Currently reading Yuval Harari’s Sapiens, explaining the evolution and history of humanity, and It’s brilliant.
This thought on human innovation came to me while reading his book:
Impatience is the trait that drives most human progress. If another mammal wants to cross an ocean, it must wait millennia to evolve fins, lungs, etc. When early humans needed to conquer the sea, they built boats and became a seafaring species within generations. This Impatience has led to progress exponentially outpacing nature in development.
…about 45,000 years ago, the Sapiens living in the Indonesian archipelago (a group of islands separated from Asia and from each other by only narrow straits) developed the first seafaring societies. They learned how to build and manoeuvre ocean-going vessels and became long-distance fishermen, traders and explorers. This would have brought about an unprecedented transformation in human capabilities and lifestyles. Every other mammal that went to sea – seals, sea cows, dolphins – had to evolve for aeons to develop specialised organs and a hydrodynamic body. The Sapiens in Indonesia, descendants of apes who lived on the African savannah, became Pacific seafarers without growing flippers and without having to wait for their noses to migrate to the top of their heads as whales did. Instead, they built boats and learned how to steer them. And these skills enabled them to reach and settle Australia.
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
So next time someone says you’re impatient, respond with “you’re welcome.”