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Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 10, 2010 10:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
* SPOILER ALERT*

Folks, this is the glossary thread for our spotlighted discussion on Guns, Germs and Steel.

If you do not want to have any element of the book spoiled for you, do not visit this thread until you have completed the book.

This is a thread where associated urls and reference material as well as other associated links can be added and posted. No self promotion, please.

Additionally, any sidebar discussions concerning our spotlighted book that go beyond the scope of the non spoiler threads can be discussed here.

Bentley

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond Jared Diamond Jared Diamond


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is an article from NPR with an audio

Jared Diamond: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...


Garret (ggannuch) PBS website for the documentary based on Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond Jared Diamond Jared Diamond

http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you for the add Garret.


Garret (ggannuch) Multiple on line videos of Jared Diamond Jared Diamond speaking.
http://www.google.com/search?q=Jared+...


There is also a Charlie Rose interview:
http://www.charlierose.com/guest/byna...


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Thank you again Garret.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Oriental Institute of Chicago: (regarding earliest writing)

http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/...


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
SPANISH CONQUEST OF PERU:

http://www.heritage-history.com/www/h...


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Rise, Fall and Survival of Societies and Civilizations

http://www.risefallandsurvival.org/ja...


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 15, 2010 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Regarding Confucianism:

http://www.thespiritualsanctuary.org/...

Confucianism in China:

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro...

Confucianism from the Catholic Encyclopedia perspective:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04223...

On Religious Tolerance (annoying ad at first, but once you get by that - ok)

http://www.religioustolerance.org/con...

Wikipeida on Confucianim:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucia...

From Stanford:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/con...

Free on line translation of the Analects:

http://classics.mit.edu/Confucius/ana...

Interfaith On line:

http://www.interfaith.org/confucianism/

Confucianism and Traditional Chinese Beliefs (free on line sacred texts as well)

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cfu/index...

Oriental Philosophy:

http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental...


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 15, 2010 08:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Wisdom of Faith with Huston Smith and Bill Moyers: BIll Moyers and Confucianism

Huston Smith: Born in China of missionary parents, Smith learned about Chinese language, culture, and religion while growing up near Shanghai. Smith explains how the intertwining of opposites is key to understanding the great religions of ChinaConfucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Smith shows that Eastern religions provide an emphasis on direct experience and a method for attaining that. He introduces yoga, which he has been practicing for 50 years, as one such method.

He wrote:

The World's Religions Our Great Wisdom Traditions by Huston Smith Huston Smith Huston Smith


Part I of 6 (in my situation one part led to another) - really fascinating topic and man - listening to this for the first time and will add the parts as I complete them myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAy4ug...

Part II of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He-y0g...

Part III of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsFBcQ...

Part IV of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZPkEH...

Part V of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhHxiU...

Prt VI of 6

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7im2Uj...


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Proximate Versus Ultimate Causes in Animal Behavior

http://www.uic.edu/classes/bios/bios1...


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 29, 2010 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
National Geographic - Guns, Germs and Steel

I would read the book first, but once you have done that; you may want to take a look at this production by National Geographic.

It is also on Netflix:

National Geographic: Guns, Germs and Steel
2005TV-PG2 discs / 3 episodes


After journeying to the four corners of the world to unearth the causes of inequality, Prof. Jared Diamond came up with a straightforward explanation: People's fortunes hinge on their geography and their contact with guns, germs and steel. Interlacing science, anthropology and historical reenactments, this insightful documentary based on Diamond's best-selling book brings to life his intriguing hypothesis.

Cast:Peter Coyote, Jared DiamondGenres:Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, PBS DocumentariesFormat:DVD and streaming


You may be able to find it on youtube but I am not sure. I watched it on Netflix and it was well done. It can be played instantly which is a real plus.


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 29, 2010 08:46PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Study shows how scientists can find missing species

This is an interesting article out of Reuters - Singapore

Study shows how scientists can find missing species

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_science...


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Patrick had posted this question:


And then, finally, I suppose the question on everyone's mind is:

Based on Diamond's lessons about the Moriori and Inca, would a small detachment of rebel commandos be enough to organize an effective Ewok assault on the highly defended shield generator on Endor's forest moon?


Patrick Sprunger It comes across as a pretty silly question when taken out of the conversational matrix of the chapters 2 & 3 discussion.

Still, how would Diamond grade the theatrical clashes of noble savages versus evil imperialists on film? Do filmmakers depicting Ewoks and the Avatar dudes get it right? What do they get wrong?


