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How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

June 23, 2014

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Author:
Jordan Ellenberg
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The (2014)

The Freakonomics of matha math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands
The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in… 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

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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

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

September 12, 2011

making of second life

Author:
Wagner James Au
Publisher:
HarperBusiness (2008)

Amazon | The wholly virtual world known as Second Life has attracted more than a million active users, millions of dollars, and created its own — very real — economy.

The Making of Second Life is the behind-the-scenes story of the Web 2.0 revolution’s most improbable enterprise: the creation of a virtual 3-D world with its own industries, culture, and social systems. Now the toast of the Internet economy,… read more

Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant

May 21, 2012

islands-of-genius

Author:
Darold A. Treffert
Publisher:
Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2011)

Amazon | Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which individuals with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance — ”islands of genius” — that exist in contrast with their overall limitations. In this fascinating book, Dr. Darold Treffert looks at what we know about this remarkable condition, and at new discoveries that raise interesting questions about the hidden brain potential within us… read more

The Rapture of the Nerds: A Tale of the Singularity, Posthumanity, and Awkward Social Situations

September 9, 2012

rapture-nerds-cover

Author:
Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross
Publisher:
Tor Books (2012)

Tor | Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a… read more

The Regulatory Genome: Gene Regulatory Networks in Development and Evolution

October 28, 2012

generegulatorynetworks

Author:
Eric H. Davidson
Publisher:
Academic Press (2006)

Gene regulatory networks are the most complex, extensive control systems found in nature. The interaction between biology and evolution has been the subject of great interest in recent years. The author, Eric Davidson, has been instrumental in elucidating this relationship. He is a world renowned scientist and a major contributor to the field of developmental biology.

The Regulatory Genome beautifully explains the control of animal development in terms… read more

Pardon the Disruption: The Future You Never Saw Coming

December 18, 2013

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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

Saving Juno (The Juno Trilogy)

March 10, 2014

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Author:
Larry Kilham
Publisher:
Lawrence B. Kilham (2014)

NSA’s major computer center is being taken over by an international plot to control the world. Juno, the AI supercomputer revered by the free world is endangered, and Dr. Tom Renwick, Juno’s developer and handler, is kidnapped. Civilization as we know it is threatened. What to do?

In this fast-paced thriller, Tom’s super brain computer scientist son, Primo, is thrown into the fray. With a mysterious agent, Wildflower,… read more

Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine

April 9, 2009

Beyond AI

Author:
J. Storrs Hall

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now advancing at such a rapid clip that it has the potential to transform our world in ways both exciting and disturbing. Computers have already been designed that are capable of driving cars, playing soccer, and finding and organizing information on the Web in ways that no human could. With each new gain in processing power, will scientists soon be able to create supercomputers that… read more

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