In PBS’s episode one entitled Out of Eden of the series Gun’s Germs, and Steel, Professor Jared Diamond attempts to answer the question of “why you white men have so much cargo and we New Guineans have so little.” (Cassian Harrison, 2005) Professor Diamond’s begins his research by exploring history from 13,000 years ago, pre-dating civilizations, during a time period equivalent to New Guinea’s present day. Professor Diamond delves into the origins of traditional societies and tracks their evolution into modern times, searching for an explanation for why some societies have expanded and modernized while others remain frozen in an earlier time. Professor Diamond theorizes that the reason behind the inequality between the people of New Guinea as compared to “white men” societies is due to geography and what the land has produced. (Cassian Harrison, 2005) He argues that the difference in crops and protein sources have historically impacted the evolution of a civilization. Modernized counties were able to transition from traditional hunter gathering to farming by …show more content…
Geography clearly plays a distinct role in societal advancement. Developed nations tend to possess an array of desirable natural resources helping them to move away from a society dependent on hunting and gathering. However, regardless of geographical advantages, culture, ideology, and societal differences have impeded upon the modernization/westernization of some nations. Professor Diamond answers Yali’s question, but in an ethnocentric viewpoint disregarding whether or not a society would want to evolve beyond a traditional society as well as the human and cultural impact on different nations. Some nations have not modernized due to decisions influenced by culture and ideology. Diamond’s reasoning explains why it would be difficult for some societies to modernized but does not fully explain all the reasoning behind why they have
In the book, Guns Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond attempts to answer questions of conquest, such as why Eurasia conquered the Americas, and not the other way around. Diamond is a biologist by trade, and both impressed and disappointed the academic world with his new historian side. He believes the answer to western dominance lies in geography and the spread of guns, germs and steel. His theories had led him to be heavily critiqued by historians everywhere, including environmental historian J.R McNeil and Professor of Anthropology and Geography James Blaut. While Diamond provides solid ideas relating to the conquest of the New World, he often uses his scientistic background loosely with unclear supports forgetting other historical factors that
Jared Diamond, the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, was asked a question by New Guinean politician named Yali. Yali asks, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” Jared then thinks about this question. He realizes it is a rather difficult question.
Jared Diamond’s thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel is erroneous because it was mainly the inventions of the Industrial Revolution, specifically the light bulb and railway train, that really separated the European West from the rest of the world and enabled European global domination. The inventions of both the railway train and light bulb had profound impacts on improving manufacturing and transportation efficiency in European countries at different times throughout the nineteenth century. Jared Diamond explains why the Americas or in Africa did not surpass and become global dominants: “Diffusion was slower in Africa and especially in the Americas, because of those continents’ north-south major axes and geographic and ecological barriers”(Diamond
2. The three main objections to answering Yali’s question are that by answering the question we justify dominance of other societies, glorify the Europeans, and imply that civilization is good and hunter-gatherer societies are bad. 3. A Eurocentric approach glorifies western Europeans. This approach tends to be centered on Europeans and interprets the world in their ways.
Chapter three of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond is a story about how Francisco Pizarro, the Conquistador, brought the end to the Inca civilization with only two hundred men. Diamond uses real accounts from six of the 200 men to tell what happened. The story goes like: Francisco Pizarro by order of the King to travel across New World and conquer the lands and riches for his nation. They had gathered information about an Incan Empire and soon sent their sights on capturing the Incans. The Spanish Conquistadores tried to the Incan leader, Atahuallpa, to convert to Christianity but it failed so Pizarro then captured Atahullpa.
In the book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond overall argues that geography and the environment help shaped the modern world today. In the beginning of the book, Diamond has several questions that he wants to find out the explanation for. He believes that New Guineans are way more smarter than the Westerners based on their survival and how they adapt to it. While doing some bird watching in New Guinea in 1997, Diamond met a young man named Yali, a politician. As they got to know one another, there was a question that Yali wanted to know and he asked Diamond, "why is it that you white people have so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea,but we black people have little cargo of our own?
