guns germs and steel

>& Humanities
I've heard lots of academics don't like it but I didn't find any good counter arguments. what are the actual criticisms about this book?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Breakdown is that the author argues in favor of geographic determinism which academics don't like for some reason.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Cause geography is a poor excuse for why things are the way they are. Europe was filled with swamps and mountains and should have been a shithole colonized by some Asian power, but instead it ruled the world. It's the 21st century version of putting race as the entire success or failure of a particular people.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Race is the entire factor for success of a people.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Maybe its because aboriginals have 30 iq points lower than the average european, nah cant be it, must be le geography.

          So true /misc/sister

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Cause geography is a poor excuse for why things are the way they are.
        Geography can't explain everything, true. But people like you get butthurt about it because it is completely independent of the people, it diminishes their achievements as the people did not create the advantages the geography provides. It's black pilling in fewer words, like how tall people true to downplay the strength in just being given tallness as an attribute.

        >Europe was filled with swamps and mountains and should have been a shithole
        Europe has the best lands for farming and most temperate or comfortable climate compared to anywhere on earth besides maybe India and China.
        >been a shithole colonized by some Asian power, but instead it ruled the world.
        And it absolutely would have it Europe wasn't at the western terminus of Eurasia litteraly protected by a moat( Mediterranean sea) or a wide steepe.

        Europe was bullied and pillaged by asiatic hordes and empires (Huns, persians, Mongols, Turks, arabs, berbers, etc) more often than the reverse until the 18th century.

        Moreover, There's no greater support for geographic determism than looking at Europe itself. Who were the Global empires? The French, Dutch, English, and Iberians. All located on the western coast of Europe, the best poised to go out and conquer foreign lands, there never was going to be a timeline where an Italian or Baltic state beats the English to an overseas empire.
        And of the original Colonial empires, which were first? The Iberians. The ones litteraly placed closest to the Americas and Africa. There always going to be the first Colonial empire of Europe.

        The European people are absolutely competent and strong in their own right, but one can't overlook the boons fate or the universe has given them.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >it diminishes their achievements as the people did not create the advantages the geography provides
          There are plenty of places in the world with mediocre or shit geography, but a great nation. Japan comes to mind. An island filled with mountains and okayish farmland, yet it managed to become one of Asia's most advanced countries.

          >Europe has the best lands for farming and most temperate or comfortable climate compared to anywhere on earth besides maybe India and China.
          Yeah, after they drained and deforested all that land. There was a reason why Southern Europe and the Near East had civilization much earlier than Northern Europe. It was much easier for them to start planting their crops and get civilization going as the local geography and climate were all in favour of them from the get go.

          >The French, Dutch, English, and Iberians. All located on the western coast of Europe, the best poised to go out and conquer foreign lands, there never was going to be a timeline where an Italian or Baltic state beats the English to an overseas empire.
          This is true for ANY COUNTRY with an oceanic coastline. Morocco, Mali, China, Japan, Vietnam, etc. Yet none of them went out to explore and settle new lands. Even for Europe nations like Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden either had a weak colonial empire or none at all.
          >And of the original Colonial empires, which were first? The Iberians. The ones litteraly placed closest to the Americas and Africa. There always going to be the first Colonial empire of Europe.
          No they weren't destined to be the first colonial empire. Again you are speaking with hindsight in mind. The vikings were actually the first Europeans to make it to America, but they abandoned their settlements.

