Within the TedTalk lecture, Is the World Getting Better or Worse? A Look at the Numbers, Steven Pinker claims that progress is a human fact and that intellectuals denounce that it is or that it occurs. Pinker supports his argument by demonstrating and stating facts about the world becoming safer, life expectancy getting longer, illiteracy being nearly abolished, and the spread of democracy being more prominent. Pinker derives his take on intellectuals’ hatred for progress from the morbid news as well as the reaction he received from many individuals on his new book Enlightenment Now. Pinker breaks up his TedTalk into two sections. In the first section, Pinker bombards the audience with numbers and statistics that demonstrate progress, and in his second section, Pinker encourages his viewers to maintain hope created by action and to not be passive pessimists. Although Pinker gives facts about progress, his heavy focus on logos gives him the appearance of an apathetic and insensible cognitive professor that fails to connect to the audience on an emotional level. Although it may not have been his intention,  through his lack of pathos, Pinker gave the impression that he sees humans as numbers and nothing else.  It was odd to see him place happiness as a measurable statistic and not mention the rising opioid epidemic in the west or any sort of mental health issue. By stating that he has written multiple books Pinker demonstrates that he is a reliable source and expressed that he has changed his worldview over the years makes him more relatable to the audience. This video relates to my future career since I hope to one day work at an emigration law firm and will be dealing with issues that can make someone’s life better rather than dealing with more of the same issues. 

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

Guillaume Apollinaire

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