This is a fascinating read, and that’s putting it mildly. The gist? That human societies now are less violent than they’ve ever been within the historical record. I’m curious how global these studies, and particularly Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, are: to what extent do they consider all six continents? How is violence defined? Is the sample size from Europe and the U.S. (which get the bulk of the attention in this article) proportional to South America, Africa, South Asia, and other parts of the world? Are there areas where violence has increased even if the global trends are declining? Obviously, these are just preliminary questions that arise from the summary of the article, but that’s always the true indicator of important books (or articles on them): they raise immediate questions worth investigating and thinking about.
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