I want to share one of the most exciting columns I’ve read in a while (link below). Written by Harvard professor Steven Pinker, it was published in the Wall Street Journal last week, and presents the thesis of his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which was released yesterday.
Is the book integral? No. Pinker is a mainstream academic, and there is still precious little room in academia for spirit or the interior dimensions of reality, which Integral theory asserts not only exist but are also evolving along with behavior and technology. But, alas, this omission is what will give the book traction in the mainstream culture. So I am happy to take what we can get, which is a full-throated, air-tight argument for human behavioral evolution in the right direction.
The book stands a chance of making a big impact on the culture by directly challenging the default assumption that many people appear to have, especially the intelligentsia, that we are living in ever-degrading times. David Brooks called the book “mind altering”; Peter Singer said it was “a supremely important book”; and even the lefty UK Guardian recommended that “everyone should read this astonishing book.”
I agree and I have been enjoying it immensely since my copy arrived yesterday. Fair warning: it is a tome at 800 pages, including over 100 pages of footnotes, so if you’re not up for that kind of commitment the attached column will take ten minutes and may fundamentally change your worldview.
VIOLENCE VANQUISHED, column by Steven Pinker