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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

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

Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)

June 23, 2014

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Author:
Salim Ismail, Mike Malone, Yuri van Geest
Publisher:
Diversion Books (2014)

In business, performance is key. In performance, how you organize can be the key to growth.

In the past five years, the business world has seen the birth of a new breed of company—the Exponential Organization—that has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology. An ExO can eliminate the incremental, linear way traditional companies get bigger, leveraging things like community, big data, algorithms, and… 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

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

June 4, 2014

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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

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

June 2, 2014

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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

The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

June 2, 2014

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Author:
Thomas Suddendorf
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?

In The Gap, psychologist… 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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Pathways to the Future: The Robot Revolt

May 29, 2014

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

Sandra Lightning was a hybrid: part computer, all woman. Her job: secretly penetrate the largest robot manufacturing company on Earth, use her unique talents to spy on them, find out what secret plans they are fermenting and investigate the role of their robots in several mysterious deaths.

Sandra is joined by Denver Smith, forced to leave his comfortable niche as a graduate student when his life is threatened.… read more

Robots on Strike!

May 28, 2014

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Author:
Sean Dowd
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

More than science fiction, a way of considering how robots and automation could change the way global economy and politics work. The story takes us through the life of a supply chain and robotics tycoon as his new innovations present a quite unexpected result. How can robots go on strike? They were hard-wired to obey humans, so how could it possibly happen? The three laws of robotics could have… read more

Consciousness Encounters Quantum Physics: A Scientific Argument for Panpsychism

May 5, 2014

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

Consciousness is the most familiar phenomenon. Yet it is the hardest one to explain. Even today, it is still unclear whether and how consciousness emerges from mere matter or whether consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. The crux of the issue is to decide if consciousness has causal efficacies in the physical world, which is not classical but quantum at the deepest level. If consciousness is fundamental as… read more

Between Ape and Artilect: Conversations with Pioneers of Artificial General Intelligence and Other Transformative Technologies

May 5, 2014

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Author:
Ben Goertzel
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2014)

Between Ape and Artilect is edited by noted AI researcher Ben Goertzel, and produced by futurist organization Humanity+. During 2010-12, Dr. Goertzel conducted a series of textual interviews with researchers in various areas of cutting-edge science — artificial general intelligence, nanotechnology, life extension, neurotechnology, collective intelligence, mind uploading, body modification, neuro-spiritual transformation, and more. These interviews were published online in H+ Magazine, and are here gathered together in a… read more

Biopolitics: A Transhumanist Paradigm

May 1, 2014

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Author:
Stefano Vaj
Publisher:
La Carmelina Edizioni (2014)

This seminal and controversial essay, the Italian original of which appeared in print in 2003, contains a coherent and passionate pro-tech discussion of most issues relevant to biopolitics and “wet” transhumanism, in the light of continental philosophies of Becoming — namely those of Nietzschean, Futurist and posthumanist descent, as the crucial questions of our age and collective destinies.

As such, it offers a transhumanist and Promethean perspective on what… 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 Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism

April 10, 2014

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Author:
Jeremy Rifkin
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2014)

In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism.

Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its… read more

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