Thursday, 11 April 2013

Guns, Germs and Steel

Time to share a little geeking out.  A few months ago, I put my name on a library list for Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.  And now I finally have a copy to read.

I was intrigued by Diamond's theories in the Discovery miniseries of the same name.  He posits that Eurasia became the dominant civilization because of their environment.  A wide east-west corridor of similar climate without significant geographical barriers (like an ocean) allowed for the flow of technology via trade routes.  It also created a superpopulation where diseases could multiply and evolve.  This combination proved lethal when interacting with other civilizations.

Obviously the Discovery miniseries was simplified for easy digestion so I've been looking forward to reading his theories and evidence for myself.

I'm a big fan of parallel universes and alternate realities in fiction, thus I'm also usually interested in discovering how our current reality came into place and where it could have been altered.  One of the best alternate reality books I've read is Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus which prevents Columbus from leaving the Americas and prevents the New World-financed massive wars in Europe.  I'm curious to see if the alternate history will hold up under Diamond's theories.

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