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 30, 2010 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
It is hard to compare history being depicted on the screen with the real thing because more often than naught the producers who are not historians get it wrong. I have heard members lament when we discuss films made about various eras; that the historical mistakes are numerous; whether it be mistakes with props, with the story line, with the choice of actors, and the list goes on an on.

Some of the sci fi films show the noble savages in a better light than some of the old Westerns for example.

I think depicting the Indians as savages for starters is wrong; but nevertheless that was always done. I guess in Avatar the evil imperialists are given the boot except for Jake and some of the other good guys. So in sci fi, I guess the pure and innocent can prevail over the imperialists; but unfortunately that did not seem to happen in real life.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Grave Analysis:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/inca/gra...

The Nova Transcript:

There was also a battle at a different location where they uncovered a grave of about 70 folks; potentially the first documented gun shot wound in New World.

Here is the write-up on that:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/inca/abo...

Plus the theme of the program was this:

The conquest of Peru looks less like the inevitable march of European expansion and more like a fluke. Pizarro looks less like a conquering hero and more like the adventurer he was, who had the enormous good fortune to wander into an Indian civil war and the wit to know how to manipulate it to his advantage. The Inca look less like noble victims and more like complex human beings with sophisticated thinking and complex motivations, some of them just as low and scheming as the Europeans'. Suddenly everything appears a lot messier and more interesting. We no longer have a saga with clear heroes, villains, and victims. We're back in the real world, where things never quite happen the way they do in stories.

Plus this:




Of 70 individuals in the Puruchuco cemetery, only three show clear signs of having been killed by Spanish weapons. One of them is the individual known as Mochito, whose skull (above) is thought to have been pierced three times by Spanish steel, possibly from horseback. (At this time, New World Indians had neither steel nor horses.)


The above seems to be in line with the Pizarro account and Diamond.

However, the Nova producer's theme probably makes good television and is certainly fodder for expansive future discussions; but please do these discussion on this thread or the Book as a Whole thread to not detract or spoil the reading for others of the book.


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 05, 2010 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Patricrk posted a comment about the chestnuts he was eating in Europe in the Marketplace.

There are a few problems with his post because at the time of the Indians, the only Indians who would be eating any chestnuts (and only the American ones) were probably ones on the Eastern Coast.

Also, the variety that Patricrk would have been eating had he been in Europe at the time of the American Indians would not have been the same variety. The variety he would have been eating no doubt would have been:

European species sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) is the only European species of chestnut.

The only American species are the following and the regional designation is shown:

American species These include Castanea dentata (American chestnut - Eastern states), Castanea pumila (American- or Allegheny chinkapin, also known as "dwarf chestnut" - Eastern states), Castanea alnifolia (Southern states), Castanea ashei (Southern states), Castanea floridana (Southern states) and Castanea paupispina (Southern states).

There is also another species which came from the Orient: (which of course the Native Americans would also not have had at that time.

Asiatic species Castanea crenata (Japanese chestnut), Castanea mollissima (Chinese chestnut), Castanea davidii (China), Castanea henryi (Chinese chinkapin, also called Henry's chestnut – China) and Castanea seguinii (also called Seguin's chestnut - China)

Who knows depending when Patricrk would have been standing in the market in Europe whether explorers might have brought that variety back with them to their homes from China; maybe he could have eaten one then. But for sure the Native Americans were not eating the ones from China either.

Since we are reading in Diamond's book about how plants came to be in certain places; it is important not to be confused by some posts.

The American Indians obviously did not have the skillet that Patricrk is referring to jokingly nor did they have the chestnuts he was eating yesterday or at the times of the Native Americans (pre explorers).

One other point about the acrorn worth noting is that it was prevalent all over North America whereas any variety of chestnut would not have been available

Here are some sources on chestnuts:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut

Also from the American Chestnut association, they explained and showed a map where the only American chestnuts were:

"The American chestnut tree reigned over 200 million acres of eastern woodlands from Maine to Florida, and from the Piedmont west to the Ohio Valley, until succumbing to a lethal fungus infestation, known as the chestnut blight, during the first half of the 20th century."

Do you know who brought the fungus which destroyed them?

The blight, was imported to the US on Asian chestnut trees

To also learn more, please read the following for valid information on the American Chestnut:

Mighty Giants An American Chestnut Anthology by Glenn Novak Glenn Novak

Here is the map of the only places the American Chestnut had ever been:



As one can see the Native Americans in the majority of the United States and South America would not have seen the American Chestnut.

