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Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care

October 18, 2014

Unaccountable

Author:
Marty Makary
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Press (2014)

Dr. Marty Makary is co-developer of the life-saving checklist outlined in Atul Gawande’s bestselling The Checklist Manifesto. As a busy surgeon who has worked in many of the best hospitals in the nation, he can testify to the amazing power of modern medicine to cure. But he’s also been a witness to a medical culture that routinely leaves surgical sponges inside patients, amputates the wrong limbs, and overdoses children because… read more

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

September 18, 2014

Zero_To_One

Author:
Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
Publisher:
Crown Business (2014)

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.

The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.

Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of… read more

A Taxonomy and Metaphysics of Mind-Uploading

October 15, 2014

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Author:
Keith Wiley
Publisher:
Humanity+ Press and Alautun Press (2014)

MIND-UPLOADING: the process of transferring one’s mind from the brain to a new substrate, generally a computer. It is the stuff of science fiction, immediately recognizable in contemporary literature and cinema. However, it has also become increasingly respectable–or at least approachable–within technological, neurological, and philosophical circles. This book begins with a rich taxonomy of hypothetical procedures by which mind-uploading might be achieved, even if only in the realm of… read more

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future

June 23, 2014

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Author:
Ed Finn, Kathryn Cramer
Publisher:
William Morrow (2014)

Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space… read more

Virtually Human: The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality

September 7, 2014

virtually human

Author:
Martine Rothblatt, Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press (2014)

Virtually Human explores what the not too distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness — simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives.  Meet Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone of Martine’s wife that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data… read more

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

June 2, 2014

superintelligence

Author:
Nick Bostrom
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2014)

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general… read more

A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century

October 9, 2014

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Author:
Ilia Stambler
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)

This work explores the history of life-extensionism in the 20th century. The term life-extensionism is meant to describe an ideological system professing that radical life extension (far beyond the present life expectancy) is desirable on ethical grounds and is possible to achieve through conscious scientific efforts. This work examines major lines of life-extensionist thought, in chronological order, over the course of the 20th century, while focusing on central seminal… read more

Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Machine Minds

June 2, 2014

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Author:
Russell Blackford, Damien Broderick
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell (2014)

Intelligence Unbound explores the prospects, promises, and potential dangers of machine intelligence and uploaded minds in a collection of state-of-the-art essays from internationally recognized philosophers, AI researchers, science fiction authors, and theorists.

  • Compelling and intellectually sophisticated exploration of the latest thinking on Artificial Intelligence and machine minds
  • Features contributions from an international cast of philosophers, Artificial Intelligence researchers, science fiction authors, and more
  • Offers

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The Dark Net

November 17, 2014

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Author:
Jamie Bartlett
Publisher:
Cornerstone Digital (2014)

Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much… read more

Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen

July 21, 2014

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Author:
Philip Ball
Publisher:
The Bodley Head (2014)

If you could be invisible, what would you do? The chances are that it would have something to do with power, wealth or sex. Perhaps all three.

But there’s no need to feel guilty. Impulses like these have always been at the heart of our fascination with invisibility: it points to realms beyond our senses, serves as a receptacle for fears and dreams, and hints at worlds where… read more

The Proactionary Imperative: A Foundation for Transhumanism

September 12, 2014

cover

Author:
Steve Fuller, Veronika Lipinska
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2014)

The “proactionary principle” was introduced by transhumanists. Whereas precautionaries believe that we are on the brink on environmental catastrophe because we’re too willing to take risks, proactionaries believe that humans stand apart from the rest of nature by our capacity for successful risk taking. In terms of current environmental problems, therefore, solutions lie not in turning our backs on our love affair with technology but by intensifying it –… read more

Zoom: How Everything Moves — from Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees

November 21, 2014

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Author:
Bob Berman
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company (2014)

From the speed of light to moving mountains, and everything in between, Zoom explores how the universe and its objects move.

If you sit as still as you can in a quiet room, you might be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents are still wafting around you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. In fact, the planet… read more

Anticipating 2025: A guide to the radical changes that may lie ahead, whether or not we’re ready

July 30, 2014

cover

Author:
David W. Wood
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2014)

The near future deserves more of our attention. A great deal can change over the next few years.

From mid 2014 until 2025, there will be seven 18-month “Moore’s Law” generations, potentially resulting in a 128-fold increase in raw computing performance (that’s 2 multiplied by itself 7 times). That will enable devices with core components that are, for example, 5 times more powerful, 5 times cheaper, and 5… read more

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

June 23, 2014

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Author:
Jordan Ellenberg
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The (2014)

The Freakonomics of matha math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands
The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In How Not to Be Wrong, Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn’t confined to abstract incidents that never occur in… read more

Quantum, Relativity, Consciousness And Beyond: A Scientific Quest for Ultimate Reality

June 4, 2014

cover

Author:
Shan Gao
Publisher:
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (2014)

Notwithstanding the great advances in modern science, there are some deep, unexplained mysteries, and our current world view is still fragmented. On the one hand, the two pillars of modern physics, namely relativity and quantum theory, are not only incomplete respectively but also incompatible with each other. Moreover, they are difficult to understand and even incomprehensible. On the other hand, there is a deeper mystery concerning our most familiar… read more

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