Steven Pinker on Language, Reason, and the Future of Violence

steven pinker

This needull is a very detailed interview of Steven Pinker. Includes the audio as well.

I think language is central to everything else that’s human. I think that it has very much figured in our evolution by making social cooperation that much easier — namely, with language, for example, you can make an agreement to do a favor for someone now in exchange for a very different payback or a payback very far in the future, something you can’t do when you’re just bartering physical goods.

I think that since our species lives on information, information is the ultimate trade good because it is a nonrivaled good. You can share it with someone else without being deprived of it yourself. It can be multiplied, and that makes it the ideal medium of reciprocity, conferring a large benefit to someone else at a small cost to oneself.

The complete interview

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