Started by Baruch, February 27, 2018, 12:55:51 PM
Quote from: GSOgymrat on March 03, 2018, 11:52:52 PMI finished Pinkerâ€™s book and really enjoyed it. In 550 pages Pinker gives a litany statistics, including approximately seventy graphs, explaining why life for humans is getting better, not worse, and extolling the virtues of progress, reason, science and humanism â€" humanism defined as â€œthe goal of maximizing human flourishing â€" life, health, happiness, freedom, knowledge, love, richness of experience.â€ Progress, reason, science and humanism seems like something everyone could get behind but Pinker acknowledges that currently Enlightenment values, or optimism in general, are not fashionable and need to be defended.
Quote from: Hydra009 on March 04, 2018, 12:26:42 AMSo, let me get this straight...we can achieve a better world by advancing Enlightenment/humanist ideals and not authoritarianism or theocracy?!So instead of bashing gays/jews/immigrants*, we could work together to make a world we can all be proud of? That's crazy talk.* "Norweigans" excluded *wink wink*
Quote from: Cavebear on March 05, 2018, 03:09:59 AMNice snark. I hope...
Quote from: GSOgymrat on March 03, 2018, 11:52:52 PMThis book isnâ€™t going to sit well with some people. He criticizes both the populist right and postmodernist intellectuals. He is also no fan of Trump and the entire â€œpost-truthâ€ rhetoric. Pinker even surprised me with his assertion that income inequality isnâ€™t a counterexample to human progress, that poverty and unfairness are the actual enemies, and that, although the fortunes of the lower classes in developed countries have not risen, global inequality and global middle class has increased significantly. Pinker writes, "The worldâ€™s poor have gotten richer in part at the expense of the American lower middle class... As citizens of the world considering humanity as a whole, we have to say that the trade-off is worth it.â€ Lower middle-class Americans probably disagree.
Quote from: Hydra009 on March 07, 2018, 09:50:57 PMWhat is Pinker's (or anyone who shares his views) response to these problems? How do you reconcile these negative trends with a positive assessment?
Quote from: GSOgymrat on March 08, 2018, 09:30:58 AMI started to write out Pinker's responses to each of your concerns but I was unable to condense his arguments into a manageable length. He has an entire chapter dedicated to each of these topics. Pinker acknowledges these challenges and he unpacks each issue to examine what are the actual problems and what is hyperbole or misunderstanding. I'm sorry I can't provide adequate summaries but Pinker doesn't give simple explanations.
Quote from: Cavebear on March 08, 2018, 09:39:57 AMWell, if you can't rephrase an argument, then you have to realize that you don't understand it. And to be honest, that has happened to me too. No blame, just saying...
Quote from: Hydra009 on March 08, 2018, 10:29:35 AMStrange. I found Better Angels fairly easy to summarize.I'll be reading Enlightenment Now fairly soon. I guess I'll just have to take notes so I can summarize it later.