Please refer to the American Chestnut Foundation also for more accurate information:

http://www.acf.org/mission_history.php

Here is Patricrk's post:

At that time they had the American Chestnut spread all over. Didn't need the acorn. We had Chestnuts roasted over on open fire at the Market yesterday. Delicious. I'm sure the indians would have liked to have a cast iron skillet though. It makes roasting so much easier.


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Not-So-Fertile Crescent
Climate Change Threatens Cradle of Civilization

By Volker Mrasek

The Middle East's famous Fertile Crescent was the birthplace of agriculture, the first settlements and civilization. But a new study shows that climate change will dry up the area's rivers and destroy its agriculture -- with devasting effects for the region.


Speigel Online International

http://www.spiegel.de/international/w...


Shannon | 75 comments It is hard to compare history being depicted on the screen with the real thing because more often than naught the producers who are not historians get it wrong. I have heard members lament when we discuss films made about various eras; that the historical mistakes are numerous; whether it be mistakes with props, with the story line, with the choice of actors, and the list goes on an on.

I don't think that Avatar got it right. It's too derivative as a story line. Kind of a lot like Dances with Wolves, if you ask me.

But Valor's Choice (Confederation, #1) by Tanya Huff by Tanya Huff Tanya Huff did better portraying the Battle of Roarke's Drift in space against some sort of intelligent lizard

And as long as we're talking about Roarke's Drift the movie Zulu is a great portrayal of the battle in "real" terms.

Interestingly to this discussion is that Roarke's Drift is to South Africa and Great Britain kind of like Custer's last stand is to Americans. It is the reverse of Diamond's thesis: the Europeans lost.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 07, 2010 08:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Yes, Shannon you make a good point although it was much better than most. (Avatar)

But I think that you can win the battle and lose the war. The Europeans can lose battles and the Americans can too (in the instances that you mention) but overall the civilizations that were left behind that allegedly won paid the price for those winnings (i.e., our poor Native Americans for example).

And there was a price paid for all of the losses in World War I and World War II to existing civilizations which had won many initial battles.

There are always reparations paid in one form or another and it is always a set back to the civilization which loses the final outcome.

I think that Diamond's thesis stands up fairly well; but we will learn more as we continue through.

But you raise some fascinating points worth discussing and I am delighted that you put the beginnings of an expansive discussion where it should be and not on the non spoiler thread.

I hope that folks will jump into this discussion.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 07, 2010 09:24AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Shannon I know you are visiting and posting on the Glossary thread so I am moving this post of Patrick's here for your comment versus the Book as a Whole thread which is also a spoiler thread.

And since this post is directed really to you; I hope that you will respond to Patrick's comment here. Thanks for your cooperation in advance.


Folks, this post has been moved because it contains a spoiler. A post from Patrick...a good post - but it has a spoiler so it must be moved.

Shannon, I reached some of the same conclusions as you did about the prospect of processing a large kill, like a mammoth. Particularly the part about not bringing the animal to the camp, but the camp to the kill.

I still think some waste and spoilage is inevitable. The sheer industry that must go into drying or smoking a mammoth must be... well, mammoth itself. I think about the scene in Moby Dick* where the ship is converted into factory mode to try down whale blubber. Granted, a sperm whale is larger than a wooly or columbian mammoth, but the whalers had better technology, so it probably balances out in terms of ordeal.

Then there is the unwanted by-product of such an enterprise. Given the number of large predators (who certainly scavenged) and the Clovis's relative vulnerability, it seems likely that early hunter-gatherers would have an incentive not to broadcast their proximity to a large source of fresh meat. I understand that Clovis hunters could defend their group against saber tooth cat and dire wolf, but we should assume they also valued distance. A lurking pride or pack may have been unwelcome enough to urge the human group to move along soon after the initial kill.

Finally, there is the problem of carrying pounds of dried or smoked meat. Diamond: "If you move often and lack vehicles or draft animals, you confine your possessions to babies, weapons, and a bare minimum of other absolute necessities..."** One of the accessories Diamond identifies as being too bulky for nomads to manage is pottery. And since pottery was the prehistoric equivalent of tupperware, it seems like a dearth of storage containers severely limits the amount of food that can be considered portable.

This is all conjecture, though. It looks like you have more anthropological background than I do. How do my reservations measure up to the likely realities?

*Herman Melville

**I'm sorry, but I can't cite the page number for this quote. Good old Google Books doesn't paginate anymore and this particular passage is blacked out. Which means it's possible I may have inadvertently seeded a spoiler. However, since this is really a common-sense observation and not a revelation, I can't see much harm being done if I inadvertently have.


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