Filmed on Tuesday March 13, 02018

Steven Pinker

A New Enlightenment

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American experimental psychologist, linguist and author based at Harvard University who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations.

The Enlightenment worked, says Steven Pinker. By promoting reason, science, humanism, progress, and peace, the programs set in motion by the 18th-Century intellectual movement became so successful we’ve lost track of what that success came from.

Some even discount the success itself, preferring to ignore or deny how much better off humanity keeps becoming, decade after decade, in terms of health, food, money, safety, education, justice, and opportunity. The temptation is to focus on the daily news, which is often dire, and let it obscure the long term news, which is shockingly good.

This is the 21st Century, not the 18th, with different problems and different tools. What are Enlightenment values and programs for now?

A psychology professor at Harvard, Steven Pinker is the author of: Enlightenment Now (2018); The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011); The Blank Slate (2002); How the Mind Works (1997); and The Language Instinct (1994).

Stewart Brand's Summary will be posted shortly.

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SALT Summaries Book

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Condensed ideas about long-term thinking summarized by Stewart Brand
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