          >but one can't overlook the boons fate or the universe has given them.
          European geography is no better than much of the world. If it was East Asians that colonized the world you'd be speaking how it was due to geography how East Asians colonized the world.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >This is true for ANY COUNTRY with an oceanic coastline.
            For instance, western Africa is a mere 1800 miles from coastal Brazil and even has the benefit of prevailing winds yet no evidence west African people sailed there even though it would have been much easier than the voyage of Columbus.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >mediocre or shit geography
            >japan
            japan is a huge island located safely away from the mainland and has a rich natural environment. the japanese islands being politically united and able to project power across the sees like they did during the empire years is a direct result of geography. The post war boom is very much a product of the people, culture and institutions of the islands but that too was possible because of the bases of the state - political and cultural unity, institutions with an established history an educated population and a starting (even if mostly destroyed) industrial base. All those things were possible because the geography of Japan allowed for stable food producing societies to rise unite and develop without mush threat of foreign invasion and pillaging.
            sure geography is not god, and various peoples have risen above its restrictions or failed in spit of its benefits but that doesn’t mean that those benefits and restrictions do not exist.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I get why people don't agree with geographic determinism but it seems to make sense on the broadest scale (like the book conveys). obviously geography didn't preordain japan becoming the 3rd richest nation or the dutch colonizing Indonesia but it does seem to explain why aboriginals didn't have states and why native Americans were less technologically advanced than Europeans.

      Cause geography is a poor excuse for why things are the way they are. Europe was filled with swamps and mountains and should have been a shithole colonized by some Asian power, but instead it ruled the world. It's the 21st century version of putting race as the entire success or failure of a particular people.

      are there any books that are better at explaining it rather than guns germs and steel?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Maybe its because aboriginals have 30 iq points lower than the average european, nah cant be it, must be le geography.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          How much lower is the aboriginal IQ compared to West Africans, who did have kangdoms and sultanates, armies and cities, iron and crops? How much lower is the aboriginal IQ compared to Central Americans?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            West africans didnt have anything except mudhuts, their limited ironworking - spread through the arabs, didnt give them any further development. West african iq is incredibly low.
            The americans are euro-asiatic, with anomalies such as the X haplogroup that indicate earlier contact between the americas and western eurasia. Even moctezuma claimed to have ancestors from beyond ocean where Cortez came from.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Pseudo-historical special pleading aside, you did not compare the IQ of Australian aboriginals with that of West Africans or Central Americans.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >West Africans, who did have kangdoms and sultanates, armies and cities, iron and crops?
            Lmao

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            That doesn't disprove anything. All it shows is that Europe was more advanced. And that's something that's always annoyed me about /misc/lacks when it comes to African history. It's not enough that African civilizations were inferior, they have to be nonexistent. For example, I've never heard an explanation for why the ruins in Great Zimbabwe had to be built by Arabs besides from Africans were too stupid to do it.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            To my understanding, it is approximately 10 points lower, but possibly greater, as I don't know if the studies adjusted for European admixture.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        None of the explanations are sufficient to explain the deficit of the premise, namely that Diamond's sense of civilisation, being a principally material thing driven by progressive advancement is determined principally by geography and the elements relative to it.

        The obvious flaw with his argument is that for his argument to hold favour, it must be holistic to peoples across time, it is not. The ancient farming communities that came to Britain achieved levels of "civilisation" rivalling the aboriginals despite conditions being severely harsh due to its far colder climate than now, the boggish nature and being devoid of settled human groups. We can look at other groups from far harsher places. The meso-american peoples that developed sophistication, high levels of it materially, despite clear impediments, yet they were severely lacking in many of the arts and finer forms of civilisation, particularly in regards to philosophy and that regarding humans, theirs was a sacredotal perception of life, more akin to primitive peoples of the fertile crescent.

        In every sector of the earth, you can find clear contradictions of Diamond's arguments, from one civilisation having advanced in a particular form of material civilisation and lacking another, or advancing a purer form of philosophical or artistic life but lacking any true desire for material advancement.

        It's a pointless book and you're best bet is to ignore it, read real history and come to your own mind.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Diamond's geographical argument has little to do with how "harsh" the environment is. You haven't read the book.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            I have homosexual. You're either simply lying to be contrarian or you've not read the book. His essential argument is that differences in geography is the premise for advantages of certain cultures situated in certain places. This presumes a premise which is both historically amateurish and also demonstrably false; that civilisation is progressively incremental or able to be determined in stages.

