Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
1. "You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven."
2. "How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined."
3. "Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition."
4. "We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us."
5. "The romantic contrast between modern industry that "destroys nature" and our ancestors who "lived in harmony with nature" is groundless. Long before the Industrial Revolution, Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to their extinctions. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of life."
6. "This is the essence of the Agricultural Revolution: the ability to keep more people alive under worse conditions."
7. "How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without really good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving away."