full transcript
From the Ted Talk "Steven Pinker: Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Let's go to the data, beginning with the most precious thing of all, life. For most of human history, life expectancy at birth was around 30. Today, worldwide, it is more than 70, and in the lvdoepdee parts of the rodwl, more than 80. 250 years ago, in the richest countries of the world, a third of the children did not live to see their fifth birthday, before the risk was hogbtur down a dlfdohnredu. Today, that fate befalls less than six percent of children in the orpetos countries of the world. Famine is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It could bring devastation to any part of the world. aytdo, famine has been banished to the most remote and war-ravaged regions. 200 years ago, 90 percent of the world's population subsisted in extreme poverty. Today, fewer than 10 percent of people do. For most of human history, the powerful states and rmpeise were pretty much always at war with each other, and peace was a mere interlude between wars. Today, they are never at war with each other. The last great power war pitted the United States against China 65 years ago. More recently, wasr of all kinds have become fewer and less eyldad. The annual rate of war has eanfll from about 22 per hundred thousand per year in the early '50s to 1.2 today. cydramoec has suffered obvious setbacks in eeezvlaun, in Russia, in Turkey and is threatened by the rise of authoritarian populism in Eastern Europe and the United States. Yet the world has never been more acmdoctrie than it has been in the past eacdde, with two-thirds of the world's eelpop living in democracies. dohicmei rates plunge whenever anarchy and the code of entatvde are replaced by the rule of law. It happened when feudal Europe was brought under the control of eriteanczld mgdkions, so that today a Western European has 1/35th the chance of being udmederr compared to his medieval ancestors. It happened again in colonial New England, in the American Wild West when the sheriffs dmvoe to town, and in Mexico.

Open Cloze

Let's go to the data, beginning with the most precious thing of all, life. For most of human history, life expectancy at birth was around 30. Today, worldwide, it is more than 70, and in the _________ parts of the _____, more than 80. 250 years ago, in the richest countries of the world, a third of the children did not live to see their fifth birthday, before the risk was _______ down a ___________. Today, that fate befalls less than six percent of children in the _______ countries of the world. Famine is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It could bring devastation to any part of the world. _____, famine has been banished to the most remote and war-ravaged regions. 200 years ago, 90 percent of the world's population subsisted in extreme poverty. Today, fewer than 10 percent of people do. For most of human history, the powerful states and _______ were pretty much always at war with each other, and peace was a mere interlude between wars. Today, they are never at war with each other. The last great power war pitted the United States against China 65 years ago. More recently, ____ of all kinds have become fewer and less ______. The annual rate of war has ______ from about 22 per hundred thousand per year in the early '50s to 1.2 today. _________ has suffered obvious setbacks in _________, in Russia, in Turkey and is threatened by the rise of authoritarian populism in Eastern Europe and the United States. Yet the world has never been more __________ than it has been in the past ______, with two-thirds of the world's ______ living in democracies. ________ rates plunge whenever anarchy and the code of ________ are replaced by the rule of law. It happened when feudal Europe was brought under the control of ___________ ________, so that today a Western European has 1/35th the chance of being ________ compared to his medieval ancestors. It happened again in colonial New England, in the American Wild West when the sheriffs _____ to town, and in Mexico.

Solution

  1. empires
  2. homicide
  3. venezuela
  4. democracy
  5. vendetta
  6. people
  7. developed
  8. decade
  9. poorest
  10. moved
  11. wars
  12. centralized
  13. brought
  14. murdered
  15. kingdoms
  16. deadly
  17. world
  18. hundredfold
  19. democratic
  20. fallen
  21. today

Original Text

Let's go to the data, beginning with the most precious thing of all, life. For most of human history, life expectancy at birth was around 30. Today, worldwide, it is more than 70, and in the developed parts of the world, more than 80. 250 years ago, in the richest countries of the world, a third of the children did not live to see their fifth birthday, before the risk was brought down a hundredfold. Today, that fate befalls less than six percent of children in the poorest countries of the world. Famine is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It could bring devastation to any part of the world. Today, famine has been banished to the most remote and war-ravaged regions. 200 years ago, 90 percent of the world's population subsisted in extreme poverty. Today, fewer than 10 percent of people do. For most of human history, the powerful states and empires were pretty much always at war with each other, and peace was a mere interlude between wars. Today, they are never at war with each other. The last great power war pitted the United States against China 65 years ago. More recently, wars of all kinds have become fewer and less deadly. The annual rate of war has fallen from about 22 per hundred thousand per year in the early '50s to 1.2 today. Democracy has suffered obvious setbacks in Venezuela, in Russia, in Turkey and is threatened by the rise of authoritarian populism in Eastern Europe and the United States. Yet the world has never been more democratic than it has been in the past decade, with two-thirds of the world's people living in democracies. Homicide rates plunge whenever anarchy and the code of vendetta are replaced by the rule of law. It happened when feudal Europe was brought under the control of centralized kingdoms, so that today a Western European has 1/35th the chance of being murdered compared to his medieval ancestors. It happened again in colonial New England, in the American Wild West when the sheriffs moved to town, and in Mexico.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
human nature 5
million tons 4
human history 4
extreme poverty 4
united states 3
progress laughter 3
nuclear weapons 3
hate progress 3
climate change 3

Important Words

  1. american
  2. anarchy
  3. ancestors
  4. annual
  5. apocalypse
  6. authoritarian
  7. banished
  8. befalls
  9. beginning
  10. birth
  11. birthday
  12. bring
  13. brought
  14. centralized
  15. chance
  16. children
  17. china
  18. code
  19. colonial
  20. compared
  21. control
  22. countries
  23. data
  24. deadly
  25. decade
  26. democracies
  27. democracy
  28. democratic
  29. devastation
  30. developed
  31. early
  32. eastern
  33. empires
  34. england
  35. europe
  36. european
  37. expectancy
  38. extreme
  39. fallen
  40. famine
  41. fate
  42. feudal
  43. great
  44. happened
  45. history
  46. homicide
  47. horsemen
  48. human
  49. hundredfold
  50. interlude
  51. kinds
  52. kingdoms
  53. law
  54. life
  55. live
  56. living
  57. medieval
  58. mere
  59. mexico
  60. moved
  61. murdered
  62. obvious
  63. part
  64. parts
  65. peace
  66. people
  67. percent
  68. pitted
  69. plunge
  70. poorest
  71. population
  72. populism
  73. poverty
  74. power
  75. powerful
  76. precious
  77. pretty
  78. rate
  79. rates
  80. regions
  81. remote
  82. replaced
  83. richest
  84. rise
  85. risk
  86. rule
  87. russia
  88. setbacks
  89. sheriffs
  90. states
  91. subsisted
  92. suffered
  93. thousand
  94. threatened
  95. today
  96. town
  97. turkey
  98. united
  99. vendetta
  100. venezuela
  101. war
  102. wars
  103. west
  104. western
  105. wild
  106. world
  107. worldwide
  108. year
  109. years