bookshelf by year

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History

September 2, 2016

rise-f-the-machines-cover

author |
Thomas Rid
year published |
2016

A sweeping history of our deep entanglement with technology.

As lives offline and online merge even more, it’s easy to forget how we got here. Rise of the Machines reclaims the spectacular story of cybernetics, a control theory of man and machine. In a history that unpacks one of the twentieth century’s pivotal ideas, Thomas Rid delivers a thought-provoking portrait of our technology-enraptured era.

Springing from the febrile… read more

Foundation’s Triumph

March 8, 2017

Foundation's Triumph - Brin

author |
David Brin
year published |
2000

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy is one of the highwater marks of science fiction.The monumental story of a Galactic Empire in decline and a secret society of scientists who seek to shorten the coming Dark Age with tools of Psychohistory, Foundation pioneered many themes of modern science fiction. Now, with the approval of the Asimov estate, three of today’s most acclaimed authors have completed the epic the Grand Master

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Human Enhancement

April 9, 2009
author |
Nick Bostrom, Julian Savulescu
year published |
2009

Amazon | To what extent should we use technology to try to make better human beings? Because of the remarkable advances in biomedical science, we must now find an answer to this question.

Human enhancement aims to increase human capacities above normal levels. Many forms of human enhancement are already in use.

Many students and academics take cognition enhancing drugs to get a competitive edge. Some top athletes… read more

Experimental Man: What One Man’s Body Reveals about His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World

July 13, 2010

Experimental Man: What One Man's Body Reveals about His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World

author |
David Ewing Duncan
year published |
2009

Bestselling author David Ewing Duncan takes the ultimate high-tech medical exam, investigating the future impact of what’s hidden deep inside all of us

David Ewing Duncan takes “guinea pig” journalism to the cutting edge of science, building on award-winning articles he wrote for Wired and National Geographic, in which he was tested for hundreds of chemicals and genes associated with disease, emotions, and other traits. Expanding on these… read more

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

July 16, 2010

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

author |
David Brin
year published |
1999

Amazon | Science fiction writer Brin (The Uplift War) departs from technological fantasy to focus on the social and political ramifications of our information age.

While addressing the technology-vs.-privacy debate, he offers an informed overview of the issues and a useful historical account of how current policies evolved. Also beneficial are his descriptions of the different viewpoints on encryption software, online anonymity, the Clipper Chip and… read more

Humanity’s End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement

November 29, 2010

humanitysend

author |
Nicholas Agar
year published |
2010

Amazon | Proposals to make us smarter than the greatest geniuses or to add thousands of years to our life spans seem fit only for the spam folder or trash can. And yet this is what contemporary advocates of radical enhancement offer in all seriousness. They present a variety of technologies and therapies that will expand our capacities far beyond what is currently possible for human beings.… read more

Robots, Androids and Animatrons: 12 Incredible Projects You Can Build

February 7, 2011

robotsandroids

author |
John Iovine
year published |
2001

In Robots, Androids and Animatrons: 12 Incredible Projects You Can Build, electronics expert John Iovine serves up easy-to-follow plans and step-by-step instructions for constructing your very own state-of-the-art working robot that will obey your orders, act as your surrogate and even do scores of tough chores. You’ll find everything you need to harness the latest robotics technologies — locomotion, sensing and control — to develop a high-tech robot,… read more

The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death

May 9, 2011

Immortalization Commission book Cover

author |
John Gray
year published |
2011

Amazon | At the heart of human experience lies an obsession with the nature of death. Religion, for most of history, has provided an explanation for human life and a vision of what comes after it. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such beliefs came under relentless pressure as new ideas — from psychiatry to evolution to communism — seemed to suggest that our fate was… read more

Your Brain: The Missing Manual

June 23, 2011

Your Brain: The Missing Manual book cover

author |
Matthew MacDonald
year published |
2008

Amazon | Puzzles and brain twisters to keep your mind sharp and your memory intact are all the rage today. More and more people — Baby Boomers and information workers in particular — are becoming concerned about their gray matter’s ability to function, and with good reason. As this sensible and entertaining guide points out, your brain is easily your most important possession. It deserves proper upkeep.

Your Brain:read more

The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World

September 12, 2011

making of second life

author |
Wagner James Au
year published |
2008

Amazon | The wholly virtual world known as Second Life has attracted more than a million active users, millions of dollars, and created its own — very real — economy.

The Making of Second Life is the behind-the-scenes story of the Web 2.0 revolution’s most improbable enterprise: the creation of a virtual 3-D world with its own industries, culture, and social systems. Now the toast of the Internet economy,… read more

Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired, and Sudden Savant

May 21, 2012

islands-of-genius

author |
Darold A. Treffert
year published |
2011

Amazon | Savant syndrome is a rare condition in which individuals with developmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance — ”islands of genius” — that exist in contrast with their overall limitations. In this fascinating book, Dr. Darold Treffert looks at what we know about this remarkable condition, and at new discoveries that raise interesting questions about the hidden brain potential within us… read more

The Rapture of the Nerds: A Tale of the Singularity, Posthumanity, and Awkward Social Situations

September 9, 2012

rapture-nerds-cover

author |
Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross
year published |
2012

Tor | Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a… read more

The Regulatory Genome: Gene Regulatory Networks in Development and Evolution

October 28, 2012

generegulatorynetworks

author |
Eric H. Davidson
year published |
2006

Gene regulatory networks are the most complex, extensive control systems found in nature. The interaction between biology and evolution has been the subject of great interest in recent years. The author, Eric Davidson, has been instrumental in elucidating this relationship. He is a world renowned scientist and a major contributor to the field of developmental biology.

The Regulatory Genome beautifully explains the control of animal development in terms… read more

Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Greatest Idea

December 3, 2013

Evololutionaries-Phipps

author |
Carter Phipps
year published |
2012

“Carter Phipps brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution by showing us that a new science is emerging—one that will holistically integrate our understanding of consciousness, cosmology, and evolution.”
—Deepak Chopra

Blending cutting-edge ideas with incisive spiritual insights, Evolutionaries is the first popular presentation of an emerging school of thought called “evolutionary spirituality.” Carter Phipps, the former executive editor of EnlightenNext magazine, asserts that evolution is not only a scientific but also a… read more

Infrared Astronomy – Seeing the Heat: from William Herschel to the Herschel Space Observatory

November 1, 2016

infrared-astronomy-cover

author |
David L. Clements
year published |
2014

Uncover the Secrets of the Universe Hidden at Wavelengths beyond Our Optical Gaze

William Herschel’s discovery of infrared light in 1800 led to the development of astronomy at wavelengths other than the optical. Infrared Astronomy – Seeing the Heat: from William Herschel to the Herschel Space Observatory explores the work in astronomy that relies on observations in the infrared. Author David L. Clements, a distinguished academic and science… read more

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