            If you read what I wrote, I explained why this is nonsense.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >differences in geography is the premise for advantages of certain cultures situated in certain places
            This is like giving a totally wrong explanation for the mechanism of combustion and then retreating to "combustion is the alteration of matter producing fire, that's what I'm saying" when called out on it

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            You're simply moronic then, understood. Good day, it's still an insane book with no reasonable explanation.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >The ancient farming communities that came to Britain achieved levels of "civilisation" rivalling the aboriginals despite conditions being severely harsh due to its far colder climate than now
          the book claims that the people that settled Britain could import agriculture or the idea of it as it spread from the fertile crescent to the European continent. meanwhile Australia had very few local wild plants worth domesticating and very limited contact with farming communities that prevented seeds or knowledge to spread to the people inhabiting arable land of the continent. In the book the author claims that even still, at the time of discovery by Europeans the aboriginals in the arable areas of the continent already were in the stages of plant domestication and stable food production which got cut short by European settlement

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            The early farmers into Britain had very limited if any at all contact with the farming communities of the fertile crescent even by atavistic knowledge of migrating communities. There was no means to easily access the continent and we know from archaeology that farming actually developed quite later in Britain due to this, likewise once established, the condition of these communities siginificantly diverged. From the huge sepulchres and mounds of Britain, the cairns and enormous land sculpting we get in places like sussex. The only comparative feature would be in Brittany and even then, the uniqueness of British communities at the same time with their analogues in the continent were fundamentally different. If Diamond was correct, the condition of environment, being substantially different after centuries in Britain should significantly diverged the abilities of Britons, but it did not, they continued to advance, even by the time of Roman conquest, other than the continental trade of copper which was a shared advantage, the pre-roman world of briton was uniquely different to the continent yet not inferior to it. If slight or even any feedback loops were present because of previous developments due to environmental conditions, surely Britain should have been sufficiently different, either in deficit or superiority to the similar factors those on continent shared.

            This can go on with even further exhaustion and wilder points with other cultures and places on earth through time. Not to mention obvious disparities such as the fact the Scots, despite sharing the same heritage of knowledge that the English did, were severely inferior in most regards and held on to a quasi-tribal society up till almost 18th century in large parts.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >The early farmers into Britain had very limited if any at all contact with the farming communities of the fertile crescent even by atavistic knowledge of migrating communities.
            Except for (some of) their ancestors moving out from Anatolia alongside their crops and animals, you mean.

            >we know from archaeology that farming actually developed quite later in Britain
            Because they were on the very fringe of the Neolithic Revolution radiating out of the Near East.

            >the pre-roman world of briton was uniquely different to the continent yet not inferior to it
            Even Gauls would die of laughter hearing that.

            >If slight or even any feedback loops were present because of previous developments due to environmental conditions, surely Britain should have been sufficiently different, either in deficit or superiority to the similar factors those on continent shared.
            Maybe it would have remained a backward island if ships had never been invented, but the English pond was being routinely traversed by everyone around the time England stopped being a punchline.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Do you really think people traversed from Anatolia to Britain within one lifetime? I'm confused here. This didn't happen if you imagine this. The re-colonisation of Britain occurs quite much later once the continent is developing.

            Your second point is vapid, you seem to think Britain was on a trajectory analogous to its neighbours on the continent but it wasn't, this is part of the problem with Diamond's premise, it must imply a progressive view of civilisation as increments. British history in farming develops later because even once colonised again there's a large gap in serious farming communities, such that you actually get it popping up in weird places like Ireland first.

            The Gauls could laugh but your point is counter-intuitive to my mind. The supposition being that if the Gauls who were defeated by the Romans were inferior in atleast martial arms, so must have been the Britons, therefore, considering they, the Gauls and Romans had the same share of shared knowledge continentally, why the difference? Either way, your point is partial. Pre-Roman Britain was pretty unique in its share of advancement, especially the land-scultping work and metallurgy, it was greatly desired for its copper trade.

