Violence may seem to be all around us. Soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan. Drug-related shootings and senseless murders splash across the nightly news, and even the schools are no haven, with episodes of hazing and bullying prompting a national discussion on how to keep children safe — from each other. Violence may seem to be wherever we look, but the perception that we live in violent times is wrong, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker said Tuesday evening during a talk at the Boston Public Library’s Honan-Allston Branch. Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology and Harvard College Professor, said we’re actually in a period referred to by scholars as “The Long Peace,” which began at the end of World War II, and which is marked by the absence of war among the world’s great powers. But that’s just part of the picture, Pinker said. Interpersonal violence is also at a historic low, he said,...
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