Chapter Summary Of Steel By Jared Diamond

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In the beginning of the book we read of a man named Jared Diamond, Jared Diamond is a Professor at UCLA, and he is fascinated with birds. His fascination is so great that he studies bird evolution on the island of New Guinea. In the year of 1972 he is asked a question by a man named Yali, Yali happens to be a local politician, (someone who is highly respected on the island.) Yali’s question was, “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?” At the time Jared could not answer the question, but now he believes he has the answer. In order for Jared to answer this question he had to start back in the beginning, in the beginning of human evolution and settlement,…show more content…
He starts off with Europeans, he states that having the ability to write gave them a clear advantage over the other societies that hadn’t developed writing. The ability to write allowed the people to transmit information. Diamond states that there are three main forms of writing languages, they are alphabetic, logographic, and syllabic. He states that these writing strategies all differ from each other. Alphabetic, has a sound per letter, or sign. Logographic have whole words as letters, or sign. Syllabic, has a syllable per letter, or sign. Today most languages have mix of these forms. To develop writing on your own is hard, you would need many specific specialists to get the job done. Writing is thought to rise in only four places, they were Sumeria, Mesoamerica, China and Egypt. The two earliest places were writing was created was in Sumeria and Mesoamerica. After Diamond speaks about were writing emerged he then begins to speak of the spread of writing. He speaks of a few major ways that writing is spread. The major ways are burrowing the language or, hearing the idea from another culture and inventing their own language from scratch. The process when you hear the idea from another culture and invent your own language is called idea diffusion. When cultures burrow writing sometimes they just straight out burrow the original language. This is because the language they speak is so similar that they can just copy it. Other cultures also burrow, but later on down the line change certain aspects of the language, they do this so that the language is better fitted to their own needs. Another way writing has spread is through “Blueprint Copying.” Blueprint copying is when you burrow a language and use that language as a guide to help create and modify your current

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