Four Factors Guns, Germs and Steel Question 2

            Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond, is a book that focuses on the development throughout every society on earth and how it differs according to multiple factors. The four factors presented in the text are diseases, writing, technology, and tribes. Diamond tries to explain how these four factors contribute to the development of societies, while also promoting Eurasia as the fastest and most efficient developer in the world. Eurasia is the commonality between all four of these factors, and is the focus of Diamond’s argument.

            For all four factors, Diamond states that in general, the development of a community depends on its location and size. Both the community’s size and its location play a huge role in all four of the factors. Diseases spread out faster in bigger communities but are more likely to eliminate small ones. Its location can affect the community’s ability to gain support or find vaccines. Its location’s size can also affect on how fast the disease can spread due to the density of the location or its diversity. The size of the community will not have a huge impact on its writing development, although the more people the bigger the chance a new discovery might arise. The location of the community plays a massive role on its writing development, due to the isolation vs support. Writing can be influential when in a compacted area, and it can be transferred quickly, which will cause the specific community to be developed in that area. This also applies to the technology advancement in societies. The size contributes to the actual discoveries, while the location contributes to the influence and the advancement caused from support from other communities. For the tribe’s factor, both the size and location play a huge role. The tribe’s factor mostly talks about conquering each other and having miniature tribes within each community. It can be easily inferred that the bigger the band, the bigger the chance it has to dominate others. The location also matters because an isolated community will not have its tribes change at all. It will remain constant, not having to fight any battles and just being isolated. Other communities in compacted areas will have to fight, having the chance of survival or death. The victor of course, is the survivor, which will in fact be the biggest band in that certain location. Both the size and location play a huge role in all four of the factors mentioned in the text by Diamond.

            Diamond also tries to promote Eurasia, a combination of Europe and Asia. Using the four factors and accounting for its size and location, Eurasia is ahead in all four categories. Eurasia is a fairly dense place, consisting of many European countries and Asian countries. It is by far the biggest chunk of land ever on earth, so its location is fairly advantageous in terms of tribes, technology, and writing. Diseases can spread fairly quickly but the proportions will remain the same, meaning that there will still be a lot of people remaining. Also, vaccines can be created to help fight off the diseases, and they can be easily transferred due to the closeness of their locations. Eurasia is what Diamond is arguing for and trying to promote, so all of his arguments and facts will revolve around Eurasia.

            The only obvious difference between the four factors has to do with the other factors concerning those four factors. What I mean by this is the factors concerning diseases can be different from tribes. Diseases are created from an unstable environment and will not affect immune people. People can develop some sort of immunity after their ancestors fight off the disease over time. Writing has to do with intelligence and unity. People don’t just simply figure out the best type of writing, they find a simple type that everyone can understand, thus creates conformity throughout nations. Technology has to do with the cause-and-effect experiments. Technological advancements revolve around the economy and the social prestige earned by the society. The tribe’s factor mainly focuses on the government and strength of the community. It is basically like war, the bigger the army the bigger the chance to win. However, it cannot be easily inferred that the bigger army will always win, but the more soldiers a tribe has, the more people the opposing team will have to kill in order to be successful. Although there are similarities between these four factors, there are also huge differences that help distinguish them.

            Development can be different for different societies. One may develop faster and one may develop slower. Diamond wrote this book to help illustrate the four major factors to explain why there is a gap in development between different communities. The four factors are germs, writing, technology, and tribes. Diamond also connects all these four factors with Eurasia, and explains why Eurasia develops the faster in terms of these four factors. These four factors connect as they focus on one major part, but differ in terms of their own factors.


Preface and Afterword Guns, Germs and Steel Question 1

            The preface and afterword of the book Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond are self-explanatory. The mere definitions of the words explain how they were used. The preface of the book introduced the topic, question being asked, and warns the audience of what might be to come. The afterword of the book concluded Diamond’s thesis, restated and added examples, and described the different contents of the book. In other words, the preface is the introduction of a certain passage, while the afterword is the conclusion.

            In the preface of the book, Diamond explains the whole topic itself. He first introduces the question that was asked to inspire this book, and then he goes on and explains his side of the argument while adding questions of his own. He also warns the audience and states, “In case this question immediately makes you shudder at the thought that you are about to read a racist treatise, you aren’t” (9 Diamond). In the afterword of the book, Diamond concludes his argument by referring back to the preface, answering questions while adding on more examples. He revisits most parts of the book while adding on his own examples. Diamond’s argument is that the difference in society developments differ due to the environmental factors not the biological factors.

