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Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers

April 4, 2011

Be Different book cover

Author:
John Elder Robison
Publisher:
Crown Archetype (2011)

Amazon | “I believe those of us with Asperger’s are here for a reason, and we have much to offer. This book will help you bring out those gifts.”

In his bestselling memoir, Look Me in the Eye, John Elder Robison described growing up with Asperger’s syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn’t exist. He was intelligent but socially isolated; his talents won him jobs with… read more

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

May 2, 2011

Supercooperators

Author:
Martin Nowak, Roger Highfield
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Evolution is often presented as a strictly competitive endeavor. This point of view has had serious implications for the way we see the mechanics of both science and culture. But scientists have long wondered how societies could have evolved without some measure of cooperation. And if there was cooperation involved, how could it have arisen from nature “red in tooth and claw”?

Martin Nowak,… read more

Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

August 24, 2011

quantumman

Author:
Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | A gripping new scientific biography of the revered Nobel Prize–winning physicist (and curious character).

Perhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear… read more

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better

April 4, 2011

Future Babble book cover

Author:
Dan Gardner
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2011)

Amazon | An award-winning journalist uses landmark research to debunk the whole expert prediction industry, and explores the psychology of our obsession with future history.

In 2008, experts predicted gas would hit $20 a gallon; it peaked at $4.10. In 1967, they said the USSR would be the world’s fastest-growing economy by 2000; by 2000, the USSR no longer existed. In 1908, it was pronounced that… read more

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines — and How It Will Change Our Lives

February 16, 2011

Beyond Boundaries cover

Author:
Miguel Nicolelis
Publisher:
Times Books (2011)

Amazon | A pioneering neuroscientist shows how the long-sought merger of brains with machines is about to become a paradigm-shifting reality.

Imagine living in a world where people use their computers, drive their cars, and communicate with one another simply by thinking. In this stunning and inspiring work, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis shares his revolutionary insights into how the brain creates thought and the human sense… read more

Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth

April 4, 2011

Deep Future book cover

Author:
Curt Stager
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books (2011)

Amazon | A bold, far-reaching look at how our actions will decide the planet’s future for millennia to come.

Imagine a planet where North American and Eurasian navies are squaring off over shipping lanes through an acidified, ice-free Arctic. Centuries later, their northern descendants retreat southward as the recovering sea freezes over again. And later still, future nations plan how to avert an approaching Ice Age… by… read more

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

March 11, 2011

Physics of the Future book cover

Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Publisher’s Weekly | Kaku (Physics of the Impossible), a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, gathers ideas from more than 300 experts, scientists, and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields, to offer a glimpse of what the next 100 years may bring. The predictions all conform to certain ground rules (e.g., “Prototypes of all technologies mentioned… already exist”), and some seem obvious (computer chips… read more

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

November 5, 2012

The World As It Is

Author:
Chris Hedges
Publisher:
Nation Books (2011)

Drawing on two decades of experience as a war correspondent and based on his numerous columns for Truthdig, Chris Hedges presents The World As It Is, a panorama of the American empire at home and abroad, from the coarsening effect of America’s War on Terror to the front lines in the Middle East and South Asia and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Underlying his reportage is a constant… read more

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (P.S.)

November 26, 2012

Words and Rules

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (2011)

How does language work? How do we learn to speak? Why do languages change? Why do they have so many quirks? What does language reveal about the mind?

Steven Pinker explores the mysteries of language in this original and hugely entertaining book. Pinker uses a deceptively simple phenomenon—regular and irregular verbs—to illuminate an astonishing array of topics: the history of languages, what we can learn from children’s grammatical… read more

The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

March 30, 2011

The Longevity Project book cover

Author:
Howard S. Friedman, Leslie R. Martin
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2011)

Amazon | This landmark study — which Dr. Andrew Weil calls “a remarkable achievement with surprising conclusions” — upends the advice we have been told about how to live to a healthy old age.

We have been told that the key to longevity involves obsessing over what we eat, how much we stress, and how fast we run. Based on the most extensive study of longevity ever conducted, Theread more

Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas

March 30, 2011

Brainsteering book cover

Author:
Kevin P. Coyne, Shawn T. Coyne
Publisher:
HarperBusiness (2011)

Amazon | Change the way you think about new ideas by steering your creativity in new and more productive directions.

Ideas. Whether the goal is to create a billion-dollar business, fix a broken process, reduce expenses, or simply find the perfect gift for that special someone, we all need a steady stream of breakthrough ideas — and we’ve all learned from experience that traditional brainstorming doesn’t generate… read more

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding — And How We Can Improve the World Even More

December 29, 2010

GettingBetter

Author:
Charles Kenny
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | As the income gap between developed and developing nations grows, so grows the cacophony of voices claiming that the quest to find a simple recipe for economic growth has failed. Getting Better, in sharp contrast, reports the good news about global progress. Economist Charles Kenny argues against development naysayers by pointing to the evidence of widespread improvements in health, education, peace, liberty — and even happiness.… read more

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

March 8, 2011

The Information book cover

Author:
James Gleick
Publisher:
Pantheon (2011)

Amazon | James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality — the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as… read more

The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

March 8, 2011

The Most Human Human book cover

Author:
Brian Christian
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Amazon | The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can “think.”

Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Tur­ing Test convenes a panel of judges who… read more

The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts

March 30, 2011

The New Cool book cover

Author:
Neal Bascomb
Publisher:
Crown (2011)

Amazon | That Monday afternoon, in high-school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory. But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing.  A physics teacher with a dream — the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur… read more

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