In Yoval Noah Harari’s book, Sapiens, he tells of human history through the lens of three major events in human history:
- The Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago)
- The Agricultural Revolution (12,000 years ago)
- The Industrial Revolution (200 years ago)
One of the many explanations that I found to be fascinating washow the life of the hunter gatherer difference from that of the farmer following the agricultural revolution and the formation of permanent settlements. In fact, the life of the average human actually got worse after the agricultural revolution. Why is that? It is because those early farmers became more prone to disease, famine, and they were in one place doing one thing. The average hunter gatherer, on the other hand, had a very wide range of skills and knowledge necessary to survive and a very robust diet. The farmer knew how to farm and could eat what they produced on the farm. This turns out to be a very risky proposition. If there were a natural disaster or disease in a certain area the farmer was hosed. To top it off they also suffered from malnutrition due to only having access to the limited selection of foods they could cultivate (of course, global trade fixed this for most areas of the world).
Reading about these two lifestyles and how risky that of the stationary farmer has got me thinking about how I can be more like the hunter-gatherer. With more diverse skills, a more diverse diet, little possessions, and prepared to weather any storm that comes my way…
Farm by Katie Westbrook from the Noun Project