“You can always fool yourself into seeing a decline if you compare bleeding headlines of the present with rose-tinted images of the past,” says speaker Steven Pinker in his just-released (and standing o-garnering) TED Talk. But, he goes on to ask, what does the trajectory of the world look like when we measure well-being over time using a constant yardstick?
Creating a funny, compelling, and data-driven talk from his New York Times bestselling book Enlightment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, Pinker, a cognitive psychologist, linguist, and Harvard professor, lucidly argues that the world is empirically getting safer, less impoverished, and healthier. No, it’s not perfect. But imperfection doesn’t prevent progress if we learn to see the full story of the facts that surround us. Pinker, with his “constant yardstick,” helps us do just that.
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