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Models.Behaving.Badly: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life

December 14, 2011

modelsbehavingbadly

Author:
Emanuel Derman
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Emanuel Derman was a quantitative analyst (Quant) at Goldman Sachs, one of the financial engineers whose mathematical models became crucial for Wall Street. The reliance investors put on such quantitative analysis was catastrophic for the economy, setting off the ongoing string of financial crises that began with the mortgage market in 2007 and continues through today. Here Derman looks at why people — bankers in particular — still put so much… read more

Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

March 22, 2012

ArtificialCulture_Cover1

Author:
Tama Leaver
Publisher:
Routledge (2011)

Amazon | Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of “the artificial” in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond… read more

Alternet

July 15, 2012

alternet_kindle

Author:
Bryan C. O'Doherty
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services (2012)

Love or Fear, which will be the social glue that holds mankind together?

In 2084, man is at the cusp of a new golden age brought about under the global hegemony of Core leadership. But obedient Core citizen, Steven Archer’s world is suddenly turned upside down by events he has no memory of. Labeled a terrorist against the Core and forced to help find the co-conspirators he can’t… 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

Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence

May 8, 2013

Natural Born Cyborgs

Author:
Andy Clark
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2003)

From Robocop to the Terminator to Eve 8, no image better captures our deepest fears about technology than the cyborg, the person who is both flesh and metal, brain and electronics. But philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark sees it differently. Cyborgs, he writes, are not something to be feared–we already are cyborgs.

In Natural-Born Cyborgs, Clark argues that what makes humans so different from other species is our… read more

Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power

November 5, 2013

Smarter

Author:
Dan Hurley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2013)

Can you make yourself, your kids, and your parents smarter?

Expanding upon one of the most-read New York Times Magazine features of 2012, Smarter penetrates the hot new field of intelligence research to reveal what researchers call a revolution in human intellectual abilities. Shattering decades of dogma, scientists began publishing studies in 2008 showing that “fluid intelligence”—the ability to learn, solve novel problems, and get to the heart of things—can be increased… read more

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

February 24, 2014

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Author:
Julia Angwin
Publisher:
Times Books (2014)

An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched.

We see online ads from websites we’ve visited, long after we’ve moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what’s in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive… read more

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

July 8, 2010

The Edge of Physics cover

Author:
Anil Ananthaswamy
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade (2010)

Amazon | Despite 20th-century physics’ revelations, from relativity and quantum mechanics to the physics of the atom’s nucleus and the life cycles of stars, ninety-odd percent of the universe is a complete mystery, says a scientist quoted by Ananthaswamy, a consulting editor for New Scientist. Dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity: these are the topics that keep physicists awake at night, requiring bigger, more massive, more extreme experiments to test… read more

Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly over the Edge

July 16, 2010

Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge

Author:
Ed Regis
Publisher:
Basic Books (1991)

Amazon | Author of the delightful Who Got Einstein’s Office?, Regis here presents a hilarious but nevertheless sympathetic look at practitioners of “fin-de-siecle hubristic mania.”

These are the scientific visionaries who are plotting “post-biological man,” scheming to build giant space colony/stations to orbit around the Earth, use microscopic robots (nanotechnology) to resurrect humans frozen in liquid nitrogen, raise chickens in higher gravity fields and project human minds via… read more

Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long The Human Race Will Survive

October 29, 2010

Apocalypse When?

Author:
Willard Wells
Publisher:
Praxis (2009)

Amazon | This book will be a key trailblazer in a new and upcoming field. The author’s predictive approach relies on simple and intuitive probability formulations that will appeal to readers with a modest knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and statistics. Wells’s carefully erected theory stands on a sure footing and thus should serve as the basis of many rational predictions of survival in the face of not only natural… read more

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels)

February 3, 2011

alteredcarboncover

Author:
Richard K. Morgan
Publisher:
Del Rey (2003)

Amazon | In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body… read more

The Inner Pulse: Unlocking the Secret Code of Sickness and Health

May 4, 2011

The Inner Pulse book cover

Author:
Marc Siegel
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Many doctors overlook the seemingly inexplicable tragedies and recoveries that happen in hospitals every day, opting to view them simply as aberrations from the medical norm. In this book, Dr. Marc Siegel draws from his decades of experience treating patients and explores the sometimes miraculous effects that the spirit and emotion can have on disease and healing. The inner pulse is the essence that links the… read more

Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science (Great Discoveries)

August 24, 2011

quantumman

Author:
Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | A gripping new scientific biography of the revered Nobel Prize–winning physicist (and curious character).

Perhaps the greatest physicist of the second half of the twentieth century, Richard Feynman changed the way we think about quantum mechanics, the most perplexing of all physical theories. Here Lawrence M. Krauss, himself a theoretical physicist and best-selling author, offers a unique scientific biography: a rollicking narrative coupled with clear… read more

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science

January 12, 2012

reinventingdiscovery

Author:
Michael Nielsen
Publisher:
Princeton University Press (2011)

Amazon | In Reinventing Discovery, Michael Nielsen argues that we are living at the dawn of the most dramatic change in science in more than 300 years. This change is being driven by powerful new cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, which are greatly accelerating scientific discovery. There are many books about how the internet is changing business or the workplace or government. But this is the first… read more

Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing

April 30, 2012

amimygenes

Author:
Robert Klitzman
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2012)

Amazon | In the fifty years since DNA was discovered, we have seen extraordinary advances. For example, genetic testing has rapidly improved the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Huntington’s, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s. But with this new knowledge comes difficult decisions for countless people, who wrestle with fear about whether to get tested, and if so, what to do with the results.

Am I Myread more

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