WHAT IS DIAMONDS THESIS IN GUNS GERMS AND STEEL

Similarly, Africa was fragmented by its extreme variations in climate from north to south: I could go on and discuss the further problem of his trying to fit history into a science framework, when the two have different approaches for a reason – which is, of course, not to say that the philosophies and conclusions of one can’t support the other – but I think the point of Diamond’s colossal hubris and scholarly failure has been sufficiently made for this review. For example, after someone learns Newtonian mechanics, he tends to see the entire universe as the interplay between physical forces that are expressed in terms of differential equations. Still others, he says, “have been decimated, subjugated, and in some cases even exterminated by European colonialists. Broadly speaking, Diamond pulls this off.

An explanation based on geography without any racist element in it. Diamond, NOT an anthropologist, takes Marvin Harris’ theory of cultural materialism and uses it to explain everything in life, history, and the current state of the world. Still other examples are the many differences between the attitudes of French and German people, e. Unfortunately, those factors are all he regards as important; he relegates to insignificance the contribution of ideas, innovations, and the decision-making of individuals or cultures. The regionally differing courses of history 13 Ch. The anthropologist Jason Antrosio described Guns, Germs, and Steel as a form of “academic porn,” writing, “Diamond’s account makes all the factors of European domination a product of a distant and accidental history” and “has almost no role for human agency—the ability people have to make decisions and influence outcomes.

Diamond also proposes geographical explanations for why western European societies, rather than other Eurasian powers such as China, have been the dominant colonizers, [2] [7] claiming Europe’s geography favored balkanization into smaller, closer, nation-states, bordered by natural barriers of mountains, rivers, and coastline.

Aug 30, Darwin8u rated it really liked it Shelves: Answered Dec 14, We learned about the kn colonies of the Greenland Norse and of islands settled by Polynesian peoples long ago who left only fragmentary clues as to what happened.

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what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

It has been a reading pleasure and I learned quite a bit gunz it. Dec 15, Will Byrnes rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jared Diamond is very good on his own ground, and so long as his narrative is based on his knowledge of anthropology, biology and geography, all is well. One false note comes early in the book, when he departs from his evenhandedness to assure us that not only should we not hold New Guineans to be less intellectually zteel than Europeans a reasonable enough assumptionbut that they are probably intellectually superior.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Lists with This Book. View all 13 comments. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseaseshe asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures for example, by facilitating commerce and trade between different cultures and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.

This sounds like a school question intended to make you read the book, and you are trying to wriggle out of reading the book. I cannot comment much about the contents, there are a lot of reviews that ni the contents well.

The plentiful supply of food and the dense populations that it supported made division of labor possible.

Book Summary: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

It does stretch that section out a lot, though. Many found an explanation in racial exceptionalism. Look, certain civilizations came to dominate based on a couple random, accidental, and nonracially-based situations that combined to give the Eurasian dianonds a slight advantage once these civilizations came into contact with each other. Some interesting points on this book for me: There are numerous minor factual errors, like saying that “oi” means “sheep” in Irish p.

Successful domestication is based on the Anna Karenina Syndrome, a name given due to the first line of the novel. That is, the different historical trajectories of Africa and Europe stem ultimately from differences in real estate. Diamond identifies a mere 14 domesticated large mammal species worldwide. And yet, we now have high-placed individuals in the US holding these beliefs and poised to poison American youth with medieval and ignorant ideas such as young-earth creationism.

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A contradiction here is that fatalistic viewpoints are incompatible with moral pronouncements. In Eurasia, the number made for a critical mass which led to earlier civilization. It seeks to provide a simple rationale to explain why inequalities exist between the peoples of the world.

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

Apr 08, Lyn rated it really liked it. Answered May 6, Of course, I am vastly over-simplifying the book and it’s really necessary for one to peruse its pages to get the full understanding.

Guess what started growing in that spot? Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed diqmonds, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.

Every other large mammal that remained including moose and bison lacked the qualities that allow for domestication. For example, after someone learns Newtonian mechanics, he tends to see the entire universe as the interplay between physical forces that are expressed in terms of differential equations. And indeed, while I can’t assess the validity of some of Diamond’s scientific claims–though the continent axis theory falls apart the more you start to think about it, as does his failure to consider the impact of human alteration of the environment–I do know that I’d expect better historical argumentation from an undergraduate history major.

Focusing on the languages that are easiest for you thesie understand is far from persuasive.