            Your last point I don't get. Boats were used and invented, no one said they weren't. Trade to Britain was incredibly scant though, the copper trade collapse brought that even further down after a slight increase, we know all this from archaeology.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Do you really think people traversed from Anatolia to Britain within one lifetime?
            No?
            Do you think people stopped farming from the point they left Central Anatolia to the moment they landed on British shores millennia later? Do you think all the communities along the way just vanished as the future Neolithic britons moved on?

            >you seem to think Britain was on a trajectory analogous to its neighbours on the continent
            Assuming by "neighbors" you mean the Atlantic coast, I'd say yeah? But either way, I'm not sure how pointing out that Britain as an island had a different geographical context than the continent is supposed to refute geographic determinism.

            >The Gauls could laugh but your point is counter-intuitive to my mind. The supposition being that if the Gauls who were defeated by the Romans were inferior in atleast martial arms, so must have been the Britons, therefore, considering they, the Gauls and Romans had the same share of shared knowledge continentally
            What? Being defeated by the Romans is hardly an indictment of the Celtics, or Greeks, or Phoenicians, or Persians, certainly no sane person would consider the Germanics civilizationally superior to all of these for example.
            As for them all having "the same shared knowledge continentally" that hadn't been true since the late Bronze Age at the very least (assuming Celto-Italic common origin) It wasn't even true back in the Neolithic, due to the distance. Certainly Neolithic Britain once lagged behind Italy or even Sardinia (to use another island) In any case, Iron Age Britain had little in common with Neolithic Britain, its development came from later events like the Celtic arrival.
            But no, IA Britain wasn't particularly impressive.

            >Trade to Britain was incredibly scant though
            It certainly wasn't by the Middle Ages.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            You'd expect a lot of Europe to do worse while they are strong countries, like UK, Spain, Germany, Benelux, France, Scandinavia.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >This can go on with even further exhaustion and wilder points with other cultures and places on earth through time. Not to mention obvious disparities such as the fact the Scots, despite sharing the same heritage of knowledge that the English did, were severely inferior in most regards and held on to a quasi-tribal society up till almost 18th century in large parts.
            The highland Scots. A massive, massive difference. The lowland Scots were genius, and no, they weren't just English people.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      He’s also wrong factually. He gets the domestication of rice wrong. The spread of maize wrong. The domestication of horses wrong. And the spread of metalworking wrong.
      It’s like if you gave someone a superficial education in historical development then asked them to make a fantasy world with their knowledge. That is what diamond does. Literally a israeli spell weaver.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >He gets the domestication of rice wrong. The spread of maize wrong. The domestication of horses wrong. And the spread of metalworking wrong.

        Could you elaborate a little on all these points briefly, please?
        Like, what he got incorrect vs what actually happened.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Look in the IQfy archives or on /r/askhistorians, so many threads about this

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >come into thread about thing
            >"can you please discuss thing?"
            >"no"

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >The spread of maize wrong.
          He gets this wrong because Maize is a C4 grain.
          Diamond makes the argument that East-West continent orientations are inherently superior to North-South ones because it is easier to grow the same crops at the same latitude. He points out that Mesopotamian crops did not get taken south into Sub-Saharan Africa because the climate was too warm because Wheat is a C3 grain.
          He implies that this applies to Europe and their adoption of Mesopotamian crops even though Europe is significantly North of Mesopotamia and Europeans ran into multiple issues relating to the difference in climate.

          However when he tries to apply this to the Americas, he doesn't mention that Maize uses a more complex carbon fixation chemistry which makes the grain grow efficiently in a wider variety of climates.
          You can see the difference in the maps.

