Spread both of your arms out as wide as you possibly can, and let the space between your two hands symbolize the history of the Earth's evolution. What proportion of this distance will be occupied by human history? Maybe one arm all the way up to the elbow? Do you need a hand? Is it a finger? This is not even close. The use of a strong microscope would be required if one wished to observe the amount of space occupied by humans. Although we have only been in existence for a very short period of time, we have accomplished a great deal in that little time. No other species has come close to achieving the level of dominance over the world that humans have. So, how has all of this been made possible? In these notes, we will look at some of the most important events in human history, ranging from the formation of language to the invention of money, that have shaped who we are as a species. Find out in these notes why farming really made people worse off; why writing was created to track down defaulted obligations; and why the past few decades have been the most peaceful in recorded history.