Steven Pinker's Favorite Thing: A Chunk of the Berlin Wall


Best-selling author, scientific polymath, and friend of Reason (in every sense of the term) Steven Pinker appeared recently on the podcast Person, Place, and Thing, in which guests lay out their top picks in each category. The half-hour conversation is worth listening to in full, but I wanted to draw attention to Pinker's "thing": a chunk of the Berlin Wall given to him by his father.

Pinker explains:

It means something to me as a human being who lived through this just stupendous event in human history: Namely, a gargantuan totalitarian empire vanished overnight, with no violence. Now, this is just astonishing.

The Berlin Wall discussion starts around the 18-minute mark. Click above to listen.

Follow Pinker on Twitter: @sapinker

Don't miss Ron Bailey's 2011 interview with Pinker about his great (and controversial) book The Better Angels of Our Nature: