Ep 342: Dr. Steven Pinker Says Good News Is a Hard Sell
A year ago, Dr. Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment Now made headlines for giving hard data that proved that the world is safer, happier, and freer than ever, but he was surprised at how many people just don't want to believe good news! Today Dr. Pinker returns to the podcast to review the metrics of societal progress that continue to show that the world just keeps getting better, but he also discusses two areas that give him cause for concern. Steven Pinker ponders whether the immigration debate might actually be a positive turning point as polls show that Americans are rejecting alternative facts and alarmism. He reveals how genetics may play a part in our political preferences and explores how linguistics can make for more productive political discussions. Dr. Pinker recalls growing up during the turbulent 60’s in Montreal and how he went from a teenage anarchist to a leading proponent of science, reason, humanism, and progress. Plus we discuss his ongoing fight against political correctness, why we need to stop giving words too much power, and why he says those baby boomers who say millenials are a generation of snowflakes have no one but themselves.
Order his latest book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Keep up with him on Twitter at @sapinker or at www.stevenpinker.com. Today's podcast was sponsored by Blinkist.