A few weeks ago, I jumped into a new book called Enlightenment Now, by Steven Pinker. I was watching Bill Gates on CNBC and he said that it was the “best book he ever read”; that told me I would be both stimulated and intellectually challenged by the book and that was what I was looking for. Here’s Gates actual quote: “The world is getting better, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m glad we have brilliant thinkers like Steven Pinker to help us see the big picture. Enlightenment Now is not only the best book Pinker’s ever written. It’s my new favorite book of all time.”
First of all, Steven Pinker may be the smartest person I have ever encountered. In Enlightenment Now he lays out a beautiful case that truly made me feel better about the world that we live in and the basic motivation of people. Frankly, it is so amazing to see what we are able to do given today’s technology, sometimes I feel that I live in a completely different world than the one I grew up in. The advancements we have made across every measurable quality of life metric are so compelling that I really feel that we should switch our perspective.
When all we focus on is the noise of politics, social media and the anger that we see on cable news, we lose sight of how much our world has changed and grown. I am proud to have grown up in a time where I had black and white television with five channels and now we are watching robots run and jump! To be honest, the robot thing creeps me out… okay, they help with brain surgery so I can deal with them!