TSA Expansion Program - Steven Pinker

  • Aired:  08/13/13
  •  | Views: 16,171

Neuroscientist Steven Pinker shares his book, "The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined." (4:46)

TIMES?

(LAUGHTER)

THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE OUT THERE

WHO SAY THE WORLD IS GETTING

SAFER, WE CAN'T LET OUR FEAR OF

CRIME AND TERRORISTS CHANGE OUR

WAY OF LIFE.

HERE TO DEFEND THE "LET THEM

KILL US" VIEW IS NEUROSCIENTIST

AND AUTHOR OF "THE BETTER ANGELS

OF OUR NATURE: WHY VIOLENCE HAS

DECLINED" STEVEN PINKER.

MR. PINKER, THANKS FOR COMING

BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THE BOOK IS CALLED "THE BETTER

ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: WHY

VIOLENCE HAS DECLINED."

BEFORE WE GET STARTED, CAN YOU

PUT OUT YOUR ARMS, PLEASE?

(LAUGHTER)

JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE

GOOD.

TK-PB FOE WHAT YOU WERE HIDING

UNDER THAT HELMET.

OKAY.

HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT WE ARE

SAFER?

9/11!

>> 9/11 WAS OFF THE CHARTS

3,000 PEOPLE WERE KILLED EVERY

YEAR IN THIS COUNTRY ALONE,

16,000 PEOPLE ARE KILLED BY

ORDINARY HOMICIDES, 40,000

PEOPLE KILL THEMSELVES, 3,000

PEOPLE DIE BY DROWNING, 300 OF

THEM IN BATHTUBS.

>> Stephen: WHY ISN'T THE

T.S.A. GIVING SPE A PONG BATH?

(LAUGHTER)

>> EVERY YEAR OTHER THAN 2001

MORE PEOPLE DIE FROM BEE STINGS,

PEANUT ALLERGIES, FROM

COLLISIONS ON HIGHWAYS WITH

DEER, FROM --

>> Stephen: YOU SAID OTHER

THAN 2001.

OTHER THAN 2001.

SO YOU'RE TAKING 9/11 OUT OF THE

MIX.

THAT'S LIKE SAYING THE GERMANS

KILLED VERY FEW JEWS-- EXCEPT

HITLER.

TAKE HITLER OUT OF THE MIX AND

THE GERMANS WERE LOVELY TO THE

JEWISH PEOPLE.

>> AFTER 2001 THERE WAS A

PREDICTION THAT WE'D HAVE 9/11S

EVERY MONTH.

THAT THERE WOULD BE SHOULDER

FIRED MISSILES THAT TAKE DOWN

PLANES, THAT THERE WOULD BE

BOMBS AS DISNEYWORLD, AT SUPER

BOWLS.

THAT PREDICTION HAS NOT COME TO

PASS.

>> Stephen: IT SEEMS LIKE WITH

THIS BOOK YOU'RE TRYING TO GET

US TO CALM DOWN ABOUT OUR FEARS

BUT I SEE THINGS TO BE AFRAID OF

EVERYWHERE I LOOK.

DO DO YOU WATCH CABLE NEWS?

>> I DO.

THE PROBLEM IS YOU'LL BE MISLED

IF YOU BASE YOUR ASSESSMENT OF

HOW DANGEROUS THE WORLD IS ON

THE NEWS BECAUSE THE NEWS IS

ABOUT STUFF THAT HAPPENS.

ANYTHING THAT GOES BANG ANYWHERE

IN THE WORLD THAT MAKES THE

NEWS.

ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DIE OF

NATURAL CAUSES DON'T HAVE A

REPORTER AND CAMERA CREW AT

THEIR BEDS.

THERE ARE MORE AND MORE OF THEM,

THERE ARE FEWER AND FEWER

VIOLENT EVENTS BUT EVERY VIOLENT

EVENT THAT DOES HAPPEN MAKES THE

NEWS.

>> Stephen: I'LL GIVE YOU AN

EXAMPLE THAT'S NOT THE NEWS,

THIS IS REALITY, THAT VIPR

PROGRAM.

FOUR YEARS AGO IT WAS A $30

MILLION PROGRAM, NOW IT'S A $100

MILLION PROGRAM.

THAT SAYS TO ME THE WORLD GOT

$70 MILLION MORE DANGEROUS.

OR ELSE IT WOULDN'T BE THERE,

RIGHT?

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, THE SECURITY APPARATUS

DOESN'T DO COST-BENEFIT

CALCULATIONS, WE SPENT SOMETHING

LIKE A TRILLION DOLLARS SINCE

2001 ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

RELATED EXPENSES BUT NOBODY DOES

THE MATH.

COULD WE HAVE MADE OURSELVES

MUCH SAFER SPENDING THAT

TRILLION DOLLARS IN OTHER WAYS?

>> Stephen: LIKE ALTERNATES TO

BATHING?

(LAUGHTER)

>> FOR EXAMPLE.

OR STOPPING PEOPLE WHO TEXT

WHILE THEY DRIVE.

>> Stephen: IF THE WORLD IS A

SAFER PLACE, WHY CAN I STILL

DIE?

(LAUGHTER).

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNTIL WE ARE IMMORTAL, SHOULDN'T

WE DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER NO

MATTER WHAT THE POWER TO KEEP

OURSELVES ALIVE FOREVER?

>> WE SHOULD.

THEN PREVENTING TERRORISTS

ATTACKS IS NOT A COST EFFECTIVE

WAY TO DO IT.

YOU'RE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO DIE

IN A CAR ACCIDENT, FALLING OFF A

LADDER.

>> Stephen: HOW MANY PEOPLE

DIE FROM FALLING OFF LADDERS.

>> THOUSANDS EVERY YEAR.

>> Stephen: SHOULD WE BE

INEVADING LADDERSTAN?

(LAUGHTER)

IS THAT POSSIBLE?

>> 20,000 DEATHS A YEAR FROM

ACCIDENTAL FALLS.

WE JUST READ ABOUT ONE IN A

STADIUM YESTERDAY.

MOST DON'T MAKE THE KNEW.

SOME GUY FALLS OFF A LADDER AND

DIES.

BUT YOU ADD THEM UP OVER THE

COURSE THE OF THE YEAR AND

YOU'RE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO GET

KILLED IN A HOUSEHOLD ACCIDENT

THAN A TERRORIST ATTACK.

>> Stephen: YOU SAID THE

NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIED IN

TERRORIST ATTACKS ARE NEWER THAN

THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHOSE

PAJAMAS HAVE CAUGHT ON FIRE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> EVERY YEAR BUT 1995 AND 2001.

>> Stephen: ARE PAJAMAS THE

ORIGINAL SLEEPER CELL?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

DR. PINKER, THANK YOU SO MUCH

FOR JOINING ME.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THE BOOK IS "THE BETTER ANGELS

OF OUR NATURE" STEVEN PINKER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)