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Steven Pinker Quotes
- Page 8
Pre-state societies were far more violent than our own.
Technology, ideology, and social and cultural changes periodically throw out new forms of violence for humanity to contend with.
The 9/11 strikes left an indelible impact on our minds, but in relative terms, the scale of casualties actually wasn't all that high.
The more you think about and interact with other people, the more you realize that it is untenable to privilege your interests over theirs.
You wouldn't believe the kind of hate mail I get about my work on irregular verbs.
For one thing, before the 20th century, there were plenty of genocides. We tend to forget about them, partly because they weren't as well documented and partly because, until recently, people didn't care. We used euphemisms like 'sackings' and 'sieges' instead of calling them 'genocides.'
In the 1970s, many intellectuals had become political radicals. Marxism was correct, liberalism was for wimps, and Marx had pronounced that 'the ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.'
Commerce is a noble profession, and Jews should get over any self-hatred they might harbor from contemplating the capitalist spirit of diaspora Judaism.
I don't think language could have evolved if it was the only distinctive trait. It goes hand in hand with our ability to develop tools and technologies, and also with the fact that we cooperate with nonrelatives.
Probably Hobbes got it right when he said that a leviathan, a third party with a monopoly on the use of legitimate use of force in a territory, might be among the biggest violence reduction techniques ever invented.
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