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Brave New World

December 18, 2013

BraveNewWorld_FirstEdition

Author:
Aldous Huxley
Publisher:
Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006)

A towering classic of dystopian satire, BRAVE NEW WORLD is a brilliant and terrifying vision of a soulless society—and of one man who discovers the human costs of mindless conformity.

Hundreds of years in the future, the World Controllers have created an ideal civilization. Its members, shaped by genetic engineering and behavioral conditioning, are productive and content in roles they have been assigned at conception. Government-sanctioned drugs and recreational… 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

Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines

April 9, 2009
Author:
Robert A. Freitas Jr., Ralph C. Merkle
Publisher:
Landes Bioscience (2004)

This book offers a general review of the voluminous theoretical and experimental literature pertaining to physical self-replicating systems and self-replication. The principal focus here is on self-replicating machine systems. Most importantly, we are concerned with kinematic self-replicating machines: systems in which actual physical objects, not mere patterns of information, undertake their own replication.

Following a brief burst of activity in the 1950s and 1980s, the field… read more

The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 tales of invention and discovery to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy

April 3, 2010

the greatest science stories

Author:
Rick Beyer
Publisher:
Harper (2009)

Amazon | Rick Beyer is a lifelong history enthusiast and an award-winning documentary producer whose work for The History Channel® includes Godspeed to Jamestown, The Wright Challenge, and the Timelab 2000 series of history minutes.

100 tales of invention and discovery:

  • Meet the angry undertaker who gave us the push-button phone.
  • Discover how modesty led to the invention of the stethoscope.
  • Find out why

read more

More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement

July 16, 2010

More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement

Author:
Ramez Naam
Publisher:
Broadway (2005)

Amazon | Imagine a person severely disabled by a stroke who, with electrodes implanted in his brain, can type on a computer just by thinking of the letters. Or a man, blind for 20 years, driving a car around a parking lot via a camera hard-wired into his brain. Plots for science fiction? No, it’s already happened, according to future technologies expert Naam. In an excellent and comprehensive survey,… read more

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future

January 7, 2011

An Optimist's Tour of the Future book cover

Author:
Mark Stevenson
Publisher:
Profile (2011)

Amazon | Mark Stevenson has been to the future a few years ahead of the rest of us — and reckons it has a lot going for it. His voyage of discovery takes him to Oxford to meet Transhumanists (they intend to live forever), to Boston where he confronts a robot with mood swings, to an underwater cabinet meeting in the Indian Ocean, and Australia to question the… read more

Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality

February 23, 2011

virtually you

Author:
Elias Aboujaoude
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

 

Amazon | A penetrating examination of the insidious effects of the Internet on our personalities — online and off. Whether sharing photos or following financial markets, many of us spend a shocking amount of time online. While the Internet can enhance well-being, Elias Aboujaoude has spent years treating patients whose lives have been profoundly disturbed by it.

Part of the danger lies in how the Internet allows us… 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

Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life

June 23, 2011

Rewire Your Brain book cover

Author:
John B. Arden, Ph.D.
Publisher:
Wiley (2010)

Amazon | Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that’s not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it’s “softwired” by experience. This book shows… read more

FYI (Popular Science): 229 Curious Questions Answered by the World’s Smartest People

September 1, 2011

popularsciencefyi

Author:
The Editors of Popular Science
Publisher:
Weldon Owen (2011)

Popular Science | If you’ve ever wondered… Can someone use your GPS receiver to track you? Are those paper toilet-seat covers really protecting you from anything? Should you worry about electromagnetic pulses destroying your electronics?

If you’re curious about these and other strange, mind-expanding things — this book was written for you. Popular Science FYI is bursting with surprising answers to weird and zany questions smart people love… read more

Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

January 12, 2012

yourbrainonfood

Author:
Gary Wenk
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2010)

Amazon | Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do… read more

Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems

May 4, 2012

needspeedgreed

Author:
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Publisher:
HarperBusiness (2012)

Amazon | Over the past few decades, globalization and Googlization have kicked off the first phase of an innovation revolution more profound and more powerful than any economic force since the arrival of Europeans on North American shores half a millennium ago. These developments have brought us such advances as the Web, social networking, 24/7 connectivity, and global markets.

But the benefits of all this progress have not… read more

A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation

September 6, 2012
Author:
Hector Zenil
Publisher:
World Scientific Publishing Company (2012)

This volume, with a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature.

It focuses on two main questions:

  • What is computation?
  • How does nature compute?

The contributors are world-renowned experts who have helped shape a cutting-edge computational understanding of the universe. They discuss computation in the world from a variety of perspectives, ranging from foundational concepts… read more

Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

Author:
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2013)

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

The Bequeathal: Godsent

November 27, 2013

THE bequeathal godsent

Author:
Zoran Jevtic
Publisher:
Netherworld Books (2013)

About The Bequeathal: Godsent. In a post-crash, rebooted world, Eugene Reece is one of the billions of pre-indebted citizens whose lives are augmented by the virtualized intellects of the deceased. If anything, his stats tag him average, though a notch more disillusioned and a degree less spirited than the next, permanently connected individual but his surplus dose of ironic self-derision makes him slightly discrepant.

The tedium of Eugene’s drudge… read more

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