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Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. Steven Pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history.
Trends that have resulted in the decline of violence.
Our evolution from hunter gatherers into settled civilizations.
The consolidation of small kingdoms and duchies into large kingdoms with centralized authority and commerce.
The emergence of Enlightenment philosophy, and it's respect for the individual.
Since World War II, violence has been suppressed, first by the overwhelming force of the two parties in the Cold War, and more recently by the American hegemony.
The general trend, even apart from the Cold War, of wars to be more infrequent, and less violent, however autocratic and anti-democratic the governments have become.
Lastly, the growth of peace and domestic societies, and with it the diminishing level of violence through small things like schoolyard fights, bullying, and picking on gays and minorities.
Steven Pinker is interviewed by Neal Conan, who is host of "Talk of the Nation" on National Public Radio. Steven Pinker is one of the world's leading authorities on language and the mind.
Source: Great Conversations: Steven Pinker and Neal Conan
Donald B. Louria talks about the loss of faith in the future.
"I fear we are now in great danger of a large percentage of the public having their hopes for the future battered, being overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness in regard to our ability to cope with the major problems facing the society. If that occurs, there are substantial societal and individual consequences.
There will be a dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of anxiety and depression.
There will be a much greater focus on hedonism with increased risk taking and pleasure seeking, including the use of mind-altering drugs, both legal and illegal (alcohol included).
There will be little attention paid to preventing or mitigating future problems and threats; politicians, even more than now, will focus almost entirely on present issues, thereby making the future even more bleak.
The depression epidemic will have physical and other consequences with increased incidence of suicide and heart attacks, marital discord, inability to function effectively, and overeating (a well known response to depression) that will exacerbate our obesity and diabetes epidemics.
"Make no mistake about it. Loss of faith in the future is very serious business – if widespread enough, it is society threatening." ~ Donald B. Louria
Source: EcoShock Radio: DONALD B. LOURIA: LOSING FAITH IN THE FUTURE IS UNHEALTHY AND SELF-FULFILLING
Music includes Jason Boissonneault - Hollow Words Before Me, Capitol Steps - You Gotta Have Parts, Gene Autry - When The Mailman Says No Mail Today, Jimmy Cliff - We Don't Want Another Vietnam in Afghanistan, Capitol Steps - Who'll Drop a Bomb in Ramadan?, David Rovics - Strike A Blow Against The Empire, In The Dark, Capitol Steps - Everything's Coming Up Roguey, Spirit - Nature's Way, Reverend Billy - They Have Sold, Capitol Steps - Rulers Of Morality, Billy Joel - Allentown, September - Earth Wind & Fire, Machito & Mario Bauzá - Asia Minor
Great Conversations: Steven Pinker and Neal Conan
EcoShock Radio: DONALD B. LOURIA: LOSING FAITH IN THE FUTURE IS UNHEALTHY AND SELF-FULFILLING