Henry's Enlightenment travel blog


There has been little to no economic development in Papua New Guinea. Parts of the island use only primitive tools, despite the world advancing far beyond such technology. With these primitive tools, farming and other practices do not advance to the point where an economy can develop, and the focus of the people of Papua New Guinea is only on surviving and not prospering economically. Parts of the country did utilize modern technology, but the people who lived in the highlands did not have access to the technology which has spread so quickly across the world today.

The thesis of Professor Diamond revolves heavily around the idea that countries like Papua New Guinea remain so primitive in their culture and technology because of their geographical location, and as a result their limitedness to successful agriculture and farming techniques including the use of basic farm animals and other crops like cereal grains. Successful farming techniques will lead to a surplus of food and allow members of society to focus on other things than just the gathering of food. This diverted focus results in advancement in new technology. Animals are key in this idea because with the domestication of farm animals, the efficiency of food production increases immensely. This explains country's like the united states development because of the greater available land for farming and animals and crops like corn which naturally occur here. A lot of farming animals made their way to the country over ships but they made it to the US much easier than they would make it to Papua New Guinea, it being on an island which is not easily reached. This issue can be analyzed with more detail.

The issue with animals being that they only had pigs, no chickens, cows, or other animals which could be used for labor not just food, so pigs only provided some food, but not as much say a cow could produce over the course of its whole life. They also did lack key grains to be farmed, so they had limited crops to provide key nutrients. Insects had to be substitutes for protein and trees lacking a lot of possible nutritional value were among the only plants to benefit from. Assuming The people of Papua New Guinea had all of these crops to use, there is only so much room on the island for farming to take place, the island would still reach a carrying capacity meaning that less people could push into new trades and explore new technologies. Some may be able to, but not a lot to increase the rate at which the people advance. In comparison, other countries with more land,better crops , and animals, would advance in technology much faster and eventually conquer the world with guns, germs, and steel, some of which root from having a surplus of food.



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