History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedJared Diamond North-South axis thesis

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>
Author
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 15:14
Tell me the chapter and the page where he said that and we will argue. I am not going to re-read his book as a Protestant looking to the Bible, just to find a quote. After all, if you are right, the only thing you prove is that Diamond contradicts its own hypothesis.
 
With respect to his thesis, see this video made about the Book.
 
 
Here is where the stupid idea that writing didn't spread south from the Mayans was because.... the shape of the continents LOLLOL... That's idiotic. Maya writing didn't spread to the Toltecs or Aztecs either! Neighbours of Mayans Confused.
 
Not even that, Diamond at the library of the University of Salamanca said books gave an advantage to Spanish conquistadors because they were a repository of military tricks... It may be so, but he forgot Pizarro was an analphabet LOLLOL
 
Come on, what was Diamond smoking when writing that Dead
 
There in the Video, Diamond said Incas defeat was because the shape of continents! That's where he is wrong!
 
Here, above, in the video, he explain his thesis. Now, show me the place in the book where he said otherwise to prove Diamond is inconsistent.
 
And, please, stop calling me ignorant and silly. It may the public believe you are arrogant, and I am sure you certainly aren't.


Edited by pinguin - 30-May-2009 at 15:24
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
Akolouthos View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Feb-2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2096
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2009 at 15:54
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Diamond's thesis is not that it is impossible for plants and animals to spread from north to south or vice versa.

It is simply that they spread more easily to similar climates. I'll go on believing that until someone shows me roses blooming wild in the open Sahara.


Would you accept an image that has been heavily photoshopped?

-Akolouthos
 
Only if it includes the smell.


I may need to hire a technical support staff, then; I've never been all that great with a computer, and even photoshop was going to stretch me to the limit. Hm... I could always print out a picture and drench it in rosewater, but I'm not sure how long the scent would last in the mail. Is your post over there any more efficient than ours? If it's not, it's all too likely that the letter will have rotted away, fresh flowery scent and all, by the time it reaches you. LOL

-Akolouthos
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 09:58
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Tell me the chapter and the page where he said that and we will argue.
The cheek of it! I gave you page and chapter and in one case table number.
 
Here's a direct quote from page 177:
Quote The main such spreads of food production were from South-West Asia to Europe, Egypt and North Africa, Ethiopia, Central Asia and the Indus Valley; from the Sahel and West Africa to East and South Africa; from China to tropical Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea and Japan; and from Mesoamerica to North America. Moreover food production even in the areas of origin became enriched by the addition of crops, livestock and techniques from other areas of origin.
On the very next page he also points out that peanuts, sweet potatos and manioc spread to Mexico from Peru (though llamas and guniea pigs didn't).
 
In other words, agriculture - plants, livestock, techniques - diffuse in pretty well any direction. There are examples in that list of both N to S, S to N, E to W and W to E.
 
There's no way that anyone who has read the book could claim Diamond says north-south diffusion is impossible, or even unlikely.  What he says is that East-West diffusion is considerably quicker than north south, and he gives dates and distances to prove the case. (Which is a pretty obvious one, come to that.) The fastest he notes is the spread from the Philippines to Polynesia at over 3.2 miles per year, SW Asia to to Europe and to the Indus clocking in at about 0.7 miles per year, while Mexico to eastern N America managed less than 0.3 miles per year and the llama spread from Peru to Ecuador at less than 0.2 miles per year.
 
Quote  
I am not going to re-read his book as a Protestant looking to the Bible, just to find a quote. After all, if you are right, the only thing you prove is that Diamond contradicts its own hypothesis.
So far you haven't shown the slightest awareness of what his hypothesis is, so how would you know?
Quote  
With respect to his thesis, see this video made about the Book.
 
Not one single word in that entire tape indicates that Diamond says NS agricultural diffusion is impossible. Not one.
 
Or any other kind of diffusion, come to that.
 