          He also completely ignores that Sub-Saharan Africa had their own native grains (which were also C4) while Europe had no other options regardless of how difficult it was to grow in their colder climate.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Because it ignores every single other factor for anything? Cultural practice (hygiene for example), genetics (would also be affected by location but he ignores/disavows as racist), emotional reasoning (glory hounds like the tectonic order, crusades, petty kings looking to expand their realm, anything Nero or Caligula did.), and a plethora of random things that can determine the outcome. The overthrow of the Aztecs went so well because their vassals betrayed them and sided with the spanish.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >but I didn't find any good counter arguments
    because there's none

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      So how come India hasn't been able to produce anything of worth the past couple thousand years

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I assume the prple countrys are meant to be the best?
        Nearly all of those are pretty shit
        >Togo
        African third world with nothing of note
        >Denmark
        Rich and comfy but irrelevant nowadays. Relied on raiding for most of the middle ages, became a minor colonial power.
        >Poland
        >Used to be a large commonwealth in the past; later became a vassal to other powers, nowadays another broke east european country
        >Lithuania
        >Second to Poland in their commonwealth
        >Hungary
        >Second to Austria in their empire, some cool invetions. Now another east european shithole
        >Moldavia
        >East European shithole
        >Ukraine
        >Former capital of the Rus state that began further north, conquered by various empires throughout history
        had empires at some point
        >India
        Industrialized nuclear power but still a shithole
        >Bangladesh
        Poorer India

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      according to Diamond's logic, the Incan empire should not have ever existed.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I assume the purple countrys are meant to be the best?
      Nearly all of those are pretty shit
      >Togo
      African third world with nothing of note
      >Denmark
      Rich and comfy but irrelevant nowadays. Relied on raiding for most of the middle ages, became a minor colonial power.
      >Poland
      >Used to be a large commonwealth in the past; later became a vassal to other powers, nowadays another broke east european country
      >Lithuania
      >Second to Poland in their commonwealth
      >Hungary
      >Second to Austria in their empire, some cool invetions. Now another east european shithole
      >Moldavia
      >East European shithole
      >Ukraine
      >Former capital of the Rus state that began further north, conquered by various empires throughout history
      >India
      >Industrialized nuclear power but still a shithole
      >Bangladesh
      >Poorer India

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    People don't like using geography as the one and only explanation for literally everything, which is true, but the general thesis of "Human societies and what they are able to accomplish are shaped by the environments they inhabit" is irrefutable.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I mean it's pretty stupid to look at a map like this and see that all the big civilizational centers line up with good soil and not think theres a connection.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Misleading, as European soil is likely enhanced.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        So is most the world, Asian rice paddies, Aztec floating fields, Inca terraces, etc

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Explain Europe, great soil, but civilization never developed independently, SSAs with light skin.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Easy, they lacked an agricultural package.
        The plants native to Europe were not good enough to supplant hunter-gathering, let alone develop a civilization.
        After Mesopotamian crops were brought into Europe, the inhabitants spent the next few thousand years dying of rickets and starvation.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Bullshit. Just because Europeans north of the med packed many things Romans did doesn't mean they didn't have hallmarks of civilization. That's the same semantic bullshit that morons use to argue that Andeans didn't have civilization just because they lacked metallurgy. May as well discount everything prior to the Iron Age as non-civilizations.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's outdated in all different senses of the world. As an academic work it barely qualifies but it was even back then just bunch of random stuff thrown together to make an argument. Some of the fact were correct, some were wrong(Diamond for instance argues for a single domestication event of euroasian cereals which was false and these kinds of technical errors are very common there), the correct stuff collected in a whole dozen make for an argument he's trying to make.
    As an argument in the giantic debate on why did Europe manage to outperform the rest od the world, he simply isn't compelling enough. Lots of time is spent talking about farming as if Europe was the place it originated in. Of his ideas only the vicinity of the steppe and geopolitical pluralism hold some water but those are arguments dating back to Montesqieu at the very least. Turchin writes some stuff about the connection between vicinity of the steppe and imperial state formation, Scheidel goes over political pluralism and its effects.l on detail in Escape from Rome.

