bookshelf by year

Imagined Worlds (Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)

February 15, 2013

Imagined worlds

author |
Freeman Dyson
year published |
1998

Imagine a world where whole epochs will pass, cultures rise and fall, between a telephone call and the reply. Think of the human race multiplying 500-million fold, or evolving new, distinct species. Consider the technology of space colonization, computer-assisted reproduction, the “Martian potato.” One hundred years after H. G. Wells visited the future in The Time Machine, Freeman Dyson marshals his uncommon gifts as a scientist and storyteller to take… read more

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

May 23, 2013

The Autistic Brain

author |
Temple Grandin, Richard Panek
year published |
2013

A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate

When Temple Grandin was born in 1947, autism had only just been named. Today it is more prevalent than ever, with one in 88 children diagnosed on the spectrum. And our thinking about it has undergone a transformation in her lifetime: Autism studies have moved from the realm of psychology to neurology and… read more

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

January 25, 2016

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author |
Lisa Randall
year published |
2015

In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.

Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a… read more

Super You: How Technology is Revolutionizing What It Means to Be Human

August 8, 2016

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author |
Andy Walker, Kay Svela Walker, Sean Carruthers
year published |
2016

Rewind Your Biology and Live Like a 20-Year-Old! Edit Your Genes to Live Disease-Free! Find a Parking Space with Your Internet-Connected Brain.
Advances in longevity, genetics, nanotech, and robotics will make all this possible.

This is not science fiction. This is your future. Right now, pioneering scientists and technologists are transforming what it means to be human by overcoming biological limits that have existed since our ancestors swung out… read more

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto

September 7, 2012
author |
Stewart Brand
year published |
2009

An icon of the environmental movement outlines a provocative approach for reclaiming our planet

According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization-half the world’s population now lives in cities, and eighty percent… read more

Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death

June 14, 2013

Erasing death

author |
Sam Parnia, Josh Young
year published |
2013

Harper Collins | Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death reveals that death is not a moment in time. Death, rather, is a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Innovative techniques have proven to be effective in revitalizing both the body and mind, but they are only employed in approximately half of the hospitals throughout the United States and Europe.… read more

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

February 15, 2016

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author |
Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner
year published |
2015

From one of the world’s most highly regarded social scientists, a transformative book on the habits of mind that lead to the best predictions

Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week’s meals. Unfortunately, people tend to be terrible forecasters. As Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed in a landmark 2005 study, even experts’… read more

Preventing Litigation: An Early Warning System to Get Big Value Out of Big Data

October 27, 2016

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author |
Nelson E. Brestoff, William H. Inmon
year published |
2015

Preventing Litigation, for the first time, explains how to build an early warning system to identify the risk of litigation before the damage is done, and proves that there is big value in less litigation. The authors are subject matter experts, one in litigation, the other in computer science, and each has more than four decades of training and experience in their respective fields. Together, they present a way… read more

The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human

March 17, 2017

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author |
Adam Piore
year published |
2017

In this accessible work on bioengineering, former Newsweek editor Piore documents where humans stand in our attempt to borrow—and build on—nature’s “sublime” healing solutions, which have been “refined by evolution over billions of years.” Piore’s aim is not to offer a clinical tome on scientific progress, but to reveal the “human spirit” that undergirds the search for ways to heal an array of debilitating physical and mental injuries and impairments. He… read more

The Soar Cognitive Architecture

June 6, 2012

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author |
John E. Laird
year published |
2012

In development for thirty years, Soar is a general cognitive architecture that integrates knowledge-intensive reasoning, reactive execution, hierarchical reasoning, planning, and learning from experience, with the goal of creating a general computational system that has the same cognitive abilities as humans. In contrast, most AI systems are designed to solve only one type of problem, such as playing chess, searching the Internet, or scheduling aircraft departures. Soar is both… 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
year published |
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

Hallucinations

October 26, 2012

Hallucinations

author |
Oliver Sacks
year published |
2012

Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?

Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people. People with failing… read more

Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies

January 30, 2014

HumanityEnhanced

author |
Russell Blackford
year published |
2013

Emerging biotechnologies that manipulate human genetic material have drawn a chorus of objections from politicians, pundits, and scholars. In Humanity Enhanced, Russell Blackford eschews the heated rhetoric that surrounds genetic enhancement technologies to examine them in the context of liberal thought, discussing the public policy issues they raise from legal and political perspectives.

Some see the possibility of genetic choice as challenging the values of liberal democracy. Blackford… read more

Cosmigraphics

November 24, 2014

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author |
Michael Benson
year published |
2014

Michael Benson tells the thrilling story of the discovery and description of the universe in a new way. Selecting artful and profound illustrations and maps, many hidden away in the world’s great science libraries and virtually unknown today, he chronicles more than 1,000 years of humanity’s ever-expanding understanding of the size and shape of space itself. He shows how the invention of the telescope inspired visions of unimaginably distant… read more

Insistence of Vision

February 12, 2016

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author |
David Brin
year published |
2016

What may we become? How will we endure? The future is a daunting realm, filled with real and imagined perils. So enter it prepared! Here are vivid tales about possible tomorrows, from the keen eye and colorful pen of David Brin, a modern master of speculative fiction. Visit a chillingly plausible tomorrow, when prisoners may be sent to asteroidal gulags. Or might prisons vanish and felons roam, seeing only… read more

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