Did you bother to look at it?
Quote  
Here is where the stupid idea that writing didn't spread south from the Mayans was because.... the shape of the continents LOLLOL... That's idiotic. Maya writing didn't spread to the Toltecs or Aztecs either! Neighbours of Mayans Confused.
Diamond doesn't claim that the ONLY reason culture doesn't spread from one place to another is that one is north of the other. His point here is that it is difficult for societies as geographically isolated from one another as Peru and Mexico to exchange anything, and that is often the reason such factors don't spread. Writing spread northwards in Europe. But going north in Europe you don't have to go through the tropics and you don't have to pass through a tiny connecting strip.
Quote  
Not even that, Diamond at the library of the University of Salamanca said books gave an advantage to Spanish conquistadors because they were a repository of military tricks... It may be so, but he forgot Pizarro was an analphabet LOLLOL
 
Come on, what was Diamond smoking when writing that Dead
Now you're really being daft. You think that the great mass of Europeans in the middle ages didn't know what was in the Bible? They were mostly illiterate - right to the social top tier. They stioll knew what was 'in the books'.
 
Of course their communal skills and recorded experience was a help to the conquistadores (and to Europeans dealing with less sophisticated peoples elsewhere). You don't have to read to know what is 'in the books' any more than you have to be able to write to produce one.  (Or ghost writers wouldn't make so much money.)
 
To try and claim that the Spanish army of the time wasn't superior in arms, equipment, tactics and traditional knowledge to anything that could have been put into the field in Mexico or Peru, just because Pizarro couldn't read, is truly ridiculous. It was arguably I guess even better than most European armies of the time.
Quote  
There in the Video, Diamond said Incas defeat was because the shape of continents! That's where he is wrong!
It's also not what he said.
Quote  
Here, above, in the video, he explain his thesis. Now, show me the place in the book where he said otherwise to prove Diamond is inconsistent.
He explains a thesis, true. What he does NOT do is state what you claim is his thesis. You're the inconsistent one here, not Diamond.
 
Your claim is that Diamond says north-south agricultural diffusion is impossible. I've given you several quotes with references proving that that is simply and utterly wrong - Diamond takes înto account NS diffusion in many parts of the world, and also of failure in some places for diffusion to occur on the EW axis.
Quote  
And, please, stop calling me ignorant and silly. It may the public believe you are arrogant, and I am sure you certainly aren't.
I'll stop when you stop trying desperately to cover up by trying to change the subject, and bringing in irrelevant materials and overdramatised TV sequences and attempts at smart-alec comments (Pizarro being illiterate) and simply recognise you were wrong from the very start.
 
Read the book.


Edited by gcle2003 - 31-May-2009 at 10:04
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 14:45
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Quote  
Here is where the stupid idea that writing didn't spread south from the Mayans was because.... the shape of the continents LOL... That's idiotic. Maya writing didn't spread to the Toltecs or Aztecs either! Neighbours of Mayans Confused.
Diamond doesn't claim that the ONLY reason culture doesn't spread from one place to another is that one is north of the other. His point here is that it is difficult for societies as geographically isolated from one another as Peru and Mexico to exchange anything, and that is often the reason such factors don't spread. Writing spread northwards in Europe. But going north in Europe you don't have to go through the tropics and you don't have to pass through a tiny connecting strip.
 
He says in the video very clearly that the disadvantage of Incas was rooted in the shape of the continents! He try to explain that writing didn't reach Incas because of that, and that was the reason they were so idiots Confused...The north-south thesis and the problems to spread of the SOME plants and SOME cattle makes a bit of sense, however plants and animals have the potential to addapt with time. The limits to the spread of ideas, doesn't make any sense.
 
....
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Quote
There in the Video, Diamond said Incas defeat was because the shape of continents! That's where he is wrong!
It's also not what he said.
Quote  
Here, above, in the video, he explain his thesis. Now, show me the place in the book where he said otherwise to prove Diamond is inconsistent.
He explains a thesis, true. What he does NOT do is state what you claim is his thesis. You're the inconsistent one here, not Diamond.
 
Your claim is that Diamond says north-south agricultural diffusion is impossible. I've given you several quotes with references proving that that is simply and utterly wrong - Diamond takes înto account NS diffusion in many parts of the world, and also of failure in some places for diffusion to occur on the EW axis.
[QUOTE] 
 
Do we live in the same planet?
 
Who cares about plants? In that point I care about writing and culture.
 
Anyone that knows the history of Americas (a north-south land) is informed that cultural influences spread beyond the limits of plants, from central North America all the way to central Patagonia. Diamond is simply trying to explain some phenomena that surpase his comprehension.
 
What I found incorrect is the claim that WRITING didn't spread north-south BECAUSE of the shape of continents.
 
