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Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts

December 16, 2013

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Author:
Emily Anthes
Publisher:
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2013)

One of Nature’s Summer Book Picks
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Spring 2013 Science Books

For centuries, we’ve toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador?… read more

Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will

October 20, 2012

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Author:
Dale J. Stephens
Publisher:
Perigee Trade (2013)

It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops 1 trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a better way to “make it” in today’s marketplace.

There is — and Dale Stephens is proof of… read more

Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

Author:
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

Memories With Maya

March 4, 2013

Memories with Maya

Author:
Clyde Dsouza
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2013)

“It’s Complicated,” Daniel types, updating his profile’s relationship status on his social network. He’s just lost his girlfriend. Emotions after all are shared online. Daniel (Dan) breathes technology. He will stop at nothing to win her back.

His work involves creating AR. solutions for Real-Estate. The recession and an explosion of data-cops is drying out his streams of income. He turns to close friend, Krish, a researcher in… read more

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

February 4, 2013

Fabricated

Author:
Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk.  Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.

A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file,… read more

Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die

March 14, 2013

Predictive Analytics

Author:
Eric Siegel, Thomas H. Davenport
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

You have been predicted — by companies, governments, law enforcement, hospitals, and universities. Their computers say, “I knew you were going to do that!” These institutions are seizing upon the power to predict whether you’re going to click, buy, lie, or die.

Why? For good reason: predicting human behavior combats financial risk, fortifies healthcare, conquers spam, toughens crime fighting, and boosts sales.

How? Prediction is powered by… read more

Human Being @ Risk: Enhancement, Technology, and the Evaluation of Vulnerability Transformations (Philosophy of Engineering and Technology)

March 14, 2013

Human Being @ Risk

Author:
Mark Coeckelbergh
Publisher:
Springer (2013)

Whereas standard approaches to risk and vulnerability presuppose a strict separation between humans and their world, this book develops an existential-phenomenological approach according to which we are always already beings-at-risk. Moreover, it is argued that in our struggle against vulnerability, we create new vulnerabilities and thereby transform ourselves as much as we transform the world. Responding to the discussion about human enhancement and information technologies, the book then shows… read more

Extinction

April 18, 2013

Extinction

Author:
Mark Alpert
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books (2013)

A malevolent, artificial life form created by military scientists threatens to destroy humanity in this smart, Crichtonesque thriller.

Jim Pierce hasn’t heard from his daughter in years, ever since she rejected his military past and started working as a hacker. But when a Chinese assassin shows up at Jim’s lab looking for her, he knows that she’s cracked some serious military secrets. Now, her life is on the line if he doesn’t find her first.

The Chinese military… read more

The Hidden Alpha

February 19, 2013

thehiddenalpha

Author:
Alexander Popoff
Publisher:
Alexander Popoff (2013)

X Factors are unknown, emerging risks to human wellbeing, even survival. These risks might come from inner space (human cognitive and body enhancement, associated with genetic engineering, nanotechnologies, neural and cybernetic implants, etc.) and outer space (discovery and contact with extraterrestrial life and artificial intelligence).

That’s not preposterous science fiction mumbo jumbo of professor Farnsworth from Futurama but a serious discussion at the annual World Economic Forum in… read more

Homeland

January 16, 2013
Author:
Cory Doctorow
Publisher:
Tor Teen (2013)

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a… read more

The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think

October 16, 2013

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Author:
Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2013)

Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.

In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along… read more

Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived

May 23, 2013

Last Ape Standing

Author:
Chip Walter
Publisher:
Walker & Company (2013)

Over the past 180 years scientists have sifted through evidence that at least twenty-seven human species have evolved on planet Earth. And as you may have noticed, twenty-six of them are no longer with us, done in by their environment, predators, disease, or the unfortunate shortcomings of their DNA. What enabled us to survive when so many other human species were shown the evolutionary door?

Last Ape Standing:read more

Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain

January 28, 2013

Physics in Mind

Author:
Werner Loewenstein
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

No one can escape a sense of awe when reflecting on the workings of the mind: we see, we hear, we feel, we are aware of the world around us. But what is the mind? What do we mean when we say we are “aware” of something? What is this peculiar state in our heads, at once utterly familiar and bewilderingly mysterious, that we call awareness or consciousness?… read more

The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

June 18, 2013

The Future_Six Drivers of Global Change

Author:
Al Gore
Publisher:
Random House (2013)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything—a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front… read more

The Psychedelic Future of the Mind: How Entheogens Are Enhancing Cognition, Boosting Intelligence, and Raising Values

February 26, 2013

psychedelic-future-of-the-mind-how-entheogens-are-enhancing-cognition-boosting-intelligence-and-raising-values

Author:
Thomas B. Roberts
Publisher:
Park Street Press (2013)

Explores scientific and medical research on the emerging uses of psychedelics to enrich mind, morals, spirituality, and creativity

• Outlines a future that embraces psychedelics as tools for cognitive development, personal growth, business, and an experience-based religious reformation

• Presents research on the use of psychedelics to enhance problem-solving, increase motivation, boost the immune system, and deepen ethical values

• Includes chapters by Roger N. Walsh,… read more

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