Cats created our civilization

Well… at least they helped to its creation a lot. Let me explain.

Did you read Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel”? It’s a book worth reading. Diamond developed a career in ornithology and ecology, specializing in New Guinea and nearby islands. In the prologue of the book, Diamond recounts how he became intrigued when his New Guinean friend Yali asked, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”

The cargo that Yali refers to is technology – tools as simple as axes; accessories such as umbrellas; and more complicated inventions such as cars, computers, cell phones, and the Internet. After all, Diamond points out, a mere two centuries prior to his meeting with Yali, New Guineans were still using stone tools. What factors caused this gap between the development of one culture and another?

Diamond searches for the answer for years, and his answer to Yali’s question is that book, “Guns, Germs, and Steel”. He explains in the book why Eurasian civilizations (including North Africa) have survived and conquered others while arguing against the idea that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral, or inherent genetic superiority. Diamond argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies originate in environmental differences, which are amplified by various positive feedback loops.

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An evening with the cats after the race

After returning from the Turkish National Cycling Championships in Karaman (my team became the Turkish National Champion in Master B category – over 40 year old), I spent an evening with the cats. I really missed them when am a thousand kilometer away. I think they missed me too.
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