book hack

Enlightenment Now

Steven Pinker

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

In this book, renowned psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker describes how the values of the Enlightenment, science, reason, humanism, and progress continue to improve our world, despite the negative news.

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Enlightenment Now

Enlightenment Now

by Steven Pinker

Overview

It's easy to think the world is becoming a worse place, with news-driven by negativity, anxiety, and fear. Playing on our ancient instincts, sensationalist headlines grab us right in the gut and drive us to click.

However, Steven Pinker has made a career of focusing on long-term optimism over the adrenaline rush of the short-term news cycle. A professor of psychology at Harvard University specializing in developmental linguistics, Pinker has written over a dozen popular science books such as The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works.

In this book, published in 2018, the author doubles down on the progress narrative he first explored in The Better Angels of Our Nature. Through data and storytelling, Enlightenment Now shows us how the values of science, reason, and humanism still continue to improve our world.

Favorite quote

There can be no question of which was the greatest era for culture; the answer had to be today, until it is superseded by tomorrow.

- Steven Pinker

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