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Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future — and Locked Us In

June 30, 2011

Always On book cover

Author:
Brian X. Chen
Publisher:
Da Capo Press (2011)

Amazon | Even Steve Jobs didn’t know what he had on his hands when he announced the original iPhone as a combination of a mere “three revolutionary products” — an iPod, a cell phone, and a keyboard-less handheld computer. Once Apple introduced the App Store and opened it up to outside developers, however, the iPhone became capable of serving a rapidly growing number of functions — now more than… read more

Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

October 4, 2011

madliketesla

Amazon | A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla — considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago — fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis.

From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to… read more

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

February 24, 2012

turingscathedral

Author:
George Dyson
Publisher:
Pantheon (2012)

“It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine.… read more

Ultimate Zero and One: Computing at the Quantum Frontier

May 24, 2012

ultimatezeroandone

Author:
Colin P. Williams, Scott H. Clearwater
Publisher:
Springer (1999)

Amazon | As miniaturisation deepens, and nanotechnology and its machines become more prevalent in the real world, the need to consider using quantum mechanical concepts to perform various tasks in computation increases. Such tasks include: the teleporting of information, breaking heretofore “unbreakable” codes, communicating with messages that betray eavesdropping, and the generation of random numbers. This is the first book to apply quantum physics to the basic operations of a… read more

Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism

October 12, 2012

Metaman

Author:
Gregory Stock
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (1993)

The author of The Book of Questions claims that humankind and technology have merged into a new global entity, a living extension of humankind acting through a complex system of computers and offering a promise of ever-greater prosperity.

From Publishers Weekly

In this supremely optimistic futuristic survey, Stock (The Book of Questions) argues that a symbiotic union of smart machines and humans, combined with increasingly interdependent global communications, trade and travel,… read more

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”

November 26, 2012

The Black Swan

Author:
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publisher:
Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010)

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black… read more

Brain-Computer Interfacing: An Introduction

January 21, 2014

Brain-Computer Interfacing

Author:
Rajesh P. N. Rao
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press (2013)

The idea of interfacing minds with machines has long captured the human imagination. Recent advances in neuroscience and engineering are making this a reality, opening the door to restoring and potentially augmenting human physical and mental capabilities. Medical applications such as cochlear implants for the deaf and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease are becoming increasingly commonplace. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) (also known as brain-machine interfaces or BMIs) are now… read more

FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication

April 9, 2009
Author:
Neil Gershenfeld
Publisher:
Basic Books (2007)

Personal fabrication (PF) is the ability to design and produce your own products in your own home, with a machine that combines consumer electronics and industrial tools. This book describes how personal fabricators are about to revolutionize the world just as personal computers did a generation ago.

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

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

July 16, 2010

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

Author:
James Hughes
Publisher:
Unknown (2004)

Amazon | In the next fifty years, life spans will extend well beyond a century. Our senses and cognition will be enhanced. We will have greater control over our emotions and memory. Our bodies and brains will be surrounded by and merged with computer power. The limits of the human body will be transcended as technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering converge and accelerate. With them,… read more

The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human

January 6, 2011

telltalebrain

Author:
V. S. Ramachandran
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, an eminent neurologist offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain, V. S. Ramachandran is at the forefront of his field — so much so that Richard Dawkins dubbed him the “Marco Polo of neuroscience.” Now, in a major new work, Ramachandran sets his sights on the mystery of human uniqueness. Taking us to the frontiers of… read more

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology

February 16, 2011

Open Innovation book cover

Author:
Henry William Chesbrough
Publisher:
Harvard Business Press (2005)

Publisher’s Weekly | The great corporate research departments at companies like Bell Labs, IBM and Xerox were once the motor of American industry. But that may be changing, according to this probing academic study of corporate technological innovation.

Chesbrough, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, argues that the old “closed innovation” model — vertically integrated research and development departments that develop technology in-house for the sole… read 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

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America

June 7, 2011

Made to Break cover image

Author:
Giles Slade
Publisher:
Harvard University Press (2007)

Amazon | If you’ve replaced a computer lately — or a cell phone, a camera, a television — chances are, the old one still worked. And chances are even greater that the latest model won’t last as long as the one it replaced. Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence — a business model, a way of life, and a uniquely American invention that this eye-opening book explores from its beginnings… 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

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