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Jared Daimond bio 
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Post Jared Daimond bio
Before we get to the book, it might be interesting to have some background on our author, Jared Diamond, who as you can see from the Wiki information is an almost impossibly brilliant and eclectic person.

wikipedia wrote:
Jared Mason Diamond (born September 10, 1937) is an American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA. He is best known for the award-winning popular science books The Third Chimpanzee, Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.


Diamond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a Bessarabian Jewish family. His father was the physician Louis K. Diamond, and his mother the teacher, musician, and linguist Flora Kaplan. He attended the Roxbury Latin School, earning his A.B. from Harvard College in 1958, and his Ph.D. in physiology and membrane biophysics from the University of Cambridge in 1961.

After graduating from Cambridge, he returned to Harvard as a Junior Fellow until 1965, and, in 1968, became Professor of Physiology at UCLA Medical School. While in his twenties, he also developed a second, parallel, career in the ornithology of New Guinea, and has since undertaken numerous research projects in New Guinea and nearby islands. In his fifties, Diamond gradually developed a third career in environmental history, and became Professor of Geography at UCLA, his current position.[1] He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Westfield State University in 2009.


The rest of the article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Diamond



Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:31 pm
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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
Bumping this up to the top.

All old threads from our discussion 9 years ago have been temporarily locked so they don't confuse the current discussion.


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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
DWill wrote:
Before we get to the book, it might be interesting to have some background on our author, Jared Diamond, who as you can see from the Wiki information is an almost impossibly brilliant and eclectic person.

wikipedia wrote:
Jared Mason Diamond (born September 10, 1937) is an American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA. He is best known for the award-winning popular science books The Third Chimpanzee, Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.


Diamond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a Bessarabian Jewish family.

I had to look up Bessarabian, never having heard of it. I think the long and short of it is that J. Diamond is of Eastern European Jewish ancestry.

Bessarabia (Romanian: Basarabia; Russian: Бессарабия Bessarabiya, Ukrainian: Бессарабія Bessarabiya) is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west.

This was the name by which Imperial Russia designated the eastern part of the Principality of Moldavia, ceded by the Ottoman Empire (to which Moldavia was a vassal) to Russia at the Peace of Bucharest in the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War, 1806-1812. While this eastern part became the Governorate of Bessarabia, the western part of Moldavia united with Wallachia in 1859 in what would become the Kingdom of Romania. For a short period between 1856 and 1878, two of the nine traditional counties of Bessarabia were also part of Moldavia and then Romania.



Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:10 pm
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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
Thanks for expanding on that. Seemingly obscure--but in reality important--details like that make me wonder at how little any of us can know about the how the past affects our present. We have our own little shorthand understanding of history, most of it quite wrong but suited to making us feel comfortable.



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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
National Geographic produced three one hour programs on this book. It can be viewed free at documentaryheaven.com. I especially enjoyed seeing Jared Diamond interacting with the New Guineans. As well as being a brilliant historian and geogragher, he appears to be a warm and humble man.
I'm including the descriptive intro to the programs below.

"Based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century.

Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.

# Why were Europeans the ones to conquer so much of our planet?
# Why didn’t the Chinese, or the Inca, become masters of the globe instead?
# Why did cities first evolve in the Middle East?
# Why did farming never emerge in Australia?
# And why are the tropics now the capital of global poverty?

As he peeled back the layers of history to uncover fundamental, environmental factors shaping the destiny of humanity, Diamond found both his theories and his own endurance tested.

The three one-hour programs were filmed across four continents on High Definition digital video, and combined ambitious dramatic reconstruction with moving documentary footage and computer animation. They also include contributions from Diamond himself and a wealth of international historians, archeologists and scientists.

Guns, Germs, and Steel is a thrilling ride through the elemental forces which have shaped our world – and which continue to shape our future."



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Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:16 pm
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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
LevV, thanks very much for adding that, and hmm, you've got me thinking about those Nat. Geo programs and what about a discussion of them, instead of the book itself, or at least before reading the book? I hope someone might give an opinion on that.



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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
DWill wrote:
LevV, thanks very much for adding that, and hmm, you've got me thinking about those Nat. Geo programs and what about a discussion of them, instead of the book itself, or at least before reading the book? I hope someone might give an opinion on that.

We could do that. I've got the DVD in my Netflix queue right now. I think LCPL has it too. It might be a good way to start off, or end?



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Post Re: Jared Daimond bio
I would suggest starting with it since anyone can access it free at documentaryheaven.com under the same title as the book. The three programs would also serve as a great refresher for those who have been away from the book for a few years. Most of the main ideas are covered and the pictures and graphics are a great support for his ideas.



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