Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free


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    free download Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free read & download é eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF á Steven Pinker For years I’ve been saying Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I’d read in a decade If I could rec

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free You’ve never had it so good and Steven Pinker has the stats and charts over 70 to prove it Wars are fewer and less severe homicides are down racism is in decline terrorism is a fading fad democracy rules communi

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free When this book was not boring me it was irritating me All of the author’s anecdotes I had read elsewhere Scien

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free read & download é eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF á Steven Pinker free download Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress This concoction and Roslings´ similar „Go on everything is super“ Factfulness were the reasons for me to leave the soft space of some humanities that are nothing than appeasement belittlement and deception A mix of different uotes from the book and thoughts and impressions I had while consuming this fairytale Some points might be redundant sorry for that but this is what happens when taking notes about a book that is nonse

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free Steven Pinker makes a strong argument for enlightenment principles and essentially not giving up on the world because Donald Trump is president We are not contrary to popular belief going backwards and have in fact made astounding progress in all measurable areas such as wealth health safety education and eualit

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free A few months ago I heard Steven Pinker give a talk about this book I must say that his speaking skill did not impress me However his writing sk

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free free download Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Everyone should read Enlightenment Now It seems odd to reuire a defense of reason science humanism and progress but we suff

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free A paean to the status uo that can be summarized in four words ‘don’t worry be happy’ Actually five words as one is contracted This book will no doubt earn the author a lanyard to every corporate boardroom and conservative think tank in the countryHis thesis is that Enlightenment principles must be defende

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    Summary [ Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress Epub ] Author Steven Pinker – PDF, DOC & Kindle ePUB free In his newest book Neoliberalism Now The Case for Positivism Scientism Atheism and Globalization Steven Pinker seeks to cash in on the Trump e

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The Balance of George Lucas's Star Wars gWhen this book was not boring me it was irritating me All of the author s anecdotes I had read elsewhere Science isood I don t need convincing Vaccines work Poverty is bad and is Lovecraft Country getting better throughout the world Everyone who wants to know this stuff already knows itWhy euate Al Gore with Theodore Kaczynski The Unabomber as the author seems to do regarding the environment Is Fox News really right when they said the poor can t be poor because they have cell phones and air conditioning today The author defended that absurdity though he doesn t mention that Fox used to argue that when Obama was president And why did the author make a false euivalence between Bernie Sanders and Trump Sanders didn t believe climate change is a Chinese Hoax or pick someone in his cabinet who thinks vaccines cause autism or wanted to build a wall and claim Mexico will pay for it or feed our hate against Muslims Browns Asians or anyone who strikes his fancy for the day even kneeling football players This author always seemed to have some pie in the sky anti humanist post modernist Strawman he was easily demolishing for some reason I couldn t figure out He mentioned the inratitude were in the 9th circle of hell and implied Dante had a point and people most of us have never heard of such as Heidegger Adorno and Neitzsche and I think he also mentioned Marcuse belonged there for their in Memorii, vol. I-II gratitude I moing to venture a Full Steam Ahead, Felix: Adventures of a famous station cat and her kitten apprentice guess since I didn t read all of the book the author doesn t like identity politics andets bothered by political correctness and thinks both sides are to blame I don t know if that s where he was oing but I wasn t oing to find out by wading thru a familiar story I ve read better told in other booksThe author is completely out of his depth on economics and ineuality I suggest you read Piketty s book instead of this author s poorly constructed deconstruction of Piketty s wonderful book and then tell me again why ineuality is not real or not a big deal His Enlightenment and Romanticism knowledge seemed superficial Of the 8 or so Voltaire uips he provided I had heard them all elsewhere I stopped this book after 5 hours I ot my credit back from Audible I seldom do that This author was teaching me nothing I didn t already know and worse than that seemed to have a disregard for the truth by trying to defend his own thesis beyond what the facts would take a reasonable person Steven Pinker makes a strong argument for enlightenment principles and essentially not iving up on the world because Donald Trump is president We are not contrary to popular belief oing