Steven Pinker: The Blank Slate 20+ Years Later

Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 2 April 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Steven Pinker about his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, published in 2002. Discusses where we are today vis-a-vis the book’s three major themes: the blank slate or tabula rasa view of the mind as having no innate traits; the noble savage view of human nature where society corrupts individuals; and the ghost in the machine, particularly as repurposed today in service of gender ideology.

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Rationality: Steven Pinker’s Love Song to Critical Thinking

The Next Big Idea | 30 September 2021 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Steven Pinker about his book Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters. Argues how and why we should all learn a bit of logic, get better at sniffing out fallacies, embrace institutions that safeguard empirical truths, and acknowledge that halting, imperfect progress is better than no progress at all.

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Dylan Matthews on What to Conclude from Falling Global Poverty

Rationally Speaking | 28 May 2019 | 1h 17m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Dylan Matthews, author of the article Bill Gates tweeted out a chart and sparked a huge debate about global poverty. Carefully evaluates the debate between people like psychologist Steven Pinker and anthropologist Jason Hickel over how to interpret the falling global poverty rate and the contribution of capitalism.

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Steven Pinker: A New Enlightenment

Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking | 14 March 2018 | 1h 32m | Listen Later  | iTunes
The Enlightenment worked, says Steven Pinker, by promoting reason, science, humanism, progress, and peace. The programs set in motion by the 18th-Century intellectual movement became so successful we’ve lost track of what that success came from. Some even discount the success itself, preferring to ignore or deny how much better off humanity keeps becoming, decade after decade, in terms of health, food, money, safety, education, justice, and opportunity.

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