Over the last century, farming has changed exponentially, transforming food production. During the late 1800s, the industrial revolution revitalizes agriculture by bolstering crop and livestock productivity, spurring the second agricultural revolution. This revolution marks the creation of a commercial market for food. (Knox, 334) The third agricultural revolution, occurring after World War II, introduces mechanization, chemical farming, and manufacturing processing that still exists today; therefore, marking the transition from the family owned and operated farms to commercial farms.
Growing up, I have always had an interest in geography and thinking about different countries and what makes them the way that they are. I have not been in a geography class since middle school and Human Geography was a class that made me think about things I have never thought of before. The readings of both Kropotkin and Mackinder brought up very interesting points, some that conflict and others that agree. Each author writes in a way that stimulates and makes you think about geography and certain topics in different ways which I find to be very rare in writings from this time period. Discussing Kropotkin’s and Mackinder’s general ideas, points they disagree or agree on, and my own views on the topic will all be discussed in this final paper.
In modern society, guns are seen as a form of control. Those who have guns are able to overpower those who do not. This trend was set when guns were first invented and has stayed the same throughout history. The one place where guns are not a symbol of power and control is in literature, specifically “The Old Gun” and Hamilton. In Mo Yan’s short story “The Old Gun”, the protagonist is a hungry boy who does not even know how to use the titular firearm.
In Prisoners of Geography, Tim Marshall argues that geography constrains and shapes all nations and their leaders. Their actions are limited by mountains, rivers, seas, and concrete. He argues that to really understand world events, one must also consider geography. Physical characteristics affect the strengths and vulnerabilities of regions. In his book, Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the Middle East, Latin America, the United States, Africa, Western Europe, Japan and Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic.
Ancient civilizations began in areas that had arable land and other features such as rivers. Civilizations succeeded in these environments because they could settle down and not live a nomadic lifestyle. Because the land was arable, agriculture prospered and people relied on the geography to grant them the elements needed for survival. In China and Egypt, geography greatly influenced and affected the lives of the people living there because of the prosperous rivers and large natural barriers.
They practice specialization and brought tractors in order to boost the crop yields. It effectively increases the crop yield and encourages farmers to grow more. However, the specialization leads to the monoculture. And, the persistent of monoculture eventually leads to the loss of biodiversity. “A case can be made that the corn plant’s population explosion on places like Iowa us responsible for pushing out not only other plants but the animals and finally the people, too”(Pollan 38).
John Bodley’s article, “Price of Progress”, argues that America and other developed countries worry about economic development less than developing countries. The economies in developed countries believe that every culture should be full of progress. Progress in economies is defined by how high your income is, how high your standard of living is, greater security and how good your health is. The most common used measure of progress is one’s standard of living. The lowest class of people is the tribal people who have different cultures and lifestyles and they find ways to survive on their own.
“Tale From the Jungle: Margaret Mead”, youtube videos, which was introduced by Professor Ana, humanities professor, are a six long clip video documentaries of the first anthropology’s discoveries ever brought to public, the Samoan civilization. This ‘Samoan civilization’ anthropology discovery was discovered by Mead Margaret, an American female anthropologist, and later by Derek Freeman, an Australian anthologist. According to Mead Margaret, an American female anthropologist, she believes that humans are influenced by nurture. On the other side, Derek Freeman, an Australian anthologist, opposes Mead Margaret’s idea. He believes that humans are influenced by nature.
Although people irrefutably need sustenance to survive, humans have developed an unbalanced reliance on creatures like cows and chickens as their main food source. “In the United States, about 35 million cows, 115 million pigs, and 9 trillion birds are killed for food each year” (Vegetarianism). This constant demand for meat illustrates the endless cycle of breeding animals and then slaughtering them. However, many first-world countries hold a surplus of provisions that supplies more than enough to feed their people, making the use of livestock pointless.