bookshelf by year

Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy

October 4, 2011

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Amazon | A search for the contemporary Nikola Tesla — considered a mad scientist by his society for predicting global warming more than 100 years ago — fuels this analysis of climate issues, which introduces thinkers and inventors who are working to find possible ways out of the energy crisis.

From Louis Michaud, a retired refinery engineer who claims we can harness the energy of man-made tornadoes, to… read more

Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

February 24, 2012

turingscathedral

author |
George Dyson
year published |
2012

“It is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old Alan Turing announced in 1936. In Turing’s Cathedral, George Dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine.… read more

Ultimate Zero and One: Computing at the Quantum Frontier

May 24, 2012

ultimatezeroandone

author |
Colin P. Williams, Scott H. Clearwater
year published |
1999

Amazon | As miniaturisation deepens, and nanotechnology and its machines become more prevalent in the real world, the need to consider using quantum mechanical concepts to perform various tasks in computation increases. Such tasks include: the teleporting of information, breaking heretofore “unbreakable” codes, communicating with messages that betray eavesdropping, and the generation of random numbers. This is the first book to apply quantum physics to the basic operations of a… read more

Homeland

January 16, 2013
author |
Cory Doctorow
year published |
2013

In Cory Doctorow’s wildly successful Little Brother, young Marcus Yallow was arbitrarily detained and brutalized by the government in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco—an experience that led him to become a leader of the whole movement of technologically clued-in teenagers, fighting back against the tyrannical security state.

A few years later, California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a… read more

A Viral Affair: Surviving the Pandemic (The Juno Trilogy)

July 3, 2013

A Viral Affair V1c

author |
Larry Kilham
year published |
2013

When American Intelligence discovers that a mad dictator is planning a viral pandemic attack, they persuade the top U.S. computer scientist, Dr. Tom Renwick, to work with the lady AI supercomputer, Juno, to develop smart, human-like robots to combat the contagion. A mysterious stranger and a romance provide an unexpected twist.

A Viral Affair: Surviving the Pandemic is the second volume in the Juno Trilogy series of near… read more

RFID Toys: Cool Projects for Home, Office and Entertainment (ExtremeTech)

December 23, 2013

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author |
Amal Graafstra
year published |
2006

Radio frequency identification now belongs to the masses, and it lets you control all sorts of things. Like access to your front door. Or valuables in an RFID-enabled safe. You can corral your stuff within an RFID-monitored perimeter, or build a shelf that tells you when you’re out of hot sauce. This book shows you how, with step-by-step instructions, illustrations, photos, and a list of the tools and tech-… read more

Revolutions: Paving the Way for the Bioeconomy

March 20, 2014

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author |
Randall E Mayes
year published |
2012

Futurists have touted the 21st century as the century of biology primarily due to the potential of genomics. That potential is based on anticipated revolutions. These revolutions present themselves in many fashions. Revolutions: Paving the Way for the Bioeconomy is an in-depth look at these revolutions.

Industrial Revolutions
Genomics researchers hope to launch personalized medicine and cure diseases by identifying drug targets and create novel therapies such as… read more

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

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

May 6, 2016

TED Talks

author |
Chris Anderson
year published |
2016

For anyone who has ever been inspired by a TED talk…

…this is an insider’s guide to creating talks that are unforgettable.

Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s… read more

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies

May 15, 2017

scale-cover

author |
Geoffrey West
year published |
2017

West, a theoretical physicist and former president of the Santa Fe Institute, argues in this dense yet accessible work that there are simple laws that underlie all complex systems, whether organic entities or human constructs. Animals, plants, economies, cultures, cities, and companies are united by the fact that they come into existence, grow, mature, and decline. West’s central conceit in studying these phenomena is scaling: how a system changes… 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

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