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Secrets of Inferno: In the Footsteps of Dante and Dan Brown

September 6, 2013

Secrets of Inferno

Author:
Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer
Publisher:
The Story Plant (2013)

SECRETS OF INFERNO is a reader’s guide to the journey Dan Brown took us all on in INFERNO. The book gives readers the “back story” on particular plot points, Dante references, symbols, historical events, philosophy, art, music, and architectural works that Brown wrapped into his story. It is also an intellectually enriching, intriguing, fresh and fun look at Dante, THE DIVINE COMEDY, the world of ideas circulating in Florence… read more

Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future

July 16, 2010

Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future

Author:
Michael Noah Mautner
Publisher:
Legacy Books (2000)

Amazon | The future of life in the universe is an important subject of astrobiology. In this new popular science title, a well recognized researcher describes how we can seed new solar systems with microbial representatives of our family of organic life. The book also describes a life-centered astroethics that will motivate these missions. It describes the unity of all gene/protein life: a common ancestry, a special place in… read more

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain

May 18, 2011

Self Comes to Mind book cover

Author:
Antonio Damasio
Publisher:
Pantheon (2010)

Amazon | From one of the most significant neuroscientists at work today, a pathbreaking investigation of a question that has confounded philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists for centuries: how is consciousness created?

Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In Self Comes toread more

Self-Organization in Biological Systems

April 20, 2011

Self-Organization in Biological Systems book cover

Author:
Scott Camazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, Nigel R. Franks
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2003)

Amazon | The synchronized flashing of fireflies at night. The spiraling patterns of an aggregating slime mold. The anastomosing network of army-ant trails. The coordinated movements of a school of fish. Researchers are finding in such patterns — phenomena that have fascinated naturalists for centuries — a fertile new approach to understanding biological systems: the study of self-organization. This book, a primer on self-organization in biological systems for students and… 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
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (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

Shifting Borderlines: How Science Fiction Is Becoming Science

June 17, 2011

Shifting Borderlines

Author:
Hammad Azzam
Publisher:
CreateSpace (2010)

Amazon | The enabler of the quantum evolutionary leaps of our times is the rapid progression of science and the proliferation of scientific fields tackling very specialized subjects like bioinformatics, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology. Science is growing fast and unabated. Wars, economic downturns, and all other detrimental events have little effect on the expansion of science. What started with few fields (mathematics, chemistry, biology) has mushroomed into… read more

Simulation and its Discontents

January 18, 2010
Author:
Sherry Turkle
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2009)

Over the past twenty years, the technologies of simulation and visualization have changed our ways of looking at the world. In Simulation and Its Discontents, Sherry Turkle examines the now dominant medium of our working lives and finds that simulation has become its own sensibility. We hear it in Turkle’s description of architecture students who no longer design with a pencil, of science and engineering students who admit that… read more

Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment (The Frontiers Collection)

May 30, 2013

Singularity Hypotheses

Author:
Amnon H. Eden, James H Moor, Johnny H Soraker
Publisher:
Springer (2013)

Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment offers authoritative, jargon-free essays and critical commentaries on accelerating technological progress and the notion of technological singularity. It focuses on conjectures about the intelligence explosion, transhumanism, and whole brain emulation.

Recent years have seen a plethora of forecasts about the profound, disruptive impact that is likely to result from further progress in these areas. Many commentators however doubt the scientific rigor of… read more

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World

October 15, 2012

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World

Author:
James D. Miller
Publisher:
BenBella Books (2012)

Where will you be in a singular world?

In Ray Kurzweil’s New York Times bestseller The Singularity is Near, the futurist and entrepreneur describes the singularity, a likely future utterly different than anything we can imagine. The singularity is triggered by the tremendous growth of human and computing intelligence that is an almost inevitable outcome of Moore’s Law.

Since the book’s publication, the coming of singularity is now eagerly anticipated… read more

Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

February 8, 2011

Sizing Up the Universe

Author:
J. Richard Gott, Robert J. Vanderbei
Publisher:
National Geographic (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

Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

October 18, 2013

Smart machines

Author:
John E. Kelly III, Steve Hamm
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2013)

We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. The victory of IBM’s Watson on the television quiz show Jeopardy! revealed how scientists and engineers at IBM and elsewhere are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice.

In Smart Machines, John E. Kelly… read more

Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power

November 5, 2013

Smarter

Author:
Dan Hurley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (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

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons from a New Science

March 7, 2014

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Author:
Alex Pentland
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The (2014)

From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour ofthe new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence

If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics.… 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

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

July 16, 2010

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

Author:
Richard A. L. Jones
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2008)

Amazon | Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next on hundred years) rises higher in the news agenda and popular consciousness, there is a real need for a book which discusses clearly the… read more

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