Thursday, February 5, 2009

Born to Be Good (Radio)

KPCC Public Radio (Feb. 5, 2009)

Were humans "born to be good?" UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner thinks the evolution of "pro-social" emotions such as gratitude and compassion suggest we may have been "born to be good." The science behind this is surprising.

"Patt Morrison" (hosted by Patt Morrison, pictured) is a live two-hour public affairs radio show airing (and available to stream worldwide) weekdays at 1 p.m. PST. The program is known for its innovative discussions of local Los Angeles area politics and culture, and for its presentation of national and world news as it affects Southern California.

Patt meets TED (TED Conference 2009)

Patt Meets TED on 2/6/09, Patt Morrison broadcasts live from the TED conference in Long Beach, California. Over its 25 years, the "Technology, Entertainment, Design" conference has pulled in some big names -- such as Al Gore and Jane Goodall -- and this year features Bill Gates. Patt Morrison invades the exclusive conference in Long Beach to interview some of the biggest thinkers of our time.

Are We Born to be Good? (Patt Morrison Blog)
Far and away, today’s favorite segment with all of you was hearing from Dachner Keltner about his new book, ”Born to Be Good: the Science of a Meaningful Life.” Against the centuries of history about human selfishness and striving, he argues that self-sacrifice, compassion and altruism are in fact part of our evolutionary and genetic map. Like our primate relatives’, our own brains reward and reinforce sharing and empathy. He’s a fascinating guest, one we’ve had on before and hope to get back in front of a microphone again soon.

Some of you were upset that we talked about the possibility of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg leaving the court or taking a medical leave after her surgery today for early-stage pancreatic cancer. She is 75 years old and survived cancer of the colon about ten years ago. Folks, this is about more than Justice Ginsberg, as she herself would no doubt acknowledge. The Supreme Court makes decisions that change the course of individual lives, from segregation to reproductive choices. Who occupies and who might occupy one of those nine seats is of vital importance to the nation, and anything affecting that is a fit subject for discussion.

We heard from our fourth Los Angeles mayoral candidate, David Hernandez. Six more to go, before the March 3 election, counting the incumbent, Antonio Villaraigosa. If he agrees to appear, he’ll get ten minutes, just like everyone else. — Patt Morrison

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