Steven Pinker on the Past, Present, and Future of Optimism

The rise of populism. The threat of domestic and international terrorism. The destruction of the environment. In recent years, you’d be forgiven for getting the feeling that the world was on a fast-accelerating slide.

I need this kind of positivity in my life. Particularly:

Don’t confuse pessimism with profundity: Problems are inevitable, but problems are solvable, and diagnosing every setback as a symptom of a sick society is a cheap grab for gravitas.


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