Guns, Germs and Steel - Deepstash
Guns, Germs and Steel

Phantom 's Key Ideas from Guns, Germs and Steel
by Jared Diamond

Ideas, facts & insights covering these topics:

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The various paths for evolution

Premise : When humans started agriculture, different species of plants adapted in various ways to make use of agriculture.

1. More than usual produce :

Some plants, like wheat started producing bigger seeds than usual so that humans would select them.

2. Losing the protection :

Seeds like almond which in wild could be poisonous and bitter, turned sweet and edible so that humans can harvest them.

3. A step in the opposite :

In the wild, pods are designed to burst open after ripening, to disperse easily. However, the ones that didn't burst, were chosen by humans as food and cultivated.


136 reads

Anna Karenina principles

Premise : In the book "Anna Karenina" it is stated that 'Happy families are all alike;every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

J. Diamond uses this analogy to suggest why some species were domesticated and others not.

1. Elephants were seemingly rejected because of the gestation period. It becomes difficult to ramp up breeding such a species.

2. Zebras are not easy to be roped or tamed, along with their nasty attacking habits. Thus though they are close to donkeys and horses, they aren't domesticated.

3. Gazzele and antelopes due to their panicking nature and irregular social structure.


125 reads

The intelligent symptoms of disease

The two important factors that lead a disease to become a epidemic, is

  • Massive infection rates
  • Considerable life cycle to cause infection

How does this reflect in the symptoms.

1. Involuntary spread : Symptoms like sneezing and diarrhea, cause the patient to spread the germs into nearby humans.

2. No manifestation : Diseases like AIDS don't manifest long time after the infection, allowing the infection to spread undetected.

3. Behaviour change : Rabies causes dogs to bite, like many other diseases that transmit from animals to humans.


101 reads


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