In a series of talks titled 'Everything You Know is Wrong,' psychologist Steven Pinker makes a compelling argument that challenges the common notion that the world we live in is extremely violent, if not the most violent. Such ideas are a product of living in the same century as such travesties of the Holocaust, Darfur or the Iraq war, but Steven Pinker, by charting the history of violence, attempts to reverse the seemingly logical assertion that we are amidst ultra-violent times.
Steven Pinker makes a compelling argument that violence has been in decline since Biblical times, something he calls a fractal phenomenon that stretches across millennia. This may be due to better reporting, but it also has to do with cognitive illusions such as recalling the scarier threats, like photos of bombs exploding, than of an old person dying in their sleep. Generally, though, according to Steven Pinker, there has been a longstanding process of humankind curbing their violent lifestyles in the hopes of a more peaceful future.