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Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

July 16, 2010

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

Author:
Richard A. L. Jones
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2008)

Amazon | Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next on hundred years) rises higher in the news agenda and popular consciousness, there is a real need for a book which discusses clearly the… read more

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

September 13, 2010

convergenceculture

Author:
Henry Jenkins
Publisher:
New York University Press (2006)

Reed Business Information | Henry Jenkins, founder and director of MIT’s comparative media studies program, debunks outdated ideas of the digital revolution in this remarkable book, proving that new media will not simply replace old media, but rather will learn to interact with it in a complex relationship he calls “convergence culture.”  The book’s goal is to explain how convergence is currently impacting the relationship among media… read more

Cerebrum 2010: Emerging Ideas in Brain Science

January 6, 2011

9781932594492

Author:
Dana Press
Publisher:
Dana Press (2010)

Amazon | Cerebrum 2010 offers a feast for readers keen to know what the world’s leading thinkers see as the newest ideas and implications arising from discoveries about the brain. Drawn from Cerebrum’s highly regarded Web edition, this fourth annual collection brings together the foremost experts in brain science. Jay Giedd, Michael Posner, Mariale Hardiman, David Kupfer and Paul McHugh present their research — and their take — on such cutting-edge topics… read more

The Biology of Aging

February 20, 2011

biology-of-aging-observations-and-principles

Author:
Robert Arking
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2006)

Amazon | Robert Arking’s Biology of Aging, 3rd edition, is an introductory text to the biology of aging which gives advanced undergraduate and graduate students a thorough review of the entire field. His prior two editions have also served admirably as a reference text for clinicians and scientists. This new edition captures the extraordinary recent advances in our knowledge of the ultimate and proximal mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of… read more

Landscape of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archaeology of Thought

April 21, 2011

Landscape of the Mind book cover

Author:
John F. Hoffecker
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2011)

Amazon | John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the mind, drawing on information from the human fossil record, archaeology, and history. Hoffecker argues that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion, early humans developed a feedback relationship among their hands, brains, and tools, evolving the capacity to externalize thoughts in the form of shaped stone objects. When anatomically modern humans evolved a parallel capacity to… read more

Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality

June 7, 2011

Iron Man and Philosophy book cover

Author:
Mark D. White, William Irwin
Publisher:
Wiley (2010)

Amazon | The first look at the philosophy behind the Iron Man comics and movies, timed for the release of Iron Man 2 in March 2010.

On the surface, Iron Man appears to be a straightforward superhero, another rich guy fighting crime with fancy gadgets. But beneath the shiny armor and flashy technology lies Tony Stark, brilliant inventor and eccentric playboy, struggling to balance his desires, addictions, and relationships… 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

Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter

December 14, 2011

incompletenature

Author:
Terrence W. Deacon
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | As physicists work toward completing a theory of the universe and biologists unravel the molecular complexity of life, a glaring incompleteness in this scientific vision becomes apparent. The “Theory of Everything” that appears to be emerging includes everything but us: the feelings, meanings, consciousness, and purposes that make us (and many of our animal cousins) what we are. These most immediate and incontrovertible phenomena are left… read more

Culturing Life: How Cells Became Technologies

March 27, 2012

culturinglife

Author:
Hannah Landecker
Publisher:
Harvard University Press (2007)

Amazon | How did cells make the journey, one we take so much for granted, from their origin in living bodies to something that can be grown and manipulated on artificial media in the laboratory, a substantial biomass living outside a human body, plant, or animal? This is the question at the heart of Hannah Landecker’s book. She shows how cell culture changed the way we think about such central… read more

Moonrush: Improving Life on Earth with the Moon’s Resources: Apogee Books Space Series 43

February 10, 2013

Moonrush

Author:
Dennis Wingo
Publisher:
Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. (2004)

This forward-thinking book examines how the exploration of space may eventually transform the global economy.

Recently, the World Wildlife Federation declared that it would take the equivalent of two more Earth’s to sustain our planetary population at the level of affluence that the western world enjoys. Today we live in a world of six billion people who are gobbling up our planet’s resources at a tremendous and accelerating… read more

Upload

May 20, 2013

Upload

Author:
Mark McClelland
Publisher:
lulu.com (2012)

His criminal past catching up with him, a troubled young man seeks escape into digital utopia by uploading his consciousness into a computer — just as his first love casts his life in a new light. In this thrilling near-future science-fiction novel, Mark McClelland explores the immense potential of computer-based consciousness and the philosophical perils of simulated society.

Kindle version also available at this link

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

August 5, 2013

Dennett-Intuition pumps

Author:
Daniel Dennett
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (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
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (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
Publisher:
Doubleday (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
Publisher:
Tarcher (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

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