Guns germs steel


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Guns germs steel

  1. 2. Guns, Germs, and Steel The Fates of Human Societies By Jared Diamond
  2. 3. Yali’s Question <ul><li>1972 Yali asked Diamond: </li></ul><ul><li>“ W hy is it that you white people developed so much cargo, but we black people had little cargo of our own? ” </li></ul><ul><li>Guns, Germs, and Steel , p. 14 </li></ul>
  3. 4. Why? Why Europeans? <ul><li>a great mystery of human history -- the roots of global inequality </li></ul><ul><li>little to do with ingenuity or individual skill, ex: Yali’s people </li></ul><ul><li>book begins at a time of equality, when all the people of the world lived in exactly the same way </li></ul><ul><li> Eurasian civilization is not so much a product of ingenuity, but of opportunity and necessity </li></ul>
  4. 5. Time of Equality- end of last ice age 11,000 ya <ul><li>hunting and gathering = mode of survival </li></ul><ul><li>populations small, spread all over globe </li></ul><ul><li>the world's climate suddenly changed </li></ul><ul><li>some people began cultivating hardiest stock = farmers </li></ul>
  5. 6. Natural Experiment with History <ul><li>How do environments affect human societies? </li></ul><ul><li>1000 AD Polynesian farmers colonize New Zealand (Maori) </li></ul><ul><li>Soon after, group moves on to colonize Chatham Islands (Moriori) </li></ul><ul><li>Centuries go by & evolve in opposite directions </li></ul>
  6. 7. How can the environment affect the economy, technology, political organization, and fighting skills in a short period of time? <ul><li>MAORI </li></ul><ul><li>Tropical, continued Polynesian agriculture ways </li></ul><ul><li>crop surplus = grow, store, feed more non-hunters </li></ul><ul><li>Population  -- 100,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Craft specialists, armies, bureaucrats, chiefs </li></ul><ul><li>Erected elaborate buildings </li></ul><ul><li>Ferocious wars among tribes </li></ul><ul><li>MORIORI </li></ul><ul><li>Cold climate, revert H-G </li></ul><ul><li>NO crop surplus for storage </li></ul><ul><li>Could not support non-hunters </li></ul><ul><li>Population  -- 2,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Remote, small island; forced to learn to get along </li></ul><ul><li>Renounce war, castrate some male infants </li></ul><ul><li>Peaceful population, simple technology & weapons, w/o strong leadership </li></ul>
  7. 8. Natural Experiment with History <ul><li>December 1835, 900 Maori travel to Chatham Islands & slaughter, eat, or enslave 2000 Moriori people, destroying their society </li></ul>
  8. 9. Fertile Crescent <ul><li>1 st place to begin food production: domestication of plants and animals </li></ul><ul><li>Results in 1st place to have livestock & crops = Head Start! & indirect prerequisite for guns, germs, and steel . </li></ul><ul><li> available for more consumable calories </li></ul><ul><li> more people can be supported </li></ul>
  9. 10. Fertile Crescent food production: domestication of plants and animals <ul><li>Stored food </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yields natural fibers (clothing, blankets, nets, rope) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeds priests (justify war for conquest) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeds artisans (like metal workers who develop swords, guns, other tech) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feeds scribes (preserve information more accurately & educate community; literacy) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Domesticated animals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More heavy goods transported </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People transported farther, faster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fields plowed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(  Nutrients ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Germ immunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small pox, measles, flu derived from mutations of ancestral germs that infected animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st humans to handle fell victim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans evolve resistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(immune people survive & reproduce) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Food Production Spread compare the shapes & orientations of the continents <ul><li>Major axis of Eurasia = East-West </li></ul><ul><li>Share similar day length & seasonal variation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar temperature, rainfall, biomes (flora, fauna)  similar diseases </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Food Production Spread <ul><li>The spread of Fertile Crescent crops across Western Eurasia </li></ul><ul><li>Down to Egypt & as far as Ethiopia, but didn’t spread any farther </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slowed by climate & disease </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Fertile Crescent : Why There? <ul><li>Mediterranean climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt to long, dry, hot summers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy into seed production, seeds that can be dormant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> storage by humans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wild ancestors were abundant & productive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Few changes had to be made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Teosinte = corn ??? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High numbers of “selfers” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good plant cross pollinates & you loose the ‘goodness’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-pollinators “keep it in the family”! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Of 8 significant crops, 3 = highest in protein </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asia, New World = rice, corn are low </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity of domesticate-able big mammals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unsuitable in other med zones (Chile, CA, SW Australia, S. Africa) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goat, sheep, pig, cow = 4 of 5 most important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unattractive place for H-G lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>1st place for carbohydrates, protein, fat </li></ul><ul><li>clothing, traction (plow), & transport </li></ul>
  13. 14. Few & Far Between few areas developed food production independently <ul><li>Those with head start gained a head start on path leading toward guns, germs, and steel </li></ul><ul><li>Most peasant farmers not better off; takes time to see pay-off </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An alternative strategy </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Few & Far Between – Why?? few areas developed food production independently <ul><li> availability wild food (animals disappear) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> domesticating animals in Fertile Crescent =  wild animals (gazelles) </li></ul></ul><ul><li> availability of domesticating wild plants-- made it more rewarding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate change @ Fertile Crescent expanded areas of wild cereals that could be harvested in short time </li></ul></ul><ul><li> in technology of food production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flint blades invented 1st in Fertile Crescent to take advantage of abundance of wild cereals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Baskets created to carry abundance of grains available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technique of roasting grains to make water proof – 1st concept food storage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(2 way link between)  food production &  human population </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(  food =  pop =  need to  food outputs to feed pop </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Mega Fauna
  16. 17. Bitter Almonds