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Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life

May 26, 2011

Code/Space cover image

Author:
Rob Kitchin, Martin Dodge
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2011)

Amazon | After little more than half a century since its initial development, computer code is extensively and intimately woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. From the digital alarm clock that wakes us to the air traffic control system that guides our plane in for a landing, software is shaping our world: it creates new ways of undertaking tasks, speeds up and automates existing practices,… read more

Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction

October 27, 2012

science_fiction_prototyping_book

Author:
Brian David Johnson
Publisher:
Morgan & Claypool Publishers (2011)

Science fiction is the playground of the imagination. If you are interested in science or fascinated with the future then science fiction is where you explore new ideas and let your dreams and nightmares duke it out on the safety of the page or screen. But what if we could use science fiction to do more than that? What if we could use science fiction based on science fact to… read more

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

May 5, 2011

Idea Man book cover

Author:
Paul Allen
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover (2011)

Amazon | “The entire conversation took five minutes. When it was over, Bill and I looked at each other. It was one thing to talk about writing a language for a microprocessor and another to get the job done . . . If we’d been older or known better, Bill and I might have been put off by the task in front of us. But we were… read more

The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us

July 14, 2011

The Bond book cover

Author:
Lynne McTaggart
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | For centuries, Western science and many Western cultures have taught us to think of ourselves as individuals. But today, a revolutionary new understanding is emerging from the laboratories of the most cutting-edge physicists, biologists, and psychologists: What matters is not the isolated entity, but the space between things, the relationship of things. The Bond.

By international bestselling author Lynne McTaggart, The Bond is the culmination of… read more

The Inner Pulse: Unlocking the Secret Code of Sickness and Health

May 4, 2011

The Inner Pulse book cover

Author:
Marc Siegel
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Many doctors overlook the seemingly inexplicable tragedies and recoveries that happen in hospitals every day, opting to view them simply as aberrations from the medical norm. In this book, Dr. Marc Siegel draws from his decades of experience treating patients and explores the sometimes miraculous effects that the spirit and emotion can have on disease and healing. The inner pulse is the essence that links the… read more

The Recursive Mind: The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization

June 7, 2011

The Recursive Mind book cover

Author:
Michael C. Corballis
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2011)

Amazon | The Recursive Mind challenges the commonly held notion that language is what makes us uniquely human. In this compelling book, Michael Corballis argues that what distinguishes us in the animal kingdom is our capacity for recursion: the ability to embed our thoughts within other thoughts. “I think, therefore I am,” is an example of recursive thought, because the thinker has inserted himself into his thought.… read more

Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant

May 21, 2012

islands-of-genius

Author:
Darold A. Treffert
Publisher:
Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2011)

Amazon | Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which individuals with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance — ”islands of genius” — that exist in contrast with their overall limitations. In this fascinating book, Dr. Darold Treffert looks at what we know about this remarkable condition, and at new discoveries that raise interesting questions about the hidden brain potential within us… read more

Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life

April 25, 2011

biopunk

Author:
Marcus Wohlsen
Publisher:
Current Hardcover (2011)

The most disruptive force on the planet resides in DNA. Biotech companies and academic researchers are just beginning to unlock the potential of piecing together life from scratch.

Champions of synthetic biology believe that turning genetic code into Lego-like blocks to build never-before-seen organisms could solve the thorniest challenges in medicine, energy, and environmental protection.

But as the hackers who cracked open the potential of the personal… read more

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

July 19, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2011)

Amazon | A leading brain scientist’s look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he… read more

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

March 17, 2011

In The Plex book cover

Author:
Steven Levy
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2011)

Amazon | Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters — the Googleplex — to show how Google works.

While they were… read more

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

March 16, 2011

The Origins of Political Order book cover

Author:
Francis Fukuyama
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s… read more

Beyond Humanity?: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement

January 5, 2011

beyond humanity

Author:
Allen E. Buchanan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2011)

Amazon | Biotechnologies already on the horizon will enable us to be smarter, have better memories, be stronger and quicker, have more stamina, live longer, be more resistant to diseases, and enjoy richer emotional lives. To some of us, these prospects are heartening; to others, they are dreadful. In Beyond Humanity a leading philosopher offers a powerful and controversial exploration of urgent ethical issues concerning human enhancement.… read more

Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

November 30, 2010

infinitereality

Author:
Jim Blascovich, Jeremy Bailenson
Publisher:
William Morrow (2011)

Harper Collins | How far off is the science in the film Avatar? Do our brains know where “reality” ends and “virtual” begins? Where is technology leading us? Two leading authorities in the field of virtual reality answer these questions and more as they examine the possibilities and potential of emerging digital technologies to free our minds and change our understanding of what it means to be… read more

The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death

May 9, 2011

Immortalization Commission book Cover

Author:
John Gray
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas — from psychiatry to evolution to communism — seemed to suggest that our fate was… read more

When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies

May 6, 2011

When Gadgets Betray Us

Author:
Robert Vamosi
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Technology is evolving faster than we are. As our mobile phones, mp3 players, cars, and digital cameras become more and more complex, we understand less and less about how they actually work and what personal details these gadgets might reveal about us.

Robert Vamosi, an award-winning journalist and analyst who has been covering digital security issues for more than a decade, shows us the dark… read more

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