Guns Germs and Steel

Jarred Diamonds comprehensive take on the history of mankind for the last 13,000 years . If we see the history of the world there are discernible  differences , some societies evolved into a more dominant force possessing comprehensive technologies , weapons using which they conquered other parts of the world . For instance the Eurasian (greater Europe / Asia ) world were highly dominant at the end of the 14th century AD whereas the New Word the Americas continued to be cheifdoms with no new modern weapons or tools . Their societies were less complicated while compared to the Eurasians . Why is such glaring differences in how various societies evolved into . Slightly pejorative and  naive explanation for such a difference is attributing to genetic reasons . Saying that the Eurasian societies were genetically advanced or more open to innovation is a grave error .

Jarred diamond in a exhaustive analysis attributes this difference to the following factors :

– Lack of options in plant domestication in some parts of the world : This lack of plant domestication alternatives led to people continuing as hunter gathers . This caused a lot of ripple effect on the social development of these societies . They had a limited agriculture remained as hunter gatherers . They remained so until colonialists came with plants of their own geography and made it grow in these places of  the world . Being robbed of agricultural options , these societies preferred being primitive hunter gatherers . This suited them in adapting to the environment with which they were blessed with . The absence of sedentary life in these societies led to lack of development of villages / cities and nation states . Lack of political  authority in these societies made them weak in comparison with the more advanced Eurasian societies . The stone tools , bows and arrows were no match for the brutal weapons of the so called culturally advanced people Eurasian societies .

– Lack of animals to domesticate : Some of these societies owing to lack of animals to domesticate didn’t have any worthwhile animals to support them . Another interesting problem associated with animal domestication is , Eurasian societies were infected due to germs and had immunity to most common diseases . But when the Aboriginal societies came in contact with the Eurasian people they got infected out of diseases and died in mass number . More people were killed by disease causing germs than wars or weapons .

These two main reasons led to a domino effect . Although the details vary for individual cases the above reasons are the driving forced behind difference in social development among different societies .

Its a very interesting book to read , there is a documentary on the same name produced by PBS .


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An Insane just adding irregularity to the universe

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