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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

Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts

December 16, 2013

frankensteins_cat_book

Author:
Emily Anthes
Publisher:
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2013)

One of Nature’s Summer Book Picks
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Spring 2013 Science Books

For centuries, we’ve toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador?… read more

Revolutions: Paving the Way for the Bioeconomy

March 20, 2014

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Author:
Randall E Mayes
Publisher:
Logos Press (2012)

Futurists have touted the 21st century as the century of biology primarily due to the potential of genomics. That potential is based on anticipated revolutions. These revolutions present themselves in many fashions. Revolutions: Paving the Way for the Bioeconomy is an in-depth look at these revolutions.

Industrial Revolutions
Genomics researchers hope to launch personalized medicine and cure diseases by identifying drug targets and create novel therapies such as… 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

World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet

February 16, 2011

World Wide Mind cover image

Author:
Michael Chorost
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | What if digital communication felt as real as being touched?

This question led Michael Chorost to explore profound new ideas triggered by lab research around the world, and the result is the book you now hold. Marvelous and momentous, World Wide Mind takes mind-to-mind communication out of the realm of science fiction and reveals how we are on the verge of a radical new understanding… read more

Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Courses

April 4, 2011

Unlocking the Gates book cover

Author:
Taylor Walsh
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2010)

Amazon | Over the past decade, a small revolution has taken place at some of the world’s leading universities, as they have started to provide free access to undergraduate course materials — including syllabi, assignments, and lectures — to anyone with an Internet connection. Yale offers high-quality audio and video recordings of a careful selection of popular lectures, MIT supplies digital materials for nearly all of its courses, Carnegie Mellon… read more

Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work

July 6, 2011

Designing Culture book cover

Author:
Anne Balsamo
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books (2011)

Amazon | The renowned cultural theorist and media designer Anne Balsamo maintains that technology and culture are inseparable; those who engage in technological innovation are designing the cultures of the future. Designing Culture is a call for taking culture seriously in the design and development of innovative technologies.

Balsamo contends that the wellspring of technological innovation is the technological imagination, a quality of mind that enables people… read more

Darkmarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You

June 27, 2012

dark_market

Author:
Misha Glenny
Publisher:
Bodley Head (2011)

The benefits of living in a digital, globalised society are enormous; so too are the dangers. The world has become a law enforcer’s nightmare and every criminal’s dream. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work and live online. But have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us in the burgeoning digital world? Have we become complacent about our personal security — sharing… read more

Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing

November 15, 2012

MAKE: The Ultimate guide to 3D printing

Author:
The Editors MAKE of
Publisher:
Make (2012)

The 3D printing revolution is well upon us, with new machines appearing at an amazing rate. With the abundance of information and options out there, how are makers to choose the 3D printer that’s right for them? MAKE is here to help, with our Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing. We brought 16 of the top printers to our headquarters and hosted a weekend-long printer shootout staffed by the… read more

Day One: A Novel

October 4, 2013

Day One A Novel

Author:
Nate Kenyon
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books (2013)

THE FUTURE IS HERE AND IT DOESN’T NEED YOU

In Nate Kenyon’s Day One, scandal-plagued hacker journalist John Hawke is hot on the trail of the explosive story that might save his career. James Weller, the former CEO of giant technology company Eclipse, has founded a new start-up, and he’s agreed to let Hawke do a profile on him. Hawke knows something very big is in the works at Eclipse—and… read more

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

January 17, 2014

Amusing Ourselves to Death Cover.

Author:
Neil Postman
Publisher:
Penguin Books (2005)

Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even… read more

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