bookshelf by year

Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies — and What It Means to Be Human

April 9, 2009
author |
Joel Garreau
year published |
2005

Washington Post reporter Garreau takes readers on a cross-country trip into the future as he interviews scientists and other thinkers grappling with the implications of our newfound—and, to some, frightening—knowledge of the genome. Highlighting what he calls “the Curve”—the rate of exponential change in technology—Garreau (Edge City: Life on the New Frontier) breaks the central part of his book into four scenarios. In “Heaven,” genetic engineering will… read more

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

July 8, 2010

The Empathic Civilization cover

author |
Jeremy Rifkin
year published |
2009

Amazon | Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the… read more

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

July 16, 2010

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

author |
Roger Penrose
year published |
1996

Amazon | A leading critic of artificial intelligence research returns to the attack, attempting to lay the groundwork for an analysis of the true nature of intelligence. Building on his arguments in The Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose (Mathematics/Oxford) begins by refuting the assertion that true intelligence can be attained–or even adequately simulated–by the strictly computational means to which current computers are ultimately limited. Much of his argument depends closely… read more

After the Software Wars

November 16, 2010

afterthesoftwarewars

author |
Keith Cary Curtis
year published |
2009

Keithcu Press | Given currently available technology, we should already have cars that drive us around in absolute safety, leaving us to lounge comfortably in the back while sipping champagne. We have all the hardware — the video cameras, motion sensors and high powered computers — and we’ve had this technology for decades. So why don’t cars drive themselves?

The answer is that we don’t have the software.… read more

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots

February 3, 2011

absolutebeginnersguide

author |
Gareth Branwyn
year published |
2003

If you have an interest in robotics, but not sure how to get started, this could be the right book to get past that hurdle. It covers basic skills like soldering and programming, and steps you through how to build three simple robots.  The reader is gently led through an easy to follow robot building procedure with a list and photo of the parts needed to build the… read more

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

March 16, 2011

The Origins of Political Order book cover

author |
Francis Fukuyama
year published |
2011

Amazon | Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s… read more

H+/-: Transhumanism and Its Critics

May 5, 2011

H+/- Transhumanism and Its Critics book cover

author |
Gregory R. Hansell, William Grassie
year published |
2011

William Grassie | Can human nature be improved upon with the application on new sciences and technologies? Can we increase human life span, perhaps even curing death? Can we recreate ourselves and our children to be super healthy, super attractive, super athletic, super happy, and super smart? Who gets to decide these questions and how? Would these super humans still be humans or should we better call them… read more

Wicked Problems – Social Messes: Decision Support Modelling with Morphological Analysis

September 1, 2011

wickedproblems

author |
Tom Ritchey
year published |
2011

Amazon | This is the first dedicated book to be published on computer-aided General Morphological Analysis (GMA) as a non-quantified modelling method. It presents the history and theory of GMA and describes how it is used to develop interactive, non-quantified inference models. Eleven case studies are presented out of more than 100 projects carried out since 1995, illustrating how GMA has been employed for structuring complex policy… read more

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

January 12, 2012

now-you-see-it-by-cathy-davidson

author |
Cathy N. Davidson
year published |
2011

Amazon | When Cathy Davidson and Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for their music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light — as an innovative way to turn learning on its head.

This radical experiment is at the heart of Davidson’s… read more

Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

April 30, 2012

netsmart

author |
Howard Rheingold
year published |
2012

Amazon | Like it or not, knowing how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information is an essential ingredient to personal success in the twenty-first century. But how can we use digital media so that they make us empowered participants rather than passive receivers, grounded, well-rounded people rather than multitasking basket cases? In Net Smart, cyberculture expert Howard Rheingold shows us how to use social… read more

Surviving Orbit the DIY Way: Testing the Limits Your Satellite Can and Must Match

September 6, 2012
author |
Sandy Antunes
year published |
2012

Is your picosatellite ready for launch? Can it withstand rocket thrusts and the vacuum of space? This do-it-yourself guide helps you conduct a series of hands-on tests designed to check your satellite’s readiness. Learn precisely what the craft and its electronic components must endure if they’re to function properly in Low Earth Orbit.

The perfect follow-up to DIY Satellite Platforms (our primer for designing and building a picosatellite),… read more

Cybernetic Revelation: Deconstructing Artificial Intelligence

December 10, 2012

Cybernetic Revelation

author |
JD Casten
year published |
2012

Cybernetic Revelation explores the dual philosophical histories of deconstruction and artificial intelligence, tracing the development of concepts like the “logos” and the notion of modeling the mind technologically from pre-history to contemporary thinkers like Slavoj Žižek, Steven Pinker, Bernard Stiegler and Daniel C. Dennett. The writing is clear and accessible throughout, yet the text probes deeply into major philosophers seen by JD Casten as “conceptual engineers.”

Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time

June 9, 2013

TimothyLeary

author |
R.U. Sirius
year published |
2013

Timothy Leary’s Trip Thru Time is a witty and informative look at the important events and philosophical developments in the colorful and controversial life of Dr. Timothy Leary. With dashes of Learyesque irreverence, author R.U. Sirius draws connections between Leary’s trips through psychology, psychedelia, politics and technology and the ecstatic highs and harrowing lows of his personal life. A must-read for appreciating Timothy Leary.

Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning

July 14, 2010

Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning

author |
Martin Rees
year published |
2004

Amazon | Nano-machines stand poised to revolutionize technology and medicine, but what happens if these minuscule beasties break their leash and run amok? Rees, the U.K.’s Astronomer Royal and prolific author (Just Six Numbers; Our Cosmic Habitat), warns that the 21st century may well witness the extinction of mankind, a doomsday more likely to be caused by human error than by a natural catastrophe. Bioterrorists are the most widely… read more

The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension

December 28, 2010

futureofaging

author |
Gregory M. Fahy
year published |
2010

Amazon | Just as the health costs of aging threaten to bankrupt developed countries, this book makes the scientific case that a biological “bailout” could be on the way, and that human aging can be different in the future than it is today. Here 40 authors argue how our improving understanding of the biology of aging and selected technologies should enable the successful use of many different… read more

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