When humans began cultivating the land, they thought that the extra work this required will pay off. 'Yes, we will have to work harder. But the harvest will be so bountiful! We won't have to worry any more about lean years. Our children will never go to sleep hungry.' It made sense.If you worked harder, you would have a better life. That was the plan.The first part of the plan went smoothly. People indeed worked harder. But people did not foresee that the number of children would increase, meaning that the extra wheat would have to be shared between more children.Neither did the early farmers understand that feeding children with more porridge and less breast milk would weaken their immune system, and that permanent settlements would be hotbeds for infectious diseases.They did not foresee that by increasing their dependence on a single source of food, they were actually exposing themselves even more to the depredations of drought. Nor did the farmers foresee that in good years their bulging granaries would tempt thieves and enemies, compelling them to start building walls and doing guard duty.
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When humans began cultivating the land, they thought that the extra work this required will pay off. ‘Yes, we will have to work harder. But the harvest will be so bountiful! We won’t have to worry any more about lean years. Our children will never go to sleep hungry.’ It made sense.If you worked harder, you would have a better life. That was the plan.The first part of the plan went smoothly. People indeed worked harder. But people did not foresee that the number of children would increase, meaning that the extra wheat would have to be shared between more children.Neither did the early farmers understand that feeding children with more porridge and less breast milk would weaken their immune system, and that permanent settlements would be hotbeds for infectious diseases.They did not foresee that by increasing their dependence on a single source of food, they were actually exposing themselves even more to the depredations of drought. Nor did the farmers foresee that in good years their bulging granaries would tempt thieves and enemies, compelling them to start building walls and doing guard duty.

-Yuval Noah

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