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Tag Archives: steven pinker

In other writing news…

This announcement comes via the UK magazine The Skeptic: Special announcement: we have a new legal column, which will be contributed by Geoff Whelan of GMSS and QEDcon, and Helen Dale of skepticlawyer.com.au. Geoff kicks off this issue with thoughts on the legal practicalities of prosecuting psychics. The Skeptic is a magazine of the traditional […]

Violence and the State

The always worth reading Prof. Gene Callahan recently posted – citing Jared Diamond’s example of warfare among the Dani of New Guinea — that violence is rooted in human nature, not the state. Prof. Callahan observes: The problem isn’t the State: the problem is human beings. And the problem with admitting that problem is you’re not left […]

Something obscurantist this way comes

I recently had the unexpected experience of reading a book that appalled me; this is not a reaction I can remember having to a book before. The book has a title I agree with: Ideas Have Consequences. Regarded as a classic text of  postwar American conservatism, the book is a long jeremiad at the corruption […]

Panem et circenses

The title of this post reveals the Latin quip (by the Roman satirist Juvenal, in his 10th Satire, 77-81) from which Suzanne Collins derived the name of her fictional dystopian country in The Hunger Games (Legal Eagle’s review and commentary is here). It means ‘bread and circuses’ and is part of a lengthy whinge where Juvenal […]

The Hunger Games

I have just read Suzanne Collins’ series The Hunger Games. ‘Read’ is probably not the right word: ‘devoured’ is more like it. Once I’d started, I had to finish. As I’ve said before I think good writing has a “hook” which makes you want to read on, but also makes you think about people or […]

Vaccination Saves Lives

It does, you know. Really. That we have to be reminded of this now — in (almost) 2012 — is a sad testament to the failure of not only science education but something rather more old fashioned: the public health campaign. Remember those? Newsreels of children lining up for their needles, posters enjoining people to […]

Steven Pinker can really draw…

… Along with lots of other cool stuff. Please take a look; it’s funny ‘cos it’s TRUE!

The Myth of Violence

… Or, as John Humphreys often says, don’t be scared. Not everything Steven Pinker says in this is right, but most of it is, and it’s a salutary reminder of the gifts bestowed by science, technology, markets and the old trifecta of ‘peace, order and good government.’ More reasons why this little black duck is […]