David Brooks' Essay on Jared Diamond's The World until Yesterday

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In David Brooks’ essay, he discusses Jared Diamond’s book “The world Until yesterday.” Diamond’s book relates many customs of primitive societies and compares the so called traditional and modern society. Brooks believed that primitive societies are more ferocious than ours. Raids and revenge become the cycle since land is valuable in the agriculture society. In “The World Until Yesterday”, Jared Diamond tells some violent stories which were normally happened in the primitive society. Geography and environment seem to be the prior elements because agriculture is dominant. Diamond describe a war happened in 1961 between two tribal alliances in New Guinea which causes 0.14 percent population got killed. The mortality of this war exceeds the war-related death rates among most major countries confronted included World Wars I and II. People in tribal societies were taught to revenge back once they feel they are in danger. In comparison of us, we feel guilty about killing about others and we were taught to hold up our desire for revenge. What causes the distinction is the structure of the society and the environment in which we live are dramatically different. However, traditional societies have much to teach us in terms of child-rearing, the treatment of the elderly and dispute resolution. People in primitive society solve essential human problems from their experiments. Brooks gives example about how people settle a traffic accident in the tradition society and modern society. People have different approaches and more importantly their goal of the settlement seems to be different. He believed that in Jared Diamond ‘s book, he pays too much attention on geographic and environment features and ignore individual’s ability might improve their own lives. It’s hard to learn from people in primitive society because we have so many differences from them in terms of society structure, levels of civilization and technology development. All of these differences largely impact...
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