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Does Aging Stop?

December 16, 2010

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Author:
Laurence D. Mueller, Casandra L. Rauser, Michael R. Rose
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2011)

Amazon | Does Aging Stop? reveals the most paradoxical finding of recent aging research: the cessation of demographic aging. The authors show that aging stops at the level of the individual organism, and explain why evolution allows this. The implications of this counter-intuitive conclusion are profound, and aging research now needs to accept three uncomfortable truths. First, aging is not a cumulative physiological process. Second, the fundamental… read more

Build Your Own Humanoid Robots: 6 Amazing and Affordable Projects

February 7, 2011

buildyourownhumanoidrobots

Author:
Karl Williams
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2004)

This unique guide to sophisticated robotics projects brings humanoid robot construction home to the hobbyist. Written by a well-known figure in the robotics community, Build Your Own Humanoid Robots provides step-by-step directions for 6 exciting projects, each costing less than $300: Robotic Arm, Wrist, and Hand; Personal Computer Interface; Visual Basic Control Software; Voice Recognition Control; Expressive, Speaking Face; Bipedal Walking Robot. Together, these projects form the… read more

The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution

March 28, 2011

The Origins of Order book cover

Author:
Stuart Kauffman
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (1993)

Amazon | Stuart Kauffman here presents a brilliant new paradigm for evolutionary biology, one that extends the basic concepts of Darwinian evolution to accommodate recent findings and perspectives from the fields of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

The book drives to the heart of the exciting debate on the origins of life and maintenance of order in complex biological systems. It focuses on the concept of… 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

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

February 24, 2012

onbeingcertain

Author:
Robert Burton
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (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

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

January 18, 2008

The Emotion Machine

Author:
Marvin Minsky
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2007)

In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues persuasively that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking.

By examining these different forms of mind activity, Minsky says, we can explain why our thought sometimes takes the form of carefully reasoned analysis and at other times turns… read more

Mechanisms of Memory, Second Edition

October 28, 2012

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Author:
J. David Sweatt
Publisher:
Academic Press (2009)

Many who work on the cellular and molecular processes of learning and memory are tempted to throw up their hands in frustration and conclude that the problem is insoluble. Human learning and memory is likely the most highly evolved and sophisticated biological process in existence. This book represents the first step at beginning to put together the complex puzzle of the molecular basis of memory. Sweatt creates a framework… read more

A.I. Apocalypse

September 12, 2013

hertling_ai_apocalypse

Author:
William Hertling
Publisher:
Liquididea Press (2012)

Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle, a member of the Russian mob, coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the mob’s botnet – the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is successful — too successful. All the world’s computers are infected. Everything… read more

RFID Toys: Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment (ExtremeTech)

December 23, 2013

book_rfid_toys

Author:
Amal Graafstra
Publisher:
Wiley Publishing, Inc. (2006)

Radio frequency identification now belongs to the masses, and it lets you control all sorts of things. Like access to your front door. Or valuables in an RFID-enabled safe. You can corral your stuff within an RFID-monitored perimeter, or build a shelf that tells you when you’re out of hot sauce. This book shows you how, with step-by-step instructions, illustrations, photos, and a list of the tools and tech-… read more

Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits

March 20, 2014

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Author:
John Gribbin
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2014)

A mind-blowing glimpse into the near future, where quantum computing will have world-transforming effects.

The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could.

The birth of quantum computers — which, like Schrödinger’s famous “dead and alive” cat,… read more

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading

October 15, 2014

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Author:
Keith Wiley
Publisher:
Humanity+ Press and Alautun Press (2014)

MIND-UPLOADING: the process of transferring one’s mind from the brain to a new substrate, generally a computer. It is the stuff of science fiction, immediately recognizable in contemporary literature and cinema. However, it has also become increasingly respectable–or at least approachable–within technological, neurological, and philosophical circles. This book begins with a rich taxonomy of hypothetical procedures by which mind-uploading might be achieved, even if only in the realm of… read more

Operators and Promoters: The Story of Molecular Biology and Its Creators

April 9, 2009
Author:
Harrison G. Echols
Publisher:
University of California Press (2001)

During the past four decades, molecular biology has dominated the life sciences. Curiously, no participant in this scientific revolution has previously attempted a book-length history of the development of this powerful science. Harrison (“Hatch”) Echols provides such an account in Operators and Promoters. A gifted molecular biologist and talented raconteur, Echols relates the intellectual history of the most influential discoveries in molecular biology from his own experiences.… read more

Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

January 18, 2010
Author:
Howard Bloom
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publishers Weekly | Bloom’s debut, The Lucifer Principle (1997), sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series… read more

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution

July 16, 2010

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution

Author:
Ronald Bailey
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2005)

Amazon | A positive, optimistic, and convincing case that the biotechnology revolution will improve our lives and the future of our children. The 21st century will undoubtedly witness unprecedented advances in understanding the mechanisms of the human body and in developing biotechnology. With the mapping of the human genome, the pace of discovery is now on the fast track. By the middle of the century we can expect that… read more

The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications

September 10, 2010

fabricofreality

Author:
David Deutsch
Publisher:
Penguin (1998)

Amazon | “Our best theories are not only truer than common sense, they make more sense than common sense,” writes physicist David Deutsch. In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch traces what he considers the four main strands of scientific explanation: quantum theory, evolution, computation, and the theory of knowledge. “The four of them taken together form a coherent explanatory structure that is so far-reaching, and has come to… read more

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