bookshelf by year

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

September 18, 2014

Zero_To_One

author |
Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
year published |
2014

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of… read more

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself

December 14, 2011

You-Are-Not-So-Smart-199x300

author |
David McRaney
year published |
2011

Amazon | An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you’re as deluded as the rest of us. But that’s OK- delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It’s like a… read more

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World

July 9, 2012

automate_this

author |
Christopher Steiner
year published |
2012

The routing story of the last gasp of human agency and how today’s best and brightest minds are endeavoring to put an end to it.

It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills — and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are… read more

The Last Pictures

November 19, 2012

lastpictures_publication_cover

author |
Trevor Paglen
year published |
2012

Human civilizations’ longest lasting artifacts are not the great Pyramids of Giza, nor the cave paintings at Lascaux, but the communications satellites that circle our planet. In a stationary orbit above the equator, the satellites that broadcast our TV signals, route our phone calls, and process our credit card transactions experience no atmospheric drag. Their inert hulls will continue to drift around Earth until the Sun expands into a red… read more

Kill Decision

May 29, 2013

Kill Decision

author |
Daniel Suarez
year published |
2013

The shocking techno-thriller that cements Daniel Suarez’s status as the heir to Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy–a terrifying, breathtaking, and all-too-plausible vision of the world’s near future.

Unmanned weaponized drones already exist–they’re widely used by America in our war efforts in the Middle East. In Kill Decision, bestselling author Daniel Suarez takes that fact and the real science behind it one step further, with frightening results.

Linda… read more

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

May 8, 2017

deep-work-cover

author |
Cal Newport
year published |
2016

In this strong self-help book, Cal Newport (So Good They Can’t Ignore You) declares that the habits of modern professionals—checking email at all hours, rushing from meeting to meeting, and valuing multitasking above all else—only stand in the way of truly valuable work.

According to him, everyone should practice deep work: “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit.”… read more

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of Artificial General Intelligence and Other Transformative Technologies

May 5, 2014

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author |
Ben Goertzel
year published |
2014

Between Ape and Artilect is edited by noted AI researcher Ben Goertzel, and produced by futurist organization Humanity+. During 2010-12, Dr. Goertzel conducted a series of textual interviews with researchers in various areas of cutting-edge science — artificial general intelligence, nanotechnology, life extension, neurotechnology, collective intelligence, mind uploading, body modification, neuro-spiritual transformation, and more. These interviews were published online in H+ Magazine, and are here gathered together in a… read more

After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy, and Security in the Information Age

June 14, 2015

After Snowden

author |
Ronald Goldfarb
year published |
2015

Book summary from the publisher:

Was Edward Snowden a patriot or a traitor?
Just how far do American privacy rights extend?
And how far is too far when it comes to government secrecy in the name of security?

These are just a few of the questions that have dominated American consciousness since Edward Snowden exposed the breath of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.

In these seven previously… read more

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley

January 2, 2017

chaos-monkeys-cover

author |
Antonio Garcia Martinez
year published |
2016

“Incisive…. The most fun business book I have read this year…. Clearly there will be people who hate this book — which is probably one of the things that makes it such a great read.”
— Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

“Eye-popping.”
— Vanity Fair

Liar’s Poker meets The Social Network in an irreverent exposé of life inside the tech bubble, from industry provocateur Antonio García Martínez, a… read more

Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Business and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures

July 16, 2010

Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Business and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures

author |
Glen Hiemstra
year published |
2006

Amazon | In Turning the Future into Revenue, Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com and noted expert on emerging business opportunities, explores how our changing world will transform private enterprise and public policy. From shifting demographics to global warming to new energy policies, change is coming. Turning the Future into Revenue shows how these new realities can be turned into profitable new ventures.

Some of the topics Hiemstra discusses… read more

The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

March 8, 2011

The Most Human Human book cover

author |
Brian Christian
year published |
2011

Amazon | The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can “think.”

Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Tur­ing Test convenes a panel of judges who… read more

Accelerando

April 15, 2009

accelerando

author |
Charles Stross
year published |
2006

During the last five years, Stross has garnered a reputation as one of the most imaginative practitioners of hard sf. Expanded from several stories originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Stross’ latest novel follows several generations of the Macx family through the rapidly transforming, Internet-enabled global economy of the early twenty-first century to the human and transhuman populated worlds of the outer solar system a half century later. The… read more

Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How To End It (TED Books)

April 3, 2013

Lesterland The Corruption of Congress and How to End It

author |
Lawrence Lessig
year published |
2013

The American political system has been foundationally weakened by a corrupt campaign funding system, creating a dangerously unstable and inequitable design that could destroy our republic — if we let it. In this provocative and important book, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes on the deep flaws in our campaign finance system and lays out a plan for fixing it. Lessig describes a place called Lesterland, a fictional land… read more

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization

November 18, 2016

the-great-convergence-cover

author |
Richard Baldwin
year published |
2016

Between 1820 and 1990, the share of world income going to today’s wealthy nations soared from twenty percent to almost seventy. Since then, that share has plummeted to where it was in 1900. As Richard Baldwin explains, this reversal of fortune reflects a new age of globalization that is drastically different from the old.

In the 1800s, globalization leaped forward when steam power and international peace lowered the… read more

Apocalyptic Planet: A Field Guide to the Future of the Earth (Vintage)

August 2, 2013

Apocalyptic Planet

author |
Craig Childs
year published |
2013

2013 Orion Book Award Winner
2013 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner

Ours is not a stable planet. It is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. In this exhilarating exploration of our globe, Craig Childs goes to where the apocalypse can be seen now. From the driest deserts of Chile, through the genetic wasteland of central Iowa, to the site of the drowned land bridge… read more

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