Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and Progress (E–pub Download) Ó Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now The Case for Reason Science Humanism and ProgressSt world countries Pinker is careful to tease apart the trends that typically begin in developed countries and then spread globally Average life expectancy worldwide was stalled at 30 years ntil 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 grow to the point that in many countries the poorest people are over fed rather than nder 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 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 Representative government 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 se pollution and population growth 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 Dias Story Cloth 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 ornceasingly 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 Chillwater Cove 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 pickp that was it Pinker Winter Of The Salamander 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 going to stop talkingp 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 The Story of Charlottes Web uses in Better Angels to track violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress likeality of life knowledge and safety The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is getting 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 Christian Charm School Leader Guide 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 andses 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 Hey Diddle Diddle Leveled Text 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 outnexpected signs of progress I tend to point to things like dramatic reductions in poverty and childhood deaths because I think they re such a good 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 grand scheme of progress But the rise of the washing machine has improved Gorgeous and...Hung?! uality of life by freeingp time for people mostly women to enjoy other pursuits That time represents nearly half a day every week that could be sed 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 The global 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 s 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 going 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 are getting worse Why do we gloss over positive news stories and fixate on the negative ones He does a good job explaining why we re drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to job explaining why we re drawn to pessimism and how that instinct influences our approach to 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 Guided Approach to Intermediate and Advanced Coding + ICD-10-CM/PCs Coding 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 theestion Understanding Yandere Lovers 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 global institutions to addressThe bigestions 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 getting better even if it doesn t always feel that way I m glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand 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 differentotes 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 grateful says everything is fine takes the premise that because some things became better everything is great based on nbearable pseudoscience 2 Hey what about talking just about the positive things and avoiding anything negative or controversial3 Of course there is only the great Western way of living capitalism ineluctably always leads to the best society in the world4 If some things have become better thanks to Technology In The Last in the last years there is of course everything great 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 ingenious polymath in many different fields to 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 good works in his field and thought after that Hm why not write some happy go lucky books based on nothing except what media government and the economy want me to highlight to boost my sales 6 One 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 greater problems9 He finds the fact that people call humans nder the current economic system a malady to the planet evil discriminating hateful and wrong although it s the truth10 He is biased does the The Little Bit Naughty Book of Wild Sex Positions 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 get cleaner So let s go jogging in an industrial center and go swimming in the local lake afterward Who survives can pick some berries and vegetables grown outdoors and will be gone 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 tose 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 Leaders Eat Last understand in the way I want you tonderstand it so let me explain it you while warmongering and hate trolling against anything that doesn t confirm my opinion 25 He keeps repeating general knowledge about many things that have improved stating that it will continue to get 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. Iases Instead follow the data In seventy five jaw dropping graphs 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 gift 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. When this book was not boring me it was irritating me All of the author s anecdotes I had read elsewhere Science is good I don t need convincing Vaccines work Poverty is bad and is 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 La muralla verde 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 in gratitude were in the 9th circle of hell and implied Dante had a point and people most ofs have never heard of such as Heidegger Adorno and Neitzsche and I think he also mentioned Marcuse belonged there for their in gratitude I m going to venture a guess since I didn t read all of the book the author doesn t like identity politics and gets bothered by political correctness and thinks both sides are to blame I don t know if that s where he was going but I wasn t going 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 The New Competition uips he provided I had heard them all elsewhere I stopped this book after 5 hours I got 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 givingp 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 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 great world but we do live in a better world than we did fifty one hundred one thousand years ago Pinker presents this information Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller using charts and tables in this extensively researched bookHowever some of his claims are not really backedp by the evidence either because he ses 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 gas and phone bills etc I also looked p a couple of the references he Children of the New World 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 grand conclusions based on a single article which is often an opinion piece He cherry picks information to suit his argument and relies on thenlikelihood that anyone will 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 t going 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 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 overall getting 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 o 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

