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Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

April 30, 2012

netsmart

Author:
Howard Rheingold
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2012)

Amazon | Like it or not, knowing how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information is an essential ingredient to personal success in the twenty-first century. But how can we use digital media so that they make us empowered participants rather than passive receivers, grounded, well-rounded people rather than multitasking basket cases? In Net Smart, cyberculture expert Howard Rheingold shows us how to use social… read more

Surviving Orbit the DIY Way: Testing the Limits Your Satellite Can and Must Match

September 6, 2012
Author:
Sandy Antunes
Publisher:
Make (2012)

Is your picosatellite ready for launch? Can it withstand rocket thrusts and the vacuum of space? This do-it-yourself guide helps you conduct a series of hands-on tests designed to check your satellite’s readiness. Learn precisely what the craft and its electronic components must endure if they’re to function properly in Low Earth Orbit.

The perfect follow-up to DIY Satellite Platforms (our primer for designing and building a picosatellite),… read more

Cybernetic Revelation: Deconstructing Artificial Intelligence

December 10, 2012

Cybernetic Revelation

Author:
JD Casten
Publisher:
Post Egoism Media (2012)

Cybernetic Revelation explores the dual philosophical histories of deconstruction and artificial intelligence, tracing the development of concepts like the “logos” and the notion of modeling the mind technologically from pre-history to contemporary thinkers like Slavoj Žižek, Steven Pinker, Bernard Stiegler and Daniel C. Dennett. The writing is clear and accessible throughout, yet the text probes deeply into major philosophers seen by JD Casten as “conceptual engineers.”

Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time

June 9, 2013

TimothyLeary

Author:
R.U. Sirius
Publisher:
The Book Patch (2013)

Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time is a witty and informative look at the important events and philosophical developments in the colorful and controversial life of Dr. Timothy Leary. With dashes of Learyesque irreverence, author R.U. Sirius draws connections between Leary’s trips through psychology, psychedelia, politics and technology and the ecstatic highs and harrowing lows of his personal life. A must-read for appreciating Timothy Leary.

The Naked Future: What Happens in a World that Anticipates Your Every Move?

March 8, 2014
Author:
Patrick Tucker
Publisher:
Penguin (2014)

“Patrick Tucker’s thought-provoking, eye-opening, and highly entertaining book The Naked Future skillfully illustrates how the intelligent analysis of big data is allowing us to see into the future with ever-increasing precision.” — Ray Kurzweil

Right now the power of big data is in the hands of those mega-institutions inside the cryptic vaults of the NSA, the pioneers of Silicon Valley, and at the fingertips of Madison Avenue.… read more

Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual (Human-Computer Interaction Series)

July 18, 2010

Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual (Human-Computer Interaction Series)

Author:
William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher:
Springer (2009)

Amazon | Virtual worlds are persistent online computer-generated environments where people can interact, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. The most popular current example is World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game with eleven million subscribers. However, other virtual worlds, notably Second Life, are not games at all but internet-based collaboration contexts in which people can create virtual objects, simulated architecture,… read more

Permutation City

August 6, 2010

Permutation City

Author:
Greg Egan
Publisher:
Eos (1995)

Amazon | The good news is that you have just awakened into Eternal Life. You are going to live forever. Immortality is a reality. A medical miracle? Not exactly.

The bad news is that you are a scrap of electronic code. The world you see around you, the you that is seeing it, has been digitized, scanned, and downloaded into a virtual reality program. You are a Copy… read more

The Immortality Edge: Realize the Secrets of Your Telomeres for a Longer, Healthier Life

December 29, 2010

immortalityedge

Author:
Michael Fossel, Greta Blackburn, Dave Woynarowski
Publisher:
Wiley (2010)

Amazon | Based on Nobel Prize–winning genetic research — a simple plan to keep your telomeres healthy for better health and longevity

Telomeres play an important role in protecting our chromosomes from critical damage. The shortening of the telomere disrupts vital cellular function and promotes the previously seemingly inevitable onset of aging and various diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s. Drawing from the groundbreaking discoveries about telomeres… read more

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

Author:
Manuel Lima
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press (2011)

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… read more

How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like

July 6, 2011

How Pleasure Works book cover

Author:
Paul Bloom
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | “Engaging, evocative. . . . [Bloom] is a supple, clear writer, and his parade of counterintuitive claims about pleasure is beguiling.” — NPR

Why is an artistic masterpiece worth millions more than a convincing forgery? Pleasure works in mysterious ways, as Paul Bloom reveals in this investigation of what we desire and why. Drawing on a wealth of surprising studies, Bloom investigates pleasures noble and… read more

The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated Guide

October 5, 2011

instantphysicist

Author:
Richard A. Muller
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2010)

Amazon | Wine is radioactive? Organic foods have more poison in them than those grown with pesticides? Best-selling author Richard A. Muller enlightens us.

Richard A. Muller demonstrated in his recent bestseller, Physics for Future Presidents, that he has a unique talent for delivering the “aha” moment — making difficult topics accessible. In The Instant Physicist he shows his ability to entertain, too, by presenting the best of the scientific… read more

Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can do At Home – But Probably Shouldn’t

March 1, 2012

MadScience

Author:
Theodore Gray
Publisher:
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (2011)

Amazon | In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles… read more

Amped: A Novel

June 4, 2012

amped

Author:
Daniel H. Wilson
Publisher:
Doubleday (2012)

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of… read more

Lorenzo and His Parents

November 5, 2012

lorenzo2

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

The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future

January 29, 2013

The Visioneers

Author:
W. Patrick McCray
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2012)

In 1969, Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill began looking outward to space colonies as the new frontier for humanity’s expansion. A decade later, Eric Drexler, an MIT-trained engineer, turned his attention to the molecular world as the place where society’s future needs could be met using self-replicating nanoscale machines. These modern utopians predicted that their technologies could transform society as humans mastered the ability to create new worlds, undertook atomic-scale… read more

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