But he says the media’s narrow focus on negative anomalies can result in “systematically distorted” views of the world.
Speaking to the ABC’s The World program, Mr Pinker gave his views on Donald Trump, distorted perceptions and the simple arithmetic that proves the world is better than ever before.
News media can ‘systematically distort’ perceptions
“If your impression of the world is driven by journalism, then as long as various evils haven’t gone to zero there’ll always be enough of them to fill the news. And if journalism isn’t accompanied by a bit of historical context, that is not just what’s bad now but how bad it was in the past, and statistical context, namely how many wars? How many terrorist attacks? What is the rate of homicide? Then our intuitions, since they’re driven by images and narratives and anecdotes, can be systematically distorted by the news unless it’s presented in historical and statistical context.