With respect to writing and the pigs-caretaker, Pizarro, Diamond also forgets to mention Incas knew all theirs military experience conquering peoples from three century before Spaniards came.
 
For me, the guy just exagerate a bit and jumps to conclusions. I appreaciate his task in theorizing was very difficult and his thesis make sense. However, his extrapolations are dangerous and have to be checked one by one.
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 07-May-2009
Location: denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 17:17

Of course the "north south axis" is not the only difference between the americas and "Eurasia" (or "Eurasia" plus Africa) htere is other geographical differences ass well. Had this "axis" anything to do with the spread of writing or not? If not then is there other explanations?

Finally I find it hard to see that such environmental-geographical explanations as such says anything at all about peoples form one place being inherently more or less "stupid" or "moral" or anything else. On the contrary, if geography is seen as such an important factor it is at least a possibillity to see humans essentially "equal" but responding differently to different "challenges".

Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 18:04
Of course there are other explanations to the spread of writing, or lack of it.
In Eurasia, writing spread by the networks of commerce. Starting from the Mesopotamia it spread to all the Fertile crescent, and then traders like Phoenicians spread it further through the Mediterranean and beyond. The same happened through Iran, India and further into Asia.
 
Why it happened there and not in the Americas? Perhaps because writing was used by Mayans to record political and religious events, not trade. As far as I know there is not much use for writing, except for these kind of items. Yes, I know a pot with chocolate was found that said "ka-ka-wa" on it (chocolate), but I doubt every single pot in Mesoamerica for drinking chocolate had those writings. In short, writing wasn't used in daily life and not in commercial transactions! That's the main difference. Otherwise the idea of writing could have spread from Mesoamerica to the Caribbean and northern South America, and from there certainly would have reached the Incas.
 
With respect to the actions of Atahualpa, historians shouldn't forget he wasn't the legitimate Inca, and that he probably improvised quite a bit. It wasn't the Incas who acted stupid with Spaniards but simply Atahualpa.
 
 
 
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 19:19
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Quote  
Here is where the stupid idea that writing didn't spread south from the Mayans was because.... the shape of the continents LOL... That's idiotic. Maya writing didn't spread to the Toltecs or Aztecs either! Neighbours of Mayans Confused.
Diamond doesn't claim that the ONLY reason culture doesn't spread from one place to another is that one is north of the other. His point here is that it is difficult for societies as geographically isolated from one another as Peru and Mexico to exchange anything, and that is often the reason such factors don't spread. Writing spread northwards in Europe. But going north in Europe you don't have to go through the tropics and you don't have to pass through a tiny connecting strip.
 
He says in the video very clearly that the disadvantage of Incas was rooted in the shape of the continents!
No he doesn't. The Incas had many disadvantages. Granted he thinks the slowness of development of civilisation in the New World (which is evident) was due partly to the shape of the continent, but he points out it was due to other - virtually random - factors as well. What he is mainly concerned to do throughout his work is to DISPROVE that the reason for the tardy development lay somewhere in the qualities of the people themselves. THAT's what he primarily argues against.
Quote
He try to explain that writing didn't reach Incas because of that, and that was the reason they were so idiots Confused
As I just pointed out, the whole of Diamond's arguments throughout is that they were NOT idiots, and that indeed late or slow development among other peoples is NOT due to some physical or mental inferiority.
 
Read the book. Gaping at some dramatised excerpt - and confusing what the commentator says with what Diamond says - is no substitute.
 
Quote ...The north-south thesis and the problems to spread of the SOME plants and SOME cattle makes a bit of sense, however plants and animals have the potential to addapt with time. The limits to the spread of ideas, doesn't make any sense.
I'm glad you're beginning to give up your arguments.
However, it does apply to the spread of ideas since it applies to the spread of people who carry the ideas. Again, there is plenty of evidence around for the thesis - in fact the spread of agriculture itself also implies the spread of agricultural ideas and techniques.
Quote  
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Quote
There in the Video, Diamond said Incas defeat was because the shape of continents! That's where he is wrong!
It's also not what he said.
Quote  
Here, above, in the video, he explain his thesis. Now, show me the place in the book where he said otherwise to prove Diamond is inconsistent.
He explains a thesis, true. What he does NOT do is state what you claim is his thesis. You're the inconsistent one here, not Diamond.
 
