What is Yali’s question to Jared Diamond?
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In the introduction to Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond claims that Yali's question was the inspiration for the book. Yali, a local politician in New Guinea (where Diamond was doing field work studying birds) asks Diamond the following question: "Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo [meaning material goods and technology] and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?" The book goes on to investigate the answer to this question, attempting to provide explanations for why Eurasian peoples developed the agriculture, technology, and pathogens that enabled them to project their influence around the world.
Source: Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 13.
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