Gates dubbed "Enlightenment Now" by cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker his new fave.
In "Enlightenment Now," Pinker "(tracks) violence throughout history and applies it to 15 different measures of progress (like quality of life, knowledge, and safety)," Gates writes. "The result is a holistic picture of how and why the world is getting better."
So why don't we hear as much about the improvements in the world as we do about the terrible events? As Pinker points out in a video chat with Gates, the nature of news is to report what happens, not what doesn't happen.
"So there's never a Thursday in March where you say, well, hunger has plummeted, or diseases have been decimated," Pinker said. "Whereas things that go wrong, go wrong all at once."
You can't read the book yet -- it comes out Feb. 27 -- but Gates is letting those who sign up at his Gates Notes site download a free chapter.