backwards and have in fact made astounding progress in all measurable areas such as wealth health safety education and eualityFaced with the numbers it s hard to disagree though I went into this fairly convinced already We do not by any measure live in a reat world but we do live in a better world than we did fifty one hundred one thousand years ago Pinker presents this information using charts and tables in this extensively researched bookHowever some of his claims are not really backed up by the evidence either because he uses limited sources or engages in some avoiding the issue fallacies The lengthy breakdown of how much things cost compared to how much they cost in say the Middle Ages is irrelevant to the discussion of wealth because Pinker doesn t consider new kinds of expenses mortgages insurance electric as and phone bills etc I also looked up a couple of the references he uses and now I m skeptical about the others One example I checked on was his source for the claim that black people are no likely to be shot by police than white people in America Obviously this is a hot topic and a controversial claim to make His single source for such a bold claim here actually found that black people were likely to be shot by police than white people but offered an opinion as to why this might be Other pieces disagreeHe arrives at a number of these rand conclusions based on a single article which is often an opinion piece He cherry picks information to suit his argument and relies on the unlikelihood that anyone will Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood go check his sources It s a shame to be honest because I think the central argument is a strong one that we are indeed making progress There s a whole lot to suggest that the world isn toing to hell in a handbasket But Pinker actually risks fuelling a bleak opposite of societal pessimism While I don t disagree that we are faced with a lot of doom foreshadowing news stories there is also an ever Imagine That! growing misconception that ineuality is over That our society is colourblind and that women are now treated no different to men Pinker s distortion of facts often supports this theory and it is incorrectThings are overalletting better but over exaggerating the extent to which improvements have been made does not help anyone Well other than making rich white men feel better about the state of the world they rule overBlog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube A paean to the status uo that can be summarized in four words don t worry be happy Actually five words as one is contracted This book will no doubt earn the author a lanyard to every corporate boardroom and conservative think tank in the countryHis thesis is that Enlightenment principles must be defended but not against mindless consumerism not against the rowing disparities of wealth not against the disruption of earth systems No the Enlightenment must be defended against The Strawman The author lets the cat out early in the book Intellectuals hate progress p39 Later Pinker says An axiom of progressive opinion especially in universities is that we continue to live in a deeply racist sexist and homophobic society which would imply that progressivism is a waste of time having accomplished nothing at decades of struggle p215 Did your jaw just drop too This is a recurring theme in the book binary positions If you feel that we have a ways to o regarding bigotry then you are just not appreciative enough of the Sister of My Heart gains intellectuals and progressives are anti Enlightenment Just five pages later he says that heightened concern is not futile moralizing but has brought measurable progress which means that continuing this concern can lead toreater progress still p220 Yes the idea of progressive thinking is that maintaining a heightened level of concern can motivate King Alfred's Version of St. Augustine's Soliloquies greaterains towards Enlightenment ideals unless that is you are an intellectual who when maintaining a heightened level of concern is just being unappreciative of the meaty bone the status uo has already thrown youPinker says police shoot too many people but it s not primarily a racial issue I wonder if the number of people who are shot with their empty hands in the air is a racial issue maybe a nice chart on that one would be interesting Maybe he should interview Rescuing Gus groups of people who live in fear of the police of being carded while walking of being stopped on the road because of their appearanceIn his effort to make all of hisraphs show diminishing bads over time he has to fudge GHG emissions to show GHG emissions GDP This is a favourite trick of those who wish to delay any meaningful efforts to face climate change the atmosphere doesn t care how many oods and services an economy creates Emissions are continuing to increase as our economy expands Diluting this value with a GDP measure of dematerialized Services Is Of An Indicator Of What Public And Personal is of an indicator of what public and personal has been devoured by The Market than anything to do with emissions In plain words it is disingenuousProbably the most distressing aspect of this book is Pinker s unwillingness to engage in a meaningful critiue of left intellectuals who he seems to despise His references to them involve either ross dog whistle caricatures the butt of a Russian peasant joke or a cheap pot shot Osama Bin Laden owned a copy of a book by Noam Chomsky really Who cares And then he misrepresents Deconstruction and post modernism as the heartbeat of anti Enlightenment thought heirs of the anti rational Romantic thinkers of the past Any intellectual who explores truth making like the Continental philosophers or challenges the big empty narratives