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Rule 34

July 6, 2011

Rule 34 book cover

Author:
Charles Stross
Publisher:
Ace Hardcover (2011)

Publisher’s Weekly | Hugo winner Stross blends plausible near-future SF and crime in this brisk sequel to 2007′s Halting State. In the mid-2020s, the police monitor the Internet full-time to prevent crime. In Edinburgh, this job falls to DI Liz Kavanaugh’s Rule 34 Squad (whose name refers to the Internet truism that “if it exists, there’s porn about it”). Kavanaugh views the position as a demotion, but she… read more

Saving Juno (The Juno Trilogy)

March 10, 2014

Cover 1a - jpg

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

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

August 13, 2013

book_scatter-adapt-and-remember

Author:
Annalee Newitz
Publisher:
Doubleday (2013)


In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past… read more

Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction

October 27, 2012

science_fiction_prototyping_book

Author:
Brian David Johnson
Publisher:
Morgan & Claypool Publishers (2011)

Science fiction is the playground of the imagination. If you are interested in science or fascinated with the future then science fiction is where you explore new ideas and let your dreams and nightmares duke it out on the safety of the page or screen. But what if we could use science fiction to do more than that? What if we could use science fiction based on science fact to… read more

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

March 9, 2011

Second Nature book cover

Author:
Gerald M. Edelman
Publisher:
Yale University Press (2007)

Amazon | Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness — the very center of human concern — by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the… read more

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

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