Your claim is that Diamond says north-south agricultural diffusion is impossible. I've given you several quotes with references proving that that is simply and utterly wrong - Diamond takes înto account NS diffusion in many parts of the world, and also of failure in some places for diffusion to occur on the EW axis.
 
Quote
Do we live in the same planet?
Apparently not. You seem to have made yours up.
Quote
Who cares about plants? In that point I care about writing and culture.
If you don't care about plants why the **** are aou arguing about them? If you want to admit you were simply wrong about plants, then we can go on to animals, unless you've suddenty lost interest in them too - as an excuse for admitting you were wrong. After that we could go on to other things.
Quote  
Anyone that knows the history of Americas (a north-south land) is informed that cultural influences spread beyond the limits of plants, from central North America all the way to central Patagonia. Diamond is simply trying to explain some phenomena that surpase his comprehension.
 
What I found incorrect is the claim that WRITING didn't spread north-south BECAUSE of the shape of continents.
You are still - and I imagine deliberately - misstating Diamond's position, which is that cultural factors also move MORE SLOWLY in north-south directions than in east-west directions. That writing did not move AT ALL from the Mayans to the Incas is an observed fact, not a thesis. In contrast it spread relatively quickly from the fertile crescent through Europe westwards and eastwards further into Asia. In fact the pattern and speed of diffusion of writing from its points of origin are pretty well the same as those of the diffusion of food production systems - unsurprisingly enough.
 
(I know you already pointed out that writing didn't spread from the Maya to other tribes in Mesoamerica. That's irrelevant to the point since nothing guarantees it will always move in some direction, certainly not in a limited time. Writing developed in MesoAmerica around 400 BC, which means it had a millenium to spread before the Conquest. A thousand years after cuneiform was invented writing hadn't got very far from Mesopotamia either. But it was to spread faster east-west than north-south.)
 
 
Quote
With respect to writing and the pigs-caretaker, Pizarro, Diamond also forgets to mention Incas knew all theirs military experience conquering peoples from three century before Spaniards came.
Exactly the point. Only three centuries. The Spaniards had more like two millennia of European experience behind them, with as a result far more developed weapons and cavalry. Moreover they were used to fighting much more sophisticated armies than the Incas were.
Quote  
For me, the guy just exagerate a bit and jumps to conclusions.
Hah!
Quote
 I appreaciate his task in theorizing was very difficult and his thesis make sense. However, his extrapolations are dangerous and have to be checked one by one.
 
What you are complaining about are not extrapolations but observations. The late development of the New World and the slowness of cultural transmission there are facts, not theories.


Edited by gcle2003 - 31-May-2009 at 19:36
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 19:42
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 Exactly the point. Only three centuries. The Spaniards had more like two millennia of European experience behind them. Moreover they were used to fighting much more sophisticated armies than the Incas were.
 
 
Jesus! I can hardly read your comments. Well, the Inca and Aztec empires were the FIRST (And I remark "first") multinational states that spread through a sizable territory in the Americas, ever.
 
There is no doubt the Incas were the most advanced civilization in the Americas, in matters of organization and engineering skills. However, even in theirs case, they were just at the starting point of developing advanced civilizations. If you compare with Eurasia, and check the degree of technical developments, the Incas were about the same level the first Mesopotamian empires once were. So, we can easily consider the Incas at a level achieved 1500 years BC in Eurasia! In other terms, they were 3000 years behind the Spaniards in science and technology!
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What you are complaining about are not extrapolations but observations. The late development of the New World and the slowness of cultural transmission there are facts, not theories.
 
 
The New World wasn't developing slowly. In Eurasia agriculture started circa 10.000 years BC and the first large empires started to appear 6.000 years later, circa 4.000 BC.  No matter than signs of towns and "civilized" culture exist from a lot earlier (perhaps 7.000 BC at least)
 
In the Americas the process started later. The first signs of civilizations are from 3.000 BC (opossite to 7.000) and the first large empieres are only from 1200 AD!
 
So the conclusion is clear. The difference is that Incas and Aztecs belonged to an early stage of development in science and engineering. They were in different time frames. That's why Iberians had an advantage; not because any other factor, or continental shapes.
 
That's what I believe, anyways.
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 07-May-2009
Location: denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 19:58
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Of course there are other explanations to the spread of writing, or lack of it.
In Eurasia, writing spread by the networks of commerce. Starting from the Mesopotamia it spread to all the Fertile crescent, and then traders like Phoenicians spread it further through the Mediterranean and beyond. The same happened through Iran, India and further into Asia.
 