around freedom truth right etc becomes anti rational Then Pinker unloads the big clich that you can t make a rational statement about truth being socially constructed which to Pinker means that what is meant is that there is no truth binary thinking again and therefore anti rational for a page or two he dances around the logical impossibility of making a rational statement about an anti rationalist position as if anyone really holds this position But when it comes to his tribe he says in italics no Enlightenment thinker ever claimed that humans were consistently rational It s surprising that author could not see that this sentiment cuts both ways Eg no postmodernist thinker ever claimed that humans were consistently irrational The left too has missed the boat in its contempt for the market and its romance with Marxism What does this even mean What Marxism the critiue of capital I think this is most revealing as Pinker dodges any reference to capitalism or accurately a critiue of capitalism The romance with Marxism is A Sign Of Enlightenment sign of Enlightenment at work as opposed to a dogmatic adherence to Capitalism as the best system in the past and by extrapolation the best system forever In addition to this bias Pinker is uick to point out what he considers bad about communist or leftist Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story governments without evaluating their successes and failures on the same principled measures as he applies throughout the book for example rather than a chauvinistic dismissal of Venezuela under Chavez measure hisains or failures in child mortality longevity homicides poverty literacy and so on He critiues the numbers of left intellectuals in the academy a place where ambiguity honest analysis and critiue is fostered but doesn t conduct a similar survey of the ratio of left to right thinkers in positions of power in public office or corporate boardrooms not to mention the academy Later during his analysis of Islam he uotes ex Muslim activist Sarah Haider who says Religions are just ideas and don t have rights Criticizing the ideas of Islam is no bigoted than criticizing the ideas of neoliberalism or the Republican Party Platform p442 I wonder if he feels this way about other non Muslim faith based states in the region replace Islam with another faith and I wonder what sort of reception his book would have receivedI could How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead go on and on as every page packs aroaner Overall Pinker loses the ist of his thesis in a stew of ross eneralizations and what I would consider a contempt for the Enlightenment project as it relates to preserving open discussion of ideals and efforts against the reification of power structures and narratives that hinder progress Has humanity come a long way Sure who really doubts that Do we have work to do Yes we do but you wouldn t feel any urgency to do so from this bookPinker says Instead their reputations hinge on their ability to entertain titillate or shock on their ability to instill confidence or fear in the hopes that a prophecy might be self fulfilling or self defeating and on their skill in alvanizing a coalition and celebrating its virtue I would say this is a Moonrise good description of the author of Enlightenment NowJust to be clear I didn t like this book You ve never had it soood and Steven Pinker has The Stats And Charts Over 70 To Prove It Wars stats and charts over 70 to prove it Wars fewer and less severe homicides are down racism is in decline terrorism is a fading fad democracy rules communicable diseases and poverty are on their If you think the world is coming to an end think again people are living longer healthier freer and happier lives and while our problems are formidable the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and scienceIs the world really falling apart Is the ideal of progress obsolete In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the ory headlines and prophecies of doom which play to our psychological

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Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and ProgressOne of the funniest things about such books is that they are close to impossible to suss if one has not read some progressive alternative literature in contrast to what is permanently repeated in mainstream media and science7 Sweatshops aren t that bad8 Capitalism already solved and will solve the few little problems it created Sure a problem repairs the problems it creates instead of creating reater problems9 He finds the fact that people call humans under the current economic system a malady to the planet evil discriminating hateful and wrong although it s the truth10 He is biased does the ultimate replication crisis demonstration11 Philosophical out of context bla yada drivel that isn t even close to the real philosophers but fine tuned and modified to fit to the agenda and dogma of this book12 Peak car Why show me the extrapolations13 He ignores so much hard based science that doesn t fit to the conclusions he wants that it s hard to endure14 He states that richer states have less environmental pollutions and et cleaner So let s o jogging in an industrial center and Alien Alpha go swimming in the local lake afterward Who survives can pick some berries and vegetablesrown outdoors and will be one soon too 15 He compares the environmental protection movement with extremists calling it misanthropic environmentalism He does as if the wide consense about habitat destruction and the sixth extinction doesn t exist and compares it to pessimistic people who spread viral fake news ideas16 He loves to use those techniues17 He praises science knowledge wisdom creativity intelligence as wordy as possible while