Yuval Noah Harari’s book ‘Sapiens’ is awesome - I found it a great read. One of the things I enjoyed most was his concept of imagined orders, or how large populations of people can share fictions that only exist in our collective imaginations. Harari suggests that trade and conflict work to forge a global, unified empire and the most popular imagined order revolves around thoughts on commerce. These ideals, he thinks, are more popular and held by more people than any of the religions, governments or political orders that have ever existed.
Yuval does have a point, but I was disappointed when he glossed over timekeeping. I often think of the way we keep time as the most dominant cultural influence to have ever existed. It’s bigger than Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Janis Joplin or even The Beatles.