bookshelf by year

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

September 12, 2011

making of second life

author |
Wagner James Au
year published |
2008

Amazon | The wholly virtual world known as Second Life has attracted more than a million active users, millions of dollars, and created its own — very real — economy.

The Making of Second Life is the behind-the-scenes story of the Web 2.0 revolution’s most improbable enterprise: the creation of a virtual 3-D world with its own industries, culture, and social systems. Now the toast of the Internet economy,… read more

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not

February 24, 2012

onbeingcertain

author |
Robert Burton
year published |
2009

You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You “know” the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001 — you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain — feeling that we know something — is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of… read more

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
year published |
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

The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality

August 13, 2013

book_the_universe_in_the_rearview_mirror

author |
Dave Goldberg
year published |
2013


A physicist speeds across space, time and everything in between showing that our elegant universe—from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies—is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all our recent discoveries about the universe and all the ones to come.

Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can… read more

The Naked Future: What Happens in a World that Anticipates Your Every Move?

March 8, 2014
author |
Patrick Tucker
year published |
2014

“Patrick Tucker’s thought-provoking, eye-opening, and highly entertaining book The Naked Future skillfully illustrates how the intelligent analysis of big data is allowing us to see into the future with ever-increasing precision.” — Ray Kurzweil

Right now the power of big data is in the hands of those mega-institutions inside the cryptic vaults of the NSA, the pioneers of Silicon Valley, and at the fingertips of Madison Avenue.… 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

The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence

April 11, 2018

the-sentient-machine.cover

author |
Amir Husain
year published |
2017

The future is now. Acclaimed technologist and inventor Amir Husain explains how we can live amidst the coming age of sentient machines and artificial intelligence—and not only survive, but thrive.

Artificial “machine” intelligence is playing an ever-greater role in our society. We are already using cruise control in our cars, automatic checkout at the drugstore, and are unable to live without our smartphones. The discussion around AI is… read more

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography

April 9, 2009

In his first book since the bestselling Fermat’s Enigma, Simon Singh offers the first sweeping history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, nations, and individual lives. From Mary, Queen of Scots, trapped by her own code, to the Navajo Code Talkers who helped the Allies win World War II, to the incredible (and incredibly simple) logisitical breakthrough that made Internet… read more

A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

July 7, 2010

A Tear at the Edge of Creation cover

author |
Marcelo Gleiser
year published |
2010

Amazon | For most of his career, physicist Gleiser (The Dancing Universe) was a “true believer in unification,” seeing in string theory a “more profound description of Nature” with “a higher level of mathematical symmetry.” He now rejects the search for a perfect theory as an improvable article of belief akin to monotheism. Explaining his turnaround, Gleiser points to the game-changing 1998 discovery that the universe is expanding at an… read more

Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

July 16, 2010

Technology's Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

author |
William E. Halal
year published |
2008

Amazon | With the onset of a knowledge economy, modern nations are hard at work using ever more sophisticated information systems to power a “technology revolution” that is transforming our lives. This book is based on the work of the TechCast Project, conducted over the past decade at the George Washington University. Pooling the knowledge of 100 high-tech CEOs, scientists, engineers, academics, consultants, futurists, and other experts from around… read more

Brain Cuttings

November 29, 2010

Brain Cuttings Book Cover

author |
Carl Zimmer
year published |
2010

Amazon | The human brain has long been a mystery, but twenty-first century science is beginning to reveal some of its inner workings. With microscopes and brain scans, with psychological experiments and breakthroughs in genetics, neuroscientists are developing new theories about every aspect of our minds — from the nature of consciousness to the causes of disorders like autism and schizophrenia.

In Brain Cuttings, award-winning science… read more

Robotics Demystified

February 7, 2011

Robotics_demystified_a

author |
Edwin Wise
year published |
2004

This is a self-teaching guide approach to introductory robotics, guiding readers through the essential electronics, mechanics, and programming skills necessary to build their first robot.  Each lesson in robotics is presented step by step with exercises to reinforce the ideas of each lesson. Topics include essential electronics, mechanics, and programming concepts, mobile, industrial, and research ‘bots, and how to make robots sense and think.

Fallout: The True Story of the CIA’s Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking

March 30, 2011

Fallout book cover

author |
Catherine Collins, Douglas Frantz
year published |
2011

Amazon | For more than a quarter of a century, while the Central Intelligence Agency turned a dismissive eye, a globe-straddling network run by Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan sold the equipment and expertise to make nuclear weapons to a rogues’ gallery of nations. Among its known customers were Iran, Libya, and North Korea. When the United States finally took action to stop the network in late… read more

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

author |
Manuel Lima
year published |
2011

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… read more

Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

March 22, 2012

ArtificialCulture_Cover1

author |
Tama Leaver
year published |
2011

Amazon | Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of “the artificial” in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond… read more

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