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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

On Intelligence

July 14, 2010

On Intelligence

Author:
Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (2005)

Amazon | Hawkins designed the technical innovations that make handheld computers like the Palm Pilot ubiquitous. But he also has a lifelong passion for the mysteries of the brain, and he’s convinced that artificial intelligence theorists are misguided in focusing on the limits of computational power rather than on the nature of human thought. He “pops the hood” of the neocortex and carefully articulates a theory of consciousness and… read more

One Second After

February 3, 2011

one_second_after-759350

Author:
William R. Forstchen
Publisher:
Forge Books (2009)

Amazon | New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real, a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages — A war based upon a weapon, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be… read more

One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science

June 1, 2011

One Two Three Infinity book cover

Author:
George Gamow
Publisher:
Dover Publications (1988)

Goodreads | One of the world’s foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possesses the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader.

He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author’s celebrated good humor and pedagogical… read more

Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual (Human-Computer Interaction Series)

July 18, 2010

Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual (Human-Computer Interaction Series)

Author:
William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher:
Springer (2009)

Amazon | Virtual worlds are persistent online computer-generated environments where people can interact, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. The most popular current example is World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game with eleven million subscribers. However, other virtual worlds, notably Second Life, are not games at all but internet-based collaboration contexts in which people can create virtual objects, simulated architecture,… read more

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology

February 16, 2011

Open Innovation book cover

Author:
Henry William Chesbrough
Publisher:
Harvard Business Press (2005)

Publisher’s Weekly | The great corporate research departments at companies like Bell Labs, IBM and Xerox were once the motor of American industry. But that may be changing, according to this probing academic study of corporate technological innovation.

Chesbrough, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, argues that the old “closed innovation” model — vertically integrated research and development departments that develop technology in-house for the sole… read more

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs

December 14, 2013

"Open Source Lab," a new book by Michigan Tech's Joshua Pearce, is a guide to help researchers slash the cost of doing science by making their own lab equipment.

Author:
Joshua M. Pearce
Publisher:
Elsevier (2013)

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Scientific Research Costs details the development of the free and open-source hardware revolution. The combination of open-source 3D printing and microcontrollers running on free software enables scientists, engineers, and lab personnel in every discipline to develop powerful research tools at unprecedented low costs. After reading Open-Source Lab, you will be able to:

- Lower equipment costs by making your… 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

Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning

July 14, 2010

Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning

Author:
Martin Rees
Publisher:
Basic Books (2004)

Amazon | Nano-machines stand poised to revolutionize technology and medicine, but what happens if these minuscule beasties break their leash and run amok? Rees, the U.K.’s Astronomer Royal and prolific author (Just Six Numbers; Our Cosmic Habitat), warns that the 21st century may well witness the extinction of mankind, a doomsday more likely to be caused by human error than by a natural catastrophe. Bioterrorists are the most widely… read more

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

May 29, 2013

AI and the end

Author:
James Barrat
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books (2013)

Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the “smart” in your smart phone, it has the run of your house, and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence.

Though primitive today, ‘intelligent’ computer… read more

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

January 8, 2014

book_our_mathematical_universe

Author:
Max Tegmark
Publisher:
Knopf (2014)

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind—boggling theories, but he also… read more

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

July 16, 2010

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

Author:
Francis Fukuyama
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2002)

Amazon | Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man; Trust) is no stranger to controversial theses, and here he advances two: that there are sound nonreligious reasons to put limits on biotechnology, and that such limits can be enforced. Fukuyama argues that “the most significant threat” from biotechnology is “the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.”… read more

Our Uncertain Future: When Digital Evolution, Global Warming and Automation Converge

November 12, 2013

Our Uncertain Future

Author:
David M Mills Ph.D.
Publisher:
Pacific Beach Publishing (2013)

There are many different predictions about our future.  Some experts predict an incredible future propelled by digital technology and other advances, others predict destruction due to climate change, yet others predict automation will cause massive unemployment and economic collapse.  We have been told of advantages and warned of dangers of artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and other technologies.  Each author has largely ignored the other points of view.  But, there can be only… read more

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live

August 21, 2013

Paleofantasy

Author:
Marlene Zuk
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2013)

An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today.

We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football—or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life? Although it may seem as though we have barely had time to shed our hunter-gatherer legacy, biologist… read more

Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming

December 18, 2013

Pardon_the_disruption_book

Author:
Clayton R. Rawlings, James Randall Smith, Rob Bencini
Publisher:
Wasteland Press (2013)

Pardon The Disruption high-lights the exponential advances in technology that have disrupted the legal system and the economy over time – but those changes will pale in comparison to what is about to occur! The book is written in two parts: the first part discusses the effect – past and projected future – on the legal system; the second part, on the economy. The two come together in a conclusive… read more

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