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Steven Pinker: a History of Violence

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“I argue that despite impressions, the long-term trend, though certainly halting and incomplete, is that violence of all kinds is decreasing. This calls for a rehabilitation of a concept of modernity and progress, and for a sense of gratitude for the institutions of civilization and enlightenment that have made it possible.”

Via Edge

Pinker reviews and extrapolates from persuasive data, and discusses six historical trends toward diminution of violence as civilization has progressed. If he is right I find this a significant antidote to despair in the big picture.