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Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

July 16, 2010

Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness

Author:
Roger Penrose
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (1996)

Amazon | A leading critic of artificial intelligence research returns to the attack, attempting to lay the groundwork for an analysis of the true nature of intelligence. Building on his arguments in The Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose (Mathematics/Oxford) begins by refuting the assertion that true intelligence can be attained–or even adequately simulated–by the strictly computational means to which current computers are ultimately limited. Much of his argument depends closely… read more

Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence

July 16, 2010

Mind Children: The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence

Author:
Hans Moravec
Publisher:
Harvard University Press (1990)

Erin Rhodes | What happens to memory and experience when it becomes a commodity? Can the mind really be freed from the physicality of the brain – and of the body? Wouldn’t multiple versions or copies of ourselves, and the prospect of immortality, cheapen the uniqueness of being human? Are consciousness, emotion, and intelligence particular only to humans (and perhaps other living things), or can they be instilled into… read more

Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly over the Edge

July 16, 2010

Great Mambo Chicken And The Transhuman Condition: Science Slightly Over The Edge

Author:
Ed Regis
Publisher:
Basic Books (1991)

Amazon | Author of the delightful Who Got Einstein’s Office?, Regis here presents a hilarious but nevertheless sympathetic look at practitioners of “fin-de-siecle hubristic mania.”

These are the scientific visionaries who are plotting “post-biological man,” scheming to build giant space colony/stations to orbit around the Earth, use microscopic robots (nanotechnology) to resurrect humans frozen in liquid nitrogen, raise chickens in higher gravity fields and project human minds via… read more

Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Business and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures

July 16, 2010

Turning the Future Into Revenue: What Business and Individuals Need to Know to Shape Their Futures

Author:
Glen Hiemstra
Publisher:
Wiley (2006)

Amazon | In Turning the Future into Revenue, Glen Hiemstra, founder of Futurist.com and noted expert on emerging business opportunities, explores how our changing world will transform private enterprise and public policy. From shifting demographics to global warming to new energy policies, change is coming. Turning the Future into Revenue shows how these new realities can be turned into profitable new ventures.

Some of the topics Hiemstra discusses… read more

Technology’s Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

July 16, 2010

Technology's Promise: Expert Knowledge on the Transformation of Business and Society

Author:
William E. Halal
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2008)

Amazon | With the onset of a knowledge economy, modern nations are hard at work using ever more sophisticated information systems to power a “technology revolution” that is transforming our lives. This book is based on the work of the TechCast Project, conducted over the past decade at the George Washington University. Pooling the knowledge of 100 high-tech CEOs, scientists, engineers, academics, consultants, futurists, and other experts from around… read more

Masterminds: Genius, DNA, and the Quest to Rewrite Life

July 16, 2010

Masterminds: Genius, DNA, and the Quest to Rewrite Life

Author:
David Ewing Duncan
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (2006)

Amazon | James Watson, J. Craig Venter, Francis Collins, Cynthia Kenyon . . . you may not know them, but you should. They are the masterminds of genetics and biotechnology who want you to live to be 150 years old, to regenerate your heart and brain, to create synthetic life. For better or worse, they are about to alter life on earth forever.

Award-winning journalist David Ewing Duncan… read more

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business

July 16, 2010

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business

Author:
Jack Uldrich
Publisher:
Crown Business (2003)

Amazon | Ever heard of self-cleaning floor tiles and windows? Or mirrors that won’t fog up in the shower? What about army uniforms that can “monitor a soldier’s health, detect and detoxify chemical agents, heat and cool the soldier… and independently generate power so the soldier can remain in constant communication with headquarters”? According to Uldrich, director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning, and nuclear physicist… read more

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 Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging

July 16, 2010

The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging

Author:
Michael R. Rose
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2005)

Amazon | Rose, an authority on gerontology, uses evolutionary biology to frame the problem of aging, contrasting the drive to reproduce in youth with the ability to survive into old age. In short, according to his research, the Victorians were right: sex is death. The evolutionary pressure of reproducing at an early age seems to have the side effect of causing early aging. Rose’s explanation of his theory is… 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

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

July 16, 2010

Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

Author:
Bill McKibben
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin (2004)

Amazon | In 1989, McKibben published The End of Nature, a gorgeously written and galvanizing book about the true cost of global warming, the destruction of the ozone layer and other man-made ills-the loss of wild nature and with it the priceless aspect of our humanity that evolved to listen to and heed it. Now McKibben applies the same passion, scholarship and free-ranging thought to a subject that even… read more

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

July 16, 2010

Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life

Author:
Richard A. L. Jones
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2008)

Amazon | Enthusiasts look forward to a time when tiny machines reassemble matter and process information with unparalleled power and precision. But is their vision realistic? Where is the science heading? As nanotechnology (a new technology that many believe will transform society in the next on hundred years) rises higher in the news agenda and popular consciousness, there is a real need for a book which discusses clearly the… read more

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

July 16, 2010

Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

Author:
James Hughes
Publisher:
Unknown (2004)

Amazon | In the next fifty years, life spans will extend well beyond a century. Our senses and cognition will be enhanced. We will have greater control over our emotions and memory. Our bodies and brains will be surrounded by and merged with computer power. The limits of the human body will be transcended as technologies such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering converge and accelerate. With them,… read more

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

July 16, 2010

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

Author:
Francis Fukuyama
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2002)

Amazon | Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man; Trust) is no stranger to controversial theses, and here he advances two: that there are sound nonreligious reasons to put limits on biotechnology, and that such limits can be enforced. Fukuyama argues that “the most significant threat” from biotechnology is “the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.”… read more

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution

July 16, 2010

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution

Author:
Ronald Bailey
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2005)

Amazon | A positive, optimistic, and convincing case that the biotechnology revolution will improve our lives and the future of our children. The 21st century will undoubtedly witness unprecedented advances in understanding the mechanisms of the human body and in developing biotechnology. With the mapping of the human genome, the pace of discovery is now on the fast track. By the middle of the century we can expect that… read more

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