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A Planet of Viruses

May 11, 2011

A Planet of Viruses book cover

Author:
Carl Zimmer
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press (2011)

Amazon | Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for… read more

A Shortcut Through Time: The Path to the Quantum Computer

September 9, 2010

shortcut through time

Author:
George Johnson
Publisher:
Vintage Books (2004)

Amazon | In this remarkably illustrative and thoroughly accessible look at one of the most intriguing frontiers in science and computers, award-winning New York Times writer George Johnson reveals the fascinating world of quantum computing—the holy grail of super computers where the computing power of single atoms is harnassed to create machines capable of almost unimaginable calculations in the blink of an eye.

As computer chips continue to… 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

A Tear at the Edge of Creation: A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

July 7, 2010

A Tear at the Edge of Creation cover

Author:
Marcelo Gleiser
Publisher:
Free Press (2010)

Amazon | For most of his career, physicist Gleiser (The Dancing Universe) was a “true believer in unification,” seeing in string theory a “more profound description of Nature” with “a higher level of mathematical symmetry.” He now rejects the search for a perfect theory as an improvable article of belief akin to monotheism. Explaining his turnaround, Gleiser points to the game-changing 1998 discovery that the universe is expanding at an… read more

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

February 24, 2012

auniversefromnothing

Author:
Lawrence M. Krauss
Publisher:
Free Press (2012)

Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, and it’s the supposed counterargument to anyone who questions the need for God. As Krauss argues, scientists have, however, historically focused… read more

A Very Short Tour of the Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain

August 14, 2013

book_a_very_short_tour_of_the_mind

Author:
Michael C. Corballis
Publisher:
Overlook Hardcover (2013)

Why do we remember faces but not names? If your brain were cut in half would you suffer more than a splitting headache? How does your dog remember where it buried its bone but you can’t find your keys? And do we really only use ten percent of our brains? In A Very Short Tour of the Mind, Michael C. Corballis answers these questions and more.… read more

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

July 3, 2013

A Viral Affair V1c

Author:
Larry Kilham
Publisher:
Lawrence B. Kilham (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

A.I. Apocalypse

September 12, 2013

hertling_ai_apocalypse

Author:
William Hertling
Publisher:
Liquididea Press (2012)

Leon Tsarev is a high school student set on getting into a great college program, until his uncle, a member of the Russian mob, coerces him into developing a new computer virus for the mob’s botnet – the slave army of computers they used to commit digital crimes.

The evolutionary virus Leon creates, based on biological principles, is successful — too successful. All the world’s computers are infected. Everything… read more

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots

February 3, 2011

absolutebeginnersguide

Author:
Gareth Branwyn
Publisher:
Que (2003)

If you have an interest in robotics, but not sure how to get started, this could be the right book to get past that hurdle. It covers basic skills like soldering and programming, and steps you through how to build three simple robots.  The reader is gently led through an easy to follow robot building procedure with a list and photo of the parts needed to build the… read more

Absolutely Small: How Quantum Theory Explains Our Everyday World

October 21, 2010
Author:
Michael D. Fayer
Publisher:
AMACOM (2010)

Publishers Weekly | How a photon can be in two places at once is just one of the conundrums of quantum physics that Fayer (Elements of Quantum Mechanics) helps to unravel. The Stanford University Professor of Chemistry provides a roadmap for non-scientific readers who wish to understand the subject but lack advanced mathematical training.

Fayer’s belief that our everyday experiences “teach us to think in terms… read more

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

January 3, 2012

abundance

Author:
Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
Publisher:
Free Press (2012)

Amazon | Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge — this is a book about how we rise to meet it. We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces… read more

Accelerando

April 15, 2009

accelerando

Author:
Charles Stross
Publisher:
Ace (2006)

During the last five years, Stross has garnered a reputation as one of the most imaginative practitioners of hard sf. Expanded from several stories originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Stross’ latest novel follows several generations of the Macx family through the rapidly transforming, Internet-enabled global economy of the early twenty-first century to the human and transhuman populated worlds of the outer solar system a half century later. The… read more

Acidexia

August 20, 2012

acidexia

Author:
Rachel Haywire
Publisher:
Everything-Permitted (2012)

Acidexia is an e-book of writings by Rachel Haywire that first appeared in her Acidexia online journal between 2001 and 2004.

At the turn of the millennium, an institutionalized “mentally ill” teenage girl is kicked out of her home to live life on the streets. She embarks upon an odyssey through underground subcultures and cyberspace while endlessly crisscrossing the country by bus and hitchhiking. Reinventing herself… read more

Affective Computing

August 11, 2011

Affective Computing book cover

Author:
Rosalind W. Picard
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2000)

Amazon | The latest scientific findings indicate that emotions play an essential role in decision making, perception, learning, and more — that is, they influence the very mechanisms of rational thinking. Not only too much, but too little emotion can impair decision making. According to Rosalind Picard, if we want computers to be genuinely intelligent and to interact naturally with us, we must give computers the ability to… read more

After the Software Wars

November 16, 2010

afterthesoftwarewars

Author:
Keith Cary Curtis
Publisher:
Keithcu Press (2009)

Keithcu Press | Given currently available technology, we should already have cars that drive us around in absolute safety, leaving us to lounge comfortably in the back while sipping champagne. We have all the hardware — the video cameras, motion sensors and high powered computers — and we’ve had this technology for decades. So why don’t cars drive themselves?

The answer is that we don’t have the software.… read more

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