One of the best parts of becoming (sort of) famous in the last year has been getting to meet and form relationships with some of my intellectual heroes. Seeing those I’ve looked up to for years not only become friends but in many cases return the admiration has been extremely rewarding.
In this interview you discuss conspiracy theories and mentions several times QAnon but never a much bigger and consequential conspiracy theory believed by a larger share of the population and which was relentlessly pushed in literally thousands of articles by the New York Times, WaPo, The Atlantic... They even gave themselves Pulitzer prices for this farce. I note that Ross Douthat who is writing for the NYT had the courage to discuss "the paranoid center" "elite panic" and "the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories". People might not be very smart on average, but their lack of trust in the competence and honesty of elite institutions is completely reasonable.
There are certainly racial slurs that sound nasty under most contexts and likely always will. However, we're starting to come full circle where most of the other offensive words in the past are now banal, and the banal words are now offensive. In some cases, words like "normal" and "regular" are more offensive to certain folks than if you outright wished famine and disease upon their family and descendants for eternity. I'll also add one more useful tool that Steven and/or Richard have probably mentioned in the past. The easiest way to identify the lowest common denominators of society is to gauge how fatalistic/superstitious/zero-sum their world views are. Forget about anything else; that type of thought pattern will extinguish the lamps of civilization faster than anything else.
Also, while Pinker might be one of your intellectual heroes, it would have been interesting to discuss his views on foreign policy. I saw him present the "Better Angels" a few years ago, and the level of foreign policy analysis was low and pandering to US official narrative. The long term trend is towards less fatalities in wars, and the uptick in global war deaths around 2015/2016 was because of Assad and Putin.