuing one's emotions as a tool as well, as a means of survival, if that is the ultimate goal.

    August 15, 2013

    • Ben M.

      An empathy epiphany :)

      1 · August 16, 2013

  • Avital

    Thanks all for the great discussion! Our discussion about overusing science as a lens for understanding the world reminded me of a talk by the author of this book. It's about an hour and the audio is a bit poor but I found it very interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VJMYWKH-W8

    August 16, 2013

  • Stan

    Great meetup, wonderful group of participants, outstanding book choice, stimulating sharing of ideas and personal experiences. Thanks, Avi, Mark, and everyone for creating this. I found "True, Good and Beauty" at the meeting!

    1 · August 16, 2013

  • Jade W.

    65% chance

    August 14, 2013

  • David L.

    Can't make it this Thursday but want to stay connected for future meetups.

    August 14, 2013

  • Avital

    A few participants in the last meeting pointed out that the discussion could be more fruitful if we had some more structure in place. These were Michael Nagle's observations, which I fully agree with:

    1. There were a few common threads to the discussion, namely:

    * establishing the facts and arguments made by the author
    * sharing initial reactions to those arguments
    * asking larger scale questions based on those reactions, such as, what would happen if everyone read this book?

    2. I wonder about starting in small groups, where initial comprehension and reactions are shared. Then we come back as a big group, share our reactions, and let larger questions emerge.

    I think that in smaller groups, each person will be able to process more than in the large group, and then the larger group will feel more coherent. With so much on everyone's mind, it seems easy for the conversation to lose continuity.

    August 3, 2013

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