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Cognitive scientist at Harvard.

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Joined Twitter 1/21/10

MLK was, among all else, a supple & non-dogmatic intellectual. "My Pilgrimage to Nonviolence" recounts his reading… with laws within a country, international laws, norms, & institutions work to everyone’s benefit in a world with…
NYT obit for my teacher and childhood neighbor: Ronald Melzack, Cartographer of Pain, Is Dead at 90 Sullivan: Is There a Way to Acknowledge America’s Progress? via @intelligencer
Optimism vs. Pessimism About the World’s Future | A debate & discussion with two of my favorite commentators, Rober… Fatigue, by Christine Rosen. Climate change & nuclear war are potentially catastrophic. Not every crisis… These 2019 Titles On Your 2020 Book List via @AnisfieldWolfMy lunch with Jerry. via @EvolutionistrueMüssen wir uns vor den nächsten zehn Jahren fürchten? Nein. Auch wenn einiges schief läuft: Das Gute besteht zumeis… training is great for learning music, an inherently valuable experience, but has NO benefit for math, languag… book review, w authors' response, of Oona Hathaway & Scott Shapiro's brilliant The Internationalists, wh a…
Stanislas Dehaene is unparalleled among cognitive neuroscientists in his ability to explain mind, brain, & consciou… a (toujours) peur de Darwin ? - article by Peggy Sastre @nikitakarachoi in Le Point
The diagnostic feature of life is that it captures energy to create order. This is also a hallmark of civilisation.…
Retweeted by Steven PinkerWe're accepting applications for the 2020 Harvard Music Lab summer internship! Come work with us in Cambridge. Appl…
Retweeted by Steven PinkerHomicide Rates Around the World Continue to Fall to Record-Low Levels Year After Year
Security can’t be built on promises of mass destruction. It’s time to put an end to policies that threaten the firs…
Retweeted by Steven PinkerAre you a designer or Web developer who wants to contribute to the spread of knowledge & to human progress? Our Wor…
Why do we keep panicking over tech? Good analysis of the causes of technopanic by the curator of the Pessimist’s Ar…
A veiled threat, an example of indirect speech ...For an explanation, See The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Windo… it came out 10 years ago I said it was the best book either of us had ever written. Authors are always proudes…
When it came out 10 years ago I said it was the best book either of us had ever written. Authors are always proudes… protagonist of Rebecca Goldstein's "36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction" thought he had li… language proof of God's existence? (Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies.) a recent Rand report projecting future trends (to be taken with some salt). graph on war deaths (through ‘18, the most recent year w data) showing the post-Arab-Spring uptick & its re… year the war fever broke: Joshua Goldstein & I stuck our necks out 3 years ago and noted that the post-Better-… & Iran’s stepping back from war (at least so far) is a sign of the times: War (especially between states) has…
William McFeely, Historian of Reconstruction, biographer of Frederick Douglass, pioneer of African American history… Pinker clarifies issues about his interview. via @EvolutionistrueA tribute to pain researcher (and one of my mentors) Ronald Melzack (1929 – 2019) - McGill Reporter new interview with Steve Pinker: Jerry Coyne agrees with some parts, disagrees with others. via @EvolutionistrueThis astonishing change is consistent with the long-running global shift from traditional to secular-rational value…
Was 2019 the Worst Year Ever? Psychologist Carey Morewedge asked this about the year 2017 in 2018. His research on…
2: How to solve climate change via @voxdotcomTwo more on climate: (1) The Tragedy of Germany’s Energy Experiment (poorly reasoned shutdown of nuclear). from Australia’s Bushfires for the climate crisis from @clairlemon: More science, less politics & demonizat… Better Angels of our Nature identifies Feminization (plus Leviathan, Gentle Commerce, Expanding Circle, & Escal… an end to wars?Let women run the world. Not 100% true: Thatcher, Gandhi, Kumaratanga fought, as did many queen… Winners of the 2019 Bird Photographer of the Year Contest via @mymodernmet
Threats to Free Speech at University, and How to Deal with Them—Part 2. I don’t agree with all the remedies (partic… very thorough pair of articles by Noah Carl, who knows a thing or two about this issue: Threats to Free Speech at… fell, green space grew and your weather forecast got a lot more precise. The last 10 years were filled wi… 2020 is the year to worry about nukes, then every Democratic candidate needs to lay out their plans for confront…
Retweeted by Steven PinkerTributes pour in for pain-research pioneer Ronald Melzack
Astrology for iGeners. This is not your Ok Boomer astrology! The New York Times gives a glowing review of an astro…
