14 March 2007

The Most Peaceful Time...

Interesting excerpt from a Wired news blog:

"Today we are probably living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence," Pinker tells the crowd.

It’s an unexpected theme for a talk that opens with a photo of Auschwitz. But despite Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Rwanda, Darfur, and the war in Iraq, we are currently benefiting from a long and steady decline in human-on-human violence, a phenomenon that has been ongoing for 10,000 years but that experienced a tipping point during the Age of Reason in the 16th century. "If the death rate of tribal warfare had prevailed in the 20th century, there would have been 2 billion deaths," Pinker says.


Passante said...

Pinker is brilliant and a very accessible writer -- one of my favorites, not to mention one of the people I would most like to have dinner with.

Dan said...

Yeah, he seems like a pretty amazing guy!