            Both the preface and the afterword state the same argument, to illustrate uniform throughout the book. They both asked questions to arouse the audience while indirectly answering them with examples from the real world. Diamond states that Eurasia civilizations, a combination of Europe and Asia, have developed faster and more efficiently than other civilizations. However, Diamond states that the reason Eurasia civilizations develop more efficiently is not because of the biological factors such as intelligence, race, or inherent genetic superiority, but instead the environmental factors such as the government, location on earth, and technology. For example, Asians do not develop quicker than Americans do because of their Asian genes such as having black hair, small eyes, or a yellow skin color, but because of their environment such as the technological advancement around them and their developed government. The reason people develop faster is not because they are born with supernatural intelligence, but because their environment contributes to it. Diamond argues the problem of Nature vs Nurture in both the preface and the afterword. In the preface, he states that Nature won while giving scenarios, while in the afterword, he concludes with the same argument by giving real life examples. The preface introduces to the argument at hand while the afterword states Diamond’s current feelings, concludes the argument while adding on questions for the audience to continue referring to after they have finished reading the book. It is somewhat like a cliffhanger, leaving the audience with questions for them to answer on their own.

            The preface of the book includes an analogy of an onion, while focusing more on the broadness of the subject. It states the problem, and relates it to scenarios or scenes that may or may not have actually occurred. The afterword of the book refers to real life situations that have passed or are present in our modern society. The preface and the afterword can be seen as the introduction and the conclusion as they both function as the beginning and end of an argument. They both illustrate the same logical thinking, but the preface talks more generally and relates it to other unrelated subjects like onions, while the afterword actually takes into account what is happening in the world and leaves the audience with a solid point and conclusion.

Accurate Premise Born To Run In Class Essay

            “Born to Run”, by Christopher McDougall, has constantly repeated the premise that humans are born to run using past experiences as examples. Humans are born to run is another way of saying that nothing can ever stop humans from achieving our dreams. No obstacle, no matter how hard it knocks us down, can ever prevent us from ever being able to run again. McDougall illustrated and promoted this premise well, by explaining some difficulties and how he overcame those differences. Even with a bunch of injuries, one of which happens to be PF, which affects the heel of the foot, McDougall was still able to run with the Tarahumara after several sessions of therapy. McDougall retrained his feet to regain his ability to run, and that is how he persisted through and accomplished his goal. With the help of his personal trainer, Eric, McDougall was able to get back up on his two feet to run properly again. Eric once said “Imagine your kid is running into the street and you have to sprint after her in bare feet, you’ll automatically lock into perfect form- you’ll be up on your forefeet, with your back erect, head steady, arms high, elbows driving, and feet touching down quickly on the forefoot and kicking back toward your butt” (206). Running is in our blood. The key word in the quote is “automatically” which means unconsciously doing something. If we are able to automatically lock into perfect form, it means that we are born to run. It’s in our system, we just have to find it and make use of it. Put a natural human being into a sticky situation and he’ll do something natural. Natural reactions are what define us; they set our limits and guide us through our troubles.

            The obstacles in their paths should not discourage people. There will definitely be objects, people, or situations that will try to prevent you from reaching your dream, but all of those obstacles can be overlooked. Never giving up, that’s what McDougall did and that’s how he got to finally run with the Tarahumara. Even if the situation seems hopeless, persisting is what gets you there. Nature is there to help people, not to destroy. Everything that happens naturally is there for the benefit of our society. Natural motions prevent people from getting injured, because if it is natural then it must be in your system or blood. Nothing can go wrong with being natural. Modern technology and modifications is what kills us. Just like what McDougall said in the beginning of the text, shoes are unnatural therefore do not benefit our feet when we run. It prevents us from reaching our full potential. That is also why many people think that technology is killing us, because it causes us to be dysfunctional and unnatural. That is also why people don’t look for shortcuts, but instead do the right and natural thing. Nothing in life comes with ease, and doing the natural thing will always be the best option. McDougall persisted and continued running, but he could not have done so if he did not adapt to the natural environment. Being able to run naturally was in his blood, so by doing so he regained and retrained his ability to run. McDougall displayed persistence and the significance of nature throughout the whole text, and he did so by defining the premise that humans are born to run.

Persistence Born To Run Knowledge Essay

            Coming to a close end to his journey, Christopher McDougall portrays persistence by continuing to pursue in running after losing complete hope. He gets injured from continuous running, and then receives PF-inflamed feet. PF is plantar fasciitis, which is an enthesopathy on the heel of your foot. Because people put all of their weight on their heels, PF can cause a lot of distress when running, walking, or even standing up. After getting PF-inflamed feet, McDougall loses hope in his ability to continue running with the Tarahumara. He sees it as a hopeless cause, as if running is and will always be out of his reach. After showing so much doubt and decrease in self-confidence, McDougall rises the occasion and was able to run with the Tarahumara. What he did was retrain his ability to run, and basically fight through the pain. This physical therapy helped him recover from all of the injuries and then be able to run. This type of self-persistence is needed if people want to get better or “perfect” at a certain thing. Skills or abilities don’t just fall from the sky; they are built on practice and persistence. Athletes don’t get good at sports overnight, they get good by training for months, just to perfect the perfect shot. Dedication, persistence, and willpower are all essential to being successful in life. This was the message that McDougall was trying to portray through his writing. Nothing in life can be achieved without effort.