being an ignorant apologist for the perfect current system ignoring and attacking any other opinion than his own21 His arrogance joviality condescension and belittlement in his writing and in interviews are disgusting22 There is no problem with distributive justice everything is fine because so many people aren t extremely poor any but now just poor or close to poverty23 He talks about ideas concepts humanities avoiding anything substantial profound and hard science based24 He and Rosling have the same concept Look stupid people of the world here is the manipulated data you are too dumb to understand in the way I want you to understand it so let me explain it you while warmongering and hate trolling against anything that doesn t confirm my opinion 25 He keeps repeating eneral knowledge about many things that have improved stating that it will continue to et better 26 He picks any person anecdote or fact out of context to mostly demonstrate a pro capitalistic world view 27 He knows everything about the climate he is a weather God Nobody else thousands of scientists aren t sure what will happen with climate change lobal warming how earths systems and the sun really function and how bad it will become but Pinker knows that everything will be fine now in 100 years always and forever The sun always tells him how it will shine 28 Combat poverty instead of reducing ineuality Of course ive a man a fish a day instead of showing him how to angle or allowing him at least to fish but the lake and the sea are privatized sorry Give tiny parts of wealth to the poor instead of changing a dysfunctional system29 Overconsumption and consumerism are absolutely no problems we should just reduce the environmental damage it does bymagic and positive thinking and not listening to the lies those pesky pessimists are telling30 In this so called age of new enlightenment anything progressive alternative or different of the dogmas is deemed a conspiracy theory He ot me I also never uote or show the hard facts links I am inventing any review because the secret reptilian overlords are telling me to do it I am completely bonkers because I am a dirty leftist inventing conspiracy theories about military industrial complexes and post democracy and you don t want to know what else it s terrible for the kids31 The compulsion to have a positive mentality of being mindful calm meditating and not negative and pessimistic Forced happiness without reason and logic32 Much talk about the sock puppets of politics he doesn t like no meta analysis or mentioning of the puppetmasters or politicians he likes33 Extremism is caused by a power vacuum of disinterest in politics and the politicians he likes33 Extremism is caused by a power vacuum of disinterest in politics and the that made democracy so reat and it s the peoples fault who are used to this and don t appreciate it and has nothing to do with the system34 He calls marxism a pseudo fringe science Oh wait and of course because of this socialism is pseudo too and capitalism is based on hard science or what 35 He doesn t understand that faith and dictatorships that were criticized by the thinkers of the true enlightenment have been turned in our economic system that does exactly the same but perfidious and mendacious And that he s actively attacking and denying the thesis of the ones who work for a new enlightenment36 Truth can t be constructed Wait why do you do it yourself Mr Pinker if it s impossible37 He uses data sources raphs statistics out of context or out of unscientific sources sometimes relating to just one article book study that is highly controversial38 He bashes anything left or progressive in science education and universities but doesn t mention the overwhelming right conservative majority in politics Beautiful Ghosts governments and economics with a single word39 Black people are not likely to be shot by police than white people in the US40 He isreat at The evil news media are always hyping about crises and problems that don t really exist42 He says that there is far less violence for privileged people in rich states and rich people in poor countries but he should ask a prison inmate the impoverished population of Western countries or the poor majority of the worlds population in Afrika Asia and Latin Amerika I am sure that they are enthusiastic about the fact that there are fewer wars driven by and economic interests of wealthy nations and now just have to deal with crime starvation illness extreme poverty and violence and very low life expectancy Oh and of course with the regular financial crisis land Alexandra, Gone grabbing and trade wars fought on and for their territory43 The rate of extinctions has been reduced by 75 % What I thought the contrary was the case and that we don t even know how many species we exterminate on a daily basis because we don t know how many exist44 Osama bin Laden owned a copy of a Chomsky book So left socialist ecosocial is the devil don t you understand45 Progressivism activism scientific results he doesn t like are described as useless 46 He is switching his opinions saying that something is bad if it s a point he doesn t like changing toreat about the same thing institution philosophical concept science if it s something he likes mixing it with psychobabble and worst bad pseudo fringe science lying with statistics stuff And he doesn t even seem to recognize that he is contradicting himself because the book is a collection of such inconsistencies it s not even logical drivel47 He is not even mentioning that some of his crude theories could be wrong as any A Year in 120 Recipes good scientist I ve read does in humility and self criticism instead he deems himself all knowing and is vilifying any opposition using subtle hate speechIt