bookshelf by year

A Newer World: Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis

December 10, 2012

A Newer World

year published |
2012

Here is a story that has not previously been adequately told: the story of the developments, trends, and visionary people that are, in many ways, mitigating the climate crisis and turning sustainable development into reality, not just a grand concept. In A Newer World, the environmentalist Bill Hewitt explores the advances in business and finance, politics, design, science, and engineering that are transforming the world around us right now,… read more

Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power

November 5, 2013

Smarter

author |
Dan Hurley
year published |
2013

Can you make yourself, your kids, and your parents smarter?

Expanding upon one of the most-read New York Times Magazine features of 2012, Smarter penetrates the hot new field of intelligence research to reveal what researchers call a revolution in human intellectual abilities. Shattering decades of dogma, scientists began publishing studies in 2008 showing that “fluid intelligence”—the ability to learn, solve novel problems, and get to the heart of things—can be increased… read more

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

February 24, 2014

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author |
Julia Angwin
year published |
2014

An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched.

We see online ads from websites we’ve visited, long after we’ve moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what’s in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive… read more

Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges

July 31, 2014

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author |
Andrew McAfee
year published |
2009

“Web 2.0″ is the portion of the Internet that’s interactively produced by many people; it includes Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, and prediction markets. In just a few years, Web 2.0 communities have demonstrated astonishing levels of innovation, knowledge accumulation, collaboration, and collective intelligence.

Now, leading organizations are bringing the Web’s novel tools and philosophies inside, creating Enterprise 2.0. In this book, Andrew McAfee shows how they’re doing this,… read more

After Physics

February 2, 2015

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author |
David Z Albert
year published |
2015

After Physics presents ambitious new essays about some of the deepest questions at the foundations of physics, by the physicist and philosopher David Albert. The book’s title alludes to the close connections between physics and metaphysics, much in evidence throughout these essays. It also alludes to the work of imagining what it would be like for the project of physical science—considered as an investigation into the fundamental laws of… read more

Speak

September 22, 2015

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author |
Louisa Hall
year published |
2015

A thoughtful, poignant novel that explores the creation of Artificial Intelligence—illuminating the very human need for communication, connection, and understanding.

In a narrative that spans geography and time, from the Atlantic Ocean in the seventeenth century, to a correctional institute in Texas in the near future, and told from the perspectives of five very different characters, Speak considers what it means to be human, and what it means… read more

On Intelligence

July 14, 2010

On Intelligence

author |
Jeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee
year published |
2005

Amazon | Hawkins designed the technical innovations that make handheld computers like the Palm Pilot ubiquitous. But he also has a lifelong passion for the mysteries of the brain, and he’s convinced that artificial intelligence theorists are misguided in focusing on the limits of computational power rather than on the nature of human thought. He “pops the hood” of the neocortex and carefully articulates a theory of consciousness and… read more

The Lifecycle of Software Objects

August 3, 2010

Lifecycle of Software Objects

author |
Ted Chiang
year published |
2010

Amazon | Is science fiction a literature of ideas, or of characters? Works that focus on the former often neglect the latter, and vice versa. It’s very difficult to examine complex abstractions and simultaneously articulate the mechanisms of fiction: most writers who attempt this balancing act end up throttling back on the ideas, or fail sideways into technical writing. So Chiang’s novella–the second piece he’s ever published that’s long… read more

Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age

December 16, 2010

program-programmed

author |
Douglas Rushkoff
year published |
2010

Amazon | Today’s leading media theorist offers everyone a practical yet mind-blowing guide to our digital world. The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: it’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let… read more

Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

February 8, 2011

Sizing Up the Universe

author |
J. Richard Gott, Robert J. Vanderbei
year published |
2010

Amazon | Sizing Up the Universe reveals an ingenious new way to envision the outsize proportions of space, based on the work of Princeton University professors Richard Gott and Robert Vanderbei. Using scaled maps, object comparisons, and beautiful space photographs, it demonstrates the actual size of objects in the cosmos — from Buz Aldrin’s historic footprint to the visible universe and beyond. The authors offer visual comparisons with… read more

The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos

July 6, 2011

Book of Universes cover

author |
John D. Barrow
year published |
2011

Amazon | Einstein’s theory of general relativity opens the door to other universes, and weird universes at that: universes that allow time travel, universes where you can see the back of your head, universes that spin and bounce or multiply without limit. The Book of Universes gives us a stunning tour of these potential universes, introducing us along the way to the brilliant physicists and mathematicians who first revealed… read more

Physics for Future Presidents: The Science Behind the Headlines

October 5, 2011

physicsforpresidents

author |
Richard A. Muller
year published |
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

Existence

May 24, 2012

existence

author |
David Brin
year published |
2012

Amazon | Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in,… read more

Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture

December 27, 2013

uncharted_book

author |
Erez Aiden, Jean-Baptiste Michel
year published |
2013

“One of the most exciting developments from the world of ideas in decades, presented with panache by two frighteningly brilliant, endearingly unpretentious, and endlessly creative young scientists.” — Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

Our society has gone from writing snippets of information by hand to generating a vast flood of 1s and 0s that record almost every aspect of our lives: who we know,… read more

Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer (The Frontiers Collection)

March 24, 2014

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author |
Henry P. Stapp
year published |
2011

The classical mechanistic idea of nature that prevailed in science during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was an essentially mindless conception: the physically described aspects of nature were asserted to be completely determined by prior physically described aspects alone, with our conscious experiences entering only passively. During the twentieth century the classical concepts were found to be inadequate. In the new theory, quantum mechanics, our conscious experiences enter into… read more

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