No, We Are Not Civilized. Or, Why the 21st Century is Still Stuck in the 12th (The Persistence of Middle-Ages Mentality in the Modern Age)

With the tragic murder reported today of US journalist James Foley by Islamic extremists ISIS, one has to question how civilized we really are…

That is but one act of madness in a world plagued by countless acts of religious, political, social, economic and cultural insanity.

Ideas Out There

Hans Rosling has shown us that the world is getting better. We have by far the greatest proportion of humanity moving out of absolute poverty that we have ever had. At the same time, Stephen Pinker proves that, remarkably, we are also becoming less violent as a species. We have the internet to exchange ideas, and hundreds of thousands of social justice and environmental movements are springing up demanding a better world.

But in so many ways, we are still enormously backward. So medieval, in fact, that I do despair sometimes. How can we be simultaneously becoming so enlightened and still suffer from these plagues to our collective progress:

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