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The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

November 26, 2012

The Demon-Haunted World

Author:
Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan
Publisher:
Ballantine Books (1997)

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”
*Los Angeles Times

“POWERFUL . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”
*The Washington Post Book World

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives… read more

The Department of Mad Scientists: How DARPA Is Remaking Our World, from the Internet to Artificial Limbs

December 28, 2009

The Department of Mad Scientists

Author:
Michael Belfiore
Publisher:
Smithsonian (2009)

Wireless, prosthetic arms that are as nimble and light as the real thing; driverless robot cars that work their way through real traffic; a portable robotic emergency room with remote-controlled, mobile robotic surgeons; and scramjets able to race around the world in just a few hours  — these are among the DARPA projects profiled by journalist Michael Belfiore in his book, The Department of Mad Scientists.

The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)

February 21, 2014

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Author:
Mark Bauerlein
Publisher:
Tarcher (2008)

For decades, concern has been brewing about the dumbed-down popular culture of young people and the impact it has on their futures.

The dawn of the digital age once aroused our hopes: the Internet, e-mail, blogs, and interactive and ultra-realistic video games promised to yield a generation of sharper, more aware, and intellectually sophisticated children. The terms “information superhighway” and “knowledge economy” entered the lexicon, and we assumed… read more

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

July 8, 2010

The Edge of Physics cover

Author:
Anil Ananthaswamy
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade (2010)

Amazon | Despite 20th-century physics’ revelations, from relativity and quantum mechanics to the physics of the atom’s nucleus and the life cycles of stars, ninety-odd percent of the universe is a complete mystery, says a scientist quoted by Ananthaswamy, a consulting editor for New Scientist. Dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity: these are the topics that keep physicists awake at night, requiring bigger, more massive, more extreme experiments to test… read more

The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self

January 12, 2012

egotunnel

Author:
Thomas Metzinger
Publisher:
Basic Books (2010)

Amazon | This is a radical rethinking of the nature of consciousness. The Ego Tunnel, a major work from one of the brightest of the new generation of philosophers of mind, proposes a simple yet radical rethinking of the nature of consciousness and a fascinating and controversial exploration of what it implies. We’re used to thinking of the self’s relation to the world as a dyad — the… read more

The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind

January 18, 2008

The Emotion Machine

Author:
Marvin Minsky
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2007)

In this mind-expanding book, scientific pioneer Marvin Minsky continues his groundbreaking research, offering a fascinating new model for how our minds work. He argues persuasively that emotions, intuitions, and feelings are not distinct things, but different ways of thinking.

By examining these different forms of mind activity, Minsky says, we can explain why our thought sometimes takes the form of carefully reasoned analysis and at other times turns… read more

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them

April 18, 2012

emotionalifeofyourbrain

Author:
Richard J. Davidson, Sharon Begley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2012)

Amazon | This longawaited book by a pioneer in brain research offers a new model of our emotions — their origins, their power, and their malleability.

For more than thirty years, Richard Davidson has been at the forefront of brain research. Now he gives us an entirely new model for understanding our emotions, as well as practical strategies we can use to change them.

Davidson has discovered that personality… read more

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis

July 8, 2010

The Empathic Civilization cover

Author:
Jeremy Rifkin
Publisher:
Tarcher (2009)

Amazon | Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases.

No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the… read more

The Extended Mind

September 12, 2011

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Author:
Richard Menary
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2010)

Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? In their famous 1998 paper “The Extended Mind,” philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers posed this question and answered it provocatively: cognitive processes “ain’t all in the head.” The environment has an active role in driving cognition; cognition is sometimes made up of neural, bodily, and environmental processes. Their argument excited a vigorous debate among… read more

The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next 20 Years

April 9, 2009
Author:
James Canton
Publisher:
Plume (2007)

In the post-9/11 world every forecasting book that came before 9/11 is obsolete. Our world is constantly buffeted by new and dramatic change that we can’t fully grasp. The changes come in extremes: faster, bigger, more illuminating and more devastating than ever before. And all of these changes are tame compared to what is coming in the Extreme Future.

Dr. Canton breaks new ground in boldly… read more

The Eye of Moloch

June 12, 2013

The Eye of Moloch

Author:
Glenn Beck
Publisher:
Threshold Editions (2013)

THE LAST BATTLE FOR FREEDOM IS UNDER WAY…

By the end of Glenn Beck’s #1 bestselling political thriller The Overton Window, a young rebel named Molly Ross had torn aside the curtain to reveal a shadow war being waged for the future of America. In the six months since then, her fight for freedom hasn’t gone well. Marked as traitors and hunted by ruthless government-sanctioned mercenaries using the most… read more

The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications

September 10, 2010

fabricofreality

Author:
David Deutsch
Publisher:
Penguin (1998)

Amazon | “Our best theories are not only truer than common sense, they make more sense than common sense,” writes physicist David Deutsch. In The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch traces what he considers the four main strands of scientific explanation: quantum theory, evolution, computation, and the theory of knowledge. “The four of them taken together form a coherent explanatory structure that is so far-reaching, and has come to… read more

The Fossil Chronicles: How Two Controversial Discoveries Changed Our View of Human Evolution

October 7, 2013

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Author:
Dean Falk
Publisher:
University of California Press (2012)

Two discoveries of early human relatives, one in 1924 and one in 2003, radically changed scientific thinking about our origins. Dean Falk, a pioneer in the field of human brain evolution, offers this fast-paced insider’s account of these discoveries, the behind-the-scenes politics embroiling the scientists who found and analyzed them, and the academic and religious controversies they generated.

The first is the Taung child, a two-million-year-old skull from South… read more

The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery

July 13, 2010

The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery

Author:
Tony Hey, Stewart Tansley, Kristin Tolle
Publisher:
Microsoft Research (2009)

Amazon | This book presents the first broad look at the rapidly emerging field of data-intensive science, with the goal of influencing the worldwide scientific and computing research communities and inspiring the next generation of scientists. Increasingly, scientific breakthroughs will be powered by advanced computing capabilities that help researchers manipulate and explore massive datasets. The speed at which any given scientific discipline advances will depend on how well its… read more

The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension

December 28, 2010

futureofaging

Author:
Gregory M. Fahy
Publisher:
Springer (2010)

Amazon | Just as the health costs of aging threaten to bankrupt developed countries, this book makes the scientific case that a biological “bailout” could be on the way, and that human aging can be different in the future than it is today. Here 40 authors argue how our improving understanding of the biology of aging and selected technologies should enable the successful use of many different… read more

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