Why you should never accept sweets from Jared Diamond

Don’t read this blog expecting latest updates on anything or commentary on what is happening now. I’ve started season 2 of Breaking Bad, I won’t get to watch the new seasons of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead until next year, and I’ve never seen an advance review copy of a book in my life. I’m behind on everything.
“Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond was a very important book for me, and I can even still remember standing in the store and purchasing it 15 years ago. His “The World Until Yesterday” has been out forever, and I finally obtained a copy the other day and look forward to reading it. Rather than make a comment on something I haven’t read, I include an off-putting quote from his previous book:

In 1849, hungry gold miners crossing the Nevada desert noticed some glistening balls of a candy-like substance on a cliff, licked or ate the balls, and discovered them to be sweet-tasting, but then they developed nausea. Eventually it was realized that the balls were hardened deposits made by small rodents, called packrats … Not being toilet trained, the rats urinate in their nests, and sugar and other substances crystallize from their urine as it dries out … In effect, the hungry gold miners were eating dried rat urine laced with rat feces and rat garbage.

– Collapse by Jared Diamond


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