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Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.

Steven Pinker’s Ideas About Progress Are Fatally Flawed. These Eight Graphs Show Why.

It’s time to reclaim the mantle of “Progress” for progressives. By falsely tethering the concept of progress to free market economics and centrist values, Steven Pinker has tried to appropriate a great idea for which he has no rightful claim.

In Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, published earlier this year, Steven Pinker argues that the human race has never had it so good as a result of values he attributes to the European Enlightenment of the 18th century. He berates those who focus on what is wrong with the world’s current condition as pessimists who only help to incite regressive reactionaries. Instead, he glorifies the dominant neoliberal, technocratic approach to solving the world’s problems as the only one that has worked in the past and will continue to lead humanity on its current triumphant path.

His book has incited strong reactions, both positive and negative. On one hand, Bill Gates has, for example, effervesced that “It’s my new favorite book of all time.” On the other hand, Pinker has been fiercely excoriated by a wide range of leading thinkers for writing a simplistic, incoherent paean to the dominant world order. John Gray, in the New Statesman, calls it “embarrassing” and “feeble”; David Bell, writing in The Nation, sees it as “a dogmatic book that offers an oversimplified, excessively optimistic vision of human history”; and George Monbiot, in The Guardian, laments the “poor scholarship” and “motivated reasoning” that “insults the Enlightenment principles he claims to defend.” (Full disclosure: Monbiot recommends my book, The Patterning Instinct, instead.)

In light of all this, you might ask, what is left to add? Having read his book carefully, I believe it’s crucially important to take Pinker to task for some dangerously erroneous arguments he makes. Pinker is, after all, an intellectual darling of the most powerful echelons of global society.

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Self-Deception, Our Media and the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes Effect’

Self-Deception, Our Media and the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes Effect’

Published in 1837, the short story by Hans Christian Andersen called the Emperor’s New Clothes is a children’s story that carries some eye-opening messages about life, reality, society and self-deception.

It seems that no one wants to talk about self-deception these days.  I believe one of the reasons for this is we feel embarrassed when we are wrong especially when we find out that we have been lying to ourselves.

When we lie to ourselves and we decide that we want to grow beyond the lie we have to look into life’s mirror metaphorically and face the truth behind our lies.  This type of truth seeking can leave us feeling naked, vulnerable and a bit scared of what we are going to find.

Owning your Creation
Via prodigalsonspodcast.com
Via prodigalsonspodcast.com

Self-transparency is taught in many different spiritual circles today.  They talk about owning your own creation.  What they often mean is that if you feel that your life is bad, then that is your fault.  Conversely, if you feel that your life is good then that may also be your fault.

Though a lot of our reality is determined by an optimistic or pessimistic perception it is good to learn how to accept our reality and find peace in the present moment.  The truth of the matter is, there are many things that appear to be outside of our physical control.

For example other people’s thoughts and actions.  Those are elements that can add insight into our world, but we cannot and should not control others.  But enough about consciousness, we can dig into the realms of thought and self-mastery at a later time.  What about Hans Christian Andersen?

Was Hans Christian Andersen awake?

Pic by Thora Hallager 1869
Pic by Thora Hallager 1869

 

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Archive: Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism |

Archive: Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism |.

optimism keller

Note from Daisy:  With all of the hullabaloo about Ebola lately, it seems like a good time to remind ourselves of why we prepare. We don’t do it out of fear. We do it because we like the peace of mind it brings.  When we are ready for anything from a job loss to a power outage to an outright apocalypse, we know that we can handle whatever life sends our way. A preparedness lifestyle is a constant affirmation that we will persevere.

Does this sound familiar?

You’re talking to a friend or family member who isn’t on board with preparedness.  (And it’s even worse when they think they know what’s going on in the world but garner their so-called “information” from network news sources.)  You try for the millionth time to get them to consider stocking up on a few things and they say this:

Life’s too short for all of this doom and gloom.  Live a little! You’re such a pessimist!

My response to this is that preparedness is the ultimate form of optimism.

– See more at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/archive-forget-doom-and-gloom-preparedness-is-the-ultimate-act-of-optimism-10212014#sthash.SyN2VASM.dpuf

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