My first encounter with Pinker was his excellent book THE BLANK SLATE, which seriously should be required reading for every human being. It’s like an owner’s manual for your brain and your behavior, so you don’t go through life so frustrated and confused.
Steven really blew up with this TED talk:
Which led to him writing THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE, an amazing tome detailing all the ways in which the world has grown less violent over time, no matter how you slice that time into bits.
His recent article on Slate.com touches on some of these points (which is what I wrote all of this to share. Talk about burying the lead). If you are a news junkie like me, it’s good to get a dose of Pinker now and then to get some perspective. This is also the primary theme behind the original WOOL. I can’t help but think that the bombardment of negativity is doing something strange and awful to us as a society.