Found in 12 comments on Hacker News
w-ll · 2018-06-17 · Original thread
There's a book by that title. I havn't gotten a chance to read it yet, but was told its very good.

myth_buster · 2018-01-12 · Original thread
If this fascinates you as it does for me, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies [0] is an equally fascinating read, although there are arguments against the hypothesis.


tzs · 2017-07-26 · Original thread
I typically have several books in progress. I'll read a chapter from whichever one I'm in the mood for when I have some time for reading. Currently in progress:

"A Book of Abstract Algebra: Second Edition" by Charles C. Pinter [1].

"How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking" by Jordan Ellenberg [2].

"Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond [3].

"Introduction to Analytic Number Theory" by Tom M. Apostol [4].

"Algorithmic Puzzles" by Levitin and Levitin [7].

I've also got a 46 books in my Safari Library queue, although only about half a dozen are actually in the in progress state.

In addition to the above, I'm about 3 years behind on Analog, the science fiction magazine. Those are all on my Kindle and I'm slowly trying to catch up.

Recently finished:

"Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" by Joshua Foer [5].

Probably going to pick up soon:

"The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far" by Lawrence M. Krauss [6]. Flipped through it at a bookstore and there were some very interesting things in it.








matt4077 · 2017-01-15 · Original thread
The most ambitious book in that regard must be Guns, Germs, and Steel ( by Jared Diamond. It aims to answer the question: "Why did Europeans end up killing/conquering/... American Indians, and not the other way around?

You'll find lots of people saying Diamond has been "debunked" but by that they mean "here's some criticism someone posted online". It's a remarkable work of analysis tracing the causes of human progress over thousands of years.

hmmdar · 2014-10-13 · Original thread Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared M. Diamond does a great job of explaining this in detail, and not just in the North Americas, but examples throughout the world.

It boils down to a few basic ideas

1: Native american's had no real concept of quarantine. If someone was sick, the extended family would take care of them. In turn the extend family would become infected, and infect the rest of the village/tribe as they travelled.

2: Europeans lived in cities with much greater population densities. Their immune systems were much more accustomed to dealing with a large variety of infectious agents. Whereas the native americans live is small homogenous villages. With very little exposure to outside influences, other than other tribes/villages.

tzs · 2014-09-02 · Original thread
I have several in-progress.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling [5] (Kindle edition)

2012-06 issue of "Analog Science Fiction and Fact". I'm so far behind the current issue because I switched to an electronic subscription when a few years ago. At the time, it was only available from Barnes & Noble. The Nook app on iPad was pretty terrible, and I don't like reading on iPad in bed, so I fell behind. When it became available for Kindle [6], I switched my subscription to that, and converted my Nook issues with Calibre, and am now working my way through the backlog at a casual pace.

"Logical Chess Move by Move" by Irving Chernev [1].

"Build Up Your Chess 1: The Fundamentals" by Artur Yusupov [2].

"Understanding Copyright Law" by Marshall A. Leaffer [3] (Kindle edition).

"Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond [4] (Kindle edition, via Kindle Owner's Lending Library)

I've also been re-reading "Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories" by Arthur Conan Doyle [7] (Kindle). Generally what has been happening is that a PBS station here has been showing the 1984 British "Sherlock Holmes" TV series with Jeremy Brett as Holmes [8]. I'll watch that, and then often will re-read the corresponding Doyle story.









jballanc · 2013-11-15 · Original thread
I honestly don't think anyone is trivializing anyone's commitment. Rather, I think what Ashe and James are pointing out is that the opportunity to contribute to OSS is not distributed equally between the sexes and races. Who's to say that more minorities wouldn't contribute to OSS if they had the time, access, and resources?

Or, to take it to an extreme, why is Silicon Valley in California and not Botswana? Do you believe that the people of Botswana are inherently less intelligent? less motivated? less capable?

Or is it their environment which is working against them? Jared Diamond has probably one of the most interesting takes on how these sorts of inequities can arise on a regional level (Germs, Guns, and Steel:, but is it such a stretch to imagine that the same sorts of inequities don't exist at smaller scales as well?

richardw · 2011-07-24 · Original thread
I love, love love the book Guns, Germs and Steel. It's not perfect but the author throws in so many great ideas as to why certain groups did better than others. None because any group is inherently superior.

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