Discussion Guns, Germs and Steel

gdupninja

Registered User
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
7
Age
28
Gender
Male
Country
United States
Well this week our teacher has been showing us the 3-part movie by Jared Diamond. Im not gonna lie even though I have an A in world History I'd rather mess with girls them pay attention but this documentary has caught my attention. Ill admit it's very interesting how Diamond explains why some civilzations have flourished while others are struggling to catch up. He says geograpic luck is the main reason why some people rose while others are still trying to advance. In the movie his example is the people of Papua New Guinea who are among the most adaptable in the world but are still nothing like other countries today. He also talks about how the conquistatdors were able to conquer the Inca.

What do ya'll think about all this? Are you familiar with Jared Diamond?
 

Gold Knight

MH Senpai
伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
19,235
Reaction score
1,272
Gender
Hidden
Country
Abu Dhabi
I think this documentary is based on some books, Leos was just telling me about this in my Ask Me thread. Haven't read nor watched yet though. Must be good, though, as I've been hearing about it often all of a sudden now. And yeah, geographic advantages are always crucial in the development of civilizations, that's no surprise. ^^
 

Leos~

Registered User
中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
175
Reaction score
33
Gender
Male
Country
United States
Yea, I actually just finished reading this book :amuse I heard Jared Diamond has a book about the collapse of civilizations fittingly titled Collapse (which I'm planning on getting to...eventually. :tem ) I highly recommend this book to anyone, as it's very thought provoking and provides alot of very well thought out and researched ideas on the origins of civilizations, and tries to answer the question "Why did the Spanish come to conquer the Inca instead of the other way around?" As you said the basis of his theory is that the geography of different areas dictated how fast civilizations would spring up. One very small example of his reasoning is that from the beginning Europe had an advantage over America because of it's location, as it allowed for good cultural diffusion and had the benifit of large animals able to be domesticated ("beasts of burden", if you will). On the other side, America didn't have as much cultural diffusion due to it's relative isolation compared to Europe (which sat nicely by Africa and the Middle East, and in a less direct sense Asia) and this lack of contact with other regions didn't allow the passage of diseases and the buildup of immunities. Furthermore, as America evolved without the human species present, the large animals (i.e. Mammoths that could be domesticated were rapidly exterminated with the entrance of Humans. This is because, since they had never seen a human before, they were unprepared to flee or fight, and generally just stood there until they were killed. There's a whole lot more to it then that, that's just a brief little example, and hope that everyone even slightly interested at least tries this book.
 

gdupninja

Registered User
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
7
Age
28
Gender
Male
Country
United States
Yeah it was based off the books. Are teacher is showing us the movies in class. Theres like 3 long episodes. It's screwed up what the spanish did to the Inca especialy how they killed the leader after promising to let him go. They used a nasty execution techinque I forget what it was called.
Diamond does alot of other things too. Hes like a scientist, I know he teaches at ucla, he studies birds wow where does he find all the time.
Also did you know that like over ten of the world's large domesticated animals are native to the fertile cresent.
 
Last edited:

Leos~

Registered User
中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
175
Reaction score
33
Gender
Male
Country
United States
Yup. I've never seen the movies, though (never knew there were any till now :amuse ) He covers such a broad range of subjects (including Biology and Geology among others) when tying together his thesis just so he can cover all the details. This book does a very good job with what it set out to do (answering the question of why some civilizations came to become "advanced" and "more powerful" where as other civilizations turned out "less civilized" and "weaker") and it is some serious food for thought. With that said, it shouldn't be taken at face value as fact. It's a theory (and a damned good one at that) and should be taken as such. I for one agree with him on many issues, but also think that you can't ignore the Human Factor (such as religions and cultural philosophies that evolved) in the evolution of civilizations.
 

Gold Knight

MH Senpai
伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
19,235
Reaction score
1,272
Gender
Hidden
Country
Abu Dhabi
Yeah it was based off the books. Are teacher is showing us the movies in class. Theres like 3 long episodes. It's screwed up what the spanish did to the Inca especialy how they killed the leader after promising to let him go. They used a nasty execution techinque I forget what it was called.
Don't know about the execution technique, but Pizarro did set out to pretty much conquer the Incas and the only way to do that was to subdue or kill the ruling family, because they held everything together. The Incas had a 19,000 mile road system that their government sent messengers along, with runners stationed at every 1 and a half miles, but with the head of the government chopped off, the Incas were pretty much running around in the dark.

King Atahualpa also didn't go along with Pizarro's initial plan to turn him in a puppet ruler or even convert to Christianity, so he had to go in the interest of further Spanish expansion. Not that I like how they went around it, but Atahualpa was kinda the dumb one for even trusting Pizarro enough to be captured in the first place.
 

gdupninja

Registered User
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
7
Age
28
Gender
Male
Country
United States
True. The execution style was called garroting
this is from wikipedia


Later, it was refined and consisted of a seat to restrain the condemned person while the executioner tightened a metal band around his neck with a crank or a wheel until suffocation of the condemned.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:GarroteExecution1901.jpg
theres a picture

Well today we saw the last part about how the europeans went to africa and toke over.
See what goes around comes around because they were spreading smallpox allthough they probally didnt know and it was just wiping africans out and they end up catching malaria so alot of the europeans died. At the end of the flim Diamond goes to Africa and visists a childrens hospital where about 6 to 7 kids die each day from different diseases mostly malaria. He starts crying after he sees a child die in front of him. It was real weird to see the people put these tiny body bags inside this refrigerator looking thing I mean they were just puttin the rolled up infants in there like they were groceries.
 

Gold Knight

MH Senpai
伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
19,235
Reaction score
1,272
Gender
Hidden
Country
Abu Dhabi
Damn, there are so many ways to kill a person... and not many pleasant at all.

Yeah, the Europeans were also very unsanitary so that didn't help. Malaria was the explorer's worst enemy back in these days... and is the reason why nobody tries to settle down close to swamps, really.

Y'know, if not for the Black Plague in the first place, they would never have had the means and wealth to be able to afford colonial endeavors. The Plague killed so many people that the ones that survived suddenly had a lot more land, more money, more jobs...
 

gdupninja

Registered User
英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
1,216
Reaction score
7
Age
28
Gender
Male
Country
United States
True it did help them. It most of sucked for the Europeans. They watched as their crops failed while the africans had no problems farming. As they're loved ones died of diseases the africans showed no sign of illness cause they had grown genetically immue to the diseases over time from being exposed to them for so long.
And damn it would suck to die like that.
 

Leos~

Registered User
中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
175
Reaction score
33
Gender
Male
Country
United States
Yeah, the Europeans were also very unsanitary so that didn't help. .
That's very true. Many native americans throughout the americas were disgusted at the fact that Europeans didn't really bathe.

Malaria was the explorer's worst enemy back in these days... and is the reason why nobody tries to settle down close to swamps, really.

Y'know, if not for the Black Plague in the first place, they would never have had the means and wealth to be able to afford colonial endeavors. The Plague killed so many people that the ones that survived suddenly had a lot more land, more money, more jobs...
That's also too true. If I remember correctly the Bubonic Plague (Black Death) killed nearly 1/4 the total population of Europe (and killed many others in the rest of the world too). This is one reason why Europe stayed in the middle, or "dark", ages.
 
Top