Monday, July 11, 2005

Guns, Germs, and Steel on PBS

Tonight debuts the first episode of Guns, Germs, and Steel, a three-part PBS show based on the book of the same name. If you miss it, episode one repeats later this week. (Your local station's dates and times and dates may vary.)

From the PBS Web site:
Based on Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel traces humanity's journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century.

Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.
Read more.

NPR's Talk of the Nation featured Jared Diamond today in a program titled "Jared Diamond: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations".

Cross posted to Notes from the Walter J. Ong Archive.

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At 4:03 PM, Blogger Digital Sextant said...

We're TiVo-ing it, meaning we'll wait until we have all three parts to start watching it.

Jane Jacob's The Coming Dark Age alludes to Diamond's book as a working metaphor--essentially a similar question: why do 'empires' seemingly on the top of the world slip out of that place and fall into oblivion? She proposes a few lessons, but the primary answer is stagnation. She also includes a choice sentence or two.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger John said...

Hmmm....Is the Jacob's book Dark Age Ahead? Another book to add to my to-read list. If you haven't seen it before, Diamond's got a more recent book titled Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

I don't remember if the question is raised in the show or not, but my wife, who has a biology degree, and I talked about biologist with a specialty in human physiology is doing anthropology/sociology. It makes sense to me, really, as both are the study of human ecology.

And that got me thinking about Ong -- what doesn't? He loved biology and embraced the term media ecology and strongly supported the Media Ecology Association. We generally don't think of ecology including the study humans, and when we do, it's usually the human impact on the ecosphere, not the human life world.


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