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Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

January 18, 2010
Author:
Howard Bloom
Publisher:
Wiley (2001)

Publishers Weekly | Bloom’s debut, The Lucifer Principle (1997), sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series… read more

From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

January 18, 2010
Author:
Sean Carroll
Publisher:
Dutton Books (2010)

A rising star in theoretical physics offers his awesome vision of our universe and beyond, all beginning with a simple question: Why does time move forward? Time moves forward, not backward-everyone knows you can’t unscramble an egg. In the hands of one of today’s hottest young physicists, that simple fact of breakfast becomes a doorway to understanding the Big Bang, the universe, and other universes, too. In From Eternityread 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.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

September 28, 2009

Logicomix

Author:
Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos Papadimitriou
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA (2009)

Amazon | This exceptional graphic novel recounts the spiritual odyssey of philosopher Bertrand Russell. In his agonized search for absolute truth, Russell crosses paths with legendary thinkers like Gottlob Frege, David Hilbert, and Kurt Gödel, and finds a passionate student in the great Ludwig Wittgenstein. But his most ambitious goal–to establish unshakable logical foundations of mathematics–continues to loom before him. Through love and hate, peace and war, Russell persists… read more

Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge

September 18, 2009
Author:
Damien Broderick
Publisher:
Atlas Books (2008)

Leading and up-and-coming scientists and science writers cast their minds one million years into the future to imagine the fate of the human and/or extraterrestrial galaxy.

This volume of fourteen new, specially commissioned essays by notable journalists and scholars such as Rudy Rucker, Jim Holt, and Gregory Benford presents a series of speculations on the most radical but well-grounded ideas they can conceive, projecting the universe as… read more

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence

September 8, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Penguin Books (1999)

Amazon | How much do we humans enjoy our current status as the most intelligent beings on earth? Enough to try to stop our own inventions from surpassing us in smarts? If so, we’d better pull the plug right now, because if Ray Kurzweil is right we’ve only got until about 2020 before computers outpace the human brain in computational power.

Kurzweil, artificial intelligence expert and author… read more

The Age of Intelligent Machines

September 8, 2009

9780262610797-f30

Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
The MIT Press (1992)

Amazon | In a work the Association of American Publishers named the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990, Kurzweil and 23 other contributors explore the history and potential of artificial intelligence. What is artificial intelligence? At its essence, it is another way of answering a central question that has been debated by scientists, philosophers, and theologians for thousands of years: How does the human brain — three… read more

TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever

August 21, 2009

transcend_dust_jacket1

Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Rodale Press (2009)

In 2004, Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D., published Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Their groundbreaking book marshaled thousands of scientific studies to make the case that new developments in medicine and technology will allow us to radically extend our life expectancies and slow down the aging process. Soon, our notion of what it means to be a 55-year-old will be as outdated as an eight-track tape… read more

The Singularity Is Near

August 5, 2009
Author:
Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
Viking Press (2006)

Viking Press | In The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Ray Kurzweil presents the next stage of his compelling view of the future: the merging of humans and machines. Kurzweil refers to this as “the singularity,” and describes it as “…a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.”

In… read more

Futures Research Methodology Version 3.0

May 27, 2009
Author:
Theodore J. Gordon, Jerome C. Glenn
Publisher:
The Millennium Project (2009)

The largest, most comprehensive collection of internationally peer-reviewed methods and tools to explore future possibilities ever assembled in one resource. Over half of the chapters were written by the inventor of the method or by a significant contributor to the method’s evolution.

The CD-ROM contains 39 chapters totaling about 1,300 pages. Each method is treated in a separate file in word (.doc) and PDF format.

Accelerando

April 15, 2009

accelerando

Author:
Charles Stross
Publisher:
Ace (2006)

During the last five years, Stross has garnered a reputation as one of the most imaginative practitioners of hard sf. Expanded from several stories originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Stross’ latest novel follows several generations of the Macx family through the rapidly transforming, Internet-enabled global economy of the early twenty-first century to the human and transhuman populated worlds of the outer solar system a half century later. The… read more

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel

April 13, 2009

books

Author:
Michio Kaku
Publisher:
Doubleday (2009)

One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. Here, physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals–and the limits–of the laws of… read more

Power, Madness and Immortality

April 12, 2009

power madness immortality

Author:
Mychilo Cline
Publisher:
University Village Press (2005)

There has been increasing interest in the potential social impact of new technologies, such as virtual reality (as may be seen in utopian literature, within the social sciences, and in popular culture). Mychilo S. Cline, in his book, Power, Madness, and Immortality: The Future of Virtual Reality, argues that virtual reality will lead to a number of important changes in human life and activity. He argues that:

*… read more

Global Catastrophic Risks

April 9, 2009

global catastrophic risks

Author:
Martin Rees
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2008)

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks, 26 leading experts look at… 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

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