    In other words as far as factual parts of his work were concerned things have happened since he has written it and they've shown him to he wrong.
    Let us however talk about the real reason why this book is known and why it's also outdated - the excuse for underdevelopment of the rest of the world. Sadly for Diamond, his idea always was that the geography results in culture and culture brings success. His solution for Haitian problems for instance was to bring in European settlers in(he'd use very mild and leftist friendly language for that). He also didn't acknowledge various we wuzzing of brown people meaning a lot of leftists accuse him of being eurocentric, uneducated on let's say African history etc.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      To finish my point - Diamond was something a nice liberal read to btfo a person who makes sensible deduction that white people must be kinda awesome, except it was a book such liberal would read 30 years ago. Nowadays they are so far gone this far left activist pretending to he academic isn't leftist enough and that's the main reason why it's hated.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Oh wow! Gun germ and steel thread #2451
    Is this the only book IQfy has read?

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The central premise that geography is overwhelming as a factor is true, however he fails to prove it.

    He claims the Incas didn't have diverse crops, the truth is they did have diverse crops, maize, quinoa, yam, cassava, a plethora of nonstaples like papaya fruit, all ranging from domesticated to wild varieties within each family, this fit the diverse range of climates the mountainous civilization had. He claims that China was on the verge of the industrial revolution in the 14th century, but their government cancelled it, because China was too easily unified, because it has a smooth coast. It is just wall to wall asspulls like this with no thought to how relevant or even valid his little theories are.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      China cancelled an industrial revolution? And what does industry have to do with unification?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >China cancelled an industrial revolution?
        No
        >And what does industry have to do with unification?
        Nothing.
        Diamond looked at historical maps of China and Europe and "discovered" that while the land area was similar, Europe was made up of multiple political societies or states, while China was often unified under a single leader/government.
        Since the purpose of the book was to point out advantages Europe had over the rest of the world, he declared that multiple small states was better for technological and scientific progress within a region compared to a single state.

        That's what most of the book and other geographic determinist literature is: Identifying differences between Europe and other regions, then declaring Europe's situation to be superior.
        No evidence required.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >China cancelled an industrial revolution?
        no
        >And what does industry have to do with unification?
        very little

        These are claims made by Jared Diamond. He believes China's unification enabled an Emperor to cancel an industrial revolution. This is an excerpt from the chapter in question.

        >These consequences of Europe's disunity stand in sharp contrast to
        >those of China's unity. From time to time the Chinese court decided to halt
        >other activities besides overseas navigation: it abandoned development of
        >an elaborate water-driven spinning machine, stepped back from the verge
        >of an industrial revolution in the 14th century, demolished or virtually
        >abolished mechanical clocks after leading the world in clock construction,
        >and retreated from mechanical devices and technology in general after the
        >late 15th century.

        In reality China did not even have Euclidean geometry, the windmill and other such innovations. Its "mechanical clock" was in fact a water clock. It was far from an industrial revolution, so it is nonsensical to attribute China's lack of an industrial revolution on its "unity". As I said, geography obviously plays an important role in the development of civilization, but Guns, Germs and Steel doesn't explain how, Jared Diamond gives us a torrent of silly little midwit theories like this. This book is actually harmful to your critical thinking skills because it gives you the impression this kind of reasoning is ok.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        During southern Song period and some of the mongol period Chinese experienced development of capital markets that mimicked developments in Europe at the time. Since these capital markets did help industrial revolution to happen a bunch of sinophiles and chinese ultras ended up pretending China was almost industrialising, any day now. Obviously then the Ming reforms came and these capital markets were destroyed.

