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Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

May 5, 2011

Cycles of Time book cover

Author:
Roger Penrose
Publisher:
Knopf (2011)

Amazon | From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density,… read more

Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life

June 23, 2011

Rewire Your Brain book cover

Author:
John B. Arden, Ph.D.
Publisher:
Wiley (2010)

Amazon | Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that’s not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it’s “softwired” by experience. This book shows… 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

Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

January 12, 2012

yourbrainonfood

Author:
Gary Wenk
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2010)

Amazon | Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do… read more

Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems

May 4, 2012

needspeedgreed

Author:
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Publisher:
HarperBusiness (2012)

Amazon | Over the past few decades, globalization and Googlization have kicked off the first phase of an innovation revolution more profound and more powerful than any economic force since the arrival of Europeans on North American shores half a millennium ago. These developments have brought us such advances as the Web, social networking, 24/7 connectivity, and global markets.

But the benefits of all this progress have not… read more

A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation

September 6, 2012
Author:
Hector Zenil
Publisher:
World Scientific Publishing Company (2012)

This volume, with a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature.

It focuses on two main questions:

  • What is computation?
  • How does nature compute?

The contributors are world-renowned experts who have helped shape a cutting-edge computational understanding of the universe. They discuss computation in the world from a variety of perspectives, ranging from foundational concepts… read more

Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

Author:
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

The Bequeathal: Godsent

November 27, 2013

THE bequeathal godsent

Author:
Zoran Jevtic
Publisher:
Netherworld Books (2013)

About The Bequeathal: Godsent. In a post-crash, rebooted world, Eugene Reece is one of the billions of pre-indebted citizens whose lives are augmented by the virtualized intellects of the deceased. If anything, his stats tag him average, though a notch more disillusioned and a degree less spirited than the next, permanently connected individual but his surplus dose of ironic self-derision makes him slightly discrepant.

The tedium of Eugene’s drudge… read more

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

July 14, 2010

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

Author:
Andy Miah
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press (2009)

Amazon | This innovative book, inspired by material from FACT’s Human Futures program and informed by an inquiry into the future of humanity, combines scholarly essays, images, interviews, design products, artifacts, and creative writing in order to portray how the culture of technological innovation is made and remade through bioculturally diverse forms of consumption. Human Futures addresses biological developments such as cloning, genetic modification, stem cell research alongside issues… read more

Zero History

September 3, 2010

Zero History

Author:
William Gibson
Publisher:
Putnam Adult (2010)

Amazon | After a gig investigating “locative art” for the “overly wealthy and dangerously curious” Hubertus Bigend, founder of the trend-forecasting firm Blue Ant (Spook Country, 2007), Hollis Henry finds herself once again under Bigend’s employ. This time she is hired to discover the identity of the designer of a secret brand of clothing called Gabriel Hounds, whom Bigend hopes to enlist in his bid to get into the… read more

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding — And How We Can Improve the World Even More

December 29, 2010

GettingBetter

Author:
Charles Kenny
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | As the income gap between developed and developing nations grows, so grows the cacophony of voices claiming that the quest to find a simple recipe for economic growth has failed. Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of widespread improvements in health, education, peace, liberty — and even happiness.… read more

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything

February 9, 2011

Final Jeopardy cover

Author:
Stephen Baker
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2011)

Amazon | What if there were a computer that could answer virtually any question? IBM engineers are developing such a machine, teaching it to compete on the quiz show ”Jeopardy!” In February 2011, it will face off in a nationally televised game against two of the game’s greatest all-time winners, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Final Jeopardy tells the riveting story behind the match.

Final Jeopardy carries readers on… read more

Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment

April 4, 2011

Power Up Your Brain book cover

Author:
David Perlmutter, Alberto Villoldo
Publisher:
Hay House (2011)

Amazon | The quest for enlightenment has occupied mankind for millennia. And from the depictions we’ve seen — monks sitting on meditation cushions, nuns kneeling in prayer, shamans communing with the universe — it seems that this elusive state is reserved for a chosen few. But now, neuroscientist David Perlmutter and medical anthropologist and shaman Alberto Villoldo have come together to explore the commonalities between their specialties with the aim… read more

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier

March 7, 2012

9780393082104_SpaceChronicles_JKT.indd

Author:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2012)

A thought-provoking and humorous collection on NASA and the future of space travel.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold — with a five- or possibly ten-year delay until the next launch of astronauts from U.S. soil — Tyson’s views… read more

Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization

June 4, 2012

immortalitybookcover

Author:
Stephen Cave
Publisher:
Crown (2012)

Amazon | A fascinating work of popular philosophy and history that both enlightens and entertains, Stephen Cave’s Immortality investigates whether it just might be possible to live forever and whether we should want to.  But it also makes a powerful argument, which is that it’s our very preoccupation with defying mortality that drives civilization.

Central to this book is the metaphor of a mountaintop where one can find the Immortals.  Since the… read more

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