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[Left on Read] [Spring silkworms spin silk till death] [Left on Read Book Channel] Hello, I am today's host, Serrini. [Independent musician Serrini] As you know I like to eat, drink and be merry. I am somewhat of a brainless singer-songwriter. I don't read a lot of books. During the pandemic, a classic book on humanities is mentioned again. The book title is "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies". This book was written by Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography Department at the University of California, LA. Let's call him Diamond. The book has become a hit since it was published in 1997. It has received many prizes like the Pulitzer Prize. National Geographic Society filmed a documentary based on it in 2005. The writer said a book with so many pages is the simplest version of the 13,000 years of human history. Does it sound like chicken essence? But we may only drink such a big jar at the end of semester. The Washington Post said, all university students should read it. Have you read it? Please, I hope you can feel the public pressure. If you haven't read the book, are you eligible to graduate? Time magazine said, the writer's explanation on inequality of human society is fascinating. He integrated professional knowledge, interest, and compassion ingeniously. No one could handle a book in such an organised way as he did, including lengthy and boring history, and all the debates and so on. I found the book simple but profound. Even I, who switched from sci to arts and have no idea what I am majoring in, still enjoy reading it. [It all begins with questioning.] I think the book is simple yet profound because of the author’s writing techniques. He kept questioning himself in the book while answering them at the same time. Just like what fashion magazines do: getting answers by asking questions. They are not scholarly or pretentious. No specialised knowledge or complex terms are needed to raise these questions. The vocabulary exists in our daily lives and conversations with others. By raising and answering his own questions, the content is more universal. It is also really interesting. It is not too challenging, yet you can learn from it. I feel smarter after reading it too, which is the essence of happy learning. The book originated 25 years ago, when Yali, a political leader from New Guinea, asked Diamond, the author, a few questions. They were walking along the beach. I have no idea why it was so romantic, but friends do walk on the beach together. [Clip from "The God of Cookery"] [I have never felt so refreshed.] Yali asked Diamond, during those tens of thousands of years, why did his ancestors settle in New Guinea? For the past two centuries, how did the white Europeans colonise New Guinea? I will be shocked if my friends suddenly raise these questions, because I have no clue to the answers. Yali also spoke his mind. He said, why... Let us read a short paragraph. Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea but we black people had little cargo of our own? Yali asked why it was the White occupying all high-end positions, like colonisers, dominators and civilised people, but not the Black? Racial inequality has persisted for decades. Racial difference is at the root of a lot of hidden social problems. For example, in Minnesota of the States, George Floyd, a Black, was killed by a police who knelt his neck. His death triggered off massive nationwide demonstrations. These were also derived from racial difference. Diamond spent 25 years writing a book of so many pages, trying to answer two simple questions from his friend. The reason behind Yali's question is to probe the reasons for the unequal development between human races and society. Through an in-depth investigation, the author mentioned scientific and cultural developments to answer the question from a historical perspective. He resisted using simple arguments, "White people are inherently superior to the black people" such nonsense to answer the question [bullshit] as these are racist claims. So Diamond is called "Darwin of our Generation". Awesome. Diamond believed that the aim of explaining history is to avoid the history of colonisation, invasion and destruction repeating itself. The White did a lot of cruel colonisation in Africa. Also, he didn't interpret the history from the Western Europe-centred aspect. He wanted to point out the history of Western Europe seemed to be splendid and civilised, but it was in fact developed by other ethic groups in this continent. Western Europe relied on importing other cultures to make itself much stronger. Thirdly, he insisted that any kind of social lifestyle won't be superior to that of another society inherently. Compared with the hunting or gathering tribes in the past, citizens of modern industrial countries enjoy better healthcare services or face a lower risk of being murdered. Therefore, they have a longer lifespan. Certainly, there's less social support from their friends and families. Like how we use social media now, we can have quicker connections, but there are fewer people writing letters. We no longer have to understand the efforts needed in writing letters or guess when they will reply. [Left on read] Every relationship becomes very "instant" and short. [Germs are the key to war] Without further ado, let's jump into our most concerned topic, the most interesting part that is highly relevant to us, which is the role of germs in the evolution of human societies. I recommend Ch.11 of this book. If you really have no time to read, or you want to read a bit and pretend you have read all, you can just read the "Germs" part. "Lethal Gift of Livestock" I think this chapter is very interesting. The author is very objective. He started from the perspective of germs and explained how germs seek survival, that is how germs search for their host, "sugar daddy". [Looking up to sugar daddy] for survival. It is known as infection. The author wrote that germs have a self-destructive, suicidal tendency. They blindly rush forward, "I don't care. I just want to live" kind of attitude. [Clip from "Cells at Work!"] Germs spread from animals to humans. They only have one target, which is to destroy the host's body mechanism. So they want to implicate the host? [Mutual destruction] Whatever. It means to kill the host. The germs... Honestly, if the host dies, you cannot survive as well. So it's funny that before destroying, they have to strive to find the next host. So the germs are quite desperate. Well, everyone is equal on epidemic prevention. It's accessible to everyone. The rich can live in a better place, so they are less likely to get infected. Yet, it is stated in another book. Germs make scientific and objective choices. The author said, diseases have always been the most horrible killers and played a key role in human history. Diamond said in the past, having an outstanding leader or the best weapon cannot make you invincible. Actually, from the historical perspective, winners were usually lucky. It sounds bad to say so. They spread the germs to their enemies by coincidence. So you can see why so many people are scared now. Because COVID-19... Describing the germs with coronavirus, or any politically incorrect terms may trigger another Cold War or World War.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 34 seconds
Country: Hong Kong
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 22
Posted by: yanmi on Mar 26, 2021


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