Category Archives: Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker on Knowledge and Education

From Steven Pinker’s ENLIGHTENMENT NOW, chapter 16, Knowledge, p233: The supernova of knowledge continuously redefines what it means to be human. Our understanding of who we are, where we came from, how the world works, and what matters in life … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Sports and Trump; Pinker and Gates; Tribal Allegiance and Actual Progress

NYT, 3Feb18: Trump’s Blood Sport Politics. The writer recalls “”The Sporting Spirit,” an essay written by George Orwell in 1945 that sought to reckon with the rise of our modern athletic-industrial complex.” For Orwell, the rise of sports was bound … Continue reading

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Passages from Pinker

As a palette cleanser from my last post, here are some thoughts from my ongoing reading of Steven Pinker’s THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, a history of the world with focus on violence, that summarizes that history through phases: … Continue reading

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Steven Pinker’s THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, Chapters 2 and 3.

More on Steven Pinker’s magisterial 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined — one of the best books of the 21st century, surely — that takes a long-range view of human history to show that … Continue reading

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Pinker: Better Angels: Chapter 1: A Foreign Country

“If the past is a foreign country, it is a shockingly violent one.” This 30-page chapter is “tour” of the past, from 8000 BCE to the 1970s, an impressionist portrait of how violence was so common in the past, compared … Continue reading

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Pinker: Better Angels: Passages and Outline from the Preface

This is Steven Pinker’s big 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, that takes a long-range view of human history to show that the human condition, over millennia and especially in recent centuries and decades, … Continue reading

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