- A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Finally finished reading "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Pulitzer Prize winner Jared Diamond. It's the Appalachian Trail of books. Only ten percent of those who start out actually finish. Mick read it through, but Jason (a pretty devout reader) hasn't. It's an important book examining how the world managed to develop as it has. For example, why did Europeans "discover" then subsequently subdue the native populations in the Americas instead of vice versa?
Diamond's main conclusion was "that societies developed differently on different continents because of differences in continental environments, not in human biology." Basically, those with the lucky advantage of sufficient and the right kinds of natural resources who were situated in areas of an optimal level of competition with other peoples stood the best chance of developing technologies, languages, and resistance to diseases necessary to succeed.
Diamond has also written "Collapse" explaining how seemingly dominant societies fall apart. I'll tackle that soon.
But, first I have Moby Dick on deck and the third of the Flashman series. Ah, the workaday world.