LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jigarpatel - LibraryThing
Very early on Diamond sets his stall. He's not interested in intricate molecular insights, but an overarching evolutionary basis for human lifecycle and behaviour. Sometimes he digresses, like when he ... Read full review
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Who can argue with the erudition and scope of Jared Diamond? Well, not really me. Overall a very interesting, if depressing book about man's inhumanity to nearly everything. I do find that Diamond could have done better with a slightly more evolutionary lens - that changes to the environment and inhabiting species are inevitable, and inexorable, that evolution at best seeks "good enough" solutions and will not only merrily lead species to genocide but will do so with distressing frequency. Still, impressive and readable. The one area I noticed an issue with does leave me with questions about the rest though; in the chapter on drug addiction, Diamond goes into detail discussing the myriad reasons why humans might take drugs (spiritual experiences, community, etc.) but misses out on two incredibly important ones. Most drugs will get you high as balls, and most drugs are inherently rewarding. Really a lot of it comes down to that, human neurology is hardwired to find certain molecules intensely enjoyable, and it doesn't matter if you're doing drugs in your mom's basement, or as part of a community-wide ceremony - you're just going to love drugs. A bit of an oversight.