Steven Pinker is currently working on a book about the decline of violence through human history. We like to think that we are living in a very violent time, that the future looks dark. But the data says that violence has declined every millennium, every century, every decade. The reduction in cruelty is just astounding. So we should not focus too much on the violence that has marked the twentieth century.
from an interview with Stewart Brand
The only part of the interview I thought was actually interesting, although there are some tantalizing possibilities that are not realized.