Jared Diamond - Rise & Fall of Societies -TED 2003- Hi-Res XviD
Jared Diamond is an award-winning scholar of ecology, biology and history, and best-selling author of 'Guns, Germs and Steel' and 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.'
Diamond is the author of a number of popular science works that combine anthropology, biology, ecology, linguistics, genetics, and history.
His best-known work is the non-fiction, Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997), which asserts that the main international issues of our time are legacies of processes that began during the pre-historic times in which civilizations that had experienced an extensive amount of "human development" began to intrude upon technologically less advanced civilizations around the world. The impetus of this dominance is rooted in their original access to agriculture and the domestication of animals, profoundly influenced by the accidents of geography and climate.
In a following book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), Diamond examines a range of past civilizations and societies, attempting to identify why they collapsed into ruins or survived only in a massively reduced form.
He considers what contemporary societies can learn from these societal collapses. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, he argues against ethnocentric explanations for the dominate role of a few societies
For the collapses, he discusses, and focuses instead on ecological, cultural and socio-political factors.
The lecture may be a bit academic for some but the systematic approach he applies to the question of collapse is particularly interesting as describes the conflict of interest between elites that isolate themselves from the larger, longterm interests of society. Diamond believes the world's economic direction to be unsustainable but does not mention energy.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds with an even broader scope now.
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