Book Review: “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker

enlightenment nowIn today’s world, no matter where you get your news from, it would be easy to take a look at things and feel like they are going pretty poorly. Whether you’re worried about violence, terrorism, war, pollution, corruption, moral decline, healthcare, education, or any number of other issues, both the liberal and conservative news media will constantly bombard you with stories about just how much our global society is in decline. Cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker is here to tell you that none of that is true, that the world is actually much better off than it’s ever been, and he’s got the facts and statistics to prove it. Lots and lots of them. While they are certainly very convincing, and his arguments will at the very least have you questioning the way you look at things, the book’s biggest issue might be that there are perhaps too many of them, making it occasionally a bit dry and dull to read (some lists of examples in particular seem to drag on for ages). Despite that flaw however, this is a book that everyone should read. Sure things aren’t perfect, and there are obviously problems that need to be dealt with, but life for most people on Earth right now is better than it’s ever been and only getting better. We would all do well to remember that when we see doomsday headlines and conspiracy theories, and having the facts to back up our newfound optimism certainly helps. ★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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