            Everything in life requires work to accomplish. Nothing is free, and everything has to be worked for. The phrase, “no pain no gain”, says that there will be no benefits from just doing nothing at home. People who want to actually accomplish something will go out into the world and accomplish it. Effort is essential for success. No one is born into an easy life, not even bill gate’s children. His children don’t just stay at home and watch TV all day; they work hard and actually make an effort in school. Bill gates has realized that he cannot allow his children to become spoiled kids who are born into an easy life, he wants them to work, just like the millions of other children their age. Rewards are often given to those who try the hardest. Effort is what brings most of us to our accomplishments. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who try to succeed. People who don’t will remain unemployed in their parent’s basements wasting their lives. Everything requires effort, whether its physical or cognitive effort.  That is why most of our instructors in life, or the people who are of a higher rank than us, tell us to never give up. Giving up means that no more effort will be present, and if no effort is present, it is impossible for us to reach our goal. Giving up is basically the same as not starting at all. Both lead to an outcome of nothing. We started for a reason and we should end for that same reason that is why most of us don’t give up in life. McDougall didn’t give up, that is why he got to run with the Tarahumara after his long but rewarding therapy session that helped him regain his ability function his feet. Persistence and effort is what brings most of us to our accomplishments.

            Scientists in the real world always mess around with all of the different chemicals or factors to create different outcomes. Scientists fail about 95% of the time, and most of their experiments end up in the dumpster or in a trashcan. Why do they continue researching and experimenting then? It’s because they know that there is something out there waiting to be discovered, and they will not give up until it is. There is no limit to the discoveries in the world, everything can be found as long as we give in the time and effort to find it. Huge discoveries like gravity, electricity, and atoms are all from scientists testing out different methods. That is why there are so many methods in the world, and why so many have the previous methods aren’t in use now. We make new discoveries that overtake a previous one, like our planet revolving around the sun instead of the sun revolving around us. Scientists are examples of people who never give up and persist towards a common goal. Up till today, there are many scientists throwing away old experiments. We sent a robot to mars to explore mars and find out if life is capable there. We still have many more discoveries to discovery, and that is why scientists don’t give up. Persistence and effort is what drives most of us towards our goal. Just like McDougall, scientists don’t stop until they reach complete satisfaction.

Self-Doubt Born to Run Analogy Essay

Able to shine immense light onto the darkest of caves, the flashlight is a beautiful tool that is used by many to literally, light up the world. With its unique shape, it can blind a human being with its intense illumination. Although turned on and off by a switch, the flashlight’s main source of power is its batteries. The switch chooses when the flashlight would turn on and off, but the batteries decide its usefulness. Without it, the flashlight wouldn’t even be able to function properly, the once was flashing light bulb would just be a gloomy orb that has no power over anything. The brain is its switch, but the heart is its batteries. The batteries give the flashlight the power and the energy to function; it is the soul of the object. Some flashlights may be broken or damaged and may not function properly, that is why these Just like these malfunctioning flashlights, without motivation and self-belief, human beings will not be able to function properly. As self-doubt increases and self esteem decreases, we are more likely to give up. We won’t be able to “light up” because we wont have any batteries. McDougall loses self-esteem and motivation as he gets injured from excessive running.

In the beginning of Chapter 27, McDougall complains about not being able to even run the race with the Tarahumara. After being consistently injured, McDougall feels that the whole situation is hopeless and that there is no point in pursuing anymore. He loses motivation and therefore sees no reason to continue, that’s why he states phrases like “none of them really seems to work” to show hopelessness in the story. “So what was I missing? I was in worse shape now than when I’d started; not only couldn’t I race with the Tarahumara, I doubted my PF-inflamed feet could even get me to the starting line”.  In this excerpt, McDougall directly states that he doubts his feet. He portrays a sense of neglect by using proper diction to illustrate different points. Without the driving force, people will not feel obligated to continue. One really good technique that McDougall used in the sentence was the “not only… but also…” phrase. The phrase is used to give a basis to a situation, and then extending it even further. This sense of doubt is what gives the reader the “false hope” impression. It may seem that McDougall feels as if his feet cannot take it anymore, and wants to take out the batteries, but he doesn’t. He persists, which is the point that he tries to make throughout the whole book. Even though there are ups and downs during the journey, the end result depends on how hard you try. He literally got back up onto his two feet and started retraining them so that he will be able to run with the Tarahumara. By showing a sense of doubt, it gives the reader false hope, but then being able to rise up to the occasion to fulfill one’s dream is what allows the reader to understand the true meaning of the book, persistence.Image