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The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs

December 28, 2009

The Department of Mad Scientists

Author:
Michael Belfiore
Publisher:
Smithsonian (2009)

Wireless, prosthetic arms that are as nimble and light as the real thing; driverless robot cars that work their way through real traffic; a portable robotic emergency room with remote-controlled, mobile robotic surgeons; and scramjets able to race around the world in just a few hours  — these are among the DARPA projects profiled by journalist Michael Belfiore in his book, The Department of Mad Scientists.

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

July 16, 2010

Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind

Author:
Hans Moravec
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2000)

Amazon | Here come the free-roaming robot vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars, robot chess champions, robots that fly and swim. If these machine intelligences already tooling around or on the drawing boards leave you blasé, consider this: Robotics pioneer Moravec predicts that if the present exponential growth rate of computing power continues, super-robots that perceive, intuit, adapt, think and even simulate feelings much like human beings will be buildable before… read more

Beyond Humanity?: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement

January 5, 2011

beyond humanity

Author:
Allen E. Buchanan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2011)

Amazon | Biotechnologies already on the horizon will enable us to be smarter, have better memories, be stronger and quicker, have more stamina, live longer, be more resistant to diseases, and enjoy richer emotional lives. To some of us, these prospects are heartening; to others, they are dreadful. In Beyond Humanity a leading philosopher offers a powerful and controversial exploration of urgent ethical issues concerning human enhancement.… read more

Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality

February 15, 2011

Long for This World cover

Author:
Jonathan Weiner
Publisher:
Ecco (2010)

Amazon | From the Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Jonathan Weiner comes a fast-paced and astonishing scientific adventure story: has the long-sought secret of eternal youth at last been found?

In recent years, the dream of eternal youth has started to look like more than just a dream. In the twentieth century alone, life expectancy increased by more than thirty years — almost as much time as humans have… read more

Time Loops and Space Twists: How God Created the Universe

April 4, 2011

Time Loops and Space Twists book cover

Author:
Fred Alan Wolf
Publisher:
Hierophant Publishing (2011)

Amazon | In his most important book since Taking the Quantum Leap, Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., explains how our understanding of time, space, and matter have changed in just the last few years, and how with these new ideas we have a glimpse into the “mind of God.”

Making comparisons to Hindu Vedic and Judeo-Christian cosmology, Dr. Wolf explains how the universal command of the Deity “Let there be… read more

Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory

June 1, 2011

Thirty Years That Shook Physics book cover

Author:
George Gamow
Publisher:
Dover Publications (1985)

Goodreads | In 1900, German physicist Max Planck postulated that light, or radiant energy can exist only in the form of discrete packages or quanta. This profound insight, along with Einstein’s equally momentous theories of relativity, completely revolutionized man’s view of matter, energy, and the nature of physics itself.

In this lucid layman’s introduction to quantum theory, an eminent physicist and noted popularizer of science traces the… read more

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

July 6, 2011

The Book of Secrets cover

Author:
Deepak Chopra
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (2005)

Amazon | Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets of healing, compassion, faith, and the most elusive one of all: who we really are. We are still mysteries to ourselves, despite the proximity of these answers, and what we most long to know remains lodged deep inside.

We all want… read more

The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices: How the Digital Magicians of the MIT Media Lab Are Creating the Innovative Technologies That Will Transform Our Lives

August 4, 2011

Sorcerers and Their Apprentices book cover

Author:
Frank Moss
Publisher:
Crown Business (2011)

Amazon | If you’ve ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you’ve experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the Media Lab over the past 25 years. But that’s old hat for today’s researchers, who… read more

The Minerva Virus

January 4, 2012

minervavirus

Author:
Brian Shuster
Publisher:
Night Candy (2006)

Amazon | In the depths of the internet, a new form of life is unleashed. Silent and invisible, the only hint of its existence is an ordinary-seeming computer virus, which the human race regards as a mere nuisance. But this virus is unlike anything mankind has seen before . . . this virus can evolve! As it explodes across the internet, a new plague begins to take control… read more

Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To

April 24, 2012

Choke_Cover_Final

Author:
Sian Beilock
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests?

Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag?

Why do you mess up when it matters the most — and how can you perform your best instead?

It happens to all of us. You’ve prepared for days, weeks, even years for the big… read more

Acidexia

August 20, 2012

acidexia

Author:
Rachel Haywire
Publisher:
Everything-Permitted (2012)

Acidexia is an e-book of writings by Rachel Haywire that first appeared in her Acidexia online journal between 2001 and 2004.

At the turn of the millennium, an institutionalized “mentally ill” teenage girl is kicked out of her home to live life on the streets. She embarks upon an odyssey through underground subcultures and cyberspace while endlessly crisscrossing the country by bus and hitchhiking. Reinventing herself… read more

How the Mind Works

November 25, 2012

How the Mind Works

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2009)

“A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear.” —New York Review of Books

The Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller How the Mind Works is a fascinating, provocative work exploring the mysteries of human thought and behavior. How do we see in three dimensions? How do we remember names and faces? How is it, indeed, that we ponder the nature of our own consciousness? Why do we fall in… read more

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking

March 1, 2013

this will make you smarter

Author:
John Brockman
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (2012)

Edge.org presents brilliant, accessible, cutting-edge ideas to improve our decision-making skills and improve our cognitive toolkits, with contributions by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Richard Dawkins, Brian Eno, Steven Pinker, and more. Featuring a foreword by New York Times columnist David Brooks and edited by John Brockman, This Will Make You Smarter presents some of the best wisdom from today’s leading thinkers—to make better thinkers out of the leaders of tomorrow.

Kindle version alsoread more

The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality

August 13, 2013

book_the_universe_in_the_rearview_mirror

Author:
Dave Goldberg
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2013)


A physicist speeds across space, time and everything in between showing that our elegant universe—from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies—is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all our recent discoveries about the universe and all the ones to come.

Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can… read more

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

February 20, 2014

Consciousness and the Brain Cover

Author:
Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2014)

A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other… read more

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