How books are humanity's super power?
You can either watch the video essay or read the essay down below.
Humanity's power at your arsenal.
Did you know what separates humans from other animals on this planet? Lets explore this by a story.
Once there was a pack of wolves. When wildfire occurred, some wolves were killed. Their capacity to hunt goes down as some of their healthy members died. Then another wildfire happens after some years. Wolfs died again. And this cycle repeated.
Humans were there too, when the first wildfire happened, some died. Those who were alive made a rule to not go near the uncontrolled fire. Then the second wildfire happens, nobody died in that tribe. This information passed down to their children. After some time, they are the ones who had started to control fire now.
We humans have been sharing what kills us and what does not. I took the example of a forest fire, but we have been constantly learning and sharing knowledge about plants, land, how to grow crops, which source of water is safe, which mushrooms kill us, and how to use fire to cook food. That's more nutritious and tastes better.
So to answer what separates us, humans, from other animal, in short term, it is sharing knowledge, and in long term, it is sharing that documented knowledge. Thanks to this, we now don't have to repeat their experiences. And put together everything that we have documented from years, we have now libraries and universities.
We have important work, from someone who has spent his life as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps in world war 2 (Man's Search for Meaning) To someone who is going to get hanged, to (Black Warrant).
From someone who is questioning everything (Why I Am an Atheist Book by Bhagat Singh) to a brilliant scientist telling you how he thinks (Pleasure of finding things out).
From someone who has never used social media (Digital minimalist), to someone who has made fortune on the internet. (Jeff Bezos)
From the emperor of Roam (The Meditations) to the contemporary world's magnet who loves mars (Elon Musk).
Whatever the best ideas that the world's best mind has though is in front of you. We have a huge collection of humane consciousness documented and put together in front of you to consume, nourish yourself, and live their life for some hours.
Truly, a reader lives many lives.
Reading books gives us access to the events, life experience that has happened before you come. And this is what I consider a superpower.
This essay that you just read was a part of series called "On Reading". If you are interested in more video essays like this, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and my Newsletter. Thank you.