To me, what was compelling about this piece was your honesty regarding your motivations. They aren't the type you are supposed to speak of. I don't know if it was cathartic to write, but it reads like it might have been. I'm curious, what was it that you were looking for out of this big idea book? You said you had a hunger for such a book, but how so? Reputation, or what it would have enabled you to do next? Something else?
Do you have the Wikipedia manuscript? Have you considered self-publishing it? Do you find it valuable? This article is interesting, because it is really about two things, isn't it?
I've read GGS, and I think I sit somewhere between NotPhil, and kleinbl00 on this (regarding their exchange below). I might be wrong about that. To me, GGS was a book that was a bit more than a big idea, but a deliberate exercise of a theme. My feeling is that Jared Diamond doesn't buy his arguments whole-heartedly (as you mention you also believe), but that he enjoyed what came to light as he explored the topic of Western domination using a certain prism. Diamond seems to bounce along the subject in such a way that I can't help but think that he thoroughly enjoys the process. In that sense, I think GGS succeeded in many ways: it gave publishers a big idea to sell to lazy intellectual readers, but it also appealed to more critical readers that appreciate his intelligence, and are game for joining him on the trip he set out on. In fact, there was an article by Diamond posted here some a few months ago where I think it is even more evident that he doesn't really buy what he is selling, but the exercise provided good food for thought: http://hubski.com/pub?id=1852 (actually, I made a comment to this point then!). So, in this sense, I think that GGS is part big idea, and part book of ideas. I'd say that The Selfish Gene is another example of a book that frustratingly sits in both camps. I don't sense the same in Gladwell's work, btw.
At any rate. I really appreciate you expanding upon your piece in the Atlantic. And sorry about that title. :) Oh, and self links are fine. Feel free to post anything you want. The way this place works, if you don't like what someone is posting, you just don't follow them. I'll check out that interview.