RSA - The Better Angels of our Nature

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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature

    With Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University.

    Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA

    For Steven Pinker, the brilliance of the mind lies in the way it uses just two processes to turn the finite building blocks of our language into infinite meanings. The first is metaphor: we take a concrete idea and use it as a stand-in for abstract thoughts. The second is combination: we combine ideas according to rules, like the syntactic rules of language, to create new thoughts out of old ones.

    How can a choice of metaphors start a war, impeach a president, or win an election? How does a mind that evolved to think about rocks and plants and enemies think about love and physics and democracy? How do we control the amount of information that we absorb? And what good does this actually do us?

    Join Steven Pinker as he tries to answer these questions and many more, unlocking the hidden workings of our thoughts, our emotions and our social relationships and showing us that language really can tell us unexpected and fascinating things about ourselves.

    From: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-past-events/the-stuff-of-thought-language-as-a-window-into-human-nature

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  4. Understanding Human Nature with Steven Pinker - Conversations with History

    (Visit: http://www.uctv.tv) Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard’s Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Pinker discusses the origins and evolution of his thinking on human nature. Topics include: growing up in Montreal in a Jewish family, the impact of the 1960s, his education, and the trajectory of his research interests. He explains his early work in linguistics and how he came to write his recent work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. In the conversation, Pinker describes the importance of interdisciplinary research and analyzes creativity. He concludes with a discussion of how science can contribute to the humanities and offers advice to students on how to prepare for the future. Recorded on 02/04/2014. Series: "Conversations with History" [4/2014] [Humanities] [Show ID: 27968]

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    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ9Ad6s8g7I&feature=youtu.be
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Thu, 01 Mar 2018 20:07:18 GMT Available for 30 days after download

    Tagged with education

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  5. Science Weekly podcast: Royal Society science book prize | Science | guardian.co.uk

    This week's show is dedicated to a discussion of the six books shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

    Next week the winner of the prestigious Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books will be announced. Previous winners have included Jared Diamond (twice), Stephen Hawking, Steve Jones, Bill Bryson and Stephen Jay Gould.

    To discuss the merits of the shortlisted books (see below), Alok Jha is joined by one of the prize judges, Kim Shillinglaw, who is commissioning editor for science and natural history at BBC TV, and by science writer Ruth Francis, formerly of head of press at Nature Publishing Group.

    During the course of this week the Guardian will review all the books online. We're also giving away two complete sets of the shortlisted titles in our usual science trivia competition.

    • The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
    • The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
    • The Information by James Gleick
    • My Beautiful Genome by Lone Frank
    • Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
    • The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/audio/2012/nov/19/science-weekly-podcast-science-book-prize

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