Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

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New and great book by Steven Pinker reminds us that Technology is not destroying our Minds (but there’s always more Enlightened ways to harness it)

5 signs the world’s improv­ing, accord­ing to Bill Gates’s new favorite book ever (Mar­ket Watch):

Bill Gates has long been a huge fan of Har­vard psy­chol­o­gy pro­fes­sor Steven Pinker and his book, “The Bet­ter Angels of Our Nature: Why Vio­lence Has Declined.” In fact, last year the Microsoft founder hailed it as the most inspir­ing book he has ever read, and he urged col­lege grads to read it.

Well, Pinker appar­ent­ly has man­aged to top him­self with his new book, “Enlight­en­ment Now,” which is “like ‘Bet­ter Angels’ on steroids,” accord­ing to Gates … As a taster of what to expect, here are five facts that Gates list­ed as his favorite from the book

4. The glob­al aver­age IQ score is ris­ing by about 3 IQ points every decade. Kids’ brains are devel­op­ing more ful­ly thanks to improved nutri­tion and a clean­er envi­ron­ment. Pinker also cred­its more ana­lyt­i­cal think­ing in and out of the class­room. Think about how many sym­bols you inter­pret every time you check your phone’s home screen or look at a sub­way map. Our world today encour­ages abstract thought from a young age, and it’s mak­ing us smarter.”

The Book

Enlight­en­ment Now: The Case for Rea­son, Sci­ence, Human­ism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker

  • Descrip­tion: Is the world real­ly falling apart? Is the ide­al of progress obso­lete? In this ele­gant assess­ment of the human con­di­tion in the third mil­len­ni­um, cog­ni­tive sci­en­tist and pub­lic intel­lec­tu­al Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory head­lines and prophe­cies of doom, which play to our psy­cho­log­i­cal bias­es. Instead, fol­low the data: In sev­en­ty-five jaw-drop­ping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, pros­per­i­ty, safe­ty, peace, knowl­edge, and hap­pi­ness are on the rise, not just in the West, but world­wide. This progress is not the result of some cos­mic force. It is a gift of the Enlight­en­ment: the con­vic­tion that rea­son and sci­ence can enhance human flour­ish­ing.

The Book in Context

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Technology

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