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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

Living with the Genie: Essays On Technology And The Quest For Human Mastery

June 16, 2011

Living with the Genie book cover

Author:
Alan Lightman, Daniel Sarewitz, Christina Desser
Publisher:
Island Press (2004)

Amazon | Biotechnology, Cloning, Robotics, Nanotechnology…

At a time when scientific and technological breakthroughs keep our eyes focused on the latest software upgrades or the newest cell-phone wizardry, a group of today’s most innovative thinkers are looking beyond the horizon to explore both the promise and the peril of our technological future.

Human ingenuity has granted us a world of unprecedented personal power — enabling us to… read more

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

August 4, 2011

Cyber War book cover

Author:
Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake
Publisher:
Ecco (2010)

Amazon | Richard A. Clarke warned America once before about the havoc terrorism would wreak on our national security — and he was right. Now he warns us of another threat, silent but equally dangerous. Cyber War is a powerful book about technology, government, and military strategy; about criminals, spies, soldiers, and hackers. This is the first book about the war of the future — cyber war — and a convincing argument… read more

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them

April 18, 2012

emotionalifeofyourbrain

Author:
Richard J. Davidson, Sharon Begley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2012)

Amazon | This longawaited book by a pioneer in brain research offers a new model of our emotions — their origins, their power, and their malleability.

For more than thirty years, Richard Davidson has been at the forefront of brain research. Now he gives us an entirely new model for understanding our emotions, as well as practical strategies we can use to change them.

Davidson has discovered that personality… read more

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale

August 17, 2012

no_small_matter_book

Author:
Felice C. Frankel, George M. Whitesides
Publisher:
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2009)

A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can’t see it. This book uses dazzling images and evocative descriptions to reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience. An introduction to the science and technology of small things, No Small Matter explains science on the nanoscale.

Authors Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides offer an overview of recent scientific advances… read more

Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming

December 18, 2013

Pardon_the_disruption_book

Author:
Clayton R. Rawlings, James Randall Smith, Rob Bencini
Publisher:
Wasteland Press (2013)

Pardon The Disruption high-lights the exponential advances in technology that have disrupted the legal system and the economy over time – but those changes will pale in comparison to what is about to occur! The book is written in two parts: the first part discusses the effect – past and projected future – on the legal system; the second part, on the economy. The two come together in a conclusive… read more

Extreme Planets: A Science Fiction Anthology of Alien Worlds

March 19, 2014

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Author:
David Conyers, David Kernot, Jeff Harris
Publisher:
Chaosium Inc. (2014)

Two decades ago astronomers confirmed the existence of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. Today more than 800 such worlds have been identified, and scientists now estimate that at least 160 billion star-bound planets are to be found in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. But more surprising is just how diverse and bizarre those worlds are.

Extreme Planets is a science fiction anthology of stories set on… read more

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

April 9, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil

At the onset of the twenty-first century, humanity stands on the verge of the most transforming and the most thrilling period in its history. It will be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged, as our species breaks the shackles of its genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity.

For over… read more

Global Catastrophic Risks

April 9, 2009

global catastrophic risks

Author:
Martin Rees
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2008)

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks, 26 leading experts look at… read more

ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century

July 14, 2010

ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century

Author:
Susan Greenfield
Publisher:
Sceptre (2009)

Amazon | If you’ve ever wondered what effect video games have on your children’s minds or worried about how much private information the government and big companies know about you, ID is essential reading. Professor Susan Greenfield argues persuasively that our individuality is under the microscope as never before; now more then ever we urgently need to look at what we want for ourselves as individuals and for our… read more

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

July 16, 2010

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

Author:
Christopher Dewdney
Publisher:
HarperCollins Canada (1998)

Media Studies | Last Flesh has a decidedly optimistic tone, reminiscent of McLuhan’s catholic embrace of human creativity and ingenuity. Like McLuhan, Dewdney harbours the poet’s desire for sublime transcendence, and the evolution of human capacity.  As a poet, Dewdney has always been at home in the material world of science; in fact, much of his poetry attempts to integrate the documentary impulses of the sciences with the imaginative… read more

Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century

November 30, 2010

PortraitsMind_cover

Author:
Carl Schoonover
Publisher:
Abrams (2010)

Amazon | Portraits of the Mind follows the fascinating history of our exploration of the brain through images, from medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, allowing us to see the fantastic networks in the brain as never before. These black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world,… read more

Robotics Demystified

February 7, 2011

Robotics_demystified_a

Author:
Edwin Wise
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Professional (2004)

This is a self-teaching guide approach to introductory robotics, guiding readers through the essential electronics, mechanics, and programming skills necessary to build their first robot.  Each lesson in robotics is presented step by step with exercises to reinforce the ideas of each lesson. Topics include essential electronics, mechanics, and programming concepts, mobile, industrial, and research ‘bots, and how to make robots sense and think.

The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death

May 9, 2011

Immortalization Commission book Cover

Author:
John Gray
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas — from psychiatry to evolution to communism — seemed to suggest that our fate was… read more

Your Brain: The Missing Manual

June 23, 2011

Your Brain: The Missing Manual book cover

Author:
Matthew MacDonald
Publisher:
Pogue Press (2008)

Amazon | Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people — Baby Boomers and information workers in particular — are becoming concerned about their gray matter’s ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep.

Your Brain:read more

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