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The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

April 18, 2013

Infinite_Resource_Cover

Author:
Ramez Naam
Publisher:
UPNE (2013)

“Brilliant” — Ray Kurzweil

“This book contains a plan – probably the only plan – to save the world.” — Steven Pinker

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions.

We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet… read more

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

August 20, 2013

Mind and Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

Author:
Thomas Nagel
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2012)

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.

Since minds are features of biological systems that have… read more

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

August 13, 2013

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Author:
Annalee Newitz
Publisher:
Doubleday (2013)


In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past… read more

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines — and How It Will Change Our Lives

February 16, 2011

Beyond Boundaries cover

Author:
Miguel Nicolelis
Publisher:
Times Books (2011)

Amazon | A pioneering neuroscientist shows how the long-sought merger of brains with machines is about to become a paradigm-shifting reality.

Imagine living in a world where people use their computers, drive their cars, and communicate with one another simply by thinking. In this stunning and inspiring work, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis shares his revolutionary insights into how the brain creates thought and the human sense… 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

Things that Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine

February 21, 2014

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Author:
Donald A. Norman
Publisher:
Basic Books (1994)

Amazon | In Things that Make Us Smart, Donald A. Norman explores the complex interaction between human thought and the technology it creates, arguing for the development of machines that fit our minds, rather than minds that must conform to the machine. Humans have always worked with objects to extend our cognitive powers, from counting on our fingers to designing massive supercomputers.

But advanced technology does more than… read more

Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

Author:
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

May 2, 2011

Supercooperators

Author:
Martin Nowak, Roger Highfield
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Evolution is often presented as a strictly competitive endeavor. This point of view has had serious implications for the way we see the mechanics of both science and culture. But scientists have long wondered how societies could have evolved without some measure of cooperation. And if there was cooperation involved, how could it have arisen from nature “red in tooth and claw”?

Martin Nowak,… read more

Alternet

July 15, 2012

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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

Lorenzo and His Parents

November 5, 2012

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Author:
Augusto Odone
Publisher:
Baraka (2012)

In 1984, six-year-old Lorenzo Odone was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy — an incurable genetic disease which destroys the brains of young boys.

His parents, Augusto and Michaela, refused to give up hope and with great determination set out to research the disease and find a cure. Within only a couple of years they had discovered an oil which was able to halt the progress of the disease… 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

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

Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel

April 18, 2014

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Author:
Jason Padgett, Maureen Ann Seaberg
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014)

The remarkable story of an ordinary man who was transformed when a traumatic injury left him with an extraordinary gift

No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.

Yet… read more

The Last Pictures

November 19, 2012

lastpictures_publication_cover

Author:
Trevor Paglen
Publisher:
University of California Press (2012)

Human civilizations’ longest lasting artifacts are not the great Pyramids of Giza, nor the cave paintings at Lascaux, but the communications satellites that circle our planet. In a stationary orbit above the equator, the satellites that broadcast our TV signals, route our phone calls, and process our credit card transactions experience no atmospheric drag. Their inert hulls will continue to drift around Earth until the Sun expands into a red… read more

The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

January 26, 2011

The 4% Universe book cover

Author:
Richard Panek
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2011)

Amazon | In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest — 96 percent of the universe — is completely unknown.

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this cosmos-shattering… read more

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