Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jared Diamond's State formation feedback diagram

This was the only place online where I could find Diamond's feedback diagram, here entitled "Factors underlying the broadest pattern of history". The time scale is much too broad but it does show the connection between food surplus, technology, military capability, and state formation.

This is part of my mini-project to make a collection of world history feedback diagrams so I can compare their applicability to the Burma-Yunnan-Bay of Bengal regional history. I'm especially interested in the effects of warfare on state formation in these diagrams. Paul Wheatley reduces three theories of state formation to feedback diagrams including Carniero's environmental circumscription in his 1983 book Nagara and Commandery.

William H. McNeill, one of the first scholars of World History, in this online article entitled "The World according to Jared Diamond" critiques Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel".