Tuesday, January 16, 2018

More Support for Pinker's Theory of Declining Violence

I've noted a couple times that there used to be a term for people – weirdos like hippies and the Amish – who oppose war on principle: "Pacifists".

We no longer need a name for this, because it's become the default. Instead, we name the other side (which seems like a bunch of weirdos): "Hawks".

Here's a similar one. When I was younger, you used to hear - sometimes as a joke, and sometimes straight - that it's wrong to hit people who wear glasses. I haven't even heard that referenced in over 30 years. Why? Because it's not okay to hit people, period, anymore. So the glasses thing makes no sense.

I realize that attitudes and memes shift, passing in and out of favor. It's not usually very meaningful. But some shifts bear examination, because they truly do reflect huge, fundamental changes.

More postings on Stephen Pinker's theory of declining violence.

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