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People from what is modern day Indonesia were visiting northern Australia to collect and process trepang (sea-cucumber or sea slug) for centuries before European settlement. These people are generally referred to as Macassan (or Makassan). The first European to circumnavigate Australia, Matthew Flinders, encountered Macassans processing trepang. ...


The problem with the Thesis in Gun, Germs, and Steel is that we have one example of an E-W megacontinent (Eurasia) and one example of a N-S one (the Americas). Africa is a bit small, and vague on E-W vs N-S. The Island comparison probably fails due to the small size of any island, so the different terrain zones are similar.


The following data are taken entirely from the Angus Maddison (GDP per capita) project database (Jan 2013 update). In 1965, Singapore's GDP per capita was $2,667 (in 1990 dollars). This put Singapore at a higher GDP per capita than every East and South Asian country, with the exceptions of Japan ($5,934) and Hong Kong ($4,825). For comparison, countries ...

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