Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing – WSJ.com

This claim, I know, invites skepticism, incredulity, and sometimes anger. We tend to estimate the probability of an event from the ease with which we can recall examples, and scenes of carnage are more likely to be beamed into our homes and burned into our memories than footage of people dying of old age. There will always be enough violent deaths to fill the evening news, so people’s impressions of violence will be disconnected from its actual likelihood.

via Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing – WSJ.com

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people declare that they, “…just don’t know what the world is coming to,” or that we are, “…headed to hell in a hand basket.”

Calling it a pet peeve might actually be a bit of an understatement- I generally get really angry at these comments. Which is why I was so happy to find this article with data that supports the exact opposite point of view.

It’s a bit long but worth a read.

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4 responses to “Steven Pinker: Why Violence Is Vanishing – WSJ.com

  1. Short answer which you might find interesting: It’s due to the decline in violence in parenting.

    If adults now were brought up as violently as adults 70 years ago then we’d all be living in a version of Nazi Germany right now… after all, the level of corruption and criminality is the same, probably far worse in fact!

    Instead of physical violence, I think these days we are suffering more from mass (media) mind control and manufactured consensus.

    There’s hope for humanity, but we’re not there yet!

    • Thanks for the links! I agree we seem to be shifting our mode of suffering but perhaps it’s a necessary step on the way to a more enlightened future.

  2. I need to experiment with pressthis. I’ve never used it and it looks like a great way to make a swift, targeted post! I’ve read Steven Pinker’s book, The Blank Slate.

    • So easy! I highlighted and clicked copy the part I wanted to quote and then clicked the press this tab in my favorites bar. Voila- title, quote and link were right there and I simply added the quote box, tags, categories and few thoughts.

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