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Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future

July 13, 2013

Humanity 2.0

Author:
Steve Fuller
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2011)

Social thinkers in all fields are faced with one unavoidable question: what does it mean to be ‘human’ in the 21st century? As definitions between what is ‘animal’ and what is ‘human’ break down, and as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and nano- and bio- technologies develop, accepted notions of humanity are rapidly evolving.

Humanity 2.0 is an ambitious and groundbreaking book, offering a sweeping overview of key… read more

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

April 9, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil

At the onset of the twenty-first century, humanity stands on the verge of the most transforming and the most thrilling period in its history. It will be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged, as our species breaks the shackles of its genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity.

For over… read more

Nanofuture: What’s Next For Nanotechnology

April 9, 2009

nanofuture whats next

Author:
J. Storrs Hall
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2005)

Hall writes that nanotechnology “involves building machines whose parts are of molecular size, but more importantly, of atomic precision … more »….” He foresees nanotechnology progressing through five stages of development, stage one being our current ability to image objects at an atomic scale with a limited ability to manipulate them, and stage five being the ability of miniature robots to reproduce and learn from experience.

A fellow… read more

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

July 7, 2010

Bursts cover

Author:
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2010)

Amazon | Can we scientifically predict our future? Scientists and pseudoscientists have been pursuing this mystery for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. But now, amazing new research is revealing that patterns in human behavior, previously thought to be purely random, follow predictable laws.

Albert-László Barabási, already the world’s preeminent researcher on the science of networks, describes his work on this profound mystery in Bursts, a stunningly original investigation… read more

The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction

July 16, 2010

The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction

Author:
David Orrell
Publisher:
Basic Books (2008)

Amazon | In the spirit of Freakonomics and A Short History of Progress, The Future of Everything is a compelling, elegantly written history of our future.

For centuries, scientists have strived to predict the future. But to what extent have they succeeded? Can past events–Hurricane Katrina, the Internet stock bubble, the SARS outbreak–help us understand what will happen next? Will scientists ever really be able to forecast catastrophes,… read more

Listening to the Future: Why It’s Everybody’s Business

October 11, 2010

ListeningToTheFuture

Author:
Daniel W. Rasmus, Rob Salkowitz
Publisher:
Wiley (2008)

Amazon | Listening to the Future: Why It’s Everybody’s Business explores the challenges and opportunities facing organizations, the transformations that will ripple through the political, economic, and social environments, and the implications for different industries in the 21st century workplace. Written by Microsoft forecasters Daniel W. Rasmus and Rob Salkowitz, this important book equips your business to get out in front of new technology innovations in the consumer world… read more

The Next Decade: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

January 25, 2011

The Next Decade

Author:
George Friedman
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Amazon | The author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Next 100 Years now focuses his geopolitical forecasting acumen on the next decade and the imminent events and challenges that will test America and the world, specifically addressing the skills that will be required by the decade’s leaders.

The next ten years will be a time of massive transition. The wars in the Islamic world… 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

You Are Not Your Brain: The Four-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

June 16, 2011

You Are Not Your Brain book cover

Author:
Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Rebecca Gladding
Publisher:
Avery (2011)

Amazon | Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for… 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

Distrust That Particular Flavor

January 3, 2012

distrust

Author:
William Gibson
Publisher:
Putnam Adult (2012)

Amazon | William Gibson is known primarily as a novelist, with his work ranging from his groundbreaking first novel, Neuromancer, to his more recent contemporary bestsellers Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History. During those nearly thirty years, though, Gibson has been sought out by widely varying publications for his insights into contemporary culture. Wired magazine sent him to Singapore to report on one of the world’s most buttoned-up states. The New York Timesread more

Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker

April 9, 2012

alan-turing-life-legacy-great-thinker-christof-teuscher-hardcover-cover-art

Author:
Christof Teuscher
Publisher:
Springer (2006)

Amazon | Written by a distinguished cast of contributors, Alan Turing: Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker is the definitive collection of essays in commemoration of the 90th birthday of Alan Turing. This fascinating text covers the rich facets of his life, thoughts, and legacy, but also sheds some light on the future of computing science with a chapter contributed by visionary Ray Kurzweil, winner of the 1999 National Medal of… read more

Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves

August 17, 2012

regenesis-how-synthetic-biology-will-reinvent-nature-and-ourselves

Author:
George M. Church, Ed Regis
Publisher:
Basic Books (2012)

Nathan Myhrvold, Founder and CEO, Intellectual Ventures:
“A delightfully opinionated, visionary and controversial romp through synthetic biology, which is one of the most important technologies of our time.”

Eric Topol, Professor of Genomics, The Scripps Research Institute, and author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine:
“Literally reinventing nature could provide solutions to intractable problems with the energy supply, global warming, and human health. In Regenesis, George… read more

The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (P.S.)

November 25, 2012

Language Instinct

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2007)

In this classic, the world’s expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains… read more

The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children

May 30, 2013

The Learning Brain_high-res

Author:
Torkel Klingberg
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2012)

Despite all our highly publicized efforts to improve our schools, the United States is still falling behind. We recently ranked 15th in the world in reading, math, and science. Clearly, more needs to be done. In The Learning Brain, Torkel Klingberg urges us to use the insights of neuroscience to improve the education of our children.

The key to improving education lies in understanding how the brain works: that… read more

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