Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker

Canadian-American psychologist
18 September 1954 —

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Steven Pinker's books


Language is not a protocol legislated by an authority but rather a wiki that pools the contributions of millions of writers and speakers, who ceaselessly bend the language to their needs and who inexorably age, die, and get replaced by their children, who adapt the language in their turn.

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It`s natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun went around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity`s highest callings.

Life is a pinball game in which we bounce and graze through a gantlet of chutes and bumpers. Perhaps our history of collisions and near misses explains what made us what we are.

Status and dominance can fade but a friend will be there through thick and thin.

Hard times show you who your real friends are. That is because the point of friendship, in evolutionary terms, is to save you in hard times when it`s not worth anyone else`s trouble.

The comfortable environment that makes us physically more secure may make us emotionally less secure, because it minimizes the crises that tell us who our real friends are.

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The [...] tragedy of happiness: people adapt to their circumstances, good or bad, the way their eyes adapt to sun or darkness.

You don`t choose your best friend because they have a cute nose, but that`s all you`re doing when you get married; you`re saying, 'I will spend the rest of my life with
you because of your lower lip'.

You don`t really love yourself, except metaphorically; you are yourself.


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