Guns, Germs, and Steel - Forum
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Forum » Additional Suggested Movies » Unit 1 » Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel
LunowDate: Thursday, 2011-06-23, 7:43 PM | Message # 1
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Guns, Germs, and Steel

After journeying to the four corners of the world to unearth the causes of inequality, Prof. Jared Diamond came up with a straightforward explanation: People's fortunes hinge on their geography and their contact with guns, germs and steel. Interlacing science, anthropology and historical reenactments, this insightful documentary based on Diamond's best-selling book brings to life his intriguing hypothesis. - from Netfix

One of the central questions we will try to answer this year involves the relationship between people and the environment in which they live. One answer is that people and their culture are a product of the environment in which they live. This is called environmental determinism. The other school of thought is possiblism - a theory that says that people can be limited by their physical environments, but that anything is possible. One of the most influential books in this debate has been Guns, Germs, and Steel. In it, Jared Diamond argues that physical environments have been crucial in the development of cultures in Eurasia. The geographical situation has been instrumental in explaining why European and Asian cultures have historically come to dominate the planet.

In addition to raising important questions about the human-environmental relationship, Diamond also provides a detailed analysis of the neolithic revolution. This is also known as the first agricultural revolution, and Diamond argues that this revolution allowed for the start of village life, job specialization, and culture. This debate will be revisited when we study Unit 5 - Agricultural Geography.
 
xxandynguyenxxDate: Saturday, 2015-04-04, 12:56 PM | Message # 2
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Andy Nguyen- 5th period

    During the summer, I watched this and it wasn't very interesting to me because I did not know what he was talking about half of the time. This time I now understand it because of all the vocabulary I have learned throughout this year. Guns, Germs, and Steel started off with a question from a New Guinean, Yali, who asked Jared, "Why you white men have so much cargo and we New Guineans have so little?" This question begins to make Diamond wonder and inspires him to write this book. I like this movie because it introduces you to a new view point on how parts of the world became so different from one another. This movie establishes a lot of facts that you can relate to AP human geography. Such as the fertile crescent, how similar climates move along the latitudes of the world. I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge to the reasons why we are so different from others in the same world.
 
danosaurvuDate: Friday, 2015-04-10, 6:02 PM | Message # 3
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Dan Vu - 6th period

Re-watching Guns, Germs, and Steel deepened my understanding on human geography. My first time watching it during the summer was just to get it done. I watched it and just went through the motions without really learning anything. When I watched it again, the vocabulary that I've learned in class clicked in and i saw the movie in another way. I understood why the Europeans had such a big development gap with the Africans and New Guineans.  The movie was also really relatable to the subjects covered in class.  Each unit had something to do with the movie and re watching it was like reviewing the class. My favorite scene was the part when the conquistadors took over the Aztecs. It displayed the gap between the 2 types of people and was also the most intriguing part. It also showed the development through industry and agriculture of the 2 people.
I would recommend this movie for not only Mr. Lunow's students, but ANY one who is taking Ap Human Geography. This movie was thumb


Message edited by danosaurvu - Friday, 2015-04-10, 6:06 PM
 
gcindy5401Date: Saturday, 2016-01-02, 9:22 PM | Message # 4
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Cindy Gonzalez
Period 3
Watching Guns, Germs, and Steel was not at all a difficult movie to follow but I've realized that without my knowledge of human geography this movie would have been a giant confusion. Professor Jared Diamond sets off on an exploration of geography set by one imposing question, "Why do you white men have so much cargo, but we New Guineans have so little?" "Cargo" referring to the manufactured goods being brought by Europeans and Westerners. After seeing many answers to how the world was distributed into the advantaged and disadvantaged Jared Diamond has discovered his final answer. The growing wealth of some regions is because of their geographical advantages. This meaning that a region such as the Middle East for example will be in better prosperity due to their vast connection to resources and to strong cattle and will be better economically than a region such as New Guinea where resources are not that abundant.Guns, Germs, and Steel would be a perfect movie for anyone interested in geography and the differences between regions. I'd rate this movie a 3.5 out 5 for it's useful knowledge and interesting debate.


Message edited by gcindy5401 - Saturday, 2016-01-02, 9:23 PM
 
amandanguyen9449Date: Sunday, 2016-01-03, 2:34 PM | Message # 5
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Amanda A. Nguyen
Period 2
Jan. 3, 2016

Mr. Diamond explores the progress of humanity by scientifically studying the factors that permitted and encouraged the growth of complex societies. A society is where it is because of geographical factors, and not because of any variables of intelligence or physique. Societies moved from hunter and gatherer types to farmers because they lived in areas where potential food crops grew, and where animals capable of being domesticated lived. Most of the world's food crops originated in the Fertile Crescent of the Mediterranean. We learn some interesting facts about food plant development. Many plants became food because of defective genes. The wild almond tree is poisonous, but some trees were found with defective cyanide producing genes. They were cultivated. Wild peas have a gene that causes the pea pod to explode when ripe, which would make harvesting impossible. Pea plants were found that lacked this "explosion" gene, and so today we eat peas. Societies with domestic animals developed diseases that originated in these animals. (Measles, tuberculosis, and smallpox come from cattle; influenza from pigs). Thus Europeans decimated the Incas  and Native Americans by passing on these germs. Incas and Native Americans had no domesticated animals (only the llama in Peru), so they could not fight back with germs of their own.