that Enlightenment principles must be but not against mindless consumerism not against the growing disparities of wealth not against the disruption 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 communicable diseases and poverty are on their way out Life expectancy is p 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 a world where everything is so fabulously much better than it ever has been that anyone who says different is perpetuating an intellectual lie This is why it is your enlightenment The book is an endless The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard uplifting editorial If you re buyingHe s at his best criticizing politics and science He shows precisely how our biases prejudice our most thoughtful conclusions and bemoans the lack of respect for science and the humanities He says science is presented in some schools as just another narrative or myth Humanities are in danger of extinction and they are critical to progressPinker has a nice tendency to support his arguments with examples and charts Unfortunately he balances this with a tendency to ignore states or countries that don t conform to his claims and he swings numbers around to make them look better He claims when he measures what people consume as opposed to what they earn the poverty rate in the USA is 3% So really everyone is thriving Even if they re visibly not I fully realize Pinker isntouchable and slated for sainthood but many things he says don t add p and a lot of it is just outrageous on its face Let him speak for himself On war Virtually every acre of land that was conuered after 1928 has been returned to the state that lost it Something must have happened in 1927 for him to pick 1928 but he doesn t say Where do you even begin to refute this Kaliningrad Mauritania The South China Sea Crimea Donbass Palestine He defends the demolition of the middle classes in the West Yes a hundred million Americans are worse off But a billion Chinese are better off The tradeoff is worth it he says That the extremely rich got fabulously rich is fine with him too On terrorism s decline Pinker points to recently low numbers of victim deaths to show how safe we really are He doesn t mention all the freedom of movement assembly and privacy we have lost to the terrorists He s satisfied they don t kill that much and that they will eventually fade away On the mellowing of war Weapons don t come into existence just because they are conceivable or physically possible Yes they do And worse everything can be weaponized from food to mouseclicks Pinker goes even further claiming most historians don T Think The Atomic Bombings think the atomic bombings Japan to surrender in three days but rather it was the Potential Of Russia Turning Its of Russia turning its from west to east There is a great deal of nonsense about how much cheaper life is today The provision of a light indoors would have cost the euivalent of 40000 in the middle ages if anyone could read while today lights cost fractions of pennies And 100 years ago it took 1800 hours work to afford a refrigerator among too many such examples But Pinker never bothers with the other side of the coin That today everyone must spend 150 a month on cable 125 on phone after purchasing a phone every two years with each costing than the fridge a 20000 car a mortgage and 50000 in school debt none of which were factors in the cost of living in the middle ages or be nable to function in society His endless comparisons are pointless He keeps repeating that because even the poor have flush toilets and refrigerators they are much better off today than ever He says even the fabulously wealthy Rothschilds didn t have a washing machine like nearly everyone 80% now supposedly has Pinker dismisses ecology as a pastime of the affluent The educated and wealthy we become the eco conscious we become so everything works out He completely ignores the fact we have crossed the red line That the oceans are toxic that there is trash and plastic everywhere that the carbon levels are at Introduction to Mythology unseemly record levels That the Paris Accord has not dented the damage one bit But he says the air over London is no longer purple every day The book ends with an interminable bashing of religion which Pinker considers intellectually bankrupt He cites all thesual contradictions and hypocrisy narrow mindedness and longing for a cleaner era that never existed Basically religion and enlightenment are oil and waterSo you can look at Enlightenment Now in two ways according to your own various biases Either the greater message of positivism is too important and correct to criticize Pinker s maddening claims or the maddening claims make the whole exercise suspectDavid Wineberg 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 Perilous Love (Sinful Souls MC understand how far humanity has come by application of these principles Steven Pinker has dones 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 Children of Blood and Bone us think that the world is becoming a darker scarier place yet the opposite is true While pessimism makes for good news coverage and stokes political fires denying progress causess to mistrust the systems we ve put in place Combine that mistrust with a lack of Laird of Shadows (MacDougall Legacy Book 1) understanding of WHY we put those systems in place and you 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 inspires 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 ote 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 were going to be born into a wealthy family or a poor family what country you d be born in whether you were going 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 antifiable measures and it s not just good news for denizens of fir. 