Why it happened there and not in the Americas? Perhaps because writing was used by Mayans to record political and religious events, not trade. As far as I know there is not much use for writing, except for these kind of items.  
 
 
 
 
Then the next question of course may be why there was such a difference in trade. And, of course I would guess the answer could depend very heavily on the differences in geography - and in domesticated animals as J.Diamond states!
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 21:08
Trade existed accross the Americas but the scale was very small, particularly when compared to Eurasia. As I said before, the Americas was passing for the stage of the apparience of the first large states ever. If they had the change to met, and theirs development wouldn't be interrupted by the intruders, then we could expect a faster development to happens.
Diamond has some good ideas. However, he is too much a reductionist, that simplify too much the actual historical events, to the point he transform civilizations into cartoons!
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
lirelou View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai


Joined: 26-Mar-2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Status: Offline
Points: 137
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 21:42
Penguin, In re:  "In the Americas the process started later. The first signs of civilizations are from 3.000 BC (opossite to 7.000) and the first large empieres are only from 1200 AD!"

Leonardo Lopez Lujan of the INAH classifies the Toltecs as an Empire. Likewise, there is evidence of a multi-ethnic neighborhoods in Teotihuacan, which lead one to wonder if Teotihuacan likewise was an empire, or merely an alliance similar to the "triple alliance" of Azcapotzalco, Tetzcoco, and Culhuacan. ("Atlas Historico de Mesoamerica", by Linda Manzanilla and Leonardo Lopez Lujan, Referencias Larousse, Mexico DF, 1993, pp. 129-134.)

The problem with what we "know" about the history of the Americas prior to 1492 is that the next archeological discovery could turn the latest "history" on its head. Remember Cacaxtla. Until its Mayan murals were discovered (by looters, who contacted the INHA), everyone was totaly convinced that the Mayans had never set foot on the Altiplano. Now I read that it's a Mayan, Mixtec, and Olmeca site. What we really know about Mesoamerican and Peruvian history is that we really don't know very much. We have theories, based upon evidence, which can be overturned with the next shovelful of of some archeological site's dirt.
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 21:53
That´s very true. But still we can say, for what we know SO FAR, that the development of the Americas was "out of phase" with respect to Eurasia. Civilizations started later in the Americas and show the first signs of complex multinational cultures later as well. That's what I meant.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 07-May-2009
Location: denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 22:02
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Trade existed accross the Americas but the scale was very small, particularly when compared to Eurasia. As I said before, the Americas was passing for the stage of the apparience of the first large states ever. If they had the change to met, and theirs development wouldn't be interrupted by the intruders, then we could expect a faster development to happens.
Diamond has some good ideas. However, he is too much a reductionist, that simplify too much the actual historical events, to the point he transform civilizations into cartoons!
The difference between us may be that when You say the theories are "too reductionist", and therefore, as I see it, reject them (tell me if I misunderstand You), I prefer to say: the "aacusation" of being a reductionist and simplifying issues may very well have some truth. However I prefer then to see if it is possible to modify, to add, as long as I have the impression (as is the case) his approach makes important insights more likely. I think if we never ever simplify some topics we end up in "Never ending stories" - even about minor details.
And I cannot help comment Your statement about the "small scale of trade" in the americas compared to Eurasia. Such a statement does not solve anything, but on the contrary are somewhat enigmatic. If there is any solution at all to the mystery it seems obvious to seek for some  environmental answers.
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 22:42
I accept most of the theories of Diamond, and I agree that the stock of animals and plants gave certain advantages or disadvantages to people. No doubt about it.
I was just pointing out that the inferences done with those ideas should be made with care. And that in the particular case of the spread of writing in the Americas, simply doesn't make any sense at all.
There is no mystery in my arguments above. Perhaps you misundertood them. I simply said the Americas started LATE. It started several thousand years after Eurasia. At the time of contact, the Americas were in a stage of devepment that Eurasia had reached at least 3.000 years before the New World. That's all the mystery.
There is no need to ask for further explanations in genetics, society or the shape of continents to explain that. Someone has to be the first, and Eurasia got that lead long time the civilizations appeared in the Americas; that's all.
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 31-May-2009 at 22:47
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 07-May-2009
Location: denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2009 at 23:35
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

I simply said the Americas started LATE. It started several thousand years after Eurasia. At the time of contact, the Americas were in a stage of devepment that Eurasia had reached at least 3.000 years before the New World. That's all the mystery.
There is no need to ask for further explanations in genetics, society or the shape of continents to explain that. Someone has to be the first, and Eurasia got that lead long time the civilizations appeared in the Americas; that's all.
 
