According to Guns, Germs, and Steel which is more important: the ability to invent, or the ability to borrow inventions and find new uses?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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According to Diamond, the ability to borrow and adapt is much more important than the ability to invent.  The reason for this is that it is much more possible to borrow many kinds of technologies from many different places than it is to have to invent all of those technologies yourself.

Diamond argues that most innovations were spread by borrowing.  This was one reason why Eurasia had such an advantage over other parts of the world.  Eurasia was home to many different cultures, many of which could trade relatively easily with one another.  Because of this, all the different cultures' inventions came to be available to all cultures.  This meant that each culture in Eurasia had access to many more technologies than it would have been able to invent on its own.

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