The metallurgy, etc. While other countries remained hunter gatherers.

The Question of Yali

In “Guns, Germs and Steel” Jared Diamond tries to understand
why certain countries and civilizations developed wealth and power and evolved throughout
history while other civilizations did not. He also tries to figure out how
these certain peoples were the ones capable to expand and colonize other
territories around the world, and not the other way around. Throughout the
story, Diamond seeks to answer a question asked by a man, a politician, whom he
met in New Guinea during his study about bird evolution. This guy was called
Yali. Yali was interested in knowing more about why his country was colonized
and controlled by the western world. He wanted to understand how the Europeans
were capable of controlling New Guinea.

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The question that Yali asked was “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?” (pg. 6). Cargo is in other terms the
materialistic goods. Diamond found Yali’s question difficult to answer at that
time. However he realizes the inequality between societies, he even points out
that New Guineans are as intelligent as Europeans and Americans.

From now on Diamond attempts to answer the question. He argues
why Europe, North America and eastern Asia are the wealthiest and the most powerful
in the modern world. Why most Africans and other people are weak, conquered and
submitted to Europeans. Why is the world distributed like that? Jared goes back
in history to A.D. 1500, even back then there were differences between
continents. Empires used different kinds of weaponry to conquer tribes with
older and weaker tools. But then Jared goes back in history again until the end
of the last ice age where all sorts of people from all around the globe were
still hunter gatherers. However between 11,000 B.C. and A.D. 1500 changes and
human developments occurred in different continents and this is where the
inequalities began to appear. Diamond states that most countries of Eurasia, North
America and others developed agriculture, herding, metallurgy, etc. While other
countries remained hunter gatherers. This is what made Eurasia and other
developed countries to stand out, enhance their situation and witness
technology. But the other question that Diamond points out is “why did human
development proceed at such different rates on different continents?”(pg. 7).