 
 
 
Am I right that in Your opinion the Americas came later "by accident"(someone had to be the first)?
Or alternatively that "started later" mean it was populated later" (then You have all evidence to support Your claim). In the first case i recognise the "indeterministic view" on history, but can´t help ask for something more than "pure accident" in this case.
Alternatively we can ask if the apparent fact that humans came late to the americas meant they "had to start from scratch". The later is not necessarily true, since the ancestors who came from Siberia must have had some culture and technologies of their own when they arrived. They could have been as good hunterers and have as good knowledge as any other parts of humanity at that time(perhaps 14000 years ago), so it is a big question wether they realy "started later" at all. At least we need to clarify in what sense.
Back to Top
pinguin View Drop Down
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Avatar

Joined: 29-Sep-2006
Location: Chile
Status: Offline
Points: 7508
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 02:50

They started later, indeed. When I am thinking about the origin of civilizations in the Americas, I am focusing in Peru. Why? Because the oldest come precisely from that time.

What it is known is that men arrived to the coastal regions of Peru and northern Chile about 12.000 years ago. They came probably walking along the coast. The lifestyle of people of the time was hunter-gathering but also fishermen. They didn't have boats at the time and fished along the coast, mainly clamps and other seafoods but also caugh fight, probably with nets. They have a very basic lifestyle, and already they were behind contemporary developments in the Middle East.

The first signs of an advanced culture (not a civilization) comes from circa 7.000 years ago, perhaps about the times of Jerico. At that time we find the Chinchorro culture of northern Chile, at the frontier with Peru. They had some interesting cultural elements, like cotton clothes and made mummies. The culture was still very basic and there is no sign of buildings as yet.

We have to wait about 3.000 B.C. for the first city to appear. More than a city it was a town with a monument. That's Caral. You will have to wait for thousand of years more for cultures like Chavin and Moche to appear. From Peru culture probably spread to Mexico, where you find the first signs around 1.500 BC. Then you find the Mayas around 300 B.C. up to 900 A.D.

However, the first large Empires, at the style of a Summer or Babilon, or an Egypt in Eurasia, were the Aztec and the Incas.

So, if you make the times corrections you will realize that the times frames of the Americas and Eurasia were out of phase.

There is nothing wrong with the Americas. It simply started later.

Please take a look to early cultures, like the Chinchorro, and you'll figure it out what I mean.

 http://archaeology.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=archaeology&cdn=education&tm=55&gps=152_29_1259_654&f=00&tt=8&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.archaeology.org/online/features/chinchorro/

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Edited by pinguin - 01-Jun-2009 at 02:54
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

Inca Pachacutec (1438-1471)
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 07-May-2009
Location: denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 111
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 07:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

So, if you make the times corrections you will realize that the times frames of the Americas and Eurasia were out of phase.

There is nothing wrong with the Americas. It simply started later.

Please take a look to early cultures, like the Chinchorro, and you'll figure it out what I mean.

 http://archaeology.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ&sdn=archaeology&cdn=education&tm=55&gps=152_29_1259_654&f=00&tt=8&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.archaeology.org/online/features/chinchorro/

  
Who speaks of anything "wrong" with the americas? It is about different cirkumstances and conditions for human life.
That said, You have a point (at last) about the latecomming of early inhabitants, but I have an idea  it is far from the whole story, and here is some objections. Frist: there is no  reason there was anything "wrong" with the first humans arriving to that part of the world either. Not even for those coming later! If there was any difference at all between those who went over from Siberia (as there is every reason to believe) and those who stayed, it may be that the former perhaps took initiative, though this is of course speculation. They should be expected to be fully as "fit", experience culturally, or "advanced" as their relatives. Of course any time when people moves they can bring with them their experiences, knowledge  and skills, if not anything else.
Secondly:when looking back all those millenia one may ask how much of the experiences and skills from that age has survived to this day, or contributed to later civilisations. How much have present days europeans for insatce really got from the painters of the caves in France and Spain or from the inhabitants of "middle East those perhaps 15000 years ago?
Thirdly: Much of Northern Europe and Asia were in fact "colonised" as late as most of the Americas - the reason being of course the retreat of ice age glaciers. A fourth reason to question this simplified "latecommer thesis" is that other parts of the world, namely Australia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Americas had a rather different story from "Eurasia" (perhaps excluding some parts but including parts of Northafrica). Africa may be the first populated continent and Australia has been for tens of millenia as far as I know.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 09:56
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

 Exactly the point. Only three centuries. The Spaniards had more like two millennia of European experience behind them. Moreover they were used to fighting much more sophisticated armies than the Incas were.
 
