Jared Diamond

  • Aired:  01/15/13
  •  | Views: 14,766

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author talks about his book, "The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?" (5:17)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK BEGUN EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT HAS A NEW BOOK ABOUT TRADITIONAL CULTURES CALLED "THE WORLD UNTIL

YESTERDAY." PERFECT, THAT'S AS FAR BACK AS I CAN REMEMBER.

PLEASE WELCOME JARED DIAMOND.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

YOUR A GEOGRAPHY PROFESSION ERROR AT UCLA, A MACARTHUR GENIUS AWARD WINNER, A PULL

LIGHTER PRIZE WINNER FOR YOUR BOOK "GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL." YOUR NEW BOOK IS CALLED "THE

WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES." WHAT CAN WE LEARN?

BY TRADITIONAL DO YOU MEAN A MAN MARRIED TO A WOMAN, 2 HAD THE 4 KIDS, WHITE PICKET FENCE IN THE

SUBURBS AS GOD INTENDS?

>> I MEAN SOMETHING DIFFERENT BY TRADITIONAL SOCIETY, I MEAN THE SOCIETIES THAT WERE ALL

SOCIETIES AROUND THE WORLD UNTIL RELATIVELY RECENTLY WHEN POPULATION GREW.

>> Stephen: WHAT DO YOU MEAN RECENTLY?

>> FIRST STATE GOVERNMENT WAS 5400 YEARS AGO IN THE FERTILE CRESCENT AND IN LARGE PARTS OF

UNITED STATES, RURAL AREAS WE'RE LIVING LARGELY TRADITIONAL TODAY.

>> Stephen: THERE ARE PARTS OF UNITED STATES THAT LIVE AS WE LIVED 5,000 YEARS?

>> THERE ARE PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES WHERE SOME THINGS.

>> WE WENT TO MONTANA WE SPEND OUR VACATION.

IF THERE'S AN ARGUMENT BETWEEN NEIGHBORING RANCHERS THEY DON'T CALL IN LAWYERS OR THE POLICE

THEY SETTLE IT THEMSELVES AS PEOPLE DID TRADITIONALLY.

>> Stephen: WOULD YOU CALL THEM PRIMITIVE OR ORIGINAL SOCIETIES -- SOCIETIES?

>> IT'S NO LONGER POLITCALLY CORRECT TO SAY PRIMITIVE.

>> Stephen: THENSAY PRIMITIVE.

THE GUYS WITH THE BONES THROUGH THE NOSE.

WE DON'T PLAY IT SAFE ON THIS SHOW.

WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM THEM.

I'M THE ONE WITH THE CIVILIZATION, SHOULDN'T THEY BE LEARNING FROM ME?

>> THEY CAN LEARN BEFORE YOU BUT THEY BRING UP YOUR CHILDREN TO BE INDEPENDENT, SELF CONFIDENT

SOCIALLY SKILLED.

>> Stephen: MY CHILDREN ARE INDEPENDENT.

THEY HAVE iPHONES.

CAN I GET THEM WHEN I NEED TO.

THEY CAN GO IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

>> THAT ILL ILLUSTRATES THE PROBLEM.

IN NEW NEW GUINEA WHERE KIDS DON'T HAVE iPHONES THEY MAKE THE DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES.

OLD AGE PLAYS OUT MORE HAPPILY IN THEIR SOCIETY.

>> Stephen: HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE?

32?

>> YOU ARE CORRECT.

THERE'S THE PROBLEM.

>> Stephen: THAT IS NOT A SMALL PROBLEM.

[ LAUGHTER ]

I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD MONTHS AGO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

YOU ARE CONNECT.

THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN IS SHORTER BUT IN THEIR OLD AGE THEY ARE NOT LONELY.

THEY ARE LIVING NEXT TO THEIR CHILDREN AND THEIR FRIENDS.

THAT'S UNUSUAL IN THE UNITED STATES.

>> HOW MANY OF THESE TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES ARE THERE IN THE WORLD?

>> CAN I GO FIND THEM IN THE WORLD?

>> THERE ARE LARGELY PLACES LESS SKILLED.

>> IF I WANT THERE WITH AN ELECTRIC CAN OPENER WOULD THEY WORSHIP ME AS A GOD?

>> AS VAN KAMP THE KING OF BEANS?

>> WHAT THEY WOULD ACTUALLY DO IS TRY TO FIGURE OUT A USE FOR THE ELECTRIC CAN OPENER IN THE

ABSENCE OF CANS.

THEY MIGHT TRY STICKING IT THROUGH THEIR NOSE OR IN THEIR EARS.

WHAT GOOD IS THAT WITHOUT A CAN?

>> Stephen: THAT'S HOW I GET THEM.

I SELL THEM THE OPENER AND LEASE THEM THE CANS.

SOFTWARE MODEL.

IT'S HOW BILL GATES GOT RIX.

I UNDERSTAND IN ONE OF SOCIETIES YOU STUDY THEY STRANGLE WIDOWS?

>> THAT'S TRUE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF --

>> Stephen: SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND, COME OVER HERE.

>> WIDOW STRANGLING IS NOT INVOLUNTARY.

THE WIDOW -- SERIOUS, THE WIDOW CALLS UPON HER BRERNLINGS AND IF THEY ARE NOT THERE, HER SONS TO

STRANGLE HER.

THIS IS VOLUNTARY ON THE PART OF WIDOW.

>> Stephen: AS THEY ARE CRUSHING HER WINDPIPE HOW DO THEY HEAR HER SAY KEEP

STRANGLING ME.

>> SHE SAYS IT AT THE BEGINNING.

>> Stephen: AND AFTER THAT THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED.

>> YES.

I WANT TOLL EXPLAIN HOW UNSTRANGLED ONE ZIT.

WITH A ROPE AROUND THE NECK -- YOU PULL IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS.

>> Stephen: SO IT'S HUMANE?

WOULD YOU PUT YOUR HANDS UP AGAIN LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO FIGHT ME.

THIS WAY LIKE THIS.

YOU LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE MASCOT OF THE FIGHTING IRISH.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> I WENT TO UCLA.

>> Stephen: CONGRATULATIONS.

YOU WERE GREAT IN LINCOLN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

JARED DIAMOND, THE BOOK IS "THE WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY." WE'LL

Loading...