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Stones of Significance

October 26, 2012

stonessignificancecover

Author:
David Brin
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2011)

Heard of the “singularity”? A time of transition that some perceive just ahead of us, when our skill and knowledge and immense computing power transform us into… well… godlike beings? An immense topic! But from a writer’s perspective, it presents a problem. One can write stories leading up to the singularity, about all the problems. (Little things like rebellious AI.) But how do you write a tale set AFTER… read more

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better

June 29, 2011

The Great Stagnation book cover

Author:
Tyler Cowen
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2011)

Amazon | Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation, the eSpecial heard round the world that ignited a firestorm of debate and redefined the nature of our economic malaise, is now — at last — a book.

America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, media wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get… read more

You Are Not Your Brain: The Four-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

June 16, 2011

You Are Not Your Brain book cover

Author:
Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Rebecca Gladding
Publisher:
Avery (2011)

Amazon | Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for… read more

Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future — and Locked Us In

June 30, 2011

Always On book cover

Author:
Brian X. Chen
Publisher:
Da Capo Press (2011)

Amazon | Even Steve Jobs didn’t know what he had on his hands when he announced the original iPhone as a combination of a mere “three revolutionary products” — an iPod, a cell phone, and a keyboard-less handheld computer. Once Apple introduced the App Store and opened it up to outside developers, however, the iPhone became capable of serving a rapidly growing number of functions — now more than… read more

Robopocalypse: A Novel

June 2, 2011

Robopocalypse book cover

Author:
Daniel H. Wilson
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Amazon | They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies…Now they’re coming for you.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online… read more

The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives

August 4, 2011

Sorcerers and Their Apprentices book cover

Author:
Frank Moss
Publisher:
Crown Business (2011)

Amazon | If you’ve ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you’ve experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the Media Lab over the past 25 years. But that’s old hat for today’s researchers, who… read more

First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began

June 7, 2011

First Life book cover

Author:
David Deamer
Publisher:
University of California Press (2011)

Amazon | This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life’s connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals,… read more

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change the World

July 6, 2011

The Seven Spiritual Laws book cover

Author:
Deepak Chopra
Publisher:
HarperOne (2011)

Amazon | Given the volatile state of the world, it is no coincidence that superheroes have captured our imagination like never before. Everywhere you look, superheroes have broken free from their comic book pages and become a dynamic aspect of the culture at large. Superheroes are imbued with magical powers that challenge the laws of space and time, offering us a vision of a world that can change.… read more

Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can do At Home – But Probably Shouldn’t

March 1, 2012

MadScience

Author:
Theodore Gray
Publisher:
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (2011)

Amazon | In Mad Science, Theodore Gray launches a toy rocket using the energy released from an Oreo cookie, ignites a phosphorus sun by suspending half a gram of white phosphorus in a globe filled with pure oxygen and creates a homemade hot tub by adding 500 pounds of quicklime to water. These are just a few of the 54 experiments included in this astonishing book that demonstrates essential scientific principles… read more

Landscape of the Mind: Human Evolution and the Archaeology of Thought

April 21, 2011

Landscape of the Mind book cover

Author:
John F. Hoffecker
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2011)

Amazon | John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the mind, drawing on information from the human fossil record, archaeology, and history. Hoffecker argues that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion, early humans developed a feedback relationship among their hands, brains, and tools, evolving the capacity to externalize thoughts in the form of shaped stone objects. When anatomically modern humans evolved a parallel capacity to… read more

Zendegi

November 27, 2012

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Author:
Greg Egan
Publisher:
Night Shade Books (2011)

In the near future, journalist Martin Seymour travels to Iran to cover the parliamentary elections. Most would-be opposition candidates are disqualified and the election becomes the non-event the world expects. But shortly afterward a compromising image of a government official captured on a mobile phone triggers a revolutionary movement that overthrows the old theocracy.

Nasim Golestani, a young Iranian scientist living in exile in the United States, is hoping… read more

The Quantum Thief

April 6, 2011

The Quantum Thief book cover

Author:
Hannu Rajaniemi
Publisher:
Tor Books (2011)

Amazon | Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy — from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before… read more

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

The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self

July 6, 2011

The Shadow Effect book cover

Author:
Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Debbie Ford
Publisher:
HarperOne (2011)

Amazon | Three beloved teachers, one incredible journey.

New York Times bestselling authors and internationally acclaimed leaders in the field of new thought, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson have joined together to share their knowledge on one of the most crucial obstacles to happiness we face — the shadow. These three luminaries, each with a signature approach, bring to light the parts of ourselves we deny… read more

The Mind and the Machine: What It Means to Be Human and Why It Matters

June 17, 2011

The Mind and the Machine book cover

Author:
Matthew Dickerson
Publisher:
Brazos Press (2011)

Amazon | What does it mean to be human? Some naturalists believe that the human mind can be reduced to brain biology, suggesting that we are no more than complex biochemical machines. Computer scientist Matthew Dickerson critiques a physicalist/naturalist view of human persons and defends theistic accounts of human nature. He responds to the widespread assertion that human consciousness is nothing more than “software” that can one… read more

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