Mr. Diamond presents an immense amount of evidence to show that all peoples are intelligent, and that the development of large, organized societies hinges entirely on varied local natural resources, and being in locations where natural barriers (deserts, mountains, oceans) did not preclude the sharing of resources with others. This is a most impressive work that provides the reader with insight into why hunter and gatherer tribes live together on the same planet with highly complex technological nations.

Content-wise Guns, Germs, and Steel is incredibly insightful and informative, such as why people in Eurasia became a more advanced society than those in Africa, even though Africa is older. I give Guns, Germs, and Steel a five out of five.


Message edited by amandanguyen9449 - Sunday, 2016-01-03, 2:45 PM
 
hmwraposaDate: Sunday, 2016-01-03, 4:57 PM | Message # 6
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Heather Wilson
P. 3

In Guns, Germs, & Steel, Jared Diamond explores various areas of Africa in order to observe developments in agriculture. Diamond, who was asked why white men carry more cargo than the people of New Guinea, deeply considers this question by exploring the land. He observes that the raw materials in Africa are different to those in more technologically developed countries such as the United States.

Diamond observes that because of the differences there are in the land, the culture and the people's adaptation is different as opposed to those in MDCs. Those who grow wealthier in each region have geographical advantages and adapt quicker. Only in few countries are there still hunter-gatherers who earn natural resources themselves. Although Africa is older than Europe, Europe has developed far more quickly technologically because of its wealth of resources such as metal.

The documentary Guns, Germs, & Steel explains why we have technological developments in certain countries and agricultural developments in others. Now that I have watched this documentary after studying Unit 1, I recognize how it applies to the unit due to its explanation of adaptation to an environment and development in specific regions. I would rank this documentary a 4.5/5 especially because of how relevant to Human Geography it is and how informative it is.


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kennyle2341Date: Sunday, 2016-01-03, 7:06 PM | Message # 7
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Kenny Le
Period 3

Jared Diamond was asked the question by a New Guinea man, "why do white men have so much cargo, while we have so little?" This causes for Diamond to search for the answer on why did some civilization advances faster than others. The documentary looks at the history of a few civilizations, understanding the influences and causes of why some nations are more fortunate than others.

The documentary helps me understand the importance of human-environment relationships as many of the first world nations are from a result of being in the right environment. Furthermore, it allows me to have an understanding of the impact of disease and how devastating it can spread through contagious diffusion. These are some parts that stand out, and there is more ideas that link to what this class is about.

I would rate this as a 4.5/5 as it is insightful and relevant to Human Geography, and I would encourage others to watch it as well.
 
19yacevedoDate: Thursday, 2016-01-07, 9:09 PM | Message # 8
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Yatzari Acevedo           Period 3
    Guns, Germs, and Steel stars Jared Diamond, a biologist, who returns to New Guinea and decides to try and answer a complex question he was asked by a man thirty years ago. The one question that starts this long journey was, “Why do white men have so much cargo while we have so little?” Diamonds investigates how different people in different locations of the world developed based on their environments. Diamonds states that more than culture and intelligence the real reason for the development of diversity in societies is their geography. Diamonds keeps in mind the cargo and concludes that hunters and gatherers spent too much time trying to feed themselves to have enough time to invent things. Also, the natural barriers that surround these people make communication with other difficult. However in areas surrounding the fertile crescent there was plenty of food thanks to the prosperous land. The availability of food provided enough chances for the people in more developed countries to create new machines to change history for the world.
    This movie shows us intricate relationships between environments and the people living in them. It shows us the development of societies and how domestication of food and animals started around the world. This documentary teaches us the dangers of infectious diseases such as the smallpox which was passed from spanish domestic animals to thousands of incas, causing their removal. As the industrial revolution started more guns were produced leading to the conquests of less developed countries.
    I believe that without my knowledge of geography I wouldn't have understood this movie too well. It does cover a lot of points we learned in the unit and is very informative so I rate it a 4 out of 5. hands


Message edited by 19yacevedo - Thursday, 2016-01-07, 9:10 PM
 
17lnguyen7Date: Sunday, 2016-04-17, 7:32 PM | Message # 9
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 Linh Nguyen P:3
In the documentary Guns, Germs and steel, Mr.Diamond who seeks to explain why some societies are more materially successful than others. Diamond attributes societal success to geography, food production, immunity to germs, the domestication of animals, and use of steel. This documentary explains to us the importance of human environments and agriculture development . I would rank this as a 4/5 as it is relevant to Human Geography and its a useful knowledge for people who is taking this class.  :)
 
17jgonzalez2Date: Sunday, 2016-04-17, 7:39 PM | Message # 10
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Jamie Gonzalez - Per 2
    Guns, Germs and Steel basically explains how certain societies, the Europeans, had certain advantages over others and those advantages allowed them to conquer most of the world. The documentary starts if by explaining how the middle east was the most fortunate group because the conditions were all in their favor. They were in land that was fertile which led to the development of society and there was animal that were able to be domesticated. The domestication of animals later gave them an advantage over other countries because animas could be used as beast of burdens and they also allowed the people to become immune to diseases passed on from other animals. They also discuss how they fertile crescent was plentiful in barring crops where as places like Australia lacked the development of farming and places like New Guinea planted things like bananas. He also mentions the development of weapons in Europe served as an advantage when it came to conquering other countries. He basically explains that since the fertile crescent was lucky it allowed them to get ahead of other societies which in turn made the Europeans superior then everyone one else for a period of time. 

I thought this documentary was really interesting and has a lot of helpful information so I rate it 4.5/5
 
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