Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human SocietiesIn Questa Carrellata Sulla Storia Del Genere Umano, Diamond Ci Mette In Guardia Da Pericolosi Pavoneggiamenti Occidentali Se Si Pu Parlare Di Una Nostra Superiorit Culturale, Essa Deve Consistere Solo Nella Coscienza Che La Natura Non Determina Alcuna Superiorit Attraverso Un Agile Percorso Narrativo, Il Saggista Americano Arriva A Dimostrare Che Le Diversit Culturali Affondano Le Loro Radici In Diversit Geografiche, Ecologiche E Territoriali Sostanzialmente Legate Al Caso. This is what happens when you take an intelligent person, and casually make a few mentions of a field of study they have no knowledge of.Mr 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.Materialism is a way of looking at human culture which, for lack of a better way to explain it easily here, says that people s material needs and goods determine behavior and culture For instance Jews stopped eating pigs because it became so costly to feed pigs they themselves were starving.On the surface, materialism seems very logical Like any theory it has to be at least somewhat probable sounding, and since people are used to thinking of life, these days, in terms of materialistic values already, Harris theory sounds logical and likely very often.But like every other time you attempt to explain everything that ever happened in the history of man with one theory, this falls desperately short of reality Materialism is likely ONLY when coupled, sensibly, with other theories and, need I say it, actual PROOF, of which Diamond has little.As an exercise in materialist theory this book is magnificent I would recommend this book ONLY to people in Anthropology with a great understanding of theory, less educated or unwar
Why you white men have so much cargo i.e., steel tools and other products of civilization and we New Guineans have so little Jared Diamond is a biologist, who had a passion for studying birds, particularly the birds of New Guinea But as he came to know and appreciate the many native people he met in his work, the question asked by a New Guinean named Yani remained with him Why was it that westerners had so much relative to New Guinean natives, who had been living on that land for forty thousand years Many found an explanation in racial exceptionalism Diamond decided to find out Was one group of people smarter than another Why was there such dimorphism in the amount of cargo produced and toted by different groups The arguments he seeks to counter are those stating that since civilization came to full flower in the Eurasian countries and not in places where other races dominated, that this success indicated innate superiority He offers a stunning analysis of why civilization emerged in the places in which it did Jared Diamond image from The GuardianGuns figure large in why some societies were able dominate others, but the development of guns was not a universal The materials necessary are not equally distributed over the planet, and there are technological prerequisites It turns out
I liked this book, and it taught me a bunch of things I hadn t known before I read it Jared Diamond has clearly had a interesting life than most of us, and spent significant amounts of time in a wide variety of different kinds of society, all over the world He says he got the basic idea from a conversation he had back in the 70s with a friend in New Guinea His friend, who later became a leader in the independence movement, wanted to talk about cargo manufactured goods, technology Why is it, he asked, that you Europeans have so much cargo than we do Diamond thought he had come up with a good question, and wrote the book in an attempt to answer it.The core of Diamond s explanation is that Europeans were essentially lucky in two respects First, we have unusually many easily domesticable plant and animal species Second, since Europe is oriented East West rather than North South, a species which is domesticated in one part of Europe has a good chance of thriving in another, so there are many opportunities to swap farming technology between different areas It helps that there is an easily navigable river system, and also that there are no impassible deserts or mountain ranges These conditions are not reproduced in most other parts of the world Diamond has a range of interesting tables, showing how few useful domesticable species there are elsewhere Because we got efficient farming earlier than most other peopl
Author Jared Diamond s two part thesis is 1 the most important theme in human history is that of civilizations beating the crap out of each other, 2 the reason the beat ors were Europeans and the beat ees the Aboriginees, Mayans, et al is because of the geographical features of where each civilization happened to develop 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.I m not sure I agree that why the Spanish obliterated the Mayans instead of visa versa is the most interesting question of human history How about the evolution of ideas, or the impact of great leaders and inventors But it is an interesting question, and worth exploring Diamond is a philosophical monist, neatly ascribing just about every juncture in human history to a single cause or related group of causes Given his extensive background in botany and geology, it makes sense that he would
