Friday, January 24, 2014

Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond's latest book is The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?.

From his Q & A with Noah Charney for The Daily Beast:

Could you tell us about your research approach? What does a research day look like for you?

My research consists of… As background, my books typically consist of a dozen to two dozen chapters on related subjects. For instance, my latest book, The World Until Yesterday, has 11 chapters on traditional societies. One is on bringing up children, another on old age, another on health … I do the chapters one at a time. Lots of reading, talking to people who are experts on the subject, because these are generally not my specialty. So the first step is reading and interviewing, then dictating my notes. Then, at a later stage, once I’ve done all the reading, I take my notes. I figure out the approximate outline, the sequence of subject matter for the chapter, numbering the material. Then I photocopy all my notes, and go through the photocopies and add numbers to the notes so I know where each note fits into the outline material, where that particular topic in the outline is covered. I then cut them out and assemble them into a couple of pages, so I then have, bunched together, the material for that particular topic. For example, in the chapter on bringing up children, there’s a section on children’s approach to danger. Another section on weaning of babies. So I’ll...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue