Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is Steven Pinker‘s masterpiece. If you choose just one of his books to read, this is the one. He takes an optimistic view of the current political and social upheavals plaguing our world and puts them in context with both recent and ancient history.
In his perfect-pitch prose, Pinker makes the case that although many people decry the times in which we live, he disagrees, in essence saying, “let the good times roll.“ He doesn’t think we’re nearing the end of The Enlightenment, either — he thinks it’s a set of ideas and a way of reasoning that can and should be renewed with each successive generation.
He cites numerous statistics showing how people are richer, wealthier, and live longer than any other time in history. There are hundreds of examples that give ample reason for optimism as we navigate this era of confusion and frustration in U.S. and world politics.
Enlightenment Now is a long and dense book, but be sure to read it all the way to the end, because all through this masterful narrative of our society, there are some of the most profound paragraphs, pages and chapters I’ve ever read.
This is one of my favorite books of all time, perhaps my most favorite. I need a long time to think about and sort out all the ideas in this book. After spending the past month reading and studying it, it’s become clear to me that I need to adjust my point of view on many issues. One thing is certain: I will carry with me the ideas, concepts, and most importantly, the way of thinking that I’ve learned in Enlightenment Now for the rest of my life.
My old 120GB SSD was getting way too full, so it was time for an upgrade. What would be the best SSD replacement for a 5-year-old PC? I emailed my trusty PC maker Jon Bach at Puget Systems (who made the best PC I have ever owned) to find out. He recommended this Samsung 850 Pro SSD, one that has never failed on him or any of his customers after installing thousands of these into the computers he sells over the past five years. All that was left was to determine the storage capacity.
Black Friday was right around the corner, so I lay in wait. Sure enough, the price for the Samsung 850 Pro came down about 10% and I jumped for the 1TB version. I was concerned about installation difficulties, mainly migrating all my data from the old drive to the new. My fears were unfounded because Samsung provides a terrific migration software tool. Please note: the easiest way to use this software is to get a cheap $12 USB-to-SATA III adapter for the new SSD, and simply plug it into a USB 3.0 port on your PC. Samsung’s migration software promptly makes a clone for you and then you can replace the old drive with the new. For me, the freshly cloned drive booted up immediately.
At first, it was difficult to tell anything happened. When I looked at my “this PC” window, there was the new drive C, with a huge cornfield’s worth of space waiting for me. Mission accomplished! I did a few tests and this drive is spectacularly fast! I have what feels like limitless space and limitless speed now (look at the impressive CrystalDiskMark scores above — to give you some context, 10 years ago a 50MB/s read/write speed was considered miraculous). Best of all, I got a relatively new-tech drive that formerly retailed for more than $700 for less than $400. I couldn’t be happier with this purchase of the Samsung 850 Pro.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray took a huge leap in performance and styling in 2014, but its interior technology still lags behind. Chevy aims to fix that with faster 4G LTE connectivity and apps in its 2015 Corvette Stingray, and the company gave me a hands-on demo. Continue reading
The Dark Sky weather app for iOS just got a whole lot better. In its newly released version 4.0, its best new feature lets you interactively animate a graphic of Earth, and you can visualize the polar vortex in a way you might not have ever seen. Continue reading
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to improve your quality of life, even if it’s just by a small increment. Add a few of these items to your life and bask in the small comforts they bring. Continue reading
At last, the plague of vertical videos has been addressed with an iPhone app. For a mere $.99, Horizon makes it impossible to shoot vertical video on an iPhone.
That blessed relief comes with slight disadvantages, though. Allow me to explain in my review. Continue reading
Is it possible to get a pair of $500 earphones for $130? I didn’t think so until I tested the RHA MA750i in-ear headphones. Continue reading
Nakamichi has a long and storied history as an innovator of high-end cassette decks in the ’70s and ’80s. Now a company called Wow Technologies has used the Nakamichi nameplate on a new sound bar for home theaters, the Nakamichi NK 22.
Wow sent us a unit for review. Could this $349.99 product live up to the Nakamichi quality I admired back in its heyday? Continue reading