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The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world

August 21, 2017

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author |
David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt
year published |
2017

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman teams up with composer Anthony Brandt in this powerful, wide-ranging exploration of human creativity. Together, they incisively explore how individuals, organizations, and educational institutions can benefit from fostering creativity, while celebrating humanity’s unique ability to remake the world.

The Runaway Species is a deep-dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how we can… read more

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

August 2, 2017

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author |
Max Tegmark
year published |
2017

The robot takeover will ignite an explosion of “awe-inspiring” life even if humans don’t survive, according to this exhilarating, demoralizing primer. MIT physicist Tegmark (Our Mathematical Universe) surveys advances in artificial intelligence such as self-driving cars and Jeopardy-winning software, but focuses on the looming prospect of “recursive self-improvement”—AI systems that build smarter versions of themselves at an accelerating pace until their intellects surpass ours. Tegmark’s smart, freewheeling discussion leads to… read more

Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes

July 24, 2017

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author |
Richard A. Clarke, R.P. Eddy
year published |
2017

Warnings is the story of the future of national security, threatening technologies, the U.S. economy, and possibly the fate of civilization.

In Greek mythology Cassandra foresaw calamities, but was cursed by the gods to be ignored. Modern-day Cassandras clearly predicted the disasters of Katrina, Fukushima, the Great Recession, the rise of ISIS, and many more. Like the mythological Cassandra, they were ignored. There are others right now warning… read more

The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel

July 19, 2017

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author |
Charles Stross
year published |
2017

“Smart, literate, funny.” ―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

Someone is dead set to air the spy agency’s dirty laundry in The Delirium Brief, the next installment to Charles Stross’ Hugo Award-winning comedic dark fantasy Laundry Files series.

Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat… read more

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future

July 10, 2017

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author |
Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson
year published |
2017

From the authors of the best-selling The Second Machine Age, a leader’s guide to success in a rapidly changing economy.

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs.

MIT’s Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it… read more

A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution

July 4, 2017

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author |
Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg
year published |
2017

Doudna, professor of biology at UC-Berkeley, and Sternberg, her former graduate student and current collaborator, explain the basics of the potentially revolutionary CRISPR technology, the events leading up to Doudna’s discovery of that technology, and the ethical dilemmas posed by the newfound ability to alter any living being’s genetic composition. The authors describe the biological mechanisms in a way that nonspecialists can appreciate, though the simplistic diagrams scattered throughout… read more

Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe

May 15, 2017

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author |
Roger Penrose
year published |
2016

What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy possibly have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, theoretical physicists are immune to mere trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In fact, acclaimed physicist and bestselling author Roger Penrose argues that researchers working at the extreme frontiers of physics are just as susceptible to these forces as anyone else. In this provocative book, he… read more

Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy

May 15, 2017

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author |
Dr. Joseph Mercola
year published |
2017

For over a century, we’ve accepted the scientific consensus that cancer results from genetic disease due to chromosomal damage in cell nuclei. But what if cancer isn’t a genetic disease after all? What if scientists are chasing a flawed paradigm, and cancer isn’t a disease of damaged DNA but rather of defective metabolism as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction? What if that startling truth could revolutionize our understanding of other… read more

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

May 15, 2017

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author |
Geoffrey West
year published |
2017

West, a theoretical physicist and former president of the Santa Fe Institute, argues in this dense yet accessible work that there are simple laws that underlie all complex systems, whether organic entities or human constructs. Animals, plants, economies, cultures, cities, and companies are united by the fact that they come into existence, grow, mature, and decline. West’s central conceit in studying these phenomena is scaling: how a system changes… read more

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

May 8, 2017

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author |
Cal Newport
year published |
2016

In this strong self-help book, Cal Newport (So Good They Can’t Ignore You) declares that the habits of modern professionals—checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else—only stand in the way of truly valuable work.

According to him, everyone should practice deep work: “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.”… read more

The Blockchain Alternative: rethinking macroeconomic policy & economic theory

March 29, 2017

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author |
Kariappa Bheemaiah
year published |
2017

Examine what would happen if we were to deploy blockchain technology at the sovereign level and use it to create a decentralized cashless economy. This book explains how finance and economics work today, and how the convergence of various technologies related to the financial sector can help us find solutions to problems, such as excessive debt creation, banks getting too big to fail, and shadow banking.

The Blockchain Alternative offers sensible corrections… read more

The Most Human Human: what artificial intelligence teaches us about being alive

March 28, 2017

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author |
Brian Christian
year published |
2012

book summary from publisher:

Each year, the artificial intelligence community convenes to administer the famous — and famously controversial — Turing test, pitting sophisticated software programs against humans to determine if a computer can “think.”

The machine that most often fools the judges wins the Most Human Computer Award. But there is also a prize, strange and intriguing,… read more

Disruptive Technologies: Understand, Evaluate, Respond

March 27, 2017

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author |
Paul Armstrong
year published |
2017

book summary from publisher:

Disruptive Technologies outlines the steps businesses can take to engage with emerging technologies today in order to serve the consumer of tomorrow. This book offers the knowledge and tools to engage confidently with emerging technologies for better business.

This highly practical book offers organizations a distinct response to emerging technologies including Blockchain (Bitcoin), artificial intelligence, graphene and nanotechnology… read more

The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids–and the Kids We Have

March 22, 2017

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author |
Bonnie Rochman
year published |
2017

book summary from publisher:

Journalist Rochman takes a calm, thorough look at core bio-ethical questions surrounding an array of reproductive health issues as well as the ethical spaces where what can be done and what should be done come into conflict. She clearly and accessibly describes cutting-edge technologies for the general reader without succumbing to faddish, uncritical enthusiasm.

Rochman solicits the perspectives of doctors, researchers, legal… read more

Conversations with the Future: 21 visions for the 21st century

March 20, 2017

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author |
Nikola Danaylov
year published |
2017

For generations, humanity stared at the vastness of the oceans and wondered, “What if?” Today, having explored the curves of the Earth, we now stare at endless stars and wonder, “What if?” Our technology has brought us to the make-or-break moment in human history.

We can either grow complacent, and go extinct like the dinosaurs, or spread throughout the cosmos, as Carl Sagan dreamed… read more

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