Steven Pinker makes the case for reason today


According to Harvard University cognitive scientist and author Steven Pinker, the reason we often feel the world is in terrible shape, even though it’s quantitatively doing better than ever, is because of the nature of the news cycle and how we consume it. Pinker told “Salon Talks,” “Part of it is just the nature of journalism, which is about things that happen, not about things that don't happen. So a country at war is news, a country at peace is not news.”

Humans are safer, freer, healthier, wealthier and happier now than ever in history, according to Pinker, which is the basis for his latest book “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” (a favorite of Bill Gates). Pinker explained why he still has an overtly positive outlook of the future. “We don't have utopia. We're never going to have utopia, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to improve things,” he said.

Watch the clip above to hear more of Pinker’s theories on modern journalism. And check out the “full episode” to hear more from Pinker about his new book and why the values of the enlightenment are more relevant than ever.

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