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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

Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right from Wrong

December 28, 2011

moral

Author:
Wendell Wallach, Colin Allen
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2010)

Amazon | Computers are already approving financial transactions, controlling electrical supplies, and driving trains. Soon, service robots will be taking care of the elderly in their homes, and military robots will have their own targeting and firing protocols. Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach argue that as robots take on more and more responsibility, they must be programmed with moral decision-making abilities, for our own safety. Taking a fast… read more

Neural Networks and Analog Computation: Beyond the Turing Limit

April 9, 2012

neuralnetworksandanalogcomputation

Author:
Hava T. Siegelmann
Publisher:
Birkhäuser Boston (1998)

Amazon | The theoretical foundations of Neural Networks and Analog Computation conceptualize neural networks as a particular type of computer consisting of multiple assemblies of basic processors interconnected in an intricate structure. Examining these networks under various resource constraints reveals a continuum of computational devices, several of which coincide with well-known classical models. On a mathematical level, the treatment of neural computations enriches the theory of computation but also… read more

How To Save Jobs: Reinventing Business, Reinvigorating Work, and Reawakening the American Dream

August 11, 2012

howtosavejobscover-270w

Author:
David Gewirtz
Publisher:
ZATZ Publishing (2010)

The mission of How To Save Jobs is to help America create 20 to 30 million new jobs in the next five years. It’s ambitious, but necessary.

The How To Save Jobs book starts by answering the question, “How did we get here?” The answer to that question provides a shocking and disturbing look into how changes worldwide have created enormous disruption in the very nature… read more

Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will

October 20, 2012

hacking_your_education

Author:
Dale J. Stephens
Publisher:
Perigee Trade (2013)

It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops 1 trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a better way to “make it” in today’s marketplace.

There is — and Dale Stephens is proof of… 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

Brave New World

December 18, 2013

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition

Author:
Aldous Huxley
Publisher:
Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006)

A towering classic of dystopian satire, BRAVE NEW WORLD is a brilliant and terrifying vision of a soulless society—and of one man who discovers the human costs of mindless conformity.

Hundreds of years in the future, the World Controllers have created an ideal civilization. Its members, shaped by genetic engineering and behavioral conditioning, are productive and content in roles they have been assigned at conception. Government-sanctioned drugs and recreational… read more

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future

June 23, 2014

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Author:
Ed Finn, Kathryn Cramer
Publisher:
William Morrow (2014)

Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space… read more

Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet

April 9, 2009

sherry_book

Author:
Sherry Turkle
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (1997)

Life on the Screen is a book not about computers, but about people and how computers are causing us to reevaluate our identities in the age of the Internet. We are using life on the screen to engage in new ways of thinking about evolution, relationships, politics, sex, and the self. Life on the Screen traces a set of boundary negotiations, telling the story of the changing impact of… read more

Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III

July 13, 2010

Counterspace: The Next Hours of World War III

Author:
William B. Scott, Michael J. Coumatos, William J. Birnes
Publisher:
Forge Books (2009)

Amazon | In Space Wars, Scott, Coumatos, and Birnes created a fascinating war gaming scenario of how World War III might unfold in above the Earth’s surface.  Now this thrilling team of writers reunites with Counterspace, an even more chilling fictionalized look at America’s most catastrophic fears.

What if North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon in space and silenced dozens of satellites?

What if an Iranian missile… read more

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

July 16, 2010

Forever For All: Moral Philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality

Author:
R. Michael Perry
Publisher:
Universal Publishers (2000)

Amazon | This book considers the problems of death and the hereafter and how these ages-old problems ought to be addressed in light of our continuing progress. A materialistic viewpoint of reality is assumed, denying the likelihood of supernatural or other superhuman assistance. Death, however, is not seen as inevitable or even irreversible; it is maintained that the problem can and should be addressed scientifically in all of its… read more

Robot Builder’s Bonanza, Third Edition

February 3, 2011

Robot Builder's Bonanza, Third Edition Cover

Author:
Gordon McComb
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2006)

This is the ultimate guide for building and experimenting with robots.  It is also the best selling hobby robotics books.  A whopping 700 pages it contains virtually everything there is to know about modern robotics including  how to convert a toy into a robot, speech systhesis and recognition, vision/robotic eyes, collision detection and avoidance  and the computer programming required to tie everything together to make it work.… read more

Homo Evolutis

March 16, 2011

Homo Evolutis cover

Author:
Juan Enriquez, Steve Gullans
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services (2011)

Amazon | There have been at least 25 prototype humans. We are but one more model, and there is no evidence evolution has stopped. So unless you think Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are the be all and end all of creation, and it just does not get any better, then one has to ask what is next? Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, two of the world’s… 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

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

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