I’ve only just finished reading the famous and interesting book of Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel. The last chapter is an addition to the original. It handles some questions that remained unsolved in the big book. The first is a really good and relevant point. The second is neither, but it goes straight to my heart.

The most interesting point is a possible attack on the main thesis. The question of the book is: Why did Europe invaded/colonized the Americas, Australia and Africa instead of the opposite? Referring to guns, germs and steel isn’t his main accomplishment. It’s his Darwinistic take on why Europe was superior at that point in those three categories that makes this book quite interesting. According to Diamond, geography, climate and fauna & flora are the cause of Europe’s position. The problem in the book is that the whole reasoning is based on Eurasia. Every comparisons goes by opposing the characteristics of on the one hand Eurasia and on the other either the Americas, Australia or Africa. But these arguments in favor for the strength of Eurasia don’t explain why it were the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Spain, Portugal and (in lesser degree) some other European countries that colonized the world. Eurasia is bigger than those countries.

Yet, the reason for this blogpost is Diamonds example of contemporary German beer. First of all, don’t make me laugh, Belgian beer is far superior. There is no reason to cram your bags with German beer when you return to the USA. Secondly, according to the book, German beer is produced far less efficient than American beers. The reason lies in the size of the businesses. They can’t scale up and improve efficiency. Well, I’m pretty sure that it’s even ‘worse’ in Belgium. But than again, you can find all those ineffective small breweries at every top list of best beers in the world. Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle… Americans are very efficient in creating piss, congrats!


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