The Vanishing Objectivity

This is a review of a book based on a review of a book I haven’t read. The book is by Jared Diamond and the review is by Malcolm Galdwell.

First let me get a few things out of the way.

  • I really liked The Tipping Point by Gladwell
  • I really liked Guns, Germs, and Steel by Diamond

The book seems to be about how societies vanish. Contrary to popular belief it seems that its always due to ecological reasons not war or anything else. Hmm ok. I’m still reading.

Upon closer inspection, it turns out these ecological distasters happen to white people cause they are stupid, whereas people of color experience this as an inevitable consequence of their geography. For example, You might think that the Norse colonies in greenland died out cause it was cold. Bzzzt! Wrong! They were stupid. Or um christian. and after all is there really a difference?

it was out of the question to invest less in churches, to imitate or intermarry with the Inuit, and thereby to face an eternity in Hell just in order to survive another winter on Earth.

On the other hand, The easter islanders who deforested thier whole island were merely victims of thier environment

“The reason for Easter’s unusually severe degree of deforestation isn’t that those seemingly nice people really were unusually bad or improvident,” he concludes. “Instead, they had the misfortune to be living in one of the most fragile environments, at the highest risk for deforestation, of any Pacific people.” The problem wasn’t the Easter Islanders. It was Easter Island.

The reason why I liked Guns, Germs, and Steel was it showed that some people groups ended up in the lead due to mostly luck and geography. That I agree with. I am not much in for the idea of a master race. Or the inate superiority of Eurpoeans over the dark peoples…

However aren’t we ever going to get tired of beating up on the white/european/christians? Sure these people are responsible for lots of the evil in the world maybe most of it. That’s what it means when you are powerful. You get good results and you get ugly results. Progress means trying to do better.






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