bookshelf by year

Artificial Life: A Report from the Frontier Where Computers Meet Biology

February 16, 2001

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author |
Steven Levy
year published |
1993

This enthralling book alerts us to nothing less than the existence of new varieties of life. Some of these species can move and eat, see, reproduce, and die. Some behave like birds or ants. One such life form may turn out to be our best weapon in the war against AIDS.

What these species have in common is that they exist inside computers, their DNA is digital, and… read more

The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality

May 9, 2016

The_VR_Book

author |
Jason Jerald
year published |
2015

Virtual reality (VR) potentially provides our minds with direct access to digital media in a way that at first seems to have no limits.However, creating compelling VR experiences is an incredibly complex challenge.When VR is done well, the results are brilliant and pleasurable experiences that go beyond what we can do in the real world.When VR is done badly, not only is the system frustrating to use, but sickness can… read more

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

April 9, 2009
author |
Clay Shirky
year published |
2009

An examination of how the rapid spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects–for good and for ill. Our age’s new technologies of social networking are evolving, and evolving us, into new groups doing new things in new ways, and old and new groups alike doing the old things… read more

Kinds of Minds: Toward an Understanding of Consciousness

January 18, 2010
author |
Daniel Dennett
year published |
1997

Publishers Weekly | Dennett (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea), director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, avers that language is the “slingshot” that has “launched [humans] far beyond all other earthly species in the power to look ahead and reflect.” In this brief study, some of which is drawn from notes for the author’s various lectures, and which returns him to some of the themes of his controversial… read more

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

July 16, 2010

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

author |
Francis Fukuyama
year published |
2002

Amazon | Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man; Trust) is no stranger to controversial theses, and here he advances two: that there are sound nonreligious reasons to put limits on biotechnology, and that such limits can be enforced. Fukuyama argues that “the most significant threat” from biotechnology is “the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.”… read more

The Quantum Brain: The Search for Freedom and the Next Generation of Man

September 10, 2010

quantumbrain

author |
Jeffrey Satinover
year published |
2001

Amazon | Do we have free will or just imagine that we do? Do we create our own destinies or are we merely machines? Can we create a brain bigger than our own? To answer these and many other provocative questions, psychiatrist, researcher, and critically acclaimed author Jeffrey Satinover turns to the cutting edge of science and sees a future for and truth about ourselves that are… read more

The Human Brain Book

January 6, 2011

humanbrainbook

author |
Rita Carter
year published |
2009

Amazon | The Human Brain Book is a complete guide to the one organ in the body that makes each of us what we are — unique individuals. It combines the latest findings from the field of neuroscience with expert text and state-of-the-art illustrations and imaging techniques to provide an incomparable insight into every facet of the brain. Layer by layer, it reveals the fascinating details of this… 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
year published |
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

Self-Organization in Biological Systems

April 20, 2011

Self-Organization in Biological Systems book cover

author |
Scott Camazine, Jean-Louis Deneubourg, Nigel R. Franks
year published |
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
year published |
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
year published |
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

New Model Army

July 18, 2012

New-Model-Army

author |
Adam Roberts
year published |
2010

A nightmarish vision of future war from a literary master of SF.

Adam Roberts’ new novel is a terrifying vision of a near future war—a civil war that tears the UK apart as new technologies allow the worlds first truly democratic army to take on the British army and wrest control from the powers that be.

Taking advances in modern communication and the new eagerness for power… read more

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

October 12, 2012

Metaman

author |
Gregory Stock
year published |
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
year published |
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

The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution

October 7, 2013

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author |
Dean Falk
year published |
2012

Two discoveries of early human relatives, one in 1924 and one in 2003, radically changed scientific thinking about our origins. Dean Falk, a pioneer in the field of human brain evolution, offers this fast-paced insider’s account of these discoveries, the behind-the-scenes politics embroiling the scientists who found and analyzed them, and the academic and religious controversies they generated.

The first is the Taung child, a two-million-year-old skull from South… read more

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