Five Points – 16

What I’m reading – 

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

Data proves we are living better today than ever before.

And that is what this book is about.  My friend Matt asked a few folks if they were keen to read this book and then discuss, and I’m glad he did, as it is so refreshing to be reminded that the world we live is actually doing quite well.

If you suffer from the blues and anxiety after clicking on a news site (like I do) or catching a glimpse on the telly, I highly recommend this book.  But don’t take my word for it.  Bill Gates reports “My new favorite book of all time.”

An Amazon Best Book of March 2018: Given the 24-hour news cycle to which we have grown accustomed, it’s difficult to navigate life and think that everything is peachy. But Steven Pinker has set out, first in The Better Angels of Our Nature, and now in Enlightenment Now, to illustrate that there has never been a better time to be a human being. In his new book, Pinker points out that the slow creep of progress is not as newsworthy as, say, an earthquake or an explosion. So it’s clear why we don’t always have the sense that things are getting better. But the Enlightenment—with its dedication to science, reason, humanism, and progress—has led people to live longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives. And Pinker uses charts, data, history, and a firm dedication to his cause to empirically prove that we are living in better times. It makes sense to be skeptical of a scientist arguing that that science is the answer. And his optimism won’t always jibe with your personal experience or judgement. But there’s lots to chew on here—and it’s so easy to obsess on the intrusions and negatives of technology and “advancement” that this book can serve as a kind of antidote. —Chris Schluep, the Amazon Book Review

Stack Overflow 2018 Developer Survey –

I really enjoy looking over stats and survey results such as these.

Stack Overflow is the preeminent destination online for software developers to discuss code.  If you can’t figure out how to squash a pesky bug, go there.  They will help.

This year they surveyed over 100,000 developers across the world to learn more about them…where do they live, how long have they been building software, what are the preferred languages, what platforms are dreaded the most…and a lot more.

Friends doing awesome stuff alert – 

Camille Childs, better half to my good friend Bryan Jones, wrote a book!

Feelings and Dealings – An empathy game for young kids

What’s on the radio – 

Mr. Bojangles – Sammy Davis Jr. –

Steven Hawking 1942 – 2018 –

He inspired so many with his intelligence and humor and determination.

This week especially, I’ve been pondering some of his quotes..

Dying – “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
Humor – “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
Women – “Women. They are a complete mystery.”
Depression – “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up — there’s a way out.”
The meaning of life – “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”