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The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

March 16, 2011

The Origins of Political Order book cover

Author:
Francis Fukuyama
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s… read more

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100

March 11, 2011

Physics of the Future book cover

Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Publisher’s Weekly | Kaku (Physics of the Impossible), a professor of physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, gathers ideas from more than 300 experts, scientists, and researchers at the cutting edge of their fields, to offer a glimpse of what the next 100 years may bring. The predictions all conform to certain ground rules (e.g., “Prototypes of all technologies mentioned… already exist”), and some seem obvious (computer chips… read more

Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge

March 9, 2011

Second Nature book cover

Author:
Gerald M. Edelman
Publisher:
Yale University Press (2007)

Amazon | Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness — the very center of human concern — by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the… read more

The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

March 8, 2011

The Most Human Human book cover

Author:
Brian Christian
Publisher:
Doubleday (2011)

Amazon | The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can “think.”

Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Tur­ing Test convenes a panel of judges who… read more

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

March 8, 2011

The Information book cover

Author:
James Gleick
Publisher:
Pantheon (2011)

Amazon | James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality — the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.

The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as… read more

33 Million People in the Room: How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking

March 7, 2011

33 Million People in the Room book cover

Author:
Juliette Powell
Publisher:
FT Press (2012)

Google | Social networks aren’t just a trend anymore: they’re a permanent reality — and they offer immense opportunities to businesspeople who are innovative and committed enough to take advantage of them. In this book, leading social networking consultant Juliette Powell reveals how dozens of innovators are driving real ROI through social networks. Powell’s wide-ranging case studies include technology, media and gaming companies, leaders in fashion, beauty, publishing,… read more

I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life

February 28, 2011

I, Avatar book cover

Author:
Mark Stephen Meadows
Publisher:
New Riders Press (2008)

Amazon | What is an avatar? Why are there nearly a billion of them, and who is using them? Do avatars impact our real lives, or are they just video game conceits? Is an avatar an inspired rendering of its creator’s inner self, or is it just one among millions of anonymous vehicles clogging the online freeways? Can we use our avatars to really connect with people,… read more

We, Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact

February 24, 2011

We, Robot book cover

Author:
Mark Stephen Meadows
Publisher:
Lyons Press (2010)

Amazon | We, Robot does for robotics what Michio Kaku’s bestselling Physics of the Impossible has done for physics. How close to becoming reality are our favorite science fiction robots? And what might be the real-life consequences of their existence? Robotics and artificial intelligence expert (and science fiction fan) Mark Stephen Meadows answers that question with an irresistible blend of hard science, futurist imagination, solid statistics, pop culture, and plenty… read more

How We Live and Why We Die: The Secret Lives of Cells

February 23, 2011

how we live why we die

Author:
Lewis Wolpert
Publisher:
Faber and Faber (2009)

Publishers Weekly | Wolpert, professor emeritus of biology at University College London (Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast), conceives bodies as complex societies of cells, with each individual cell and cell type fulfilling a very specific role. As Wolpert explains, cells are incredibly complicated, representing evolution in action. Indeed, Wolpert asserts, However clever one thinks cells are, they almost always turn out to exceed one’s expectations.

He provides basic… 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

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe

February 22, 2011

Biocentrism Cover Image

Author:
Robert Lanza, Bob Berman
Publisher:
BenBella Books (2010)

Amazon | Robert Lanza is one of the most respected scientists in the world — a U.S. News & World Report cover story called him a “genius” and a “renegade thinker,” even likening him to Einstein. Lanza has teamed with Bob Berman, the most widely read astronomer in the world, to produce Biocentrism, a revolutionary new view of the universe.

Every now and then a simple yet… read more

The Biology of Aging

February 20, 2011

biology-of-aging-observations-and-principles

Author:
Robert Arking
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2006)

Amazon | Robert Arking’s Biology of Aging, 3rd edition, is an introductory text to the biology of aging which gives advanced undergraduate and graduate students a thorough review of the entire field. His prior two editions have also served admirably as a reference text for clinicians and scientists. This new edition captures the extraordinary recent advances in our knowledge of the ultimate and proximal mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of… read more

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from Technology

February 16, 2011

Open Innovation book cover

Author:
Henry William Chesbrough
Publisher:
Harvard Business Press (2005)

Publisher’s Weekly | The great corporate research departments at companies like Bell Labs, IBM and Xerox were once the motor of American industry. But that may be changing, according to this probing academic study of corporate technological innovation.

Chesbrough, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, argues that the old “closed innovation” model — vertically integrated research and development departments that develop technology in-house for the sole… read more

Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines — and How It Will Change Our Lives

February 16, 2011

Beyond Boundaries cover

Author:
Miguel Nicolelis
Publisher:
Times Books (2011)

Amazon | A pioneering neuroscientist shows how the long-sought merger of brains with machines is about to become a paradigm-shifting reality.

Imagine living in a world where people use their computers, drive their cars, and communicate with one another simply by thinking. In this stunning and inspiring work, Duke University neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis shares his revolutionary insights into how the brain creates thought and the human sense… read more

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom

February 16, 2011

Composing a Further Life book cover

Author:
Mary Catherine Bateson
Publisher:
Knopf (2010)

Amazon | From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, “Adulthood II,” created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources — of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to… read more

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