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Thinking, Fast and Slow

December 14, 2011

thinkingfastandslow

Author:
Daniel Kahneman
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | Drawing on decades of research in psychology that resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman takes readers on an exploration of what influences thought example by example, sometimes with unlikely word pairs like “vomit and banana.” System 1 and System 2, the fast and slow types of thinking, become characters that illustrate the psychology behind things we think we understand but really don’t,… read more

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World

December 13, 2011

knocking-on-heavens-door-cover

Author:
Lisa Randall
Publisher:
Ecco (2011)

Amazon |  From one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives.

The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument

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Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

December 5, 2011

Connectome-Seung-Sebastian-9780547508184

Author:
Sebastian Seung
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2012)

Amazon | The bold and thrilling quest to finally understand the brain — and along with it our mental afflictions, from depression to autism — by a rising star in neuroscience.

Sebastian Seung, a dynamic young professor at MIT, is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells… read more

Steve Jobs

October 24, 2011

Steve-Jobs-Book

Author:
Walter Isaacson
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2011)

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years — as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues — Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital… read more

Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy

October 24, 2011

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Author:
Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
Publisher:
Digital Frontier Press (2011)

Amazon | Why has median income stopped rising in the US? Why is the share of population that is working falling so rapidly? Why are our economy and society are becoming more unequal?

A popular explanation right now is that the root cause underlying these symptoms is technological stagnation — a slowdown in the kinds of ideas and inventions that bring progress and prosperity.

In Race Against theread more

The Instant Physicist: An Illustrated Guide

October 5, 2011

instantphysicist

Author:
Richard A. Muller
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2010)

Amazon | Wine is radioactive? Organic foods have more poison in them than those grown with pesticides? Best-selling author Richard A. Muller enlightens us.

Richard A. Muller demonstrated in his recent bestseller, Physics for Future Presidents, that he has a unique talent for delivering the “aha” moment — making difficult topics accessible. In The Instant Physicist he shows his ability to entertain, too, by presenting the best of the scientific… read more

Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines

October 5, 2011

physicsforpresidents

Author:
Richard A. Muller
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2008)

Amazon | Learn the science behind the headlines — the tools of terrorists, the dangers of nuclear power, and the reality of global warming. We live in complicated, dangerous times. They are also hyper-technical times.

As citizens who will elect future presidents of the most powerful and influential country in the world, we need to know — truly understand, not just rely on television’s talking heads — if Iran’s… read more

Physics and Technology for Future Presidents: An Introduction to the Essential Physics Every World Leader Needs to Know

October 5, 2011

Physics-and-Technology-for-Future-Presidents-9780691135045

Author:
Richard A. Muller
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2010)

Amazon | Physics and Technology for Future Presidents contains the essential physics that students need in order to understand today’s core science and technology issues, and to become the next generation of world leaders. From the physics of energy to climate change, and from spy technology to quantum computers, this is the only textbook to focus on the modern physics affecting the decisions of political leaders and CEOs… read more

Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

October 4, 2011

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Amazon | A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla — considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago — fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis.

From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to… read more

Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

October 4, 2011

power-sex-suicide-mitochondria-meaning-life-nick-lane-paperback-cover-art

Author:
Nick Lane
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2006)

Amazon | If it weren’t for mitochondria, scientists argue, we’d all still be single-celled bacteria. Indeed, these tiny structures inside our cells are important beyond imagining. Without mitochondria, we would have no cell suicide, no sculpting of embryonic shape, no sexes, no menopause, no aging.

In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Nick Lane brings together the latest research in this exciting field to show how our… read more

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

October 4, 2011

Dawkins Final

Author:
Richard Dawkins
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back… read more

Reamde: A Novel

October 4, 2011

reamde

Author:
Neal Stephenson
Publisher:
William Morrow (2011)

Amazon | Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow CrashThe Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British… read more

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

September 12, 2011

making of second life

Author:
Wagner James Au
Publisher:
HarperBusiness (2008)

Amazon | The wholly virtual world known as Second Life has attracted more than a million active users, millions of dollars, and created its own — very real — economy.

The Making of Second Life is the behind-the-scenes story of the Web 2.0 revolution’s most improbable enterprise: the creation of a virtual 3-D world with its own industries, culture, and social systems. Now the toast of the Internet economy,… read more

The Extended Mind

September 12, 2011

extendedmind

Author:
Richard Menary
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2010)

Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? In their famous 1998 paper “The Extended Mind,” philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers posed this question and answered it provocatively: cognitive processes “ain’t all in the head.” The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument excited a vigorous debate among… read more

End of Days

September 12, 2011

EndofDays

Author:
Robert Gleason
Publisher:
Forge Books (2011)

Amazon | Lydia Lozen Magruder — the great-granddaughter of a female Apache war-shaman — has seen visions of the End since childhood. She has constructed a massive ranch-fortress in the American Southwest, stocked with everything necessary to rebuild civilization.

Now her visions are coming true. John Stone, once a baseball star and now a famous gonzo journalist, stumbled across a plan to blast humanity back to the stone… read more

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