 
Jesus! I can hardly read your comments. Well, the Inca and Aztec empires were the FIRST (And I remark "first") multinational states that spread through a sizable territory in the Americas, ever.
 
There is no doubt the Incas were the most advanced civilization in the Americas, in matters of organization and engineering skills. However, even in theirs case, they were just at the starting point of developing advanced civilizations. If you compare with Eurasia, and check the degree of technical developments, the Incas were about the same level the first Mesopotamian empires once were. So, we can easily consider the Incas at a level achieved 1500 years BC in Eurasia! In other terms, they were 3000 years behind the Spaniards in science and technology!
Precisely. That was Diamond's point about 'the books'. And it didn't matter whether Pizarro was literate ot not: he still knew what was 'in the books'.
Quote
 
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

What you are complaining about are not extrapolations but observations. The late development of the New World and the slowness of cultural transmission there are facts, not theories.
 
 
The New World wasn't developing slowly. In Eurasia agriculture started circa 10.000 years BC and the first large empires started to appear 6.000 years later, circa 4.000 BC.  No matter than signs of towns and "civilized" culture exist from a lot earlier (perhaps 7.000 BC at least)
 
In the Americas the process started later. The first signs of civilizations are from 3.000 BC (opossite to 7.000) and the first large empieres are only from 1200 AD!
There's more to development than the emergence of empires.
Quote  
So the conclusion is clear. The difference is that Incas and Aztecs belonged to an early stage of development in science and engineering. They were in different time frames. That's why Iberians had an advantage; not because any other factor, or continental shapes.
The Americas were slow and late in developing. That's why they were so far behind the Spanish. The question is why were the Americas so slow and late in developing, THAT is what Diamond partly attributes to the shape and orientation of the continent. He REJECTS the idea that it was because there was something wrong with the peoples that made them slow.
 
Why do you think the Americas were so far behind?
Quote
 
That's what I believe, anyways.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 01-Jun-2009 at 10:00
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 10:03
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Of course there are other explanations to the spread of writing, or lack of it.
In Eurasia, writing spread by the networks of commerce. Starting from the Mesopotamia it spread to all the Fertile crescent, and then traders like Phoenicians spread it further through the Mediterranean and beyond. The same happened through Iran, India and further into Asia.
Which is primarily on the EW axis.
Quote  
Why it happened there and not in the Americas? Perhaps because writing was used by Mayans to record political and religious events, not trade. As far as I know there is not much use for writing, except for these kind of items. Yes, I know a pot with chocolate was found that said "ka-ka-wa" on it (chocolate), but I doubt every single pot in Mesoamerica for drinking chocolate had those writings. In short, writing wasn't used in daily life and not in commercial transactions! That's the main difference. Otherwise the idea of writing could have spread from Mesoamerica to the Caribbean and northern South America, and from there certainly would have reached the Incas.
 
With respect to the actions of Atahualpa, historians shouldn't forget he wasn't the legitimate Inca, and that he probably improvised quite a bit. It wasn't the Incas who acted stupid with Spaniards but simply Atahualpa.
What's that got to do with anything. No-one here is suggesting the Incas were stupid. As Fantasus points out, Diamond's approach takes as its basis that human beings everywhere are more or less equal.
 
If you deny the importance of geography you start implying that may be they aren't inherently equal. 
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 10:11
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

I accept most of the theories of Diamond,
A new convert is always welcome.
Quote
There is no need to ask for further explanations in genetics, society or the shape of continents to explain that. Someone has to be the first, and Eurasia got that lead long time the civilizations appeared in the Americas; that's all.
Diamonds asks why and offers suggestions (not just the orientation of the continents) for reasons.
 
So why do you think civilisation was so late appearing in the Americas, compared to the Fertile Crescent or China?
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 6>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.