Is Human Violence On The Wane?

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  1. RSA - The Better Angels of our Nature

    A radical re-assessment of human progress from one of the world’s most exciting public thinkers.

    In his latest work, Steven Pinker explores the ways in which modernity and its cultural institutions are actually making us better people.

    In ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’, Pinker traces a history of progress that reveals the historical circumstances and “civilising forces”, from commerce to cosmopolitanism, that have brought us to the most peaceful era humankind has yet experienced. Join Steven Pinker at the RSA for a fascinating insight into the conditions, norms and policies that combine to engage the "better angels" of human nature - our capacity for co-operation, empathy and altruism.

    Speaker: Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and author of ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes’ (Allen Lane, 2011).

    http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/2011/the-better-angels-of-our-nature

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  2. The Life Scientific: Steven Pinker

    Jim al-Khalili talks to Steven Pinker, a scientist who’s not afraid of controversy. From verbs to violence, many say his popular science books are mind-changing. He explains why toddlers say “holded” not held and “digged” rather than dug; how children’s personalities are shaped largely by their genes and why, he believes the recent rioters had plenty of self-esteem.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/tls/all

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  3. Design Matters with Debbie Millman: Steven Pinker

    Debbie talks with Steven Pinker about the miraculous evolution of language, the most arresting question he has ever fielded, and his new book, Enlightenment Now—which breaks down why we actually have good cause to be positive about the state of the world today.

    https://www.designmattersmedia.com/podcasts/Steven-Pinker

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  4. Steven Pinker: A New Enlightenment - The Long Now

    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?

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02018/mar/13/new-enlightenment/

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  5. Steve Pinker’s “Better Angels”: Dodging Our Own Bullet? | Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon

    Steven Pinker has written a game-changer on the little matter of how quickly humanity is headed for hell or redemption. The short form of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined is that we’re on the verge of Liebniz‘s (and Candide‘s) “best of all possible worlds.” Much more than that, Better Angels is a tour de force in 700 pages of dense, witty prose, distilling and explaining the ever-steeper downward trends in battle-deaths, state executions, murder, rape, wife-beating and child-spanking, among others things. “Interesting if true” was my instinctive newspaper-guy response. After a month’s immersion, and this conversation, I’m staggered and stunned, avid for the new Enlightenment.

    http://www.radioopensource.org/steve-pinkers-better-angels-dodging-our-own-bullet/

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