Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Chapter 13 "Necessity's Mother" Summary & Analysis

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In this chapter, Diamond considers why Eurasians were the ones to invent such things as firearms, oceangoing vessels, and steel equipment. Some have argued that this points to the greater innovativeness and intelligence of Europeans; others have argued that Eurasia just had more geniuses or that their societies were more receptive to new inventions. Diamond suggests that new innovations occur not because there is a perceived need, but rather because of peoples' curiosity and tinkering. After a new invention has been made, the inventor and the society must find a use or uses for it.

Once something is invented, the inventor must convince society to make use of it. There are a number of different factors that might affect this, including the item's economic use, social value, prestige, compatibility with other interests, and so on. Scholars have put forth...

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Buy the Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Study Guide
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