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Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

August 5, 2013

Dennett-Intuition pumps

author |
Daniel Dennett
year published |
2013

One of the world’s leading philosophers offers aspiring thinkers his personal trove of mind-stretching thought experiments.

Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers 77 of Dennett’s most successful “imagination-extenders and focus-holders” meant to guide… read more

The Society of Mind

January 21, 2014

The-Society-of-Mind2

author |
Marvin Minsky
year published |
1987

Marvin Minsky — one of the fathers of computer science and cofounder of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT — gives a revolutionary answer to the age-old question: “How does the mind work?”

Minsky brilliantly portrays the mind as a “society” of tiny components that are themselves mindless. Mirroring his theory, Minsky boldly casts The Society of Mind as an intellectual puzzle whose pieces are assembled along the way. Each… read more

Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human

April 9, 2009
author |
Joel Garreau
year published |
2005

Washington Post reporter Garreau takes readers on a cross-country trip into the future as he interviews scientists and other thinkers grappling with the implications of our newfound—and, to some, frightening—knowledge of the genome. Highlighting what he calls “the Curve”—the rate of exponential change in technology—Garreau (Edge City: Life on the New Frontier) breaks the central part of his book into four scenarios. In “Heaven,” genetic engineering will… read more

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

July 8, 2010

The Empathic Civilization cover

author |
Jeremy Rifkin
year published |
2009

Amazon | Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the… read more

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

July 16, 2010

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

author |
Roger Penrose
year published |
1996

Amazon | A leading critic of artificial intelligence research returns to the attack, attempting to lay the groundwork for an analysis of the true nature of intelligence. Building on his arguments in The Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose (Mathematics/Oxford) begins by refuting the assertion that true intelligence can be attained–or even adequately simulated–by the strictly computational means to which current computers are ultimately limited. Much of his argument depends closely… read more

After the Software Wars

November 16, 2010

afterthesoftwarewars

author |
Keith Cary Curtis
year published |
2009

Keithcu Press | Given currently available technology, we should already have cars that drive us around in absolute safety, leaving us to lounge comfortably in the back while sipping champagne. We have all the hardware — the video cameras, motion sensors and high powered computers — and we’ve had this technology for decades. So why don’t cars drive themselves?

The answer is that we don’t have the software.… read more

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots

February 3, 2011

absolutebeginnersguide

author |
Gareth Branwyn
year published |
2003

If you have an interest in robotics, but not sure how to get started, this could be the right book to get past that hurdle. It covers basic skills like soldering and programming, and steps you through how to build three simple robots.  The reader is gently led through an easy to follow robot building procedure with a list and photo of the parts needed to build the… read more

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

March 11, 2011

Physics of the Future book cover

author |
Michio Kaku
year published |
2011

Publisher’s Weekly | Kaku (Physics of the Impossible), a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, gathers ideas from more than 300 experts, scientists, and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields, to offer a glimpse of what the next 100 years may bring. The predictions all conform to certain ground rules (e.g., “Prototypes of all technologies mentioned… already exist”), and some seem obvious (computer chips… read more

Consciousness in the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind

May 5, 2011

Consciousness in the Universe book cover

author |
Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff
year published |
2011

Amazon | Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always out there in the world?

Topics:

  • Evolution and origin of consciousness
  • Consciousness and quantum

read more

Brain: The Complete Mind

June 22, 2011

Brain: The Complete Mind

author |
Michael S. Sweeney, Richard Restak
year published |
2009

Amazon | Did you know that listening to music tunes up your brain? Or that certain foods can help maintain mental fitness? Or that exercise can keep both body and mind in good shape? Delving into the science behind these strategies, Brain goes even deeper to reveal the brain’s inner workings.

Overseen by distinguished neuropsychiatrist Dr. Richard Restak, Brain is both a practical owner’s manual and a complete… read more

Post Mortal Syndrome: A Science Fiction Novel

January 11, 2012

Post Mortal Syndrome cover

author |
Damien Broderick, Barbara Lamar
year published |
2011

Amazon | Attorney Jill Shannon’s clients include Blick Pharmaceuticals, which is pursuing research into life-extending drugs.

Blick has reawakened the homicidal maniac Payback, whom they created twenty years earlier, to literally kill off the competition by targeting research scientists.

Jill’s boyfriend, Paul Gibson, one of the scientists, is forced to inject them with an intelligence booster. Suddenly they find themselves in the middle of a… read more

Brain-Computer Interfaces: Principles and Practice

January 12, 2012

braincomputer

author |
Jonathan Wolpaw, Elizabeth Winter Wolpaw
year published |
2012

Amazon | In the last 15 years, a recognizable surge in the field of Brain Computer Interface (BCI) research and development has emerged. This emergence has sprung from a variety of factors. For one, inexpensive computer hardware and software is now available and can support the complex high-speed analyses of brain activity that is essential is BCI. Another factor is the greater understanding of the central nervous… read more

Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information

April 30, 2012

decoding-reality

author |
Vlatko Vedral
year published |
2010

Amazon | In Decoding Reality, Vlatko Vedral offers a mind-stretching look at the deepest questions about the universe — where everything comes from, why things are as they are, what everything is.

The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, he writes, but information — and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena. This view allows Vedral… read more

DIY Satellite Platforms: Building a Space-Ready General Base Picosatellite for Any Mission

September 6, 2012
author |
Sandy Antunes
year published |
2012

Want to build your own satellite and launch it into space? It’s easier than you may think. The first in a series of four books, this do-it-yourself guide shows you the essential steps needed to design a base picosatellite platform—complete with a solar-powered computer-controlled assembly—tough enough to withstand a rocket launch and survive in orbit for three months.

Whether you want to conduct scientific experiments, run… read more

A Newer World: Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis

December 10, 2012

A Newer World

year published |
2012

Here is a story that has not previously been adequately told: the story of the developments, trends, and visionary people that are, in many ways, mitigating the climate crisis and turning sustainable development into reality, not just a grand concept. In A Newer World, the environmentalist Bill Hewitt explores the advances in business and finance, politics, design, science, and engineering that are transforming the world around us right now,… read more

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