Think Again: War
Very encouraging article.
If the world feels like a more violent place than it actually is, that’s because there’s more information about wars – not more wars themselves. Once-remote battles and war crimes now regularly make it onto our TV and computer screens, and in more or less real time. Cell-phone cameras have turned citizens into reporters in many war zones. Societal norms about what to make of this information have also changed. As Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker has noted, “The decline of violent behavior has been paralleled by a decline in attitudes that tolerate or glorify violence,” so that we see today’s atrocities – though mild by historical standards – as “signs of how low our behavior can sink, not of how high our standards have risen.”