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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 12:26 PM
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Human Nature's Pathologist
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Steven Pinker was a 15-year-old anarchist. He didnt think people needed a police force to keep the peace. Governments caused the very problems they were supposed to solve.

Besides, it was 1969, said Dr. Pinker, who is now a 57-year-old psychologist at Harvard. If you werent an anarchist, he said, you couldnt get a date.

At the dinner table, he argued with his parents about human nature. They said, What would happen if there were no police? he recalled. I said: What would we do? Would we rob banks? Of course not. Police make no difference.

This was in Montreal, a city that prided itself on civility and low rates of crime, he said. Then, on Oct. 17, 1969, police officers and firefighters went on strike, and he had a chance to test his first hypothesis about human nature.

All hell broke loose, Dr. Pinker recalled.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/science/human-natures...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 12:47 PM
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1. Recommend
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 01:40 PM
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2. People generally get more reasonable as they age, too.
The paradigm of the "wise old man/woman" isn't totally an accident of fiction.

And of course, we're living longer, so the older crew has a greater opportunity to influence the young'uns.

Over the course of 802 pages, he argues that violence has fallen drastically over thousands of years whether one considers homicide rates, war casualties as a percentage of national populations, or other measures.

This may seem at odds with evolutionary psychology, which is often seen as an argument for hard-wired Stone Age behavior, but Dr. Pinker sees that view as a misunderstanding of the science. Our evolved brains, he argues, are capable of a wide range of responses to their environment. Under the right conditions, they can allow us to live in greater and greater peace.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 07:40 PM
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3. I was a dumb anarchist when I was 15yo, too.
I think most highly intelligent people go through that phase, LOL!
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 07:03 AM
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4. There are characteristics of human behavior that were crucial to our emergence and...
success as a species in pre-historic times. They greatly work against us in modern society, however. Thankfully we got smart enough to invent institutions to keep ourselves in line.
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