Retweeted by Steven Pinker pinker | thoughts of an intellectual - IntellectInterviews the third time in a year or so, the New York Times publishes a credulous article on astrology: "Your Favorite I…
Fascinating data for face perception researchers: NYT visitors mistook Athletes, Politicians and Celebrities not ju…‘Little Women’ as a comment on theodicy and a reminder of progress (plunging child mortality). Rich graphic by Beth…
@thosjleeper P.S. It would have taken 40 seconds to access the explanation via Amazon's "Look inside the book." Why… @thosjleeper Explained in EN 224-8 & Welzel 2013 Fig 4-4. Yes, estimates, but not linear extrapolations w fake nois… Times view on human welfare and the future: Getting Better
Trump signs Blumenthal & Toomey’s bill to ban animal cruelty (& can’t help sullying the event with obtuse remarks a…
Blasting Enlightenment Values Into Martian Orbit - Quillette for the opposing view: Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2019 complementary (though less hedged) article: Reasons to be Hopeful - Quillette via @QuilletteSteven Pinker: what can we expect from the 2020s? [Just out from behind the Financial Times paywall]… columnist looks at numbers & history, not the morning's headlines, & advises, "Ignore the doomsayers. There…
Here are six reasons to be optimistic about 2020 (from CNBC): A Small Democracy With an Outsize Global Influence. Review of friend and colleague Orlando Patterson's The… Has Been the Best Year Ever: Lovely end-of-year column by NYT’s Nicholas Kristof.
In Canada, some reasons for (a teensy bit of cautious) optimism on the climate change front in 2020 | CBC News study says music a universal language | CBC News
Why Writing Better Will Make You a Better Person via @chronicleBengio-Marcus AI Debate Post Mortem, Part I: The Deep Learning Pivot by @GaryMarcus Pinker: what can we expect from the 2020s? (Perhaps recklessly, I took on this assignment from the Financial… was so great about the 2010s via @BostonGlobe
Rising Enlightenment ideals in the Islamic world, riding a 6-decade global wave of liberal values documented by Wor… two-l llama, he's a beast. Beautiful Peru: My newest photo gallery. Machu Picchu, New World camelids, goose-stepp… more on AI: “All of the models that we have learned how to train are about passing a test or winning a game wit… summary of AI developments in 2019. bisl Yiddish: Add to German a large helping of Hebrew and a dollop of Slavic. Stir. Let marinate. via @slateThis is what the heroes of the 21st Century look like. Distributing copies of Enlightenment Now by @sapinker and…
Retweeted by Steven PinkerOpinion | 19 good things that happened in 2019 a more extensive list here: 99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn't Hear About in 2019 - marriage & abortion in Ulster; malaria vaccine; reduced child mortality worldwide; endangered mountain gor… on the Historic AI debate between @GaryMarcus and Yoshua Bengio. Do smart systems need symbols, variables, i…
Very strange bedfellows: The hard left hates the center-left more than it hates Trump, and may help, with the hard… action will have to embrace many efforts, including the original carbon capture tech, trees. Claude Garcia,… 27 weirdest government stories of 2019 via @apoliticalcoApplying behavioral science to policy & governance pays for itself, reducing bias, harassment, abuse, waste, litter… Interview on medieval justice (including gruesome and wacky trial by ordeal) with Harvard legal scholar… to lose Harvard colleague James McCarthy, environmentalist, dead at 75 via @Harvard
Sad to hear of the passing of my childhood neighbor and undergraduate mentor Dr. Ronald Melzack -- A pioneer in the… unusually deep and thorough report on our Science paper on music.
With climate, the closest thing to good news is that we might avoid the worst news: The world seems to have turned… Baba Ram Dass: predecessor in the Harvard Psych department; icon of my youth with his bestseller Be Here Now; a… Economist’s country of the year - Which nation improved the most in 2019?'ve found that many people (especially, oddly enough, "progressives") are infuriated by evidence for progress. So… segregation in US cities has declined. is being beaten (not quickly enough, but significantly). graphs from a recent issue of The Economist on under-reported positive developments; 1. Taxes & transfers mit… can be very irritable.
Retweeted by Steven PinkerShtetl-Optimized (entertaining & informative blog by theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson). NIPS vs. Neu… Bigotry against ancestors and earlier times. Pico Iyer explains. of which, data journalist Leah Libresco finds that many popular beliefs about gun control lack evidence or… health research & evidence-based harm reduction policies save lives: tens of 1000s a year, every year. Apply…
A major theme of my 2 books on progress is that modernity replaces ties of clan & tribe w individual freedom & inst…