bookshelf by year

Page 1 of 212

Prey

March 16, 2011

Prey book cover

author |
Michael Crichton
year published |
2008

Amazon | In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles — micro-robots — has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour.

Every attempt to destroy it has… read more

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

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

July 16, 2010

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

author |
Richard A. L. Jones
year published |
2008

Amazon | Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next on hundred years) rises higher in the news agenda and popular consciousness, there is a real need for a book which discusses clearly the… 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

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.

The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs. Terrans

December 15, 2010

Theartilectwar

author |
Hugo de Garis
year published |
2005

Amazon |  This book’s main idea is that this century’s global politics will be dominated by the “species dominance” issue.  21st century technologies will enable the building of artilects (artificial intellects, artificial intelligences, massively intelligent machines) with 1040 components, using reversible, heatless, 3D, molecular scale, self assembling, one bit per atom, nano-teched, quantum computers, which may dwarf human intelligence levels by a factor of trillions of trillions… read 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

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

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

July 16, 2010

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

author |
Francis Fukuyama
year published |
2002

Amazon | Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man; Trust) is no stranger to controversial theses, and here he advances two: that there are sound nonreligious reasons to put limits on biotechnology, and that such limits can be enforced. Fukuyama argues that “the most significant threat” from biotechnology is “the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.”… 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

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

The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

July 16, 2010

The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies

author |
Damien Broderick
year published |
2001

Amazon | Is technological change advancing so rapidly that we can no longer chart its progress? Are we careening ever closer to the point that scientists have dubbed “the singularity,” the moment when the pace of innovation will lead to changes so profound that attempting to envision the future becomes an impossible dream? According to Broderick (The Last Mortal Generation; Theory and Its Discontents), the answer is a resounding… read more

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

July 16, 2010

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

author |
Hans Moravec
year published |
2000

Amazon | Here come the free-roaming robot vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars, robot chess champions, robots that fly and swim. If these machine intelligences already tooling around or on the drawing boards leave you blasé, consider this: Robotics pioneer Moravec predicts that if the present exponential growth rate of computing power continues, super-robots that perceive, intuit, adapt, think and even simulate feelings much like human beings will be buildable before… read more

Ultimate Zero and One: Computing at the Quantum Frontier

May 24, 2012

ultimatezeroandone

author |
Colin P. Williams, Scott H. Clearwater
year published |
1999

Amazon | As miniaturisation deepens, and nanotechnology and its machines become more prevalent in the real world, the need to consider using quantum mechanical concepts to perform various tasks in computation increases. Such tasks include: the teleporting of information, breaking heretofore “unbreakable” codes, communicating with messages that betray eavesdropping, and the generation of random numbers. This is the first book to apply quantum physics to the basic operations of a… 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

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