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Steven Pinker - Enlightenment Now

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Steven Pinker is a best-selling author and Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Time Magazine called him one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World Today”His most popular books include The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Blank Slate, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct. His most recent book, Enlightenment Now; The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, tells the heroic story of human progress, and why we neglect it at our peril.

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer
02:37 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:00 Brian’s introduction
05:31 Steven loves being back in London
06:20 How the MIT perspective and culture are woven into Steven’s books
09:23 Voluntary sacrifices are not going to make a nick in the problem of climate change
11:37 Aware of people’s cognitive biases, Steven uses data and figures to prove the world has improved
17:28 How to guard against one’s cognitive biases
20:26 The internet allows irrational ideas to flourish whilst science sites disprove them
30:13 Why idea tribalism is prevalent in today’s world and how statistical evidence can dispel beliefs
32:03 Is Steven’s optimism the reason why people favour his point of view
35:55 The Progressives tend to be on the Left and hate progress, but there is a right-wing version too
41:26 Steven’s optimism for a progressive future, one without interstate wars
47:15 The Blank Slate, the modern denial of human nature
Steven’s views on gender equality
56:16 James Damore’s firing for questioning male domination in computer coding
1:00:09 Steven’s perspective on the word Patriarchy
1:07:57 A sense of universal solidarity, love and commonality could be induced by oxytocin in the brain
1:10:17 The, everybody’s talking about it, influence of social media
1:18:11 Success secrets
1:18:56 What scares Steven
1:19:37 How we are doing in dealing with problems in the Environment
1:23:15 Phone call to the 20 years old Steven
1:26:05 Best advice ever received
1:28:01 Advice to the young person listening
1:29:27 Brian’s summing up.

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