Guns, Germs and Steel

I am currently reading an epic book called,

Gun, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.


As Bill Gates says on the dust cover, it:


“Lays a foundation for understanding human



Today there are some massive question to

answer about the world the answers to which

have often been ‘explained’ by ‘racial traits’.


Language dominance

Wealth distribution

Food distribution

Power distribution

Population density


How did we end up here?


This group are harder working,

This group more intelligent,

This group more resourceful,

This group more co-operative.


… is what we often hear.


As this book helps us to see, we are all of

us hardworking, intelligent, resourceful,

co-operative, the fact that we are human

and our genetic line survived this far against

all odds places us here.


There is only one factor that determines our



This factor allows one group of humans to

progress so far beyond another that they

can appear to be an entirely different species.


Horses, domestication of animals, steel, germs,

writing, language- the arrival of these

resources and the groups to whom they arrived

rather than individual traits can be tracked back

through history and explain our current reality.


Our environment determines our behaviour

and so our advancement.


Yes our interpretation of our environment has

a huge factor but history demonstrates over

and over that ‘success’ follows from



Thousands of years ago resources were simply

those that were in our current environment.


If we lived in a place that had metals or horses

we would advance in the way that those

resources allowed.


Today we can choose our own advancements.


What we watch

What we read

Who we spend time with

Who we don’t

The places we spend time

The things we eat

The hobbies we choose

The problems we choose to focus on

The things we learn.


Success as we choose to define it,

for ourselves rather than measured against

others, is a product of the environment we



So build.


Ed Ley