Sep 29, 2023

Steven Pinker shares his “relentless optimism” about human progress

Posted by in category: life extension

Brilliant. News is about rare events, especially bad things. Massive amounts of raw data is boring — but tells a completely different story.

If you follow the news closely, chances are your view of the state of the world is not super optimistic. From war in Ukraine to a warming planet to global poverty and hunger, there’s plenty to get upset about. But what if things are actually getting…better?

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“If you compare the number of wars and the number of people killed in wars in the sixties and the seventies and even the eighties, we’re actually much better off today,” Pinker argues. However, “if you look at headlines, since as long as bad things haven’t vanished from the face of the earth, which they never will, you can get the impression that things are unchanged or even are worse than ever, even when they’re improving.”

How does Pinker evaluate human progress? With data: “It’s only when you count the number of wars, number of deaths in war, longevity, child mortality, extreme poverty, number of leisure hours, that you see that there actually has been improvement. ”

Watch the full interview on GZERO World: Is life better than ever for the human race?…human-race.

Catch GZERO World with Ian Bremmer every week at or on US public television. Check local listings.

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