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Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

March 22, 2012

ArtificialCulture_Cover1

Author:
Tama Leaver
Publisher:
Routledge (2011)

Amazon | Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of “the artificial” in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond… read more

Imagine: How Creativity Works

January 4, 2012

imagine

Author:
Jonah Lehrer
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2012)

Amazon | Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not… read more

Summa Technologiae (Electronic Mediations)

May 23, 2013

Summa Tech

Author:
Stanislaw Lem
Publisher:
Univ Of Minnesota Press (2013)

The Polish writer Stanisław Lem is best known to English-speaking readers as the author of the 1961 science fiction novel Solaris, adapted into a meditative film by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and remade in 2002 by Steven Soderbergh.

Throughout his writings, comprising dozens of science fiction novels and short stories, Lem offeredread more

Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How To End It (TED Books)

April 3, 2013

Lesterland The Corruption of Congress and How to End It

Author:
Lawrence Lessig
Publisher:
TED Conferences (2013)

The American political system has been foundationally weakened by a corrupt campaign funding system, creating a dangerously unstable and inequitable design that could destroy our republic — if we let it. In this provocative and important book, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes on the deep flaws in our campaign finance system and lays out a plan for fixing it. Lessig describes a place called Lesterland, a fictional land… read more

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

August 25, 2014

cover

Author:
Daniel J. Levitin
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2014)

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or… read more

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

March 17, 2011

In The Plex book cover

Author:
Steven Levy
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2011)

Amazon | Few companies in history have ever been as successful and as admired as Google, the company that has transformed the Internet and become an indispensable part of our lives. How has Google done it? Veteran technology reporter Steven Levy was granted unprecedented access to the company, and in this revelatory book he takes readers inside Google headquarters — the Googleplex — to show how Google works.

While they were… read more

Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets

January 15, 2013

Mining the Sky

Author:
John S. Lewis
Publisher:
Helix Books (1996)

What would it be like if entrepreneurs could literally “mine the sky” to solve Earth’s three major fulfillment problems: energy, mineral resources, and food? That is the engaging premise of John S. Lewis’s visionary new book. What if we could chemically break down the atmosphere of Mars for substances that can be used as spacecraft propellants; hollow out asteroids to transform them into livable habitats for billions of space-bound… read more

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

July 9, 2013

Social Why Our brains are wired to connect

Author:
Matthew D. Lieberman
Publisher:
Crown (2013)

We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.

In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is… read more

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

January 13, 2014

the-story-of-the-human-body-cover

Author:
Daniel Lieberman
Publisher:
Pantheon (2013)

In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman — chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field — gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern… 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

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

Author:
Manuel Lima
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press (2011)

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… read more

The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

July 20, 2011

Accidental Mind book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Belknap Press (2008)

Amazon | You’ve probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain’s elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is… read more

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

July 19, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2011)

Amazon | A leading brain scientist’s look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he… read more

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

February 4, 2013

Fabricated

Author:
Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk.  Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.

A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file,… read more

Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain

January 28, 2013

Physics in Mind

Author:
Werner Loewenstein
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

No one can escape a sense of awe when reflecting on the workings of the mind: we see, we hear, we feel, we are aware of the world around us. But what is the mind? What do we mean when we say we are “aware” of something? What is this peculiar state in our heads, at once utterly familiar and bewilderingly mysterious, that we call awareness or consciousness?… read more

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