2012 Gift Guide: The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness


Over the years I have often wondered if maybe nice guys really do finish last. I am not the most competitive person in the world and sometimes think it has held me back. That makes “The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness” a good read for me. It is made up of short essays which use hard science to tease out the existence, need and desire for compassion in all its forms. There are essays on hope, empathy, forgiveness and the whole continuum of compassionate behaviors in all primates, including humans.

The essay-based format allows for quick dives into the content, so you don’t feel you have to swallow the entire book at one sitting. Time spent thinking about what you have read is important, and almost required, as you delve into some of the deepest aspects of what makes us human.

I first head about this book from an interview with the two of the editors onTech Nation with Moira Gunn. You can listen to the program using the link below.

The Science of Human Goodness
Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh
Psychology Professor and Editor, Greater Good magazine

Dr. Moira Gunn talks with UC Berkeley Psychology Professor, Dacher Keltner and the editor of Greater Good magazine, Jason Marsh, about how humans are naturally programmed to be good and what separates those who are from those who are not.

Listen to Tech Nation: The Science of Human Goodness

More 2012 Gift Guide Items:

  1. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
  2. Bulb Planting Tools
  3. Blue Snowball Microphone
  4. Seagate Backup Plus 500 GB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
  5. Logitech C920 HD Web Cam
  6. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  7. Sunset Western Garden Book – New Edition for 2012
  8. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
  9. Garden Mysteries by Anthony Eglin
  10. The Creative Habit/The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  11. Moleskeine Journals
  12. Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month
  13. Podcasting for Dummies/Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies
  14. Wacom Bamboo Splash Pen Tablet
  15. Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead
  16. The $64 Tomato
  17. Blue Yeti Microphone
  18. BioLite CampStove/HomeStove
  19. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  20. The Curious Gardener
  21. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
  22. GoPro HD HERO 3
  23. Flower Confidential by Amy Stewart
  24. The Starfish and the Spider by Orj Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom
  25. Microphone Boom Arms
  26. The Information by James Gleick
  27. Handy Farm Devices And How To Make Them (1909)
  28. Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas
  29. Apple iPhone 5
  30. Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod
  31. Killer Ratings by Lisa Seidman
  32. Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon
  33. Zoom Portable Recorders (H1, H2, H2n, H4n)
  34. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
  35. My Teenager’s Favorite Games


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