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Old 08-10-2019, 09:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
Or as another famous book posits: guns, germs, and steel. A worthwhile read, IMO.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel

Read the critiques section:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_...teel#Reception
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:19 PM
 
1,791 posts, read 610,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil75230 View Post
...
I already addressed my criticism of Diamond's hypothesis. The scholarly take on Diamond is that he's pop-history and not to be taken seriously.

If geography was so important, why did Europe not become the dominant world civilization until at least the 16th century? Civilization began millennia before that.

If it was baked in the cake from the start, why did the baking take so long?

European society changed radically between the middle ages and the modern age. You touch on "living for now" as a motif, but it wasn't always that way. Something changed in Europe around 1500 that set it on its trajectory, and the geography stayed the same. You also gloss over this cultural uniqueness, and call it an accident of history which just seems lazy.

The advantage of the geography hypothesis is that geography is exogenous. Culture is not, so it becomes much harder and more fraught to attribute success to culture.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:21 PM
 
12,663 posts, read 3,960,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
I think you are missing the boat here by focusing on advancement and the like. Let me ask you a philosophical question, first. Who is superior.....a sprinter or marathon runner? A smart person would say that it depends on where the finish line is. Where is the finish line for humanity? Being "ahead" or more advanced at a point in time does not mean that at a later point on time or previous point in time you will not be behind. Regardless of the race of Egyptians....where were Europeans and how were they living when pyramids and technology and engineering was flourishing in Egypt? Why are not the Egyptians dominating today?


But you ignore or overlook the reason why a culture collapses. I think in most all cases it's because outsiders come in and cause it to collapse. In most cases it is a less advanced one so the culture is reduced, never to regain. In some cases a culture collapses because a more advance one entered, such as in the Americas.

Last edited by mtl1; 08-10-2019 at 09:32 PM..
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:26 PM
 
10,152 posts, read 6,950,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl1 View Post
But you ignore or overlook the reason why a culture collapses. I think in most all cases its because outsider come in and cause it to collapse. In most cases it is a less advanced one so the culture is reduced, never to regain. In some cases a cultural collapse because a more advance one entered, such as in the Americas.

I think they collapse over greed. Its like a snake that devours something twice its size....now it's immobile and eventually predators can come and eat it.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
I think they collapse over greed. Its like a snake that devours something twice its size....now it's immobile and eventually predators can come and eat it.
Greed on both the part of the host culture and the those from the outside culture that cause the host culture collapse is probably at play. But it was the outside culture that is the direct cause of the collapse. The US is a good example of that opening its borders in the mid 1960s.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl1 View Post
Greed on both the part of the host culture and the those from the outside culture that cause the host culture collapse is probably at play. But it was the outside culture that is the direct cause of the collapse. The US is a good example of that opening its borders in the mid 1960s.
I donít think you can rise as an empire without stepping on a lot of people and creating a lot of fear and enemies. Eventually many will seek your downfall.
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:48 PM
Status: "NEVER try to ride the angriest bull in the pen." (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,133 posts, read 2,156,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
I already addressed my criticism of Diamond's hypothesis. The scholarly take on Diamond is that he's pop-history and not to be taken seriously.

If geography was so important, why did Europe not become the dominant world civilization until at least the 16th century? Civilization began millennia before that.

If it was baked in the cake from the start, why did the baking take so long?

European society changed radically between the middle ages and the modern age. You touch on "living for now" as a motif, but it wasn't always that way. Something changed in Europe around 1500 that set it on its trajectory, and the geography stayed the same. You also gloss over this cultural uniqueness, and call it an accident of history which just seems lazy.

