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Better than Human: The Promise and Perils of Enhancing Ourselves (Philosophy in Action)

February 10, 2014

0199797870.01.S001.LXXXXXXX

Author:
Allen E. Buchanan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2011)

Is it right to use biomedical technologies to make us better than well or even perhaps better than human? Should we view our biology as fixed or should we try to improve on it? College students are already taking cognitive enhancement drugs. The U.S. army is already working to develop drugs and technologies to produce “super soldiers.” Scientists already know how to use genetic engineering techniques to enhance the… read more

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

October 4, 2011

Dawkins Final

Author:
Richard Dawkins
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back… read more

War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality

June 30, 2011

War of the Worldviews book cover

Author:
Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher:
Harmony (2011)

Amazon | Two bestselling authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God,” one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist.  This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious — but respectful — clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.

In War of the Worldviews these two great thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and… read more

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science

January 12, 2012

reinventingdiscovery

Author:
Michael Nielsen
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2011)

Amazon | In Reinventing Discovery, Michael Nielsen argues that we are living at the dawn of the most dramatic change in science in more than 300 years. This change is being driven by powerful new cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, which are greatly accelerating scientific discovery. There are many books about how the internet is changing business or the workplace or government. But this is the first… read more

Handbook of Augmented Reality

March 10, 2013

Handbook of Augmented Reality

Author:
Borko Furht
Publisher:
Springer (2011)

Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the merging of a live view of the physical, real world with context-sensitive, computer-generated images to create a mixed reality. Through this augmented vision, a user can digitally interact with and adjust information about their surrounding environment on-the-fly. Handbook of Augmented Reality provides an extensive overview of the current and future trends in Augmented Reality, and chronicles the dramatic growth in this field. The… read more

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World

December 13, 2011

knocking-on-heavens-door-cover

Author:
Lisa Randall
Publisher:
Ecco (2011)

Amazon |  From one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives.

The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument

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Reamde: A Novel

October 4, 2011

reamde

Author:
Neal Stephenson
Publisher:
William Morrow (2011)

Amazon | Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow CrashThe Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British… 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

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero

January 20, 2012

ThunderDog-FINAL

Author:
Michael Hingson
Publisher:
Thomas Nelson (2011)

Amazon |  A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.

It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning,… read more

Darkmarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You

June 27, 2012

dark_market

Author:
Misha Glenny
Publisher:
Bodley Head (2011)

The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? Have we become complacent about our personal security — sharing… read more

End of Days

September 12, 2011

EndofDays

Author:
Robert Gleason
Publisher:
Forge Books (2011)

Amazon | Lydia Lozen Magruder — the great-granddaughter of a female Apache war-shaman — has seen visions of the End since childhood. She has constructed a massive ranch-fortress in the American Southwest, stocked with everything necessary to rebuild civilization.

Now her visions are coming true. John Stone, once a baseball star and now a famous gonzo journalist, stumbled across a plan to blast humanity back to the stone… 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
Publisher:
Cosmology Science Publishers (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

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Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience

September 28, 2012

Mind and Brain: A Critical Appraisal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Author:
William R. Uttal
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2011)

Cognitive neuroscience explores the relationship between our minds and our brains, most recently by drawing on brain imaging techniques to align neural mechanisms with psychological processes. In Mind and Brain, William Uttal offers a critical review of cognitive neuroscience, examining both its history and modern developments in the field.

He pays particular attention to the role of brain imaging–especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)–in studying the mind-brain relationship.… read more

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith

July 14, 2011

100 Plus book cover

Author:
Sonia Arrison
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Humanity is on the cusp of an exciting longevity revolution. The first person to live to 150 years has probably already been born.

What will your life look like when you live to be over 100? Will you be healthy? Will your marriage need a sunset clause? How long will you have to work? Will you finish one career at sixty-five only to go… read more

FYI (Popular Science): 229 Curious Questions Answered by the World’s Smartest People

September 1, 2011

popularsciencefyi

Author:
The Editors of Popular Science
Publisher:
Weldon Owen (2011)

Popular Science | If you’ve ever wondered… Can someone use your GPS receiver to track you? Are those paper toilet-seat covers really protecting you from anything? Should you worry about electromagnetic pulses destroying your electronics?

If you’re curious about these and other strange, mind-expanding things — this book was written for you. Popular Science FYI is bursting with surprising answers to weird and zany questions smart people love… read more

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