Jared Diamond’s Tales From the World Before Yesterday
From John Brockman at Edge.org:
Over the years I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the more interesting thinkers of our time, individuals who, through their research in biology, physics, psychology, computer science, provide us with the evidence-based results that are the basis of the most reliable method of our knowledge about who and what we are. In this regard, nothing beats sitting down with Jared Diamond after one of his many (41 to date) trips to New Guinea to listen to this master story-teller hold forth on the windows to our past, whether the topic is rare birds, “primitive peoples”, birth practices, the lives of the old, war, or the characteristics of all human societies until the rise of state societies with laws and government, beginning around 5,500 years ago.
A few months ago I visited him in Califronia and sat for an hour while he recounted some his experiences in New Guinea. Fortunately, I had my video camera with me. The result is three videotaped stories, which I have taken the liberty of presenting with the following titles:
- “If You Camp Under Dead Trees, And Each Dead Tree Has A One In 1,000 Chance Of Falling On You And Killing You”
- “One Of The Stupider, More Dangerous Things That I Did In My Life”
- “How I Discovered The Long-Lost Bowerbird, Initially Without Realizing It”