Volcanoes are erupting in The Philippines, but on-fire Australia received some welcome rain. The Iran war cries have been called off and The Donald’s military powers are about to be hamstrung by the Senate. Meanwhile, his impeachment trial is starting, and we’re all on Twitter for a front-row seat.
In 2018, linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker released Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, which makes the argument that we are safer, healthier, freer, and happier than ever before, and that we have Enlightenment ideals to thank for the incredible progress humanity has made.
Then came 2020. How does this dumpster fire of a year fit into Pinker’s overall vision of progress? Executive Director Emma Varvaloucas speaks to the Harvard professor about the pandemic, why we don’t want an optimism bias in the media but why a “progress dashboard” might be a good idea, and his next book on rationality (and why it seems so many of us lack it).