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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

Power, Madness and Immortality

April 12, 2009

power madness immortality

Author:
Mychilo Cline
Publisher:
University Village Press (2005)

There has been increasing interest in the potential social impact of new technologies, such as virtual reality (as may be seen in utopian literature, within the social sciences, and in popular culture). Mychilo S. Cline, in his book, Power, Madness, and Immortality: The Future of Virtual Reality, argues that virtual reality will lead to a number of important changes in human life and activity. He argues that:

*… read more

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet

July 14, 2010

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet

Author:
Joseph Menn
Publisher:
PublicAffairs (2010)

Amazon | In this disquieting cyber thriller, Joseph Menn takes readers into the murky hacker underground, traveling the globe from San Francisco to Costa Rica and London to Russia. His guides are California surfer and computer whiz Barrett Lyon and a fearless British high-tech agent. Through these heroes, Menn shows the evolution of cyber-crime from small-time thieving to sophisticated, organized gangs, who began by attacking corporate websites but increasingly… read more

Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others

July 20, 2010

Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others

Author:
Marco Iacoboni
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2008)

How do we know what others are thinking and feeling? Why do we weep at movies? UCLA neuroscientist Iacoboni introduces readers to the world of mirror neurons and what they imply about human empathy, which, the author says, underlies morality. Mirror neurons allow us to interpret facial expressions of pain or joy and respond appropriately. Thanks to these neurons, Iacoboni writes, [w]e have empathy for… fictional characters—we know how… read more

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

December 14, 2010

alonetogether

Author:
Sherry Turkle
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Consider Facebook — it’s human contact, only easier to engage with and easier to avoid. Developing technology promises closeness. Sometimes it delivers, but much of our modern life leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them.

In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives.… read more

Robot Building for Dummies

February 7, 2011

robotbuildingfordummies

Author:
Roger Arrick, Nancy Stevenson
Publisher:
For Dummies/John Wiley & Sons (2003)

Discover what robots can do and how they work. Find out how to build your own robot and program it to perform tasks with Robot Building for Dummies. Learn to build robots the “Dummies” way with explanations in plain English, icons and other navigational aids, tear-out cheat sheet, top ten lists, and a dash of humor and fun. The book walks you through building your very own… read more

The Children of the Sky

March 28, 2011

Children of the Sky book cover

Author:
Vernor Vinge
Publisher:
Tor Books (2011)

RisingShadow.net | At last, the direct sequel to the Hugo Award–winning bestseller A Fire Upon the Deep! Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred… read more

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection

May 10, 2011

When the Body Says No book cover

Author:
Gabor Mate
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, this book provides answers to these and other important questions about the effect of the mind-body link on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in an array of… read more

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