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Angels and Devils

Hosted by the Consul of the Seville Book Group
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Took place 1 month ago
Thu 21 Oct 13:00 - 14:30

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Are we better or worse than our ancestors? Steven Pinker thinks so - at least in respect of our decreasing propensity to violet behaviour. His book, while cntroversial, is based on solid data - although his interpretation of the reasons of our improvement are based (I think) on shakier ground. I propose a companion book, The Great Leveler by Walter Scheidel, also about violence - but specifically on the silver lining of it, the subsequent decrease in inequality. Actually, Scheidel's book is not just about violence but about general mayhem, including natural disasters and pandemics (Coronavirus, I am looking at you); still, the two books together show the complexity of assessing wht is positive ad what is negative about change, especially when human behaviour - hadly quantifiable - is involved.