I’ve been reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Arayi and it’s incredible and I recommend everyone read it too.
One quick thing that struck me is the author’s reminder of how the agricultural revolution tied us to a specific location and then the industrial revolution shackled us even more when we started producing more “stuff” and collecting this stuff in our homes, feeling less able to just relocate because of the weight of our earthly possessions. Hunter-gatherers didn’t have much stuff. They needed to be mobile so they just had the essentials. They were the first minimalists!
Arayi doesn’t get into this but I’ve been thinking about how now we have technology allowing us to reclaim some of the freedoms we lost as hunter-gatherers.
Think about it: My parents had to collect books and VHS tapes and then CDs and DVDs just to have access to the stuff their neighbors would be consuming and talking about. They needed physical stuff to keep up with culture. This stuff took up a huge amount of space in the home. Now, we don’t need any of this to remain
in the loop.”
I have my kindle and my Netflix and my Spotify. I just trade a few hundred bucks a year for access to everything my neighbors also have access to and a life free from the weight that culture used to impose!
We’re now able to comfortably have much less stuff without sacrificing the quality of life or access to culture or information. And this has happened in just one generation!
The previous generation also used to buy into timeshares to go to one vacation spot every summer, now we have Airbnb and we no longer need to limit ourselves to one vacation spot when so many options are affordable and available with ease.
The cloud has helped us reclaim more of the freedoms enjoyed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors from 19,000 years ago!