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Reflection Paper

After analyzing “The Guns, Germs, and Steel: The fate of human societies” book by Jared Diamond, it would be safe to state that it is a compilation of historical events that are clearly describing all kinds of milestones achieved by humanity throughout the years. The core idea behind this book is to develop a proper understanding of the negative and positive outcomes of history, thus, based on the information from the book, the following analysis can be presented.

Having analyzed the video about the Korean student behavior, it would be safe to state that it depends on the situation. To be more specific, if it hinders the teaching process for other students, then questions should be asked in an individual manner. Clearly, not every student will come, nor will every teacher will be able to answer the question. Indeed, the idea is that students should be able to ask questions whenever they want to is not only correct, but will ensure that nothing important is left. Although, Korean students are eager to learn, they are silent due to the fact that the lesson is somewhat boring to them. Clearly, if they were highly motivated and engaged within the process, this issue would not be present on a massive scale. In essence, the more students ask, the better, but once they are eager to know, but bored by the learning process, they are generally destroying their potential of being literate, or more importantly, highly-educated. Although it is also worth mentioning that their culture and society has a direct impact on the issue. Indeed, it is clear from the video, that people are not just lazy to ask questions, but are afraid and ignorant. In other words, it is a social norm for them, although it is not entirely true due to the fact that modern Korean students display better results. Another crucial aspect of learning is interaction between the student and teacher. Indeed, the more they cooperate and accomplish collective tasks, the better. Interaction as it is, will aid to eliminate all major errors that can spawn during the learning process. Moreover, the more people interact with one another, the more they become connected, which in turn has a direct impact on future work. Interaction also associates the student with the material they just learned. Putting this into perspective, it is easier to remember certain phrases of a new language if tangible elements are present. Surely, it requires more time and resources, but in a long term period, it is far more effective than traditional means (i.e. learning from a book).

Moving on forward, in the Guns, Germs, and Steel on chapter 12, the author stresses out the importance of being literate. The core message of the chapter is to demonstrate how these, now simple skills can make a difference. Indeed, the author successfully delivered an outline of advantages literate people had, including, language, maps, the ability to research, and the most prominent advantage of them all, ability to write. It is critical to stress out that with the ability to write, literate people were able to develop guidelines, aware signs. Eventually, the three core attributes of language, (i.e. alphabetic, logo-graphic and syllabic) formed the writing system that is utilized even today. Without writing, people would not be able to achieve what is now considered as “granted”. Furthermore, the ability to write directly, as well as indirectly formed modern technology, which is based on algorithms and instructions written in a specific language, that owns its existence to these three core attributes. Thus, in order to fully apprehend the beneficial effect of the ability to write, a small example can be presented. Without language, people would not be able to pass critical knowledge (i.e. medicine recipes) to other continents, which in turn would result in full-blown genocide. This might seem childish to state, but in reality, there are several real life counterparts that did indeed happened.

In chapter 15, the author covers a very interesting topic that involves a brief, yet substantial analysis of all five major geographical regions. This particular chapter explores the development process and tries to cover all crucial to the history events. This particular analysis has proven to be an interesting read due to the fact that the author successfully compared them to one another. This way, the reader can fully apprehend how certain regions are more advanced and why others are not. Furthermore, having read previous chapters, this particular part of the book is even more informative. It summarizes and concludes everything that was stated before, making it one of the best sections of the book. In chapter 16, Diamond covers the Chinese region and how different they are, as well as how well they follow their culture. Indeed, Chinese people are well educated about their culture and the majority of them speak the Mandarin language. Although, the author also tries to trace their unification process by referring to their language. The final chapter of the book features a detailed comparison of the Eurasia and Native America. As stated by the author, the Eurasian continent had a significantly better domestication level that of the Native America. Moreover, the planting was also better in Eurasia due to the fact that Native Americans focused mainly on corn crops. Furthermore, the plants were gathered manually and there were no such things as animal plows in America. Clearly, Eurasia was more advanced in terms of farming and animal utilization. This process created a huge gap between the two worlds, which in turn, generated new opportunities for the Eurasia. The ability to farm more efficiently had a direct impact on their well-being, which in turn, had a strong impact on their health. In essence, people of Eurasia received more proteins and more fats compared to Native Americans that solely relied on corn. It is no wonder that people of Eurasia looked more healthy and stronger. They had clear advantages and could not help, but exploit this superiority. Indeed, if Native Americans featured the same level of farming, history as it is, would had a different outcome. Last but not least, in the Epilogue, the author talks about the Japanese culture and how different they are. Indeed, Japanese people, even by today standards, are totally different from other cultures, as a matter of fact, they have little to no, in common with other cultures. Surely, one might argue that there are several attributes that both European and Americans have in common with Japan, but in reality, these similarities come directly from Japan. Putting this into perspective, it is now common practice to draw art in a Japanese manner, moreover, it is now normal that you can find sushi in all kind of places.

All in all, the analysis has proven to be an interesting and educating read. The author successfully delivered an in-depth look at all major societies and even spoke about Japanese people, who are not only advanced, but live in a completely different world that has completely different values.

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