Category Archives: Steven Pinker

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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