        Diamond's take on political fragmentation is roughly correct though. A good glimpse can be seen on overseas ventures - Portuguese and the Dutch could function as significant powers in Europe despite their relatively small sizes thanks to them, meanwhile the Chinese approach to this was "don't". For Europeans the options for expansion without triggering any major war were limited and so in competitive environment of their political system this was one of the ways of getting one up over their opponents. For China they were the hegemonic empire, the only danger for them laid in instability and to keep stability they had to maintain happiness among the peasants and keep expanding the taxbase so various factions could always be appeased. In this way the Chinese diaspora was seen as nothing but tax evaders, which is why anti-chinese pogroms in Philippines etc. were met with no reaction from the court. The expansion of the taxbase was a significant issue because at least twice in the Chinese history the tax burden started going down after stabilisation of rule - the Ming and the Manchus were decreasing taxes likely to keep the peasants happy. This again is in stark contrast to Europe where the tax burden from some point in the medieval period(different in different countries) generally went up and up. As I've said in some previous post though, this idea was old 200 years before Diamond was born though.

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >what are the actual criticisms about this book?

    I can't for the life of me remember really anything about Guns, Germs, and Goons, besides Zebras because of you homosexuals. Specifically, that the Zebra was impossible to domesticate because of x, y, and z, reasons.

    But both Jared Diamond AND IQfy is wrong because we do have domesticated Zebras: they're called Donkeys. They're both also wrong because Zebras were initially domesticated by Africans, specifically in and around the "Horn of Africa" before getting introduced to Egypt and then circulating out into the wider world from there. Furthermore, we found out about this after Jared Diamond wrote that book, but Northern Africa was also one of several places where cattle domestication happened. Like, Africans did do stuff, but then they also didn't do a lot of stuff.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      If donkeys are domesticated zebras, why are zonkeys usually sterile?
      >Northern Africa was also one of several places where cattle domestication happened.
      Southern Africans used cattle to carry stuff and sometimes even rode them
      They still did not invent the wheel (Despite having beasts of burden and relatively flat terrain)
      Granted the wheel was invented only once and slowly spread from the steppes

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    i see a lot of "geography doesn't matter in the development of civilizations because...because it just doesn't!" seething here but no actual arguments backing it up

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Diamond is hellbent on saying that Genetics doesn't matter.
      It does.
      His arguments about Domestication is implicitly agreeing with this.
      He claims that certain animals were more easily domesticated, yet even if true, they were genetically selected throughout generations.
      Same with Plants.
      So why in the world would it not be applicable to Humans.
      Sure more or less favorable Environments are helpful to predict an outcome, but to ignore genetics altogether?
      Reeks of Politics, and isn't good scientific practice.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Africa lacked beasts of burden
    This is false
    They had oxen

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Early life
    >Diamond was born on September 10, 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were both Eastern European israeli immigrants.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    should be called kvetch, cope & seethe because that's literally all it is

    >white people are not superior
    >here are the reasons why they are superior

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    He claims native Papuans are genetically smarter than Europeans, lol.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    His entire argument leaves culture as the main secondary factor over geography to human advancement, and he constantly glances the subject but he is too liberal and israeliminded to directly call the elephant in the room: that certain cultures are superior to others and that they should rule or conquer

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The book basically deals with the field of economics and is written by non-economist. It just shows a common problem of confusing correlations with causations.
    Hans Herman Hoppe covers the reasons of unequal economic development of different regions, although he didn't dedicate a single book on the subject (you may check the "Democracy, the God that failed" for starters). It basically (and obviously - for an economist..) comes down to human factor; and it is not only about intelligence (though it is obviously important) but culture and values of different societies (like, some tribes *don't want* the "economic development" and that's it..) and more specifically, about low time preference as a crucial factor enabling, what we call, the civilizational advancement.

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If geography is a main determinate, why does there seem to be very little difference in development among the Australian aborigines, who spread throughout the Australian continent?
    SE Australia and Tasmania are quite different than most of the interior.

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