I thought I recently read about a book arguing that trends in warfare, when you use the right statistics on the right timescales, do not show a clear decline over time. The book was characterized as effectively a rebuttal to Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature. Now I cannot remember where I read about it and Google is not helping me find it. Is there such a book?

The recollection I have is that the source was talking about a book, published in the past year or two, written by an author I wasn't familiar with, which rules out a paper by Taleb and Cirillo. If no positive answers are forthcoming, though, then that paper combined with my inaccurate recollection is the way to bet.

For what it's worth, I am a fan of Pinker's book, but I think a serious contrary response that goes beyond critiquing Pinker's analysis would be interesting.

  • 1
    Might it be John Gray’s The Soul of the Marionette? Or Nassim Taleb’s The Decline of Violent Conflicts? Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 8:06
  • No and no. Gray's book, to judge by the reviews, is a very different kind of book; and think I would have remembered if the author were Taleb. But perhaps I should read them anyway? Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 15:08
  • Anyway, Taleb's point would surely have been different: His view is that the frequency of violent conflicts is largely irrelevant. What matters is the chance of a massively destructive conflict.
    – C Monsour
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 16:44
  • But just in case, Taleb's coauthor on the paper Denis cites is Pasquale Cirillo.
    – C Monsour
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 16:47
  • 4
    @MarkFoskey Please don't reply in comments. The question should contain all the information. Questions with long comment strings are less likely to get answered, more likely to get closed, and very likely to have comments purged.
    – MCW
    Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 17:45


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