It took me a while to complete Diamond s book and admittedly I also distracted myself with a few Roth novels in the meantime because of the density of the text and the variety of ideas presented The central thesis that it is not racial biology that determines the victors in history but rather a complex combination of agriculture, geography, population density, and continental orientation is a fascinating and compelling one The style is not academic and did admittedly put me off by using sentences with in them , and yet does come across as the fruit of years or decades of research in an astounding number of fields simultaneously biology, agriculture, history, climatology, sociology, etc I can understand why Mr Diamond received accolades and a Pulitzer for this complex work written at the level that the layman, non scientist can still grasp The funniest story that struck me was the QWERTY keyboard one which apparently is the least ergonomic design but due to its rapid adoption by typists due to capitalist competition and afterwards its ubiquity once computers became important, it is impossible to dislodge I still find it easier to use than the AZERTY one here in France LOL The one thing that struck me and here I warn readers that I climb on my soapbox near the Marble Arch for a moment is the abundance of corroborating evidence for human evolution and development that has solid artefacts and proof going back 40000 years
Misleading The actual title should be Germs, More Germs and a bit about Steel And Guns, but not very much on those last two reallyI mean, we want to put Guns first because it s attention grabbing than Germs, but let s face it, this book is mostly about Germs Why has no
This may be the most over rated book in the history of book rating The point he is making is that we in Western Civilazation haven t built skyscrapers, made moon landings, mass produced automobiles, eradicated polio or for that matter lived indoors with running water while aborigines in certain remote outposts still hunt and gather in isolated tribes because we are inherently any smarter or industrious than those individuals Of course he is mostly right, bu
In 1532, Francisco Pizarro and a band of 168 Spaniards punctured the heart of the Inca Empire and proceeded to capture its emperor, decimate its citizens, and plunder its gold Why didn t it happen the other way around Why didn t the Incas sail to Europe, capture Charles V, kill his subjects, and loot his castles and cathedrals Jared Diamond attempts to answer this question in Guns, Germs Steel Why have Europeans tended to dominate other peoples on other continents Does it have something to do with race Were Europeans cleverer than other races Diamond says no It wasn t racial characteristics that tipped the scales of fortune for the Europeans it was their geography Their geography gave them access to the best domestic grains and animals, which led to specialization and advanced technologies like steel and guns Their domestic animals also helped them develop potent germs, and the antibodies for those germs.The importance Diamond lays at the hoofs and paws of domesticated animals is, in fact, one of the fascinating themes of the book According to Diamond, our animals have played an uncanny role in our cultural and economic development, b
Terrible This is one of those books which seems at face value as if it has an interesting and persuasive thesis, and indeed there are a couple of reasonable points in here, but by and large Guns, Germs, and Steel is a poorly written book, shoddily argued and riddled with factual errors Jared Diamond s thesis is that the differences which one can observe in technological and economic development around the world do not result from racial differences but rather from geographical ones the variety and nutritional value of available crops, the number of animals which could be domesticated, the geographical axes of the various continents Diamond claims that this is an anti racist theory because it points out that white people were just lucky, not inherently deserving or talented or resourceful than people anywhere else in the world However, Diamond s intention to write an anti racist book doesn t mean that he succeeded in doing so There are layers of problematic assumptions and unconscious Eurocentrism underlying his writing, layers which make Guns, Germs, and Steel an uneasy read you for the reader whom Diamond seem
Jared sticks to the basic premise and plugs every hole in his argument so well to construct a magnificent explanation of the evolution of societies What makes the book particularly good is the intimate hands on experience that Jared has on the wide variety of fields required to attempt a book like this T

[KINDLE] ✽ Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies By Jared Diamond –
  • Paperback
  • 381 pages
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
  • Jared Diamond
  • Italian
  • 09 February 2018
  • 9788806156190