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 Stowaway 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 Pinkerrges s to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom which play to our psychological Nobody else thousands of scientists aren t sure what will happen with climate change global 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 give 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 got me I also never ote 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 ideals that made democracy so great and it s the peoples fault who are The Persian of Thunder Bay 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 tnderstand 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 O que é o quê uses data sources graphs statistics out of context or out ofnscientific sources sometimes relating to just one article book study that is highly controversial38 He bashes anything left or progressive in science education and niversities but doesn t mention the overwhelming right conservative majority in politics governments and economics with a single word39 Black people are not likely to be shot by police than white people in the US40 He is great 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 political and economic interests of wealthy nations and they 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 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 nderstand45 Progressivism activism scientific results he doesn t like are described as seless 46 He is switching his opinions saying that something is bad if it s a point he doesn t like changing to great 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 to recognize that he is contradicting himself because the book is a collection of such inconsistencies s not even logical drivel47 He is not even mentioning that some of his crude theories could be wrong as any good scientist I ve read does in humility and self criticism instead he deems himself all knowing and is vilifying any opposition sing 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 reach god 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 p 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 garbage so that they stop activism and avoid progressive alternative thinking and real productive contentions about the topic instead telling each other how great 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 gossip He ickly got 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 give a talk about this 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 very important book epic in scope comprehensive thought out and structured incredibly well researched and full of some very important messagesThe book begins with a student s estion 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 gift 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 s escape from superstition and ignorance It increased our Potato Chips for Breakfast A True Story of Growing Up in an Alchoholic Family 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 mostnambiguous 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 genetic 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 a hundred Nobel laureates have testified to the safety of transgenic crops Nevertheless some traditional environment groups persist in denying them to the worldI just loved this Chimes of a Lost Cathedral (The Revolution of Marina M. uote from the book In 1976 Mao single handedly and dramatically changed the direction of global poverty with one simple act he diedPinker devotes chapters to improvements in the environment and the problem of climate change He shows that there is virtually no dissension among scientists that climate change and specifically global warming is a significant problem However he is optimistic that these issues can in principle be solved by courageous governmental actionThe book describes the growth of democracy around the world not steadily but in waves Democratic countries have higher rates of economic growth fewer wars and genocides better educated citizens and almost no famines The best reason for democracy stated by Karl Popper is that it is a solution to the problem of how to dismiss bad leadership without bloodshed And it gives people the freedom to complainPinker shows how disbelief in human caused climate change is not correlated with scientific illiteracy but is due to allegiance to values held by one s social circle Political tribalism is decried as the most insidious form of irrationality today And this tribalism exists on the left and the right sides of the political spectrum Pinker writes American conservative politics has become steadily know nothing from Ronald Reagan to Danayle to George W Bush to Sarah Palin to Donald Trump Pinker lists all of the ways in which President Trump has resisted progress and backtracks to a less advanced way of life Reversal of health care reversal of globalism reversal in the growth of wealth reversal of the environment safety law and order international trade eual rights tolerance and the judicial system The president has all the hallmarks of a dictator he is impulsive and vindictive The last chapter of the book is about humanism the chapter starts out well but then briefly becomes too philosophical and abstract for my taste Then the chapter returns to a accessible concrete structure It becomes obvious that Pinker is an atheist He writes that the existence of the God of scripture is a perfectly testable scientific hypothesis And he list some experiments that could be performed to test the hypothesis He also shows how the religiosity of nations and even from region to region within the United States is inversely related to happiness and well being The United States being religious on the whole than West European countries has higher homicide rates abortion STD s child mortality obesity educational mediocrity and premature deaths And Pinker points out that non religious people in the US tend not to vote that helps explain why we have Trump in office todayThis is such a fascinating book it takes p arguments where his earlier book The Better Angels of Our Nature Why Violence Has Declined leaves off This is the seventh book that I have read by Steven Pinker and this one is just as wonderful as his previous books 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 naffiliated 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 great TedTalk Part II Where it doesn t Part I This would make a great TedTalk Part II Where it doesn t entire sections from Better Angels this is Pinker s longwinded literature review of the work of economic historians If you are interested in learning about humanity s recent exponential growth in material wellbeing there. –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 global 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. ,

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