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Complexity: A Guided Tour

June 7, 2011

Complexity: A Guided Tour book cover

Author:
Melanie Mitchell
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2009)

Amazon | What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the… read more

Human Enhancement

April 9, 2009
Author:
Nick Bostrom, Julian Savulescu
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (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

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

July 14, 2010

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

Author:
Joshua Cooper Ramo
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company (2009)

Amazon | Former foreign editor of Time, Ramo pushes the reader into uncomfortable yet exhilarating places with controversial ways of thinking about global challenges (e.g., studying why Hezbollah is the most efficiently run Islamic militant group). His book, which lays bare the flaws in current thinking on everything from American political influence to the economy, is designed to change the physics of the way we think. Analyzing the failure… read more

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not

February 24, 2012

onbeingcertain

Author:
Robert Burton
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (2009)

You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You “know” the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001 — you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain — feeling that we know something — is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of… read more

One Second After

February 3, 2011

one_second_after-759350

Author:
William R. Forstchen
Publisher:
Forge Books (2009)

Amazon | New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real, a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages — A war based upon a weapon, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A weapon that may already be… 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

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

June 21, 2011

Brain Rules book cover

Author:
John Medina
Publisher:
Pearl Press (2009)

Amazon | See how the brain works while using it in the process of reading this book! Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know — like that physical activity boosts your brain power. How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why… 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
Publisher:
Wiley (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

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

April 9, 2009
Author:
Clay Shirky
Publisher:
Penguin (Non-Classics) (2009)

An examination of how the rapid spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects–for good and for ill. Our age’s new technologies of social networking are evolving, and evolving us, into new groups doing new things in new ways, and old and new groups alike doing the old things… read more

After the Software Wars

November 16, 2010

afterthesoftwarewars

Author:
Keith Cary Curtis
Publisher:
Keithcu Press (2009)

Keithcu Press | Given currently available technology, we should already have cars that drive us around in absolute safety, leaving us to lounge comfortably in the back while sipping champagne. We have all the hardware — the video cameras, motion sensors and high powered computers — and we’ve had this technology for decades. So why don’t cars drive themselves?

The answer is that we don’t have the software.… read more

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

July 14, 2010

Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty

Author:
Andy Miah
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press (2009)

Amazon | This innovative book, inspired by material from FACT’s Human Futures program and informed by an inquiry into the future of humanity, combines scholarly essays, images, interviews, design products, artifacts, and creative writing in order to portray how the culture of technological innovation is made and remade through bioculturally diverse forms of consumption. Human Futures addresses biological developments such as cloning, genetic modification, stem cell research alongside issues… read more

Postsingular

May 17, 2011

Postsingular

Author:
Rudy Rucker
Publisher:
Tor Books (2009)

Booklist | Always willing and able to embrace sf’s trendiest themes, Rucker here takes on the volatile field of nanotechnology and the presumed inevitable “Singularity” of human and computer unification.

In a series of interrelated vignettes, he describes the calamity that befalls nanotech inventor Ond Lutter and his would-be benefactors when Ond unleashes a variety of self-replicating nanobots. In one episode, trillions of microscopic bots, dubbed… read more

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

February 10, 2011

wiredforwar

Author:
P. W. Singer
Publisher:
The Penguin Press HC (2009)

Amazon | A military expert reveals how science fiction is fast becoming reality on the battlefield, changing not just how wars are fought, but also the politics, economics, laws, and ethics that surround war itself.

P. W. Singer’s previous two books foretold the rise of private military contractors and the advent of child soldiers — predictions that proved all too accurate. Now, he explores the greatest revolution… read more

The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God

July 20, 2011

Accidental Mind book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Belknap Press (2008)

Amazon | You’ve probably seen it before: a human brain dramatically lit from the side, the camera circling it like a helicopter shot of Stonehenge, and a modulated baritone voice exalting the brain’s elegant design in reverent tones.

To which this book says: Pure nonsense. In a work at once deeply learned and wonderfully accessible, the neuroscientist David Linden counters the widespread assumption that the brain is… read more

Listening to the Future: Why It’s Everybody’s Business

October 11, 2010

ListeningToTheFuture

Author:
Daniel W. Rasmus, Rob Salkowitz
Publisher:
Wiley (2008)

Amazon | Listening to the Future: Why It’s Everybody’s Business explores the challenges and opportunities facing organizations, the transformations that will ripple through the political, economic, and social environments, and the implications for different industries in the 21st century workplace. Written by Microsoft forecasters Daniel W. Rasmus and Rob Salkowitz, this important book equips your business to get out in front of new technology innovations in the consumer world… read more

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