There are plenty of reasons to despair: increased partisanship, a warming planet, the Doomsday Clock’s recent tick closer to midnight. But Steven Pinker is one person making the argument that not only are times not as bad as they appear, but we’ve in fact, never had it quite so good. He even says he has the data that prove it. His new book “Enlightenment Now” makes the case that the world is improving, and that it can improve further if we embrace the right principles. What principles does he mean? Is he on to something or will he be left hugging those principles on his own this Valentine’s Day? | Want to support 1A? Subscribe to our podcast and give to your local public radio station at donate.npr.org/1A. Email the show at email@example.com.