A more peaceful world
May 17, 2017 1:54 PM Subscribe
Since it was recommended by Bill Gates as the "most inspiring" book he has ever read, Stephen Pinker's thesis on the decline of violence, The Better Angels of Our Nature (prev), has been a number one best seller again. Pasquale Cirillo and Nassim Nicholas Taleb (that one) had previously critiqued the thesis in an paper [technical pdf, though well explained], concluding that "humanity is as violent as usual." Economist Michael Spagat joined Pinker in writing a response, leading to a reply by Cirillo and Taleb, provoking yet another letter. While the argument isn't violent, there are some nasty feelings on both sides. Very recently, and in an easy-to-follow set of slides, Spagat has laid out a final (for now) and fairly convincing argument that we really are seeing a decline of violence in the world. For a visual tour of declining violence, there is this terrific set of infographics.