Steven Pinker on the myth of violence (2007)

Steven Pinker

Dr. Pinker shows that humanity has become less violent over the centuries and millenium. He structures this as a fractal, presenting first millenial differences (hunter-gatherer vs modern), century, decade, and yearly. This structure works well.

He spends the last few minutes explaining the phenomenon. He claims “no-one understands it,but several people have a clue”. He then lists 4 theories:
Hobbes Leviathan– giving power of violence to the state means individuals do not need it
Positive sum games– other people are worth more to me alive than dead. “Another reason not to bomb the Japanese is that they built my minivan”

My insight is that we have more older men around, and more power to women. I have so much more empathy than I did when younger, and so much less taste for violence. I no longer need to prove myself in combat, I have done so, and passed.

The demographic shift also has a huge influence


Posted on September 1, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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