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Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

Author:
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

The Bequeathal: Godsent

November 27, 2013

THE bequeathal godsent

Author:
Zoran Jevtic
Publisher:
Netherworld Books (2013)

About The Bequeathal: Godsent. In a post-crash, rebooted world, Eugene Reece is one of the billions of pre-indebted citizens whose lives are augmented by the virtualized intellects of the deceased. If anything, his stats tag him average, though a notch more disillusioned and a degree less spirited than the next, permanently connected individual but his surplus dose of ironic self-derision makes him slightly discrepant.

The tedium of Eugene’s drudge… read more

Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

April 9, 2009

sherry_book

Author:
Sherry Turkle
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (1997)

Life on the Screen is a book not about computers, but about people and how computers are causing us to reevaluate our identities in the age of the Internet. We are using life on the screen to engage in new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, politics, sex, and the self. Life on the Screen traces a set of boundary negotiations, telling the story of the changing impact of… read more

Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III

July 13, 2010

Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III

Author:
William B. Scott, Michael J. Coumatos, William J. Birnes
Publisher:
Forge Books (2009)

Amazon | In Space Wars, Scott, Coumatos, and Birnes created a fascinating war gaming scenario of how World War III might unfold in above the Earth’s surface.  Now this thrilling team of writers reunites with Counterspace, an even more chilling fictionalized look at America’s most catastrophic fears.

What if North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon in space and silenced dozens of satellites?

What if an Iranian missile… read more

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

July 16, 2010

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

Author:
R. Michael Perry
Publisher:
Universal Publishers (2000)

Amazon | This book considers the problems of death and the hereafter and how these ages-old problems ought to be addressed in light of our continuing progress. A materialistic viewpoint of reality is assumed, denying the likelihood of supernatural or other superhuman assistance. Death, however, is not seen as inevitable or even irreversible; it is maintained that the problem can and should be addressed scientifically in all of its… read more

Robot Builder’s Bonanza, Third Edition

February 3, 2011

Robot Builder's Bonanza, Third Edition Cover

Author:
Gordon McComb
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2006)

This is the ultimate guide for building and experimenting with robots.  It is also the best selling hobby robotics books.  A whopping 700 pages it contains virtually everything there is to know about modern robotics including  how to convert a toy into a robot, speech systhesis and recognition, vision/robotic eyes, collision detection and avoidance  and the computer programming required to tie everything together to make it work.… read more

Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment

April 4, 2011

Power Up Your Brain book cover

Author:
David Perlmutter, Alberto Villoldo
Publisher:
Hay House (2011)

Amazon | The quest for enlightenment has occupied mankind for millennia. And from the depictions we’ve seen — monks sitting on meditation cushions, nuns kneeling in prayer, shamans communing with the universe — it seems that this elusive state is reserved for a chosen few. But now, neuroscientist David Perlmutter and medical anthropologist and shaman Alberto Villoldo have come together to explore the commonalities between their specialties with the aim… read more

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

March 7, 2012

9780393082104_SpaceChronicles_JKT.indd

Author:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2012)

A thought-provoking and humorous collection on NASA and the future of space travel.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold — with a five- or possibly ten-year delay until the next launch of astronauts from U.S. soil — Tyson’s views… read more

Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization

June 4, 2012

immortalitybookcover

Author:
Stephen Cave
Publisher:
Crown (2012)

Amazon | A fascinating work of popular philosophy and history that both enlightens and entertains, Stephen Cave’s Immortality investigates whether it just might be possible to live forever and whether we should want to.  But it also makes a powerful argument, which is that it’s our very preoccupation with defying mortality that drives civilization.

Central to this book is the metaphor of a mountaintop where one can find the Immortals.  Since the… read more

Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology

October 3, 2012

Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology

Author:
Peter Lucas, Joe Ballay, Mickey McManus
Publisher:
Wiley (2012)

We are facing a future of unbounded complexity.  Whether that complexity is harnessed to build a world that is safe, pleasant, humane and profitable, or whether it causes us to careen off a cliff into an abyss of mind-numbing junk is an open question. The challenges and opportunities–technical, business, and human–that this technological sea change will bring are without precedent. Entire industries will be born and others will be… read more

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

July 14, 2010

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

Author:
Andy Miah
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press (2009)

Amazon | This innovative book, inspired by material from FACT’s Human Futures program and informed by an inquiry into the future of humanity, combines scholarly essays, images, interviews, design products, artifacts, and creative writing in order to portray how the culture of technological innovation is made and remade through bioculturally diverse forms of consumption. Human Futures addresses biological developments such as cloning, genetic modification, stem cell research alongside issues… read more

Zero History

September 3, 2010

Zero History

Author:
William Gibson
Publisher:
Putnam Adult (2010)

Amazon | After a gig investigating “locative art” for the “overly wealthy and dangerously curious” Hubertus Bigend, founder of the trend-forecasting firm Blue Ant (Spook Country, 2007), Hollis Henry finds herself once again under Bigend’s employ. This time she is hired to discover the identity of the designer of a secret brand of clothing called Gabriel Hounds, whom Bigend hopes to enlist in his bid to get into the… read more

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding — And How We Can Improve the World Even More

December 29, 2010

GettingBetter

Author:
Charles Kenny
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | As the income gap between developed and developing nations grows, so grows the cacophony of voices claiming that the quest to find a simple recipe for economic growth has failed. Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of widespread improvements in health, education, peace, liberty — and even happiness.… read more

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything

February 9, 2011

Final Jeopardy cover

Author:
Stephen Baker
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2011)

Amazon | What if there were a computer that could answer virtually any question? IBM engineers are developing such a machine, teaching it to compete on the quiz show ”Jeopardy!” In February 2011, it will face off in a nationally televised game against two of the game’s greatest all-time winners, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Final Jeopardy tells the riveting story behind the match.

Final Jeopardy carries readers on… read more

How We Live and Why We Die: The Secret Lives of Cells

February 23, 2011

how we live why we die

Author:
Lewis Wolpert
Publisher:
Faber and Faber (2009)

Publishers Weekly | Wolpert, professor emeritus of biology at University College London (Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast), conceives bodies as complex societies of cells, with each individual cell and cell type fulfilling a very specific role. As Wolpert explains, cells are incredibly complicated, representing evolution in action. Indeed, Wolpert asserts, However clever one thinks cells are, they almost always turn out to exceed one’s expectations.

He provides basic… read more

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