s so bizarre because of the combination of points I ve already mentioned He is no specialist in any of the fields the talks about and it would need a few of them to draw a realistic and objective picture Or at least an author who does his research and combines all points to an objective overview Instead he believes to reachod mode by combining cherrypicking mentioned replication crisis wrong attacks against anyone saying he is wrong integrating anectotism instead of long time data and mixing it up to a numbing phantasmagoria of an idyllic world that is in reality breaking in pieces What shocks me the most and what is the worst thing a scientist can do is that he integrates this hallucinations in the minds of intelligent literate educated people who infect others with this viral arbage so that they stop activism and avoid progressive alternative thinking and real productive contentions about the topic instead telling each other how reat Pinker is and which of his amazing brilliant ideas they find most astonishing Possibly they should combine it with Roslings pseudo Factfulness for the full dosage of brainwashing and leave reality foreverIt s sad that Pinker started as a real scientist with his first books and switched to writing disinformation nonsense with The better angels of our nature that seems so follow the same pattern of empty yada bla The Devil Hath Been Raised: A Documentary History of the Salem Village Witchcraft Outbreak of March 1692; Together With a Collection of Newly Located and Gathered Witchcraft Documents gossip He uicklyot richer but lost his reputation foreverAlternative economists and political scientists with ideas that could really change the world aren t read because of stuff like this Continued in the comments because there is no space left here A few months ago I heard Steven Pinker ive
a talk about 
talk about book I must say that his speaking skill did not impress me However his writing skill is brilliant This is a very important book epic in scope comprehensive well thought out and structured incredibly well researched and full of some very important messagesThe book begins with a student s uestion Why should I live To which Pinker answers with a profound interpretation of the meaning of life I won t repeat his complete answer but he writes You have the ability to like love respect help and show kindness and you can enjoy the ift of mutual benevolence with friends family and colleagues You can foster the welfare of other sentient beings by enhancing life health knowledge freedom abundance safety beauty and peace Pinker writes that the Enlightenment helped us escape from superstition and ignorance It increased our understanding of ourselves through science Also Humanism is a secular foundation for morality And it is individuals who are sentient not the tribe The Enlightenment helped to abolish cruel punishments and slavery Also Humanism helped bring about an increase in peaceThe Enlightenment has helped to eradicate some terrible diseases Science is the most unambiguous achievement by mankind Science helped to eradicate smallpox a painful and disfiguring disease that killed 300 million people in the 20th century And we have forgotten that on April 12 1955 people observed moments of silence rang bells honked horns took the day off closed schools and forgave enemies That was the day that Jonas Salk s polio vaccine was declared to be safe Pinker extols the virtues of enetic engineering that can accomplish in days what farmers accomplished over millennia and what Norman Borlaug took years of mind warping tedium to accomplish Hundreds of studies every major health and science organization and over In his newest book Neoliberalism Now The Case for Positivism Scientism Atheism and Globalization Steven Pinker seeks to cash in on the Trump election by rushing out what is mostly a rehash of material from his previous book The Better Angels of Our Nature His method of reasoning and tone of argument seeks to preach to the choir rather than persuade the unaffiliated Unlike his classic works The Blank Slate and The Sense of Style this book will not be something we return to decades from now except as a time capsule into the conventional wisdom of Economist reading Davos attendees during the early 21st century The book is divided into three parts Part I This would make a reat TedTalk Part II Where it doesn t lift entire sections from Better Angels this is Pinker s longwinded literature review of the work of economic historians If you are interested in. –tribalism authoritarianism demonization magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit Many commentators committed to political religious or romantic ideologies fight a rearguard action against it The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and lobal cooperationWith intellectual depth and literary flair Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason science and humanism the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progre. Ay out Life expectancy is up and police are killing fewer people both black and white Even the poor have refrigerators Ineuality is a reuisite sign of success So appreciate the wonderful state of affairs you find yourself in This is the message of Enlightenment Now with a title that sounds like a protest placard but which is actually a survey of the world by the statistics that states collectWe re so progressive we re beating back entropy itself Steven Pinker takes 500 pages to create Why I won t be reading this Everyone should read Enlightenment Now It seems odd to reuire a defense of reason science humanism and progress but we suffer if we do not understand how far humanity has come by application of these principles Steven Pinker has done us the favor of chronicling