I heard Bill Gates recommended Steve Pinker’s new book Enlightenment Now as one of the best book he has read in a decade.
The book is really great because it changes the perspective we have about the world and life which is mostly influenced by manipulating and negative news.
If you rely on daily news to be in touch with our reality as a society, then you might believe we are living in the worst times ever. But the reality is that we live in the best period of humanity.
The rates of violence, hunger, poverty, and pollution are at all-time lows and life expectancy, wealth, and happiness levels are at all-time highs.
This progress has been possible thanks to Enlightenment (age of reason), a movement that took us from the Dark Ages and focused on science, reason, and humanism as the principles for a better future.
The Enlightenment started in the first half of the eighteenth century and offered an antidote to ignorance, terror, and paranoia which dominated society. Prior to the Enlightenment, bad weather was blamed on witches or angry gods, oceans and forests were associated with evil beasts, and people were tortured and killed in the name of religion (still seen today).
With reason came the eradication of slavery. With science, people started valuing knowledge. With humanism, people started to reject tribalism and narrow-mindedness and embrace cosmopolitanism.