|recommend book⇒The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
|This as very heavy book, as in kilograms. It is 832 pages with fairly small type. Pinker points how just how violent we were in past, using the the Odyssey and the bible as examples, then moves onto a grisly dissection of torture in the middle ages. He explains why media give us the impression we live in a more violent world than we do. He then explains why things are getting better. I believe there is a major flaw in his logic because modern wars are being deliberated disgised as local conflicts, giving the illusion there is less war. He ignores such wars as the C.I.A. coups in Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. He also, for unknown reasons, ignores the Palestinian invasion, the American invasion of Afghanistan (but not the Russian invasion) and the American invasion of Iraq, the invasion of Somalia and the UN actions in Serbia. He also ignores the silly Falklands war. He discusses torture at great length in the middle ages, but ignores The School of the Americas, Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. What he is trying to do is much more difficult than you might first think. What do you count as a war? What do you count as a casualty? Whose estimates do you believe? What do you count as a democracy? It turns out these questions have a huge effect on what trends you see. It such a mess, in general I felt I could not trust his conclusions. They depended far too much on how things were measured and defined. He seemed to be wearing somewhat rose-tinted glasses whenever considering/ignoring the military activity of the USA. He also tends to take anything officials in the US goverment say without salt.
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