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Robot Builder’s Bonanza, Third Edition

February 3, 2011

Robot Builder's Bonanza, Third Edition Cover

Author:
Gordon McComb
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (2006)

This is the ultimate guide for building and experimenting with robots.  It is also the best selling hobby robotics books.  A whopping 700 pages it contains virtually everything there is to know about modern robotics including  how to convert a toy into a robot, speech systhesis and recognition, vision/robotic eyes, collision detection and avoidance  and the computer programming required to tie everything together to make it work.… read more

The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future

January 29, 2013

The Visioneers

Author:
W. Patrick McCray
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2012)

In 1969, Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill began looking outward to space colonies as the new frontier for humanity’s expansion. A decade later, Eric Drexler, an MIT-trained engineer, turned his attention to the molecular world as the place where society’s future needs could be met using self-replicating nanoscale machines. These modern utopians predicted that their technologies could transform society as humans mastered the ability to create new worlds, undertook atomic-scale… read more

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

November 10, 2010
Author:
Jane McGonigal
Publisher:
The Penguin Press HC (2011)

Amazon | More than 174 million Americans are gamers, and the average young person in the United States will spend ten thousand hours gaming by the age of twenty-one. According to world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal, the reason for this mass exodus to virtual worlds is that videogames are increasingly fulfilling genuine human needs. In this groundbreaking exploration of the power and future of gaming, McGonigal reveals… read more

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

July 16, 2010

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

Author:
Bill McKibben
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (2004)

Amazon | In 1989, McKibben published The End of Nature, a gorgeously written and galvanizing book about the true cost of global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer and other man-made ills-the loss of wild nature and with it the priceless aspect of our humanity that evolved to listen to and heed it. Now McKibben applies the same passion, scholarship and free-ranging thought to a subject that even… read more

The New Normal: Great Opportunities in a Time of Great Risk

August 3, 2011

The New Normal book cover

Author:
Roger McNamee, David Diamond
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover (2004)

Amazon | Back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, it was fairly easy to plan for a secure future. People picked a career, a spouse, and a place to live, and those basic decisions put them on a predictable course for the rest of their lives. Especially if they were lucky enough to land at a big corporation with great benefits and smart enough to buy stocks.… read more

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself

December 14, 2011

You-Are-Not-So-Smart-199x300

Author:
David McRaney
Publisher:
Gotham (2011)

Amazon | An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you’re as deluded as the rest of us. But that’s OK- delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It’s like a… read more

The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us

July 14, 2011

The Bond book cover

Author:
Lynne McTaggart
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | For centuries, Western science and many Western cultures have taught us to think of ourselves as individuals. But today, a revolutionary new understanding is emerging from the laboratories of the most cutting-edge physicists, biologists, and psychologists: What matters is not the isolated entity, but the space between things, the relationship of things. The Bond.

By international bestselling author Lynne McTaggart, The Bond is the culmination of… read more

I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life

February 28, 2011

I, Avatar book cover

Author:
Mark Stephen Meadows
Publisher:
New Riders Press (2008)

Amazon | What is an avatar? Why are there nearly a billion of them, and who is using them? Do avatars impact our real lives, or are they just video game conceits? Is an avatar an inspired rendering of its creator’s inner self, or is it just one among millions of anonymous vehicles clogging the online freeways? Can we use our avatars to really connect with people,… read more

We, Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact

February 24, 2011

We, Robot book cover

Author:
Mark Stephen Meadows
Publisher:
Lyons Press (2010)

Amazon | We, Robot does for robotics what Michio Kaku’s bestselling Physics of the Impossible has done for physics. How close to becoming reality are our favorite science fiction robots? And what might be the real-life consequences of their existence? Robotics and artificial intelligence expert (and science fiction fan) Mark Stephen Meadows answers that question with an irresistible blend of hard science, futurist imagination, solid statistics, pop culture, and plenty… read more

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

June 21, 2011

Brain Rules book cover

Author:
John Medina
Publisher:
Pearl Press (2009)

Amazon | See how the brain works while using it in the process of reading this book! Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know — like that physical activity boosts your brain power. How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why… read more

Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares: The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering

May 30, 2013

Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares The Promise and Peril of Genetic Engineering

Author:
Maxwell J. Mehlman
Publisher:
The Johns Hopkins University Press (2012)

Transhumanists advocate for the development and distribution of technologies that will enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, even eliminate aging. What if the dystopian futures and transhumanist utopias found in the pages of science journals, Margaret Atwood novels, films like Gattaca, and television shows like Dark Angel are realized? What kind of world would humans have created?

Maxwell J. Mehlman considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in… read more

The Extended Mind

September 12, 2011

extendedmind

Author:
Richard Menary
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2010)

Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? In their famous 1998 paper “The Extended Mind,” philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers posed this question and answered it provocatively: cognitive processes “ain’t all in the head.” The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument excited a vigorous debate among… 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

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

January 12, 2012

egotunnel

Author:
Thomas Metzinger
Publisher:
Basic Books (2010)

Amazon | This is a radical rethinking of the nature of consciousness. The Ego Tunnel, a major work from one of the brightest of the new generation of philosophers of mind, proposes a simple yet radical rethinking of the nature of consciousness and a fascinating and controversial exploration of what it implies. We’re used to thinking of the self’s relation to the world as a dyad — the… read more

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

July 14, 2010

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

Author:
Andy Miah
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press (2009)

Amazon | This innovative book, inspired by material from FACT’s Human Futures program and informed by an inquiry into the future of humanity, combines scholarly essays, images, interviews, design products, artifacts, and creative writing in order to portray how the culture of technological innovation is made and remade through bioculturally diverse forms of consumption. Human Futures addresses biological developments such as cloning, genetic modification, stem cell research alongside issues… read more

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