that progress with data in a compellingly written volume that challenges common assumptions The news cycle and many prominent intellectuals would have us think that the world is becoming a darker scarier place yet the opposite is true While pessimism makes for ood news coverage and stokes political fires denying progress causes us to mistrust the systems we ve put in place Combine that mistrust with a lack of understanding of WHY we put those systems in place and you Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience get setbacks like a Trump presidency a burgeoning flat earther movement and anti vaccine advocacy Acknowledging humanity s successes is not foolishly optimistic or defeatist rather it should inspire us to work toward an even better future because we know our efforts will not be in vain This is not a Panglossian best of all possible worlds rather it is ackowledgement that we live in the best world SO FAR A uote from Barack Obama summarizes this view If you had to choose a moment in history to be born and you did not know ahead of time who you would be you didn t know whether you wereoing to be born into a wealthy family or a poor family what country you d be born in whether you were oing to be a man or a woman if you had to choose blindly what moment you d want to be born you d choose nowThis account of progress plays out on a variety of uantifiable measures and it s not just ood news for denizens of first world countries Pinker is careful to tease apart the trends that typically begin in developed countries and then spread lobally Average life expectancy worldwide was stalled at 30 years until the late 1800s but has now skyrocketed to 71 Child mortality has plummeted For an American woman being pregnant a century ago was almost as dangerous as having breast cancer today Infectious diseases are being driven to extinction and many already have Caloric intake has increased across the world even as population continues to row to the point that in many countries the poorest people are over fed rather than under fed Undernourishment is fast becoming a thing of the past and famines are now incredibly rare and lack the destructive potential of their predecessors even a century ago All people are becoming on average wealthier wealth ineuality is a separate topic that is also addressed but the trend is still positive across the world and have disposable income and opportunities to learn and travel Literacy has A Grant County Collection: Indelible, Faithless and Skin Privilege grown and with it I Work hours have decreased and child labor is in steep decline Violence and death are down across almost every single measure as Pinker detailed in another book The Better Angels of Our Nature and expands on here Representativeovernment has spread to a majority of the world s countries and individuals These improvements surprisingly also play out in sustainability a chapter in particular that challenged many of my assumptions energy use pollution and population rowth Pinker is no Pollyana he does carefully address some of our most pressing problems namely climate change and the threat of nuclear war Even for these serious uandaries he provides cause for optimism and some potential answersAll these charts and trends have ragged trajectories that dip and rise along their paths None of these improvements come all at once or unceasingly As Pinker says that would be magic and science isn t magic There are reasons for these improvements and those reasons can be applied to solving new problems Pinker also unpacks the importance of appealing to reason the power of scientific thinking and a basis for secular morality that transcends religious identity He identifies and argues against the worldviews that oppose the ideals of the Enlightenment This is a long book but it is important timely and a delight to read For years I ve been saying Steven Pinker s The Better Angels of Our Nature was the best book I d read in a decade If I could recommend just one book for anyone to pick up that was it Pinker uses meticulous research to argue that we are living in the most peaceful time in human history I d never seen such a clear explanation of progressI m oing to stop talking up Better Angels so much because Pinker has managed to top himself His new book Enlightenment Now is even better Enlightenment Now takes the approach he uses in Better Angels to track violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress like uality of life knowledge and safety The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is etting better It s like Better Angels on steroidsI read the book slowly since I loved it so much but I think most people will find it a uick and accessible read He manages to share a ton of information in a way that s compelling memorable and easy to digestIt opens with an argument in favor of returning to the ideals of the Enlightenment an era when reason science and humanism were touted as the highest virtuesI m all for reason science and humanism but what I found most interesting were the 15 chapters exploring each measure of progress Pinker is at his best when he analyzes historic trends and uses data to put the past into context I was already familiar with a lot of the information he shares especially about health and energy but he understands each subject so deeply that he s able to articulate his case in a way that feels fresh and newI love how he s willing to dive deep into primary data sources and pull out unexpected signs of progress I tend to point to things like dramatic reductions in poverty and childhood deaths because I think they re such a ood measure of how we re doing as a society Pinker covers those areas but he also looks at obscure topicsHere are five of my favorite facts from