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    fifer's Avatar
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    Jared Diamond, the World Until Yesterday

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    Just started reading Diamond's new book, anyone else got a copy?

    There is some CW in there I think on money, (have not yet got to the diet section), but there is tons of very thought provoking stuff in there!

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    He's a medical doctor, isn't he? He's someone I've tended not to bother with ever since I read a short essay of his that tends to be bandied around the internet quite a bit but that is chock-full of dubious judgments and, what is worse, factual errors. I guess he was trying to dabble in anthropology and history and was well out of his area. Maybe I've missed some books worth looking at -- but then one can't read everything.

    I know a lot of people do enjoy his stuff, though, and he does seem to be aware of the adverse impact of cereal-based diets, which is more than you can say for most doctors. If he's making diet recommendations in this book, I daresay they'll not be too far out from what people are saying in this community. And more power to his elbow if he does give good dietary advice in the book.

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    Got the book on kindle a couple months ago, but still haven't gotten around to reading it. Sometimes I go through busts of buying several books at a time and a couple get put on the back burner. Might get around to it in a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    He's a medical doctor, isn't he? He's someone I've tended not to bother with ever since I read a short essay of his that tends to be bandied around the internet quite a bit but that is chock-full of dubious judgments and, what is worse, factual errors. I guess he was trying to dabble in anthropology and history and was well out of his area. Maybe I've missed some books worth looking at -- but then one can't read everything.

    I know a lot of people do enjoy his stuff, though, and he does seem to be aware of the adverse impact of cereal-based diets, which is more than you can say for most doctors. If he's making diet recommendations in this book, I daresay they'll not be too far out from what people are saying in this community. And more power to his elbow if he does give good dietary advice in the book.
    Not sure you're thinking of the right guy; Diamond is a geologist, biophysicist, physiologist, and ornithologist among other things, but he isn't a medical doctor. He attended medical school but I believe he received a Ph.D rather than an M.D., I could be wrong. History and anthropology are certainly not out of his expertise. I've read two of his books, there are no dietary recommendations.
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    Well it covers all aspects of life and has some very thought provoking comments in. I have just finished the section on danger perception which is fascinating and well argued... until he casually mentions bicycle helmet use as a thing that we should do more if we were to be logical and scientific about risks...

    Yes I worry about the factual errors and dubious judgement but there seems to be enough good stuff to make it worth persevering with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis View Post
    He's a medical doctor, isn't he?
    Not that I know of. He's the guy who wrote Guns, Germs, and Steel. A very interesting read, if you ever get the chance. The 3-episode show that was done based on it is also quite interesting, if you want the short version. It's on Netflix.
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    The last section on health and diet is pretty poor. That section is mostly opinionated ranting about western lifestyles with CW recommendations. But the rest of the book is excellent, really good insights into how people live. Child raising, risk perception, violence and conflict resolution, conversation, all kinds of fascinating things to think about.

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    There's something creepy about Diamond. I saw the PBS version of Guns, Germs and Steel. I don't necessarily disagree with his theories. But they also struck me as a little too neat. And when he's challenged on them he retorts that uneven development can't be explained by race -- like the only alternative to his theory is racism. Ah, no.

    Also, I met him once. I work for an environmental nonproft. Once we got a cash prize from Chevron. We were kind of chagrined about getting money from the devil, but we decided to take it and go to their reception. Diamond was the keynote and he was basically singing the praises of Chevron's operations in Borneo.

    Like I say, something a little creepy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    There's something creepy about Diamond. I saw the PBS version of Guns, Germs and Steel. I don't necessarily disagree with his theories. But they also struck me as a little too neat. And when he's challenged on them he retorts that uneven development can't be explained by race -- like the only alternative to his theory is racism. Ah, no.

    Also, I met him once. I work for an environmental nonproft. Once we got a cash prize from Chevron. We were kind of chagrined about getting money from the devil, but we decided to take it and go to their reception. Diamond was the keynote and he was basically singing the praises of Chevron's operations in Borneo.

    Like I say, something a little creepy.
    I guess I am enjoying the presentation of evidence and anecdote and paying less attention to the theories and prescriptions.

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