Oct 13, 2015 12:31 PM GMT
The Better Angels of Our Nature
Why Violence Has Declined
Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species’ existence. In his gripping and controversial new work, New York Times bestselling author Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history.
...People always think that violence has increased because they reason from memorable examples rather than from global data. If at any time you cherry-pick the most violent place in the world, then you’ll discover that yes, it’s violent. That has nothing to do with overall rates or trends in violence.
The basic problem is that journalism is a systematically misleading way to understand the world. News is about things that happen, not about things that don’t happen. You never see a reporter standing on the streets of Angola, Sri Lanka, or Vietnam saying “I’m here reporting that a war has not broken out today.” ...