History, as well as life itself, is complicated; neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency.
p. 349 (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005))
In the latter case it is often government that organizes the conquest, and religion that justifies it.Jared Diamond
All recognized famous inventors had capable predecessors and successors and made their improvements at a time when society was capable of using their product.Jared Diamond
Put another way, the chimpanzees' closest relative is not the gorilla but humans.Jared Diamond
People often ask, "What is the single most important environmental/population problem facing the world today?" A flip answer would be, "The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem!"Jared Diamond
Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial in tipping their outcomes towards success or failure: long-term planning, and willingness to reconsider core values. On reflection, we can also recognize the crucial role of these same two choices for the outcomes of our individual lives.Jared Diamond