bookshelf by year

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

September 7, 2010

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author |
Nicholas G. Carr
year published |
2010

Amazon | The best-selling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology’s effect on the mind. “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the… read more

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

February 4, 2013

Fabricated

author |
Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman
year published |
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

Memories With Maya

March 4, 2013

Memories with Maya

author |
Clyde Dsouza
year published |
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

Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

October 18, 2013

Smart machines

author |
John E. Kelly III, Steve Hamm
year published |
2013

We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. The victory of IBM’s Watson on the television quiz show Jeopardy! revealed how scientists and engineers at IBM and elsewhere are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice.

In Smart Machines, John E. Kelly… read more

Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror

February 23, 2016

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author |
Michael V. Hayden
year published |
2016

An unprecedented high-level master narrative of America’s intelligence wars, from the only person ever to helm both CIA and NSA, at a time of heinous new threats and wrenching change

For General Michael Hayden, playing to the edge means playing so close to the line that you get chalk dust on your cleats. Otherwise, by playing back, you may protect yourself, but you will be less successful in protecting… read more

The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos

June 29, 2011

Intelligent Universe book cover

author |
James N. Gardner
year published |
2007

Amazon | What is the ultimate destiny of our universe? That is the striking question addressed by James Gardner in The Intelligent Universe.

Traditionally, scientists (and Robert Frost) have offered two bleak answers to this profound issue: fire or ice.

The cosmos might end in fire — a cataclysmic Big Crunch in which galaxies, planets, and life forms are consumed in a raging inferno as the universe… read more

How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight

November 18, 2016

how-to-make-a-spaceship-cover

author |
Julian Guthrie
year published |
2016

The historic race that reawakened the promise of manned spaceflight

Alone in a Spartan black cockpit, test pilot Mike Melvill rocketed toward space. He had eighty seconds to exceed the speed of sound and begin the climb to a target no civilian pilot had ever reached. He might not make it back alive. If he did, he would make history as the world’s first commercial astronaut.

The… read more

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do

May 14, 2013

The Human Race to the Future

author |
Daniel Berleant
year published |
2013

Who doesn’t wonder about the future… what things will be like some day, how long it might take, and what we can do about it?
This book gives possible answers, spanning from the current century to nearly eternity. Imaginative yet scientifically plausible, most chapters offer a concluding section discussing actions to take in view of the predicted future scenarios. Some of these actions can be done by individuals, others… read more

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (P.S.)

November 26, 2012

Words and Rules

author |
Steven Pinker
year published |
2011

How does language work? How do we learn to speak? Why do languages change? Why do they have so many quirks? What does language reveal about the mind?

Steven Pinker explores the mysteries of language in this original and hugely entertaining book. Pinker uses a deceptively simple phenomenon—regular and irregular verbs—to illuminate an astonishing array of topics: the history of languages, what we can learn from children’s grammatical… read more

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

October 30, 2013

Hardwiring Happiness

author |
Rick Hanson
year published |
2013

Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated?

Because your brain evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences but slowly from the good ones.

You can change this.

Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and… read more

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots

September 7, 2015

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author |
John Markoff
year published |
2015

As robots are increasingly integrated into modern society—on the battlefield and the road, in business, education, and health—Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times science writer John Markoff searches for an answer to one of the most important questions of our age: will these machines help us, or will they replace us?

In the past decade alone, Google introduced us to driverless cars, Apple debuted a personal assistant that we keep in our… read more

Androids and Intelligent Networks in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Artificial Slaves

September 21, 2016

androids-and-intelligent-networks-cover

author |
Kevin LaGrandeur
year published |
2012

Awarded a 2014 Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Prize Honorable Mention.

This book explores the creation and use of artificially made humanoid servants and servant networks by fictional and non-fictional scientists of the early modern period.

Beginning with an investigation of the roots of artificial servants, humanoids, and automata from earlier times, LaGrandeur traces how these literary representations coincide with a surging interest in automata and experimentation,… read more

The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy

July 3, 2013

The Ageles Generation

author |
Alex Zhavoronkov
year published |
2013

Over the past 20 years, the biomedical research community has been delivering hundreds of breakthroughs expected to extend human lifespan beyond thresholds imaginable today.

However, much of this research has not yet been adopted into clinical practice, nor has it been widely publicized. Biomedicine will transform our society forever by allowing people to live longer and to continue working and contributing financially to the economy longer, rather than… read more

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy

October 12, 2015

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author |
David A. Mindell
year published |
2015

“[An] essential book… it is required reading as we seriously engage one of the most important debates of our time.”—Sherry Turkle, author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

From drones to Mars rovers—an exploration of the most innovative use of robots today and a provocative argument for the crucial role of humans in our increasingly technological future.

In Our Robots, Ourselves, David Mindell… read more

The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix

February 11, 2013

Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix Jacket Image.r (1)

author |
James D. Watson, Alexander Gann, Jan Witkowski
year published |
2012

Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Watson and Crick’s discovery of the structure of DNA, an annotated and illustrated edition of this classic book gives new insights into the personal relationships between James Watson, Frances Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin, and the making of a scientific revolution.

In his 1968 memoir, The Double Helix, the brash young scientist James Watson chronicled the drama of… read more

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