the book that show how the world is improving1 You re 37 times less likely to be killed by a bolt of lightning than you were at the turn of the century and that s not because there are fewer thunderstorms today It s because we have better weather prediction capabilities improved safety education and people living in cities2 Time spent doing laundry fell from 115 hours a week in 1920 to an hour and a half in 2014 This might sound trivial in the Vineyard Prey grand scheme of progress But the rise of the washing machine has improved uality of life by freeing up time for people mostly women to enjoy other pursuits That time represents nearly half a day every week that could be used for everything from binge watching Ozark or reading a book to starting a new business3 You re way less likely to die on the job Every year 5000 people die from occupational accidents in the US But in 1929 when our population was less than two fifths the size it is today 20000 people died on the job People back then viewed deadly workplace accidents as part of the cost of doing business Today we know better and we ve engineered ways to build things without putting nearly as many lives at risk4 Thelobal average I score is rising by about 3 I points every decade Kids brains are developing fully thanks to improved nutrition and a cleaner environment Pinker also credits analytical thinking in and out of the classroom Think about how many symbols you interpret every time you check your phone s home screen or look at a subway map Our world today encourages abstract thought from a young age and it s making us smarter5 War is illegal This idea seems obvious But before the creation of the United Nations in 1945 no institution had the power to stop countries from oing to war with each other Although there have been some exceptions the threat of international sanctions and intervention has proven to be an effective deterrent to wars between nationsPinker also tackles the disconnect between actual progress and the perception of progress something I ve spent a lot of time thinking about People all over the world are living longer healthier and happier lives so why do so many think things etting worse Why do we gloss over positive news and fixate on over positive news stories and fixate on negative ones He does a ood job explaining why we re drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to the world although I wish he went in depth about the psychology especially since he s a psychologist by training The late Hans Rosling explains this fully in his excellent new book Factfulness I agree with Pinker on most areas but I think he s a bit too optimistic about artificial intelligence He s uick to dismiss the idea of robots overthrowing their human creators While I don t think we re in danger of a Terminator style scenario the uestion underlying that fear who exactly controls the robots is a valid one We re not there yet but at some point who has AI and who controls it will be an important issue for lobal institutions to addressThe big uestions surrounding automation are proof that progress can be a messy sticky thing but that doesn t mean we re headed in the wrong direction At the end of Enlightenment Now Pinker argues that we will never have a perfect world and it would be dangerous to seek one But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishingThe world is The Nightingale Of Peshawar: Selections From Rahman Baba getting better even if it doesn t always feel that way I mlad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker s ever written It s my new favorite book of all time This concoction and Roslings similar Go on everything is super Factfulness were the reasons for me to leave the soft space of some humanities that are nothing than appeasement belittlement and deception A mix of different uotes from the book and thoughts and impressions I had while consuming this fairytale Some points might be redundant sorry for that but this is what happens when taking notes about a book that is nonsense 1 He s attacking the ones who aren t A Slice of the Moon grateful says everything is fine takes the premise that because some things became better everything isreat based on unbearable pseudoscience 2 Hey what about talking just about the positive things and avoiding anything negative or controversial3 Of course there is only the reat Western way of living capitalism ineluctably always leads to the best society in the world4 If some
things have become 
have become thanks to technology in the last hundred years there is of course everything reat and no problems with anything 5 Wait a moment what exactly is Pinkers legitimation to talk about those topics he must be an expert maybe a uniue ingenious polymath in many different fields to make serious prognosis not just assumptions no even certainties about the whole society and the future Oh yes he is a linguist and cognitive psychologist that wrote some The Wish Maker good works in his field and thought after that Hm why not write some happyo lucky books based on nothing except what media The Regiment: The Real Story of the SAS government and the economy want me to highlight to boost my sales Iases Instead follow the data In seventy five jaw droppingraphs Pinker shows that life health prosperity safety peace knowledge and happiness are on the rise not just in the West but worldwide This progress is not the result of some cosmic force It is a ift of the Enlightenment the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishingFar from being a naïve hope the Enlightenment we now know has worked But than ever it needs a vigorous defense The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature.
Island Girls (and Boys)
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