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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t

November 26, 2012

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Author:
Nate Silver
Publisher:
The Penguin Press HC (2012)

“Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century.”
—Rachel Maddow, author of Drift

Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty.The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters.… read more

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

November 26, 2012

The Demon-Haunted World

Author:
Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan
Publisher:
Ballantine Books (1997)

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”
*Los Angeles Times

“POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”
*The Washington Post Book World

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives… read more

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”

November 26, 2012

The Black Swan

Author:
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publisher:
Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010)

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black… read more

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

November 26, 2012

Words and Rules

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (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

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

November 26, 2012

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Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Penguin Books (2008)

This New York Times bestseller is an exciting and fearless investigation of language

Bestselling author Steven Pinker possesses that rare combination of scientific aptitude and verbal eloquence that enables him to provide lucid explanations of deep and powerful ideas. His previous books including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Blank Slate have catapulted him into the limelight as one of today’s most important popular science writers. In The Stuff of Thought, Pinker presents a… read more

How the Mind Works

November 25, 2012

How the Mind Works

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2009)

“A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear.” —New York Review of Books

The Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller How the Mind Works is a fascinating, provocative work exploring the mysteries of human thought and behavior. How do we see in three dimensions? How do we remember names and faces? How is it, indeed, that we ponder the nature of our own consciousness? Why do we fall in… read more

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

November 25, 2012

The Blank Slate

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Penguin Books (2003)

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world’s leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems… read more

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (P.S.)

November 25, 2012

Language Instinct

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2007)

In this classic, the world’s expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains… read more

The Last Pictures

November 19, 2012

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Author:
Trevor Paglen
Publisher:
University of California Press (2012)

Human civilizations’ longest lasting artifacts are not the great Pyramids of Giza, nor the cave paintings at Lascaux, but the communications satellites that circle our planet. In a stationary orbit above the equator, the satellites that broadcast our TV signals, route our phone calls, and process our credit card transactions experience no atmospheric drag. Their inert hulls will continue to drift around Earth until the Sun expands into a red… read more

Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing

November 15, 2012

MAKE: The Ultimate guide to 3D printing

Author:
The Editors MAKE of
Publisher:
Make (2012)

The 3D printing revolution is well upon us, with new machines appearing at an amazing rate. With the abundance of information and options out there, how are makers to choose the 3D printer that’s right for them? MAKE is here to help, with our Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. We brought 16 of the top printers to our headquarters and hosted a weekend-long printer shootout staffed by the… read more

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed

November 13, 2012

How to Create a Mind cover

Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Viking (2012)

The bold futurist and bestselling author explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain.

Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential, and often controversial, futurist.

In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization — reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.

Kurzweil… read more

Homo Evolutis

November 6, 2012

Homo Evolutis

Author:
Juan Enriquez
Publisher:
TED Books (2011)

There have been at least 25 prototype humans. We are but one more model, and there is no evidence evolution has stopped. So unless you think Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are the be all and end all of creation, and it just does not get any better, then one has to ask what is next? Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, two of the world’s most eminent science authors,… read more

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

November 6, 2012

As the Future Catches You

Author:
Juan Enriquez
Publisher:
Crown Business (2005)

If you think the world has changed dramatically in the last five years, you haven’t seen anything yet.

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on all our lives.

Genetics… read more

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

November 5, 2012

The World As It Is

Author:
Chris Hedges
Publisher:
Nation Books (2011)

Drawing on two decades of experience as a war correspondent and based on his numerous columns for Truthdig, Chris Hedges presents The World As It Is, a panorama of the American empire at home and abroad, from the coarsening effect of America’s War on Terror to the front lines in the Middle East and South Asia and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Underlying his reportage is a constant… read more

Lorenzo and His Parents

November 5, 2012

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Author:
Augusto Odone
Publisher:
Baraka (2012)

In 1984, six-year-old Lorenzo Odone was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy — an incurable genetic disease which destroys the brains of young boys.

His parents, Augusto and Michaela, refused to give up hope and with great determination set out to research the disease and find a cure. Within only a couple of years they had discovered an oil which was able to halt the progress of the disease… read more

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