WHAT IS DIAMONDS THESIS IN GUNS GERMS AND STEEL

Print Hardcover and Paperback , audio CD, audio cassette, audio download. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. This is a thought-provoking, deeply interesting, controversial book investigating the reasons behind the bafflingly different rate of development of human societies in different parts of the world. Another concept that I was very happy to be made so clear is the explanation of why whites conquered most of the world was not because they were a superior race in any way. Diamond is condemnatory of the Spanish incursion into Mayan lands, but the logical consequence of his theory is that the Mayans would have done the same to the Spanish if they had been first to develop the musket and frigate. Because we got efficient farming earlier than most other people, we also got cities and advanced technology earlier, and everything else followed from that initial lead we established.

Europe’s many natural barriers allowed the development of competing nation-states. Whether societies developed gunpowder, written language, and other technological niceties, argues Diamond, is completely a function of whether they emerged amidst travel-and-trade condusive geography and easily-domesticable plants and animals. The dominant Out of Africa theory holds that modern humans developed east of the Great Rift Valley of the African continent at one time or another. View all 35 comments. What are the primary theses of Guns, Germs, and Steel book? Some interesting points on this book for me:

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

Jan 11, Molly rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Dec 10, Manny rated it it was amazing Shelves: The book seeks a complete explanation for the course of human history.

And will we become like one of the more primitive societies, sitting and watching while the rest of the world makes strides in science, technology, and the development of clean energy sources? Diamond received accolades and a Pulitzer for this complex work written at the level that the layman, non-scientist can still os.

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

Why have Europeans tended to dominate other peoples on other continents? If you liked this review, and would like to read more, go to BookBanter. Threats posed by immediate neighbours ensured governments that suppressed economic and technological progress soon corrected their mistakes or were outcompeted relatively quickly, whilst the region’s leading powers changed over time.

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When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseaseshe asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures for example, by facilitating commerce and trade between different cultures and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.

We learned about the lost colonies of the Greenland Norse and of islands settled by Polynesian peoples long stedl who left only fragmentary clues as to what happened. View all 4 comments. Were Europeans cleverer than other races? Eurasian grains were richer in protein, easier to sow, and easier to store than American maize or tropical bananas.

I mean, we want to put Guns first because it’s more attention-grabbing than Germs, but let’s face it, this book is mostly about Germs. Yes, our agriculture is mighty nice, and, yes, we have plenty of steel and tons of guns, but with our scientific community both muzzled, and strapped for cash, will we be able to fight off new diseases, epidemics, or attacks by biological weapons?

Diamond immediately takes great pains to shoot down any ideas of one race being more intelligent than another. If the Western world an just arrange two or three more leaders like him, all of Diamond’s data will hopefully come out the way it’s supposed to, and the last few hundred years of Western history can be written off as a statistical blip.

It is actually possible to find people across disciplines who agree on a single theory – like, say, gravity.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Lists with This Book. And then there’s smaller things like the series of photographs of people, all not white and mostly wearing indigenous clothing and unsmiling expressions, which is totally unnecessary – if Diamond’s “objection to such racist explanations [of sociocultural differences vis-a-vis a western capitalist definition of success] are is not just that they are loathsome, but also that they are wrong,” then what the fuck are these pictures doing in here p.

That is, civilization is not created out of superior intelligence, but is the result of a chain of developments, each made possible by certain preconditions. Many were killed by infectious diseases such as smallpox and measles. The beauty of Diamond’s book is that it seems to pinpoint, with surprising simplicity, the original source of disequilibrium among men: Did you know zebras injure more zookeepers per year than do lions and tigers?

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Jared Diamond is very good on his own ground, and so long as his narrative is based on his knowledge of anthropology, biology and geography, all is well.

Book Summary: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The book’s title is a reference to the means by which farm-based societies conquered populations of other areas and maintained dominance, despite sometimes being vastly outnumbered — superior weapons provided immediate military superiority guns ; Eurasian diseases weakened and reduced local populations, who had no immunity, making it easier to maintain control over them germs ; and durable means of transport steel enabled imperialism.

Nov 22, Jason Koivu rated it liked it Shelves: The author’s main theory of the critical importance of geography is well supported by several examples even though it must be said that the author appears somewhat selective in his analysis, conveniently alternatively over- or under-emphasizing the importance of geographical barriers in the diffusion of agriculture, trade and technology – he also under-emphasizes the important role played by internal wars, competition and migration in the development of Europe and the Middle East in historical times and the book contains many ideas that are, in my opinion, very important even if not complete nor conclusive in the debate over the reasons why some historical patterns diverged so significantly among the different parts of the globe.

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This sounds like a school question intended to make you read the book, and you are trying to wriggle out of reading the book. Answered Thwsis 14, The plentiful supply of food and the dense populations that it supported made division of labor possible.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

The evolution of writing Ch. The histories of Australia and New Guinea Ch. View all 5 comments.