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The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)

February 21, 2014

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Author:
Mark Bauerlein
Publisher:
Tarcher (2008)

For decades, concern has been brewing about the dumbed-down popular culture of young people and the impact it has on their futures.

The dawn of the digital age once aroused our hopes: the Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and ultra-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children. The terms “information superhighway” and “knowledge economy” entered the lexicon, and we assumed… read more

Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges

July 31, 2014

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Author:
Andrew McAfee
Publisher:
Harvard Business Review Press (2009)

“Web 2.0″ is the portion of the Internet that’s interactively produced by many people; it includes Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, and prediction markets. In just a few years, Web 2.0 communities have demonstrated astonishing levels of innovation, knowledge accumulation, collaboration, and collective intelligence.

Now, leading organizations are bringing the Web’s novel tools and philosophies inside, creating Enterprise 2.0. In this book, Andrew McAfee shows how they’re doing this,… read more

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

April 13, 2009

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Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2009)

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. Here, physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals–and the limits–of the laws of… read more

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

July 14, 2010

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

Author:
Atul Gawande
Publisher:
Metropolitan Books (2009)

Amazon | That humblest of quality-control devices, the checklist, is the key to taming a high-tech economy, argues this stimulating manifesto. Harvard Medical School prof and New Yorker scribe Gawande (Complications) notes that the high-pressure complexities of modern professional occupations overwhelm even their best-trained practitioners; he argues that a disciplined adherence to essential procedures—by ticking them off a list—can prevent potentially fatal mistakes and corner cutting. He examines checklists… read more

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

July 20, 2010

Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Author:
V. S. Ramachandran, Sandra Blakeslee, Oliver Sacks
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (1999)

In these unsettling tales from a neuroscientist every bit as quirky as the more famous Oliver Sacks, Ramachandran sets out his beliefs that no matter how bizarre the case, empirical, strikingly simple testing can illuminate the ways brain circuitry establishes “self.” In a chatty, nearly avuncular style, he (along with his coauthor, a New York Times science writer) snatches territory from philosophers on how we think we know what… read more

Does Aging Stop?

December 16, 2010

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Author:
Laurence D. Mueller, Casandra L. Rauser, Michael R. Rose
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2011)

Amazon | Does Aging Stop? reveals the most paradoxical finding of recent aging research: the cessation of demographic aging. The authors show that aging stops at the level of the individual organism, and explain why evolution allows this. The implications of this counter-intuitive conclusion are profound, and aging research now needs to accept three uncomfortable truths. First, aging is not a cumulative physiological process. Second, the fundamental… read more

Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects

February 7, 2011

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Author:
Karl Williams
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2004)

This unique guide to sophisticated robotics projects brings humanoid robot construction home to the hobbyist. Written by a well-known figure in the robotics community, Build Your Own Humanoid Robots provides step-by-step directions for 6 exciting projects, each costing less than $300: Robotic Arm, Wrist, and Hand; Personal Computer Interface; Visual Basic Control Software; Voice Recognition Control; Expressive, Speaking Face; Bipedal Walking Robot. Together, these projects form the… read more

The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution

March 28, 2011

The Origins of Order book cover

Author:
Stuart Kauffman
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (1993)

Amazon | Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of… read more

A Planet of Viruses

May 11, 2011

A Planet of Viruses book cover

Author:
Carl Zimmer
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press (2011)

Amazon | Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for… read more

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not

February 24, 2012

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Author:
Robert Burton
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (2009)

You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You “know” the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001 — you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain — feeling that we know something — is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of… read more

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

January 18, 2008

The Emotion Machine

Author:
Marvin Minsky
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2007)

In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues persuasively that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking.

By examining these different forms of mind activity, Minsky says, we can explain why our thought sometimes takes the form of carefully reasoned analysis and at other times turns… read more

Mechanisms of Memory, Second Edition

October 28, 2012

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Author:
J. David Sweatt
Publisher:
Academic Press (2009)

Many who work on the cellular and molecular processes of learning and memory are tempted to throw up their hands in frustration and conclude that the problem is insoluble. Human learning and memory is likely the most highly evolved and sophisticated biological process in existence. This book represents the first step at beginning to put together the complex puzzle of the molecular basis of memory. Sweatt creates a framework… read more

A.I. Apocalypse

September 12, 2013

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Author:
William Hertling
Publisher:
Liquididea Press (2012)

Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle, a member of the Russian mob, coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the mob’s botnet – the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is successful — too successful. All the world’s computers are infected. Everything… read more

RFID Toys: Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment (ExtremeTech)

December 23, 2013

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Author:
Amal Graafstra
Publisher:
Wiley Publishing, Inc. (2006)

Radio frequency identification now belongs to the masses, and it lets you control all sorts of things. Like access to your front door. Or valuables in an RFID-enabled safe. You can corral your stuff within an RFID-monitored perimeter, or build a shelf that tells you when you’re out of hot sauce. This book shows you how, with step-by-step instructions, illustrations, photos, and a list of the tools and tech-… read more

Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits

March 20, 2014

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Author:
John Gribbin
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2014)

A mind-blowing glimpse into the near future, where quantum computing will have world-transforming effects.

The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could.

The birth of quantum computers — which, like Schrödinger’s famous “dead and alive” cat,… read more

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