Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Guns, Germs and Steel

Did anyone catch the first hour of "Guns, Germs and Steel" on PBS last night (please excuse reference to 'liberal moonbat' network)? It's based on yet another book I haven't had time to read. Anyhow, it touched on exactly the question raised by Tempus a few weeks back - why did some countries make it to the industrial age while others still hunt and gather? Author's theory was it had to do with the availablity of grain and barley along with domesticate-able animals. Fascinating stuff.


Blogger Major John said...

I dunno, it sounds a bit deterministic to me. But I added the link to the book anyway...

8:36 AM  
Blogger Mighty Quinn said...

True, it may be a bit deterministic, but it also assults the notion that the West is the best because we're smarter, or work harder or are genetically superior. That's biological determinism.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

Poppy cock.

What is the most fertile soil on Earth? Ukranian. Are they a tier one nation?

What's the second most fertile place on earth? The North American plains. It didn't reach its full potential until who arrived? Correct, the Europeans!

Okay, I'll name some of the great civilizations, Sumarian, Egyptian, Aztec, Inca, Indus valley. Are they all in garden spots, not really. What they have is marginal, but they had good organization in their governments to capatilize on what surplus they did have. I would have added Rome and Greece too, but they are in Europe (even though they are the marginal end as far as agricultural productivity goes).

I actually think that one of the key ingredients for a civilization is marginal agricultural productivity. Just like a revolution does not occur when people are fat and happy and it also doesn't occur when their is no hope. Revolutions and civilizations happen when there is only a slight ray of hope and that ray becomes the new government.

I'm not just a prop, I'm and Anthropology major;D


1:00 PM  
Blogger PatCA said...

I once asked a guide in Italy why the country has never regained its Renaiisance prestige and glory. The answer was "the plague." It destroyed city-states in periodic attacks from the 1500s on, leaving it vulnerable to attack from various Europeans until it first won independence in the 20th century. Interesting!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous TPB, Esq. said...

I'm not sure it's biological determinism to say that someone fared better because they worked harder. In fact, that seems like the antithesis of such a notion.

It's hard, I think, to put into a nutshell why one nation does better than another.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Major John said...

Don't make me go all Max Weber on y'all...

3:28 PM  

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