American scientist and science popularizer Stephen Pinker said that humanity has entered a great period of its history, may news picture and suggests the opposite. As explained by the psychologist, if you compare life today with past centuries at the objective indicators, the numbers speak for themselves.
According to the expert, the notion of modernity as a terrible time based on the number of misconceptions, understandable from a psychological point of view, but that is not becoming closer to the truth. First, people by nature tend to be pessimistic — evolution itself draws attention, first, to something potentially dangerous. Because of this, people are paying more attention to news about the frightening event, and journalists in pursuit of an audience give such topics preference. Thus, the idea that the world is heading into the abyss, eventually fixed all the more. Although the media should ignore the shortcomings of the world and the critical attitude it is necessary to improve the situation, the psychologist notes that the real picture is not as pessimistic as you might expect from the headlines.
Second important factor is the idealization of the past — another trait of human psychology that existed since ancient times. However, modern scientific data clearly demonstrate that in reality many of the problems of humanity today is much closer to a solution now than in the past.
As the specialist, 30 years ago on the planet has been 23 war, there were 85 authoritarian regimes, and 37 percent of the world’s population was poor. Today all these indicators decreased significantly. Even more noticeable is the difference with the distant past — two centuries ago, 90 percent of people would be considered poor by modern standards, and today those less than ten percent
In addition, the growing number of literate people — if in the XVII century, those in Europe was only 15 percent, now to read and write more than 90 percent of people under the age of 25. The information in digital form is becoming more accessible, making this figure continues to grow.
To live according to the psychologist, is also becoming safer — the chances of dying in natural disasters in a century has decreased by 89 percent, in an automobile accident is 96 percent, and when the plane is 99 percent. Also at the 95 percent lower was the probability of death during the performance of official duties.
Steven Pinker notes that progress does not necessarily benefit every person on Earth, because it is not a miracle but a means of solving problems. Thus the solution of one problem often creates others, but this does not negate the overall positive trends, the psychologist said.
In 2004, Pinker was named by Time magazine one of the 100 most influential scientists and thinkers in the world.