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I Am a Strange Loop

May 4, 2011

I am a Strange Loop book cover

author |
Douglas R. Hofstadter
year published |
2008

Amazon | Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, “I” arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here?

I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the “strange loop” — a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is… read more

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

January 18, 2010
author |
Howard Bloom
year published |
2001

Publishers Weekly | Bloom’s debut, The Lucifer Principle (1997), sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series… read more

FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication

April 9, 2009
author |
Neil Gershenfeld
year published |
2007

Personal fabrication (PF) is the ability to design and produce your own products in your own home, with a machine that combines consumer electronics and industrial tools. This book describes how personal fabricators are about to revolutionize the world just as personal computers did a generation ago.

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

July 16, 2010

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

author |
Bill McKibben
year published |
2004

Amazon | In 1989, McKibben published The End of Nature, a gorgeously written and galvanizing book about the true cost of global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer and other man-made ills-the loss of wild nature and with it the priceless aspect of our humanity that evolved to listen to and heed it. Now McKibben applies the same passion, scholarship and free-ranging thought to a subject that even… read more

Engines of Creation 2.0

March 1, 2007

Engines of Creation 2

author |
K. Eric Drexler
year published |
2007

Originally published in 1986, K. Eric Drexler’s Engines of Creation laid the theoretical foundation for the modern field of nanotechnology and articulated the amazing possibilities and dangers associated with engineering at the molecular scale.

Unique for both its style and substance, the book is today recognized as the seminal work in nanotechnology and has earned Drexler the title of “Father of Nanotechnology.”

Engines of Creation 2.0: Theread more

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

July 16, 2010

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

author |
James Hughes
year published |
2004

Amazon | In the next fifty years, life spans will extend well beyond a century. Our senses and cognition will be enhanced. We will have greater control over our emotions and memory. Our bodies and brains will be surrounded by and merged with computer power. The limits of the human body will be transcended as technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering converge and accelerate. With them,… read more

Breakpoint

February 12, 2010

breakpoint

author |
Richard A. Clarke
year published |
2007

Penguin Group | In his fiction debut, The Scorpion’s Gate, Richard A. Clarke, former counterterrorism czar for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, projected a world in 2010 in which the United States and China were competing politically and economically for a dwindling supply of increasingly expensive oil and gas.  That competition naturally took them to the Persian Gulf where the largest oil deposits remained, where the United States… read more

Atlas Shrugged

April 21, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

author |
Ayn Rand
year published |
1999

Amazon | Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand’s greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex.

Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama… read more

Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.

June 8, 2001

Are We Spiritual Machines

author |
Jay W. Richards, Ray Kurzweil, George Gilder
year published |
2001

Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will “download” our software (our minds) and “upgrade” our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal — before the dawn of the 22nd century.

In this debate with his critics, including several Discovery Institute fellows, Kurzweil defends his views and sets the stage… read more

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