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The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction

July 16, 2010

The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction

Author:
David Orrell
Publisher:
Basic Books (2008)

Amazon | In the spirit of Freakonomics and A Short History of Progress, The Future of Everything is a compelling, elegantly written history of our future.

For centuries, scientists have strived to predict the future. But to what extent have they succeeded? Can past events–Hurricane Katrina, the Internet stock bubble, the SARS outbreak–help us understand what will happen next? Will scientists ever really be able to forecast catastrophes,… read more

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind

September 17, 2013

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Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2014)

The New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible, Physics of the Future and Hyperspace tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.

For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping… read more

The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change

June 18, 2013

The Future_Six Drivers of Global Change

Author:
Al Gore
Publisher:
Random House (2013)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the former vice president and #1 New York Times bestselling author comes An Inconvenient Truth for everything—a frank and clear-eyed assessment of six critical drivers of global change in the decades to come.

Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front… read more

The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us from Other Animals

June 2, 2014

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Author:
Thomas Suddendorf
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?

In The Gap, psychologist… read more

The Genius in All of Us: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About Genetics, Talent, and IQ Is Wrong

July 8, 2010

The Genius in All of Us cover

Author:
David Shenk
Publisher:
Doubleday (2010)

Amazon | In The Genius in All of Us, Shenk beautifully explains why the nature-nurture debate is dead. It is not just the genes we are born with, but how we are raised and what opportunities are open to us that determine how smart we will become. Nurture and experience reshape our genes, and thus our brain. Shenk argues that the idea we are either born with genius or talent,… read more

The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think

October 16, 2013

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Author:
Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2013)

Brian Hare, dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.

In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along… read more

The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates

May 24, 2012

The God Problem

Author:
Howard Bloom
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2012)

Amazon | God’s war crimes, Aristotle’s sneaky tricks, Galileos creationism, Newton’s intelligent design, entropys errors, Einstein’s pajamas, John Conway’s game of loneliness, Information Theory’s blind spot, Stephen Wolfram’s New Kind Of Science, and six monkeys at six typewriters getting it wrong. What do these have to do with the birth of a universe and with your need for meaning? Everything, as you’re about to see.
“Enthralling. Astonishing. Written with the panache… read more

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful: A Neuronal Approach

August 26, 2013

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful A Neuronal Approach

Author:
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Publisher:
Yale University Press (2012)

In this fascinating and bold discussion, a renowned neurobiologist serves as guide to the most complex physical object in the living world: the human brain. Taking into account the newest brain research—morphological, physiological, chemical, genetic—and placing these findings in the context of psychology, philosophy, art, and literature, Changeux ventures into the unexplored territories where these diverse disciplines intersect.

Changeux’s book draws on Plato’s notion that the Good, the True,… read more

The Grand Design

September 3, 2010

The Grand Design

Author:
Stephen William Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
Publisher:
Bantam (2010)

Amazon | The three central questions of philosophy and science: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not some other? No one can make a discussion of such matters as compulsively readable as the celebrated University of Cambridge cosmologist Hawking (A Brief History of Time).

Along with Caltech physicist Mlodinow (The Drunkard’s Walk), Hawking deftly mixes cutting-edge… read more

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better

June 29, 2011

The Great Stagnation book cover

Author:
Tyler Cowen
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2011)

Amazon | Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation, the eSpecial heard round the world that ignited a firestorm of debate and redefined the nature of our economic malaise, is now — at last — a book.

America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, media wages have been flat since the 1970s, and it is common to expect that things will get… 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

The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate

September 11, 2013

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Author:
Robin Hanson, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Publisher:
Machine Intelligence Research Institute (2013)

In late 2008, economist Robin Hanson and AI theorist Eliezer Yudkowsky conducted an online debate about the future of artificial intelligence, and in particular about whether generally intelligent AIs will be able to improve their own capabilities very quickly (a.k.a. “foom”). The original debate took place in a long series of blog posts, which are collected here. This book also includes a transcript of a 2011 in-person debate between… read more

The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America

July 7, 2010

The Harvard Psychedelic Club cover

Author:
Don Lattin
Publisher:
HarperOne (2010)

Amazon | It’s hard for folks who didn’t live through the 1960s to imagine what it was like to live in a drug and sex-soaked culture, one where traditional values were drowned in a rush of hedonism and hippiedom. Names like Timothy Leary and Ram Dass bring back all the memories and all the conflicts. In this beautifully constructed study, Lattin (Jesus Freaks) brings together four of the most… read more

The Hidden Alpha

February 19, 2013

thehiddenalpha

Author:
Alexander Popoff
Publisher:
Alexander Popoff (2013)

X Factors are unknown, emerging risks to human wellbeing, even survival. These risks might come from inner space (human cognitive and body enhancement, associated with genetic engineering, nanotechnologies, neural and cybernetic implants, etc.) and outer space (discovery and contact with extraterrestrial life and artificial intelligence).

That’s not preposterous science fiction mumbo jumbo of professor Farnsworth from Futurama but a serious discussion at the annual World Economic Forum in… read more

The Human Brain Book

January 6, 2011

humanbrainbook

Author:
Rita Carter
Publisher:
DK ADULT (2009)

Amazon | The Human Brain Book is a complete guide to the one organ in the body that makes each of us what we are — unique individuals. It combines the latest findings from the field of neuroscience with expert text and state-of-the-art illustrations and imaging techniques to provide an incomparable insight into every facet of the brain. Layer by layer, it reveals the fascinating details of this… read more

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