bookshelf by year

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Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs)

February 14, 2018

Altered Carbon (book)

author |
Richard K. Morgan
year published |
2003

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing… read more

Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work

February 12, 2018

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author |
Kevin LaGrandeur, James J. Hughes
year published |
2017

This book examines the current state of the technologically caused unemployed, and attempts to answer the question of how to proceed into an era beyond technological unemployment. Beginning with an overview of the most salient issues, the experts collected in this work present their own novel visions of the future and offer suggestions for adapting to a more symbiotic economic relationship with AI. These suggestions include different modes of… read more

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do

February 5, 2018

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author |
Jeremy Bailenson
year published |
2018

An in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives.

Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they’re real, are already widely available with a VR headset and… read more

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

January 24, 2018

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author |
Niall Ferguson
year published |
2018

A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we’re living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks.

“Captivating and compelling.”—The New York Times

“Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book…In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it.”—The Wall Street Journal

The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be… read more

Still Think Robots Can’t Do Your Job?: Essays on Automation and Technological Unemployment

January 24, 2018

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author |
Riccardo Campa
year published |
2018

Is Artificial Intelligence qualitatively different from other means of economizing the use of labor? Are we on the edge of a jobless society? If yes, are we ready for it? These are a few of the questions discussed in this collection of academic works. This book traces a brief history of the concept of technological unemployment; proposes a short-term scenario analysis concerning the relations between automation, education, and unemployment;… read more

The Future (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

January 17, 2018

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author |
Nick Montfort
year published |
2017

How the future has been imagined and made, through the work of writers, artists, inventors, and designers.

The future is like an unwritten book. It is not something we see in a crystal ball, or can only hope to predict, like the weather. In this volume of the MIT Press’s Essential Knowledge series, Nick Montfort argues that the future is something to be made, not predicted. Montfort offers… read more

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

January 17, 2018

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author |
Steven Pinker
year published |
2018

“A terrific book…[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life.” –The New York Times

The follow-up to Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal… read more

Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse (Empire Games)

January 12, 2018

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author |
Charles Stross
year published |
2018

Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Stross dives deep into the underbelly of paratime espionage, nuclear warfare, and state surveillance in this provocative techno-thriller set in The Merchant Princes multi-verse

Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross’ new story-line, and perfect entry point for new readers, in The Merchant Princes series.

In the near-future, the collision of… read more

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

January 12, 2018

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author |
Robert M. Sapolsky
year published |
2017

Sapolsky (Monkeyluv), professor of biology at Stanford, looks at human behavior from myriad interrelated perspectives, endeavoring to explain humans’ strange and often contradictory behavior. He predominantly focuses on exploring “the biology of violence, aggression, and competition” through the lenses of neuroscience, anthropology, psychology, genetics, evolutionary biology, political science, and communication theory. Sapolsky takes complex ideas from the scientific literature, including his own research, and attempts to balance the pros… read more

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

December 26, 2017

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author |
Daniel Ellsberg
year published |
2017

Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America’s Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.

Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the… read more

A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age

December 18, 2017

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author |
Jimmy Soni, Rob Goodman
year published |
2017

A key figure in the development of digital technology has his achievements, if not his personality, burnished in this enlightening biography. Journalists Soni and Goodman, authors of Rome’s Last Citizen, explore Claude Shannon’s breakthroughs as a scientist at MIT and Bell Labs in the 1930s and ’40s in electronics and telecommunications. His noteworthy discoveries include a way to rationally design circuits using Boolean algebra, and information theory, which understands communications… read more

Envisioning Holograms: Design Breakthrough Experiences for Mixed Reality

December 18, 2017

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author |
M. Pell
year published |
2017

Explore the approach, techniques, and mindshift needed to design truly breakthrough experiences for the Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality platform. Learn what’s so different about working with holograms, how to think spatially, and where to start designing your own holographic projects. You’ll move rapidly from initial concept to persuasive prototype—all without the need for expensive tools or a designer’s skill set.

Designing for mixed reality is a… read more

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins

December 13, 2017

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author |
Garry Kasparov, Mig Greengard
year published |
2017

Garry Kasparov’s 1997 chess match against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue was a watershed moment in the history of technology. It was the dawn of a new era in artificial intelligence: a machine capable of beating the reigning human champion at this most cerebral game.

That moment was more than a century in the making, and in this breakthrough book, Kasparov reveals his astonishing side of the story… read more

The Quantum Spy: A Thriller

December 1, 2017

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author |
David Ignatius
year published |
2017

From the best-selling author of The Director and Body of Lies comes a thrilling tale of global espionage, state-of-the-art technology, and unthinkable betrayal.

A hyper-fast quantum computer is the digital equivalent of a nuclear bomb; whoever possesses one will be able to shred any encryption and break any code in existence. The winner of the race to build the world’s first quantum machine will attain global dominance for generations to come. The… read more

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality

November 27, 2017

dawn-of-the-new-everything-cover

author |
Jaron Lanier
year published |
2017

The father of virtual reality explains its dazzling possibilities by reflecting on his own lifelong relationship with technology

Bridging the gap between tech mania and the experience of being inside the human body, Dawn of the New Everything is a look at what it means to be human at a moment of unprecedented technological possibility.

Through a fascinating look back over his life in technology, Jaron… read more

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