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Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence

May 8, 2013

Natural Born Cyborgs

author |
Andy Clark
year published |
2003

From Robocop to the Terminator to Eve 8, no image better captures our deepest fears about technology than the cyborg, the person who is both flesh and metal, brain and electronics. But philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark sees it differently. Cyborgs, he writes, are not something to be feared–we already are cyborgs.

In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Clark argues that what makes humans so different from other species is our… read more

The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution

October 7, 2013

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author |
Dean Falk
year published |
2012

Two discoveries of early human relatives, one in 1924 and one in 2003, radically changed scientific thinking about our origins. Dean Falk, a pioneer in the field of human brain evolution, offers this fast-paced insider’s account of these discoveries, the behind-the-scenes politics embroiling the scientists who found and analyzed them, and the academic and religious controversies they generated.

The first is the Taung child, a two-million-year-old skull from South… read more

The Techno-Human Shell: A Jump in the Evolutionary Gap

January 20, 2014

The Techno-Human Shell Cover.

author |
Joseph Carvalko
year published |
2013

Medical technology now verges on incorporating computers with the computational power of the famous Watson IBM computer and Internet-like communications directly into our anatomy.

As the size and complexity of computers spiral downward, the wholesale use of these devices (as well as RFID-type technology) will become as common as a present vaccine. These initiatives will extend lifetimes, keep us younger longer and enhance our intelligence.

Related to… read more

Robots on Strike!

May 28, 2014

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author |
Sean Dowd
year published |
2013

More than science fiction, a way of considering how robots and automation could change the way global economy and politics work. The story takes us through the life of a supply chain and robotics tycoon as his new innovations present a quite unexpected result. How can robots go on strike? They were hard-wired to obey humans, so how could it possibly happen? The three laws of robotics could have… read more

Pandora’s Brain

September 4, 2015

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author |
Calum Chace
year published |
2014

Around half the scientists researching artificial intelligence (AI) think that a conscious AI at or beyond human level will be created by 2050. If they are right, the consequence could be an intelligence explosion, in which the AI rapidly and enormously exceeds human cognitive ability.

Pandora’s Brain is a techno-thriller by best-selling writer Calum Chace. It uses the issues raised by the coming machine intelligence explosion as a platform… read more

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

July 8, 2010

The Edge of Physics cover

author |
Anil Ananthaswamy
year published |
2010

Amazon | Despite 20th-century physics’ revelations, from relativity and quantum mechanics to the physics of the atom’s nucleus and the life cycles of stars, ninety-odd percent of the universe is a complete mystery, says a scientist quoted by Ananthaswamy, a consulting editor for New Scientist. Dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity: these are the topics that keep physicists awake at night, requiring bigger, more massive, more extreme experiments to test… read more

Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly over the Edge

July 16, 2010

Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge

author |
Ed Regis
year published |
1991

Amazon | Author of the delightful Who Got Einstein’s Office?, Regis here presents a hilarious but nevertheless sympathetic look at practitioners of “fin-de-siecle hubristic mania.”

These are the scientific visionaries who are plotting “post-biological man,” scheming to build giant space colony/stations to orbit around the Earth, use microscopic robots (nanotechnology) to resurrect humans frozen in liquid nitrogen, raise chickens in higher gravity fields and project human minds via… read more

Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long The Human Race Will Survive

October 29, 2010

Apocalypse When?

author |
Willard Wells
year published |
2009

Amazon | This book will be a key trailblazer in a new and upcoming field. The author’s predictive approach relies on simple and intuitive probability formulations that will appeal to readers with a modest knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and statistics. Wells’s carefully erected theory stands on a sure footing and thus should serve as the basis of many rational predictions of survival in the face of not only natural… read more

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels)

February 3, 2011

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author |
Richard K. Morgan
year published |
2003

Amazon | In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body… read more

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

May 4, 2011

The Inner Pulse book cover

author |
Marc Siegel
year published |
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

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

August 24, 2011

quantumman

author |
Lawrence M. Krauss
year published |
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

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science

January 12, 2012

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author |
Michael Nielsen
year published |
2011

Amazon | In Reinventing Discovery, Michael Nielsen argues that we are living at the dawn of the most dramatic change in science in more than 300 years. This change is being driven by powerful new cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, which are greatly accelerating scientific discovery. There are many books about how the internet is changing business or the workplace or government. But this is the first… read more

Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing

April 30, 2012

amimygenes

author |
Robert Klitzman
year published |
2012

Amazon | In the fifty years since DNA was discovered, we have seen extraordinary advances. For example, genetic testing has rapidly improved the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Huntington’s, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s. But with this new knowledge comes difficult decisions for countless people, who wrestle with fear about whether to get tested, and if so, what to do with the results.

Am I Myread more

Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers

September 4, 2012

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author |
Felice C. Frankel, Angela H. DePace
year published |
2012

Any scientist or engineer who communicates research results will immediately recognize this practical handbook as an indispensable tool. The guide sets out clear strategies and offers abundant examples to assist researchers — even those with no previous design training — with creating effective visual graphics for use in multiple contexts, including journal submissions, grant proposals, conference posters, or presentations.

Visual communicator Felice Frankel and systems biologist… read more

Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny

October 26, 2012

nonzero

author |
Robert Wright
year published |
2001

In his bestselling The Moral Animal, Robert Wright applied the principles of evolutionary biology to the study of the human mind. Now Wright attempts something even more ambitious: explaining the direction of evolution and human history–and discerning where history will lead us next.

In Nonzero: The Logic of Human DestinyWright asserts that, ever since the primordial ooze, life has followed a basic pattern. Organisms and human societies alike… read more

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