Whatcom Freethinker's Meetup - Book: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

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Every 1st Friday of the month

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Today's Starter Topic: We will start on a new book by Steven Pinker, called "Enlightenment Now". I know it is short notice, so we will also wrap up discussion on all of Harari's 3 books and Atlantic Article.
Here's a brief description of new book:

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
ONE OF THE ECONOMIST'S BOOKS OF THE YEAR

"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates

If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation.

With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
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An article in last October's edition of "The Atlantic" by Yuval Noah Harari, titled "Why Technology Favors Tyranny". Click on link below to read article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/yuval-noah-harari-technology-tyranny/568330/

Otherwise, we will continue discussion on Yuval's three books, "SAPIENS - A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus & 21 Lessons for the 21st Century- If you have future suggestion, bring up at end of meeting or email me at [masked]!

You do not need to read or have this book to participate in discussion and our discussion will broaden out to any timely topic that is on each of our mind. Starter topic is just an ice breaker. Those who have or started to read the book will have the first shot in starting our conversation.

We currently meet at the Cordata Community Food Coop, Cordata, near Whatcom Community College on the first Friday of each month. You will find the stairs to the 2nd Floor "Local Roots" room on the SE corner of the store near the last register next to the deli area. At the top of stairs, turn right into the room.

Enjoy free flowing discussion on Politics, Religion, Science, Ethics, and any other controversial subject that comes to mind. We also encourage attendees to share their life story that lead their journey to the 'Land of Freethought', Free Inquiry, Skepticism towards cultural stories, norms & traditions and to the admiration of the scientific method as the only reliable means of finding answers to our probing questions and common sense solutions to humanity's current problems.

Suggestions for future meeting's starter topics are encouraged.

See you there!