Such a wonderful, positive, book. History is not just one damn thing after another; with SP as your guide you can see it as a systematic journey from us being animals to us being (more or less) civilised. Pinker is such an academic that he never gets round to throwing his hat in the air and crowing about how great it is that there are actually reasons to be optimistic and to hope (against the pounding of the 24/7 TV news) that human moral thinking is developing alongside our visible technologies. Still, he does admit that it is p o s s i b l e we are not going to hell in a hand basket, as I previously thought. Bravo Steven!
Brilliant book - I can't remember what prompted me to choose this but I am so glad I did. It is really three books - a gripping novel, a scientific history, and an ethical work out. Would you have tortuously prolonged the lives of children you couldn't cure? No? Then you would not have discovered the cure to childhood leukemia! Ouch. All the amazing hopes and setbacks that have been cancer research in the past 30 years must have been reported in the news, yet remained peripheral to my consciousness. Wonderful author-doctor to have brought it all to centre stage.
Who am I to say this noble laureate is brilliant, but I'll chuck in my two pennyworth anyway. Kahneman shows you how you think and how easy it is to be deluded and misled by the way your brain just happens to work. Some of the book is quite hard work, and sometimes it is a bit slow reading (laboured points), but the content is fascinating and also important. It will probably change how you think, view and live your life, which is quite something for a mere book.