Enlightenment. Headlines. Music Reaction.

A Look At Reason, Science, Humanism And Progress. Strange News. Enter Sandman.

  • I read very early on most mornings. The subject material is varied, and includes the news of the day, a weather synopsis with the hope of Fall-like temps in Orlando, and of course a brush of what is happening in the world of sports. Book reading is something I enjoy, and miss, as I used air travel as the time to get entrenched in various novels. Books I have read lately included subject matter on Arthur Blank, Sir Alex Ferguson, and John Bolton. My most recent read is a book titled Enlightenment Now, a 450-pager from Steven Pinker, who is a professor of psychology at Harvard, and is known for his research on cognitive, language, and social relations. That description in itself should tell you that I was way over my head taking on this book.

What hooked me into buying Enlightenment Now is Pinker’s basic premise: “...to step back from the lurid headlines and prophecies of doom, which bring out the worst in our psychological biases….and instead, follow the data that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise”. Yes, I know it sounds like I ‘drank the Kool-aid’ but I actually enjoyed how he supported his observations with data, some of it easy to understand, and some of it needing a doctorate in economics.

My thoughts on Enlightenment Now:

  • We were born to a wide open universe, where knowledge varies based on geographic territory, religion, culture, and socio-economics.
  • We were shaped by ideals – which sometimes led to situations that were ultra-competitive….and may relate to the “live up to the Joneses” syndrome.
  • The math and the data tells me that an anecdote is NOT a trend. History reveals that something bad today doesn’t actually mean it was better in the past. Knowledge stirs narrative and narrative is important in our daily lives as we really don’t know what we don’t know.
  • The key to progress is knowledge, as knowledge overshadows false news, superstition, and most importantly ignorance.

This book took some time for me to read and comprehend. I enjoyed the challenge to understand Pinker’s thinking, philosophy, and most importantly his data. Will I rush to order another Pinker book anytime soon? Most likely not but I am glad I took the time to enjoy the book.


  • A $10 million annual contract to coach an NFL team and you come out as a bigot and homophobe. Does the NFL understand that there is NO coming back?
  • William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk, had a real life space experience last week…at the age of ninety. I never watched many episodes of Star Trek, but I do remember this famous line from Captain James T. Kirk: “One of the advantages of being a captain, Doctor, is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.”
  • On Friday, a Russian spacecraft fired it’s thrusters a bit too late and pushed the International Space Station out of position, sending astronauts into an emergency mode. Seriously Vladimir, get your country’s space program together.
  • Another suicide bomber attack in Afghanistan, targeting Shiites as they prayed at a mosque. Dozens killed and injured. To my longtime friend Samir: can you please provide us some insight into reality by discussing the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Taliban, and ISIS? Am I the only one confused?
  • I find it amazing, with the far reaches of worldwide news networks, why we have seen so little coverage of a devastating volcano eruption in the Canary Islands. Mystifying to me.

  • On a lighter note, I really enjoy people discovering music that they have no clue about. The set up: Thirty-years ago, Metallica, along with other bands, played in Moscow in the final days of the Soviet Union. The event drew 1.7 million people, and it is obvious that this young man is clueless of just how big of a band Metallica was, and still is. His reaction to the band, their music, and the crowd is priceless:

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

2 thoughts on “Enlightenment. Headlines. Music Reaction.”

  1. My good friend
    I would, one of these days, be a guest writer to “TRY” and explain the difference between Sunnis, Shiites, ISIS, Taliban,….. My only fear is that I cannot explain it without potentially offending some of your readers… I will try..

    1. I am not concerned with offending some of the readers of justmytake. I am more concerned with everyone understanding the notion of separatists – from both a belief and culture standpoint. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.