Thursday, February 22, 2018

Insurrection. By way of Steven Pinker.

If you want to thumb your nose at today's dominant complacency--a complacency that says the world is on the brink of disaster and ruin, that says mongrel hordes are streaming over our borders, terrorizing our streets and killing us in our beds, if...

If you want to thumb your nose at the Nostalgia-cists, who want you to believe that America and the world's best days are behind us, and we have entered and are spiraling down through a dark age and a deepening dystopia, if...

If you want to thumb your nose at Trump and small, petty, fact-hating Trumpism, I urge you to run, don't walk, and buy Steven Pinker's latest book, a book Bill Gates calls, "his favorite book of all time." 

You can buy it here. You can read a bit more about it here. 

It's a pretty heady book, with a lot of dispelling of Tversky and Kahneman's Availability Heuristic. But consider this quotation.

"If news outlets truly reported the changing state of the world, they could have run the headline NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN EXTREME POVERTY FELL BY 137,000 SINCE YESTERDAY every day for the last twenty-five years." (That's a decrease in the number of people in poverty of 1.26 billion.)

If you want to rebel against Trump and his deep evil pessimism and manipulative malevolence, read Pinker.

And embrace the fact that people are living longer, are more educated, are healthier and less hungry than ever before in the history of the world, including during the alleged Garden of Eden.

Trump and his Republican horsemen of the Apocalypse view progress as a Zero Sum game. If someone else has more, that means I have less.

That's not the way the world works.

In the real world.

Read Pinker.

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