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I believe that what you are talking about is Diamond's discussion of two ways in which geography affects the likelihood of adaptation and use of technology.
First, he argues that societies can adapt technologies if they are geographically lucky. In other words, if your society is near to one that innovates, you can easily adapt the innovation for your own use. This has nothing to do with your society's values and everything to do with its location.
Second, he argues that isolated societies do not really need technology. He argues that Japan could stop using firearms because there was no neighboring country that could invade it and conquer it. If it had been next door to another country, it would have had to keep using firearms to avoid being conquered.
So if you are near to other countries that have technology, you are able to get that technology and you are pretty much forced to get and use it as well.
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