Guns, Germs and Idiots


Hearing a contemporary author discuss misguided interpretations of his work makes you wonder what Jesus would say to modern Christians.
Don't expect Republicans to be bothered with facts. They make those up as they go along.
@1 - I'm enjoying envisioning what that would look like. Seems like a good start to a short story or a play, actually. Jesus: "So, when I said 'love thy neighbour' - I actually meant don't kill them or discriminate against them." [cricket sounds, dazed look on the faces of the hand-wringing chorus, scene].
This is akin to Bruce Springsteen having to explain Born in the USA to Ronald Reagan and his team.

These people are tone deaf and unable to tell a complete story.
And language professors hate him!
For what it's worth, Guns, Germs and Steel is a great book and everyone should read it (including Romney).
Oh, snap!
Of course Romney got it all wrong when he said "the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there". Diamond thesis is totally different. He argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops. When cultural or genetic differences have favored Eurasians (for example, written language or the development among Eurasians of resistance to endemic diseases), he asserts that these advantages occurred because of the influence of geography on societies and cultures, and were not inherent in the Eurasian genomes.
@8 - when you quote Wikipedia, it's polite to say you are doing so.
When even Jared Diamond says you're an asshole....
The biggest jaw-dropper would be the fact that Jesus was a middle eastern man... swarthy, dark/olive-skinned, etc. and not the whitebread anglo-saxon all modern christians picture in their heads.
@9: Haha - fantastic catch!
So the physical characteristics of Redmond account for its success in software. Just like Rte 128 Boston...and San Jose...and China...and Europe.

Each of these share that unique characteristic...the deeply buried software ore!
Jane Jacobs easily dispatched Jared Diamond and his book in just several sentences in her almost perfect work, Dark Age Ahead (a short and recommended read).

While I agree Romney is a moron, he probably thought he could get away with mentioning Diamond's book as Diamond does those intros for hedge fundsters' books, etc.

Both Romney, and Diamond, are idiots!
@13 Warden Samuel Norton at least had the decency to swallow a bullet after being so deliberately obtuse.
@14 - please. Jane Jacobs is an unvarnished hack and her 'work' is a combination of useless platitudes and generalizations. 'Dark Age Ahead's entire premise is myopic and xenophobic. The so called 'dark ages' she references were all happening at times when other societies were doing just fine and dandy - in fact, flourishing.

Diamond, for his flaws, acknowledges history is a continuum. Jacobs seems to believe human achievement stopped at the end of the Roman Empire and began again during the Renaissance. And her bullet points, while I'm sure make great pithy cocktail chatter for those that don't know any better, are hopelessly vague prescriptions for problems she doesn't even bother to diagnose.
And @3, you didn't think of that "vision" -- I've seen little signs in churches for years.

@14, if you actually believe "several sentences" is enough to "dispatch" a hefty and meticulously scholarly work like Guns, Germs and Steel you are an intellectual featherweight. There is legitimate scholarly disagreement with Diamond's work, but it does not take place in the space of a paragraph, no more than "If humans evolved from apes why are there still apes?" is a meaningful critique in a discussion of evolutionary theory.
Romney is an empty suit and all, but, while his understanding is incomplete (and the "iron ore" thing is kind of a laughable oversimplification), but Romney actually does seem to be getting the basics of Diamond's thesis, that a civilization's progress is a function of geographical influences. It was a little disingenuous of Diamond to say that was "so different" from what his book actually said.
@19, I don't think so. Diamond actually has a deep and nuanced understanding of the issues here, and Romney clearly does not. You don't either, and I don't mean that as a burn; I mean it as a simple statement of fact. If you've read and reread Diamond's work, and I have, then you know that the details Mitt o-Mitt-ed (ha ha) actually make all the difference in determining the outcomes. What Diamond is highlighting is the failure of a man who wants to be the most powerful man in the world to grasp details and comprehend nuance, and in the real world, as opposed to the Hollywood logic that it's so easy to slip into in America, that shit matters a lot. It's the difference between Reaganomics and the prosperity of the Clinton years.