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text 2018-07-20 12:45
An important read for our dark times?
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress - Steven Pinker

There's an interesting book review essay by Joshua Rothman in the most recent New Yorker that tackles the question of whether things are better or worse. While he looks at over a half-dozen books, he hinges it around Steven Pinker's newest book, which uses statistics and other research to argue that life is improving for most people in numerous ways.

 

I think I'm going to add this one to my TBR list. In these times it would help my mood to read something that puts the headlines about the day-to-day political disasters we're experiencing into a more optimistic perspective.

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text 2018-05-01 09:22
Reading progress update: I've read 54 out of 576 pages.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress - Steven Pinker

Chapter 5 Life. 

 

"How long do you think an average person on the world can be expected to live today?" The Ignorant Project asked this question found less than one infour Swedes guessed it right.

 

Rosling explained, "if for each question I wrote the alternatives on bananas, and asked chimpanzees in the zoo to pick the right answers, they'd have done better than the respondents."

 

 

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text 2018-04-25 04:56
Reading progress update: I've read 31 out of 576 pages.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress - Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker's book is so quotable. 

 

He is making an argument that instead of supporting enlightenment movement, as stated by C P Snow Second Culture. The so-called intellectuals romaticistize suffering, and put arts before food, and even put forth an anti-science front. Failing to see that science is the very solution in reduce poverty and starvation, lessen the situation that caused suffering. 

 

The more I see older humans who imagination failed to capture anyone who could have been lacking in basic needs like food and shelter with no fault on their own. The old culture of karma or causality of event misinformed these individuals and make them socially blinded to the suffering of many. 

 

And I am only into chapter 3. So good. Highly recommended it. 

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text 2018-04-19 10:13
Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 576 pages.
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress - Steven Pinker

What is really the Enlightenment? It is a humanist movement when  reasonable persons get rid of religious dogma and choose instead. 

 

Still, because the science discovery and knowledge has no match for the present time, the enlightened thinkers still believe a whole lot of bullshit. 

 

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review 2016-09-24 13:01
One of the most important books you'll ever read
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - Steven Pinker
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