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When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies

May 6, 2011

When Gadgets Betray Us

Author:
Robert Vamosi
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Technology is evolving faster than we are. As our mobile phones, mp3 players, cars, and digital cameras become more and more complex, we understand less and less about how they actually work and what personal details these gadgets might reveal about us.

Robert Vamosi, an award-winning journalist and analyst who has been covering digital security issues for more than a decade, shows us the dark… read more

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

May 5, 2011

Idea Man book cover

Author:
Paul Allen
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover (2011)

Amazon | “The entire conversation took five minutes. When it was over, Bill and I looked at each other. It was one thing to talk about writing a language for a microprocessor and another to get the job done . . . If we’d been older or known better, Bill and I might have been put off by the task in front of us. But we were… read more

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

May 5, 2011

Cycles of Time book cover

Author:
Roger Penrose
Publisher:
Knopf (2011)

Amazon | From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density,… read more

H+/-: Transhumanism and Its Critics

May 5, 2011

H+/- Transhumanism and Its Critics book cover

Author:
Gregory R. Hansell, William Grassie
Publisher:
Xlibris Corporation (2011)

William Grassie | Can human nature be improved upon with the application on new sciences and technologies? Can we increase human life span, perhaps even curing death? Can we recreate ourselves and our children to be super healthy, super attractive, super athletic, super happy, and super smart? Who gets to decide these questions and how? Would these super humans still be humans or should we better call them… read more

Consciousness in the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind

May 5, 2011

Consciousness in the Universe book cover

Author:
Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff
Publisher:
Cosmology Science Publishers (2011)

Amazon | Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always out there in the world?

Topics:

  • Evolution and origin of consciousness
  • Consciousness and quantum

read more

I Am a Strange Loop

May 4, 2011

I am a Strange Loop book cover

Author:
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Publisher:
Basic Books (2008)

Amazon | Can thought arise out of matter? Can self, soul, consciousness, “I” arise out of mere matter? If it cannot, then how can you or I be here?

I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the “strange loop” — a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is… read more

The Inner Pulse: Unlocking the Secret Code of Sickness and Health

May 4, 2011

The Inner Pulse book cover

Author:
Marc Siegel
Publisher:
Wiley (2011)

Amazon | Many doctors overlook the seemingly inexplicable tragedies and recoveries that happen in hospitals every day, opting to view them simply as aberrations from the medical norm. In this book, Dr. Marc Siegel draws from his decades of experience treating patients and explores the sometimes miraculous effects that the spirit and emotion can have on disease and healing. The inner pulse is the essence that links the… read more

Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work

May 4, 2011

Futurecast book cover

Author:
Robert J. Shapiro
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press (2008)

Amazon | What will life be like in America, Europe, Japan or China in the year 2020?

As everyone’s lives across the world are become increasingly interconnected by globalization and new technologies quicken the pace of everything, the answer to that question depends on the fate and paths of the world’s major nations. In Futurecast, Robert Shapiro, former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce and Chairman/Co-founder of Sonecon,… read more

Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature

May 2, 2011

Present at the Future book cover

Author:
Ira Flatow
Publisher:
Harper Paperbacks (2008)

Amazon | Veteran NPR science reporter and award-winning radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow’s enthusiasm for all things scientific has made him a beloved on-air correspondent. For more than thirty-five years, Flatow has interviewed the top scientists and researchers on many NPR and PBS programs, including his popular Science Friday spot on Talk of the Nation. In Present at the Future, he shares the groundbreaking revelations from those conversations, including the latest… read more

The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700

May 2, 2011

The Changing Body

Author:
Roderick Floud, Robert W. Fogel, Bernard Harris
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press (2011)

Amazon | Humans have become much taller and heavier, and experience healthier and longer lives than ever before in human history. However it is only recently that historians, economists, human biologists and demographers have linked the changing size, shape and capability of the human body to economic and demographic change. This fascinating and groundbreaking book presents an accessible introduction to the field of anthropometric history, surveying the… read more

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

May 2, 2011

Supercooperators

Author:
Martin Nowak, Roger Highfield
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Evolution is often presented as a strictly competitive endeavor. This point of view has had serious implications for the way we see the mechanics of both science and culture. But scientists have long wondered how societies could have evolved without some measure of cooperation. And if there was cooperation involved, how could it have arisen from nature “red in tooth and claw”?

Martin Nowak,… read more

Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life

April 25, 2011

biopunk

Author:
Marcus Wohlsen
Publisher:
Current Hardcover (2011)

The most disruptive force on the planet resides in DNA. Biotech companies and academic researchers are just beginning to unlock the potential of piecing together life from scratch.

Champions of synthetic biology believe that turning genetic code into Lego-like blocks to build never-before-seen organisms could solve the thorniest challenges in medicine, energy, and environmental protection.

But as the hackers who cracked open the potential of the personal… read more

The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life

April 21, 2011

The Belief Instinct book cover

Author:
Jesse Bering
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

Amazon | The surprising psychology behind why we believe in God, the supernatural, and the afterlife.

Why is belief so hard to shake? Despite our best attempts to embrace rational thought and reject superstition, we often find ourselves appealing to unseen forces that guide our destiny, wondering who might be watching us as we go about our lives, and imagining what might come after death.… read more

Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrödinger’s Cat: Scenes from the Living Laboratory

April 21, 2011

Pavlov's Dogs book cover

Author:
Rom Harré
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2009)

Amazon | From the sheep, dog, and cockerel that were sent aloft in Montgolfier’s balloon to test the air over Paris, to the famous clone Dolly the Sheep and the Darwinian finches of the Galapagos, Pavlov’s Dogs and Schrödinger’s Cat offers a fascinating and enlightening look at the use of plants and animals — including humans — in scientific experiments. Rom Harré provides a fresh and fascinating perspective on research,… read more

Atlas Shrugged

April 21, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Author:
Ayn Rand
Publisher:
Plume (1999)

Amazon | Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand’s greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex.

Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama… read more

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