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Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Just started reading this and it's engrossing.  Anyone else enjoy the ideas in this book? 

Thought of it because of Pat Robertson pointing out that Haiti is so much less worse off than its neighbor the Dominican Republic, which lead him to say that Haiti must be cursed.....Anyway.  I'm glad Diamond is putting forth ideas that can dismantle similar sentiments. 
It is one of my favorite books of all time! lots of interesting (although not altogether undebatable) ideas. After you are done with it you should read "collapse" I found it to be just as engrossing. He certainly has a way of presenting some cool historical notes and his own ideas in a very intellectually palatable way.
It's a good book, I liked it too.

Just IMO...

Pat Robertson is a curse! 
 
Pat Robertson is a curse!


I'll give an ironic AMEN to that!  ha!

Leah, my man recommended both of his books (G,G,& S is one of his favorites also), I'll read Collapse with pleasure sometime in the nearish future.  It has more to do with the failure of societies due to their own decisions (as opposed to being conquered), right?  Sounds very interesting!

None of us were there when humans first started moving around and populating the globe, so of course everything he says is debateable, but he certainly goes a long way in refuting the racist arguments for the impoverishment or enrichment of one group of people or another. 

I'm only 80 pages into it, but just his descriptions of the various environmental differences in the Polynesian islands and the corresponding differences in culture has been SO enlightening.  And the first hand account of Atahuallpa's army being defeated by a few Spaniards with their horses, guns, and armor (oh, and smallpox)....geeze. 

My man says he read a sci-fi book that had a premise of people living in the future (and things on earth are not good at all) traveling back in time to try and prevent the above from happening....and then it ends up being just as bad when South America conquers Europe.....
 
marinajade wrote:
I'll give an ironic AMEN to that!  ha!

  It has more to do with the failure of societies due to their own decisions (as opposed to being conquered), right?  Sounds very interesting!



yep. but choices can make societies vulnerable to being overtaken. I like the human perspective he gives. its not about calling people idiots it seems more about understanding why people do the things they do etc.....it is easy to see choices that led up to ultimate disasters in hindsight but viewing them from a standpoint as an individual just trying to survive in their day gives a good perspective and I think can be very useful in actually trying to formulate reasonable, realistic ideas to improve things. so much of present day enviromentalism is all puppies and roses and accusations and people turn a blind eye to the everyday suffering that needs to be addressed along with long term goals and consequences of our choices that need to be mitigated.
 
marina phillips wrote:
My man says he read a sci-fi book that had a premise of people living in the future (and things on earth are not good at all) traveling back in time to try and prevent the above from happening....and then it ends up being just as bad when South America conquers Europe.....


You must be referring to one of Orson Scott Card's best books (IMHO!)...

Pastwatch:  The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

It's great, and my dad adores it too. 
I'm a huge fan of Diamond; I think his work is somoe of the best founded anthropological studies I've ever seen. Hois many years in New Guinea give hima particular focus and love for that society and the culture it has embraced for thousands of years...

Diamond has noted that without the oversight of any monarchy, parliment, council or congress they have maintained both a scoirty and an ecosystem in the same fashion for thousands of years. He points this out as an example of sound ecosystemic thinking in Collapse, and notes in GG&S that without any more leadership than a village big man (or big men) they established law that coverd agriculture, settlement, marriage and other issues. If your taro terrace lets loose and damages two under it, you fix them both. Soil conservation, infrastructure maintenance, and civil damages reduced to a simple equation...

Who's uncivilized? Us or the guys with the bone in the nose? They're sustainable at least...

But if you liked GG&S, check out Collapse. Prof. Diamond just gets better as he goes...

Scott
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Nov 19, 2017 19:23:33.