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First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began

June 7, 2011

First Life book cover

Author:
David Deamer
Publisher:
University of California Press (2011)

Amazon | This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life’s connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals,… read more

Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student

March 22, 2012

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Author:
Chris Dede, John Richards
Publisher:
Teachers College Press (2012)

The Digital Teaching Platform (DTP) brings the power of interactive technology to teaching and learning in classrooms.

In this authoritative book, top researchers in the field of learning science and educational technology examine the current state of design and research on DTPs, the principles for evaluating them, and their likely evolution as a dominant medium for educational improvement.

The authors examine DTPs in… read more

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

February 20, 2014

Consciousness and the Brain Cover

Author:
Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2014)

A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other… read more

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

August 5, 2013

Dennett-Intuition pumps

Author:
Daniel Dennett
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2013)

One of the world’s leading philosophers offers aspiring thinkers his personal trove of mind-stretching thought experiments.

Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers 77 of Dennett’s most successful “imagination-extenders and focus-holders” meant to guide… read more

Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness

January 18, 2010
Author:
Daniel Dennett
Publisher:
Basic Books (1997)

Publishers Weekly | Dennett (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea), director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, avers that language is the “slingshot” that has “launched [humans] far beyond all other earthly species in the power to look ahead and reflect.” In this brief study, some of which is drawn from notes for the author’s various lectures, and which returns him to some of the themes of his controversial… read more

Models.Behaving.Badly: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life

December 14, 2011

modelsbehavingbadly

Author:
Emanuel Derman
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Emanuel Derman was a quantitative analyst (Quant) at Goldman Sachs, one of the financial engineers whose mathematical models became crucial for Wall Street. The reliance investors put on such quantitative analysis was catastrophic for the economy, setting off the ongoing string of financial crises that began with the mortgage market in 2007 and continues through today. Here Derman looks at why people — bankers in particular — still put so much… read more

Dualism | Archon Sequence

October 21, 2014

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Author:
Bill Desmedt
Publisher:
Per Aspera Press (2014)

When the six year old daughter of a billionaire industrialist is kidnapped, uber consultant Jonathan Knox and counter terrorism agent Marianna Bonaventure must team up with an experimental artificial intelligence to find her, never suspecting the little girl is the key to a plot that could destroy the NSA — and kill millions of Americans in the bargain.

Bill DeSmedt has crafted another tour de force of cutting… read more

The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications

September 10, 2010

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Author:
David Deutsch
Publisher:
Penguin (1998)

Amazon | “Our best theories are not only truer than common sense, they make more sense than common sense,” writes physicist David Deutsch. In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch traces what he considers the four main strands of scientific explanation: quantum theory, evolution, computation, and the theory of knowledge. “The four of them taken together form a coherent explanatory structure that is so far-reaching, and has come to… read more

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

July 16, 2010

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

Author:
Christopher Dewdney
Publisher:
HarperCollins Canada (1998)

Media Studies | Last Flesh has a decidedly optimistic tone, reminiscent of McLuhan’s catholic embrace of human creativity and ingenuity. Like McLuhan, Dewdney harbours the poet’s desire for sublime transcendence, and the evolution of human capacity.  As a poet, Dewdney has always been at home in the material world of science; in fact, much of his poetry attempts to integrate the documentary impulses of the sciences with the imaginative… read more

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

January 3, 2012

abundance

Author:
Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
Publisher:
Free Press (2012)

Amazon | Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge — this is a book about how we rise to meet it. We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces… read more

The Mind and the Machine: What It Means to Be Human and Why It Matters

June 17, 2011

The Mind and the Machine book cover

Author:
Matthew Dickerson
Publisher:
Brazos Press (2011)

Amazon | What does it mean to be human? Some naturalists believe that the human mind can be reduced to brain biology, suggesting that we are no more than complex biochemical machines. Computer scientist Matthew Dickerson critiques a physicalist/naturalist view of human persons and defends theistic accounts of human nature. He responds to the widespread assertion that human consciousness is nothing more than “software” that can one… read more

What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite

December 14, 2011

WhatMakesYourBrainHappy

Author:
David DiSalvo
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2011)

Amazon | Why do we routinely choose options that don’t meet our short-term needs and undermine our long-term goals? Why do we willingly expose ourselves to temptations that undercut our hard-fought progress to overcome addictions? Why are we prone to assigning meaning to statistically common coincidences? Why do we insist we’re right even when evidence contradicts us?

In What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Doread 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 Rapture of the Nerds: A Tale of the Singularity, Posthumanity, and Awkward Social Situations

September 9, 2012

rapture-nerds-cover

Author:
Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross
Publisher:
Tor Books (2012)

Tor | Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a… read more

Robots on Strike!

May 28, 2014

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Author:
Sean Dowd
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

More than science fiction, a way of considering how robots and automation could change the way global economy and politics work. The story takes us through the life of a supply chain and robotics tycoon as his new innovations present a quite unexpected result. How can robots go on strike? They were hard-wired to obey humans, so how could it possibly happen? The three laws of robotics could have… read more

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