Hey guys ; @Nesher @JRMF @EstefaniaDiaz @Romans
I’ve been giving some tought to chapter 7 Kantian Equilibrium, and I can’t help but relate it to this conversation which I find fascinating.
My inquiry goes as follows:
I had the opportunity to attend to a Steven Pinker lecture just a week ago in the frame of “La Ciudad de Las Ideas” congress held at Puebla (event which I thoroughly reccomend by the way). Pinker presented his views - with corresponding evidence - of how our ancestors where more violent than we are, on how violence has declined for long stretches of time, and that today we are living in the most peaceful time of humanity. Pancs (2017,Ch 7, p.267 - 268) explores some ideas on why this decrease in violence could be explained, and ultimately introduces us readers to the idea of how social norms gained relevance after the European Enlightment and the values of humanism -
enters then Imannuel Kant:
_"It is not necessary that whilst I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live should I live honoourably. (…) Act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world" -(Kant, ITAM Estudios Generales, Critica de la Razon Pura)
Yet, a side from Pinker’s argument, we constantly live on the impression that the world is still a violent place, if not a more violent place. Am I right? Are you not under the impression that the world is full of atrocious acts? Are you, like me, under the impression that the world is not more peaceful?
Here is where and why I want to talk about Signaling. Pinker’s evidence on decline of violence seems surprising to the most people. Why isn’t it more obvious?
Well, it has to be because of the media. News are seldom positive. Media contains all the worst news you can imagine. We are bombarded by negative news, and thus have a biased conception of peace in the world. So my question is, why is media so focused on negative signaling? Why is it that they tend to be so pesimistic? Well, it probably has to do with the fact that - bad news are the news that sell, no news are good news. So, I worry, Is it that we like bad news? And if we do, why are we less violent then? Otherwise, why don’t we consume positive news?
Why do we signal each other that the world is not a better place? As @EstefaniaDiaz said, “signaling can reveal insecurity” - & - “moderate quality goods are advertised heavily, while high quality goods relay on their reputation”.
I’d love to hear your opinions on why this may be, or at least if you see my point. Thanks for the great conversation. I leave Steven Pinker’s TED talk for those interested.