Progress as the book notes is often under celebrated.
Pinker noted that when the Polio vaccine was announced there were bells ringing and parades planned. Yet, the fall in childhood mortality, the HPV vaccine, and the reduction in workplace fatalities is not as celebrated.
There is of course concern that Pinker and others can become too fanatical about science. In its record, in what it can achieve and make excuses for it when it goes bad.
There is also the problem of poverty. Has extreme poverty really fallen significantly as the book states? Are critics right when they note arguments that people on more than $1.90 per day are not in extreme poverty seems a little too optimistic, shall we say.
Surely the rate of progress can be criticized. It did take centuries for general poverty rates to significantly fall, smallpox to be eradicated and workplace fatalities to greatly reduce.
One argument from the book to focus on is things can get better. Focusing on that may make us all focus more on the good we can and should be doing.
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
12 posts so far.