The Glass Half Full or Half Empty: HSU Publishes Famed Altruism Researcher’s Latest Book

What direction is our world going and what kind of future will our children inherit? Founder of the Altruistic Behavior Institute, Dr. Samuel P. Oliner explores this question in his latest work: What Kind of Future Will Our Children Inherit?

The book examines the areas of greatest concern regarding our future as a species: war and violence, hatred and holocaust, sexism and discrimination, climate change and heroism, love and religion, forgiveness and suffering. By combining the voices of multiple accomplished authors into one volume, the book paints a broad picture of these issues with a diversity of research and perspectives.

With editing support from the current Director of the Altruistic Behavior Institute and HSU Professor Dr. Ronnie Swartz, this book describes two sides to the future our children stand to inherit: the glass half full and the glass half empty of what has been the trajectory of the world, it seems, since the beginning of human history. This collection of critical research addresses the direction humanity is taking in our interconnected world and advocates seeing this future in realistic, yet optimistic, terms.

What kind of future will our children inherit? It is a future like all futures—it contains both an evolution of our species towards a higher level of consciousness and a resistance to such change. Despite the significant challenges that humanity faces moving forward, Dr. Oliner’s own work “indicates that goodness, defined as concern for others and for making the world a better place, is on the rise.” However, it will be incumbent upon our children to make sure that the glass of the future is half full. This work will provide future generations with some of the knowledge necessary to help foster that better future for humanity.

Humboldt State University Press publishes high-quality scholarly, intellectual, and creative works by or in support of our campus community. The press supports the HSU mission to improve the human condition and our environment by promoting understanding of social, economic, and environmental issues. For more information, contact HSU Press at