The advantage of the geography hypothesis is that geography is exogenous. Culture is not, so it becomes much harder and more fraught to attribute success to culture.
*Southern Europe (Rome, Greece) had been for almost a millenium rivaled China in its greatness during their heights. Greece especially also was stimulated by its maritime geography. That itself was well before 1500. In fact, the initial resurgence (The Renaissance) started in Italy, which certainly engaged in a lot of trade around the Mediterranean during that time - especially Venice and Genoa. Many scholars say the first push toward that boost came even earlier than that, the Crusades, which exposed Europeans to a wider culture and even Ancient Greek works preserved by the Arab civilizations. Both would be very difficult, if not impossible, without well-developed maritime-based economy.

*The Middle East/ North Africa/ Islamic world. 1000 years ago, Baghdad was one of the greatest centers of learning in the world - comparable to Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and the Boston area today. Their output made it to Mediterranean ports and al-Andalus (today's Spain), and from there made it to Italy and beyond.

*The Black Death. I see merit in this, namely by sharply reducing the work force in Europe, forcing "the bosses" to pay higher salaries to the surviving workers.

And..a VERY hot-button topic...

*Religion. More specifically a type of religion that taught the here-and-now mattered at least as much as an afterlife (or close to it). Now, for mere personal speculation, which you'll have to either take or leave: A highly either-or religion like the Abrahamic ones did much more to force the mind to discover what is true, an even what truth itself means in spite of what people perceive it to mean. Despite its disadvantage of encouraging closed-mindedness, it did have the benefit of forcing people to ask for proof of their claims. If such and such is true of "heavenly matters", then it's not much of a leap to demand the same rigor of proof for the material world. Ancient Greece and even the Islamic (especially Fertile Crescent, Persia, and Andalus) already was moving in that direction, and Europe picked up on it.

Unfortunately, something happened after 1200 or so, which caused the Arab-Persian world to close its mind to learning other things. Whether it was the Mongol sack of Baghdad or something else, I'm not prepared to say. But again, this religion part is just speculation, which you'll have to either take or leave, as I said.

None of the events I mentioned (save possibly the Black Plague - microbes and long-distance commerce, you know) were a foregone conclusion. That is what I meant by "accident of history".
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:51 PM
 
143 posts, read 95,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avondalist View Post
Whiteness uses skin color as a signifier, but white-skinned East Asians are not considered white. Whiteness is a term that describes European civilization that has spread to the Americas and Oceania. Since this civilization spans continents, it is confusing to refer to it as "European" at this point. And since it is no longer Christian, the term "Christendom" is also useless. Now people refer to "Western Civilization" to mean the same thing, both to deracinate the concept and to historically distinguish the West from the old Eastern Bloc. You brought up the term "whiteness", so I addressed it. But I personally prefer to use the term Western Civilization (expanded to include eastern Europe at this point).

In fact I explicitly defined "whiteness" in cultural rather than biological terms, so I don't know why you said identity is cultural not biological.

Your tautological dismissal of Islamic civilization sheds no more light on the subject, doesn't address my point, and betrays a certain orientalism.
I'm bewildered . When you say it it's the truth but when I agree with it , as " tautological " as it might seem to you , it's orientalism ??
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:12 PM
 
143 posts, read 95,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl1 View Post
I don't agree white, European or "whiteness" is cultural and not genetic. Their genetic pool influences their psychometric traits which strongly influences the cultures they create. It's not really confusing that white Americans are Europeans. Even after centuries in America they can match their DNA most closely to natives in specific regions of Europe. I don't agree that the West, among whites, is no longer Christian especially America. It's still the most dominate religion and majority of whites still ascribe to it and at least derive many of their values from it.

I don't mean to create an argument. I just don't think the starting premises are right.
This is essentially an argument over the question " Is what we call Race in America real ? "

My answer is a resounding and categorical no.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:37 PM
 
12,663 posts, read 3,960,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dude5568 View Post
This is essentially an argument over the question " Is what we call Race in America real ? "

My answer is a resounding and categorical no.
I don't know why you say that. White Americans are still overwhelmingly European with very little admixture of other races present. Now white European is not considered the entire race that Caucasian is. But my point is in America as in Europe the majority population is of the same genetic group, and that influences the culture they create.
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