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Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life

May 26, 2011

Code/Space cover image

Author:
Rob Kitchin, Martin Dodge
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2011)

Amazon | After little more than half a century since its initial development, computer code is extensively and intimately woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. From the digital alarm clock that wakes us to the air traffic control system that guides our plane in for a landing, software is shaping our world: it creates new ways of undertaking tasks, speeds up and automates existing practices,… read more

Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family

May 24, 2011

Disconnect book cover

Author:
Devra Davis
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2010)

Amazon | The much-anticipated, explosive expose of how cell phone use damages brain cells, especially in children, by one of the world’s foremost scientific experts in the field.

Devra Davis presents an array of recent and long suppressed research in this timely bombshell. Cell phone radiation is a national emergency. Stunningly, the most popular gadget of our age has now been shown to damage DNA, break… read more

Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information

May 18, 2011

Visual Complexity book cover

Author:
Manuel Lima
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press (2011)

Amazon | Our ability to generate information now far exceeds our capacity to understand it. Finding patterns and making meaningful connections inside complex data networks has emerged as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century.

In recent years, designers, researchers, and scientists have begun employing an innovative mix of colors, symbols, graphics, algorithms, and interactivity to clarify, and often beautify, the clutter.

From… 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

Postsingular

May 17, 2011

Postsingular

Author:
Rudy Rucker
Publisher:
Tor Books (2009)

Booklist | Always willing and able to embrace sf’s trendiest themes, Rucker here takes on the volatile field of nanotechnology and the presumed inevitable “Singularity” of human and computer unification.

In a series of interrelated vignettes, he describes the calamity that befalls nanotech inventor Ond Lutter and his would-be benefactors when Ond unleashes a variety of self-replicating nanobots. In one episode, trillions of microscopic bots, dubbed… read more

Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

May 13, 2011

Thrive book cover

Author:
Dan Buettner
Publisher:
National Geographic (2010)

Amazon | What makes us happy? It’s not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world’s happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives.

Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents.… read more

The Private Life of the Brain: Emotions, Consciousness, and the Secret of the Self

May 13, 2011

The Private Life of the Brain book cover

Author:
Susan Greenfield
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publisher’s Weekly | How are you feeling today? Who might you be? And what do those frequently asked, but profound, questions have to do with each other? An Oxford University brain researcher and the director of Britain’s Royal Institution, Greenfield (Journey to the Centers of the Mind) has entered the crowded field of explain-the-brain books with a sophisticated, memorable and accessible set of arguments.

Other popular… read more

A Planet of Viruses

May 11, 2011

A Planet of Viruses book cover

Author:
Carl Zimmer
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press (2011)

Amazon | Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for… read more

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection

May 10, 2011

When the Body Says No book cover

Author:
Gabor Mate
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? Drawing on scientific research and the author’s decades of experience as a practicing physician, this book provides answers to these and other important questions about the effect of the mind-body link on illness and health and the role that stress and one’s individual emotional makeup play in an array of… read more

The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death

May 9, 2011

Immortalization Commission book Cover

Author:
John Gray
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas — from psychiatry to evolution to communism — seemed to suggest that our fate was… read more

When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies

May 6, 2011

When Gadgets Betray Us

Author:
Robert Vamosi
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Technology is evolving faster than we are. As our mobile phones, mp3 players, cars, and digital cameras become more and more complex, we understand less and less about how they actually work and what personal details these gadgets might reveal about us.

Robert Vamosi, an award-winning journalist and analyst who has been covering digital security issues for more than a decade, shows us the dark… read more

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

May 5, 2011

Idea Man book cover

Author:
Paul Allen
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover (2011)

Amazon | “The entire conversation took five minutes. When it was over, Bill and I looked at each other. It was one thing to talk about writing a language for a microprocessor and another to get the job done . . . If we’d been older or known better, Bill and I might have been put off by the task in front of us. But we were… read more

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

May 5, 2011

Cycles of Time book cover

Author:
Roger Penrose
Publisher:
Knopf (2011)

Amazon | From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density,… read more

H+/-: Transhumanism and Its Critics

May 5, 2011

H+/- Transhumanism and Its Critics book cover

Author:
Gregory R. Hansell, William Grassie
Publisher:
Xlibris Corporation (2011)

William Grassie | Can human nature be improved upon with the application on new sciences and technologies? Can we increase human life span, perhaps even curing death? Can we recreate ourselves and our children to be super healthy, super attractive, super athletic, super happy, and super smart? Who gets to decide these questions and how? Would these super humans still be humans or should we better call them… read more

Consciousness in the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind

May 5, 2011

Consciousness in the Universe book cover

Author:
Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff
Publisher:
Cosmology Science Publishers (2011)

Amazon | Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always out there in the world?

Topics:

  • Evolution and origin of consciousness
  • Consciousness and quantum

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