I’ve tried reading both Jared Diamond’s books, the latest being Collapse, and gave up in exhaustion about 1/3 the way through each. The Long Now Foundation was kind enough to invite Diamond to give a talk which, in less time than it takes to read a single chapter, summarizes the thesis of Collapse. Check it out.
PS, isn’t “Jared Diamond” the perfect name for a super hero historian comic book character’s alter ego? Clark Kent and Peter Parker, meet Jared Diamond.