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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

February 17, 2014

TheSixthExtinction

Author:
Elizabeth Kolbert
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (2014)

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most… read more

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

February 20, 2014

Consciousness and the Brain Cover

Author:
Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2014)

A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other… read more

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons from a New Science

March 7, 2014

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Author:
Alex Pentland
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The (2014)

From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour ofthe new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence

If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT’s Alex “Sandy” Pentland. Over years of groundbreaking experiments, he has distilled remarkable discoveries significant enough to become the bedrock of a whole new scientific field: social physics.… read more

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

January 13, 2014

The Second Machine Age.

Author:
Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2014)

A revolution is under way.

In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies — with hardware, software, and networks at their core — will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.

In The Secondread more

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

January 8, 2014

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Author:
Max Tegmark
Publisher:
Knopf (2014)

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind—boggling theories, but he also… read more

We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer’s

January 13, 2014

We Are Our Brains cover.

Author:
D. F. Swaab, Jane Hedley-Prole
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau (2014)

A vivid account of what makes us human.

Based groundbreaking new research, We Are Our Brains is a sweeping biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age. Renowned neuroscientist D. F. Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, and our desires, with each chapter serving as an eye-opening window on a different stage of brain… read more

Saving Juno (The Juno Trilogy)

March 10, 2014

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Author:
Larry Kilham
Publisher:
Lawrence B. Kilham (2014)

NSA’s major computer center is being taken over by an international plot to control the world. Juno, the AI supercomputer revered by the free world is endangered, and Dr. Tom Renwick, Juno’s developer and handler, is kidnapped. Civilization as we know it is threatened. What to do?

In this fast-paced thriller, Tom’s super brain computer scientist son, Primo, is thrown into the fray. With a mysterious agent, Wildflower,… read more

Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know

February 26, 2014

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Author:
P. W. Singer
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2014)

A generation ago, “cyberspace” was just a term from science fiction, used to describe the nascent network of computers linking a few university labs. Today, our entire modern way of life, from communication to commerce to conflict, fundamentally depends on the Internet. And the cybersecurity issues that result challenge literally everyone: politicians wrestling with everything from cybercrime to online freedom; generals protecting the nation from new forms of attack,… read more

Medical Illuminations: Using Evidence, Visualization and Statistical Thinking to Improve Healthcare

October 7, 2013

Medical Illuminations

Author:
Howard Wainer
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2014)

Is it sensible to screen for breast or prostate cancer? Should the locations of cancer clusters be made available to the general public? When a doctor wants to perform major surgery and there’s no chance for a second opinion, do you agree?

The answers to these questions are not as black and white as they may first appear. Medical Illuminations presents thirteen contemporary medical topics, from the diminishing… read more

Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits

March 20, 2014

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Author:
John Gribbin
Publisher:
Prometheus Books (2014)

A mind-blowing glimpse into the near future, where quantum computing will have world-transforming effects.

The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could.

The birth of quantum computers — which, like Schrödinger’s famous “dead and alive” cat,… read more

Dualism | Archon Sequence

October 21, 2014

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Author:
Bill Desmedt
Publisher:
Per Aspera Press (2014)

When the six year old daughter of a billionaire industrialist is kidnapped, uber consultant Jonathan Knox and counter terrorism agent Marianna Bonaventure must team up with an experimental artificial intelligence to find her, never suspecting the little girl is the key to a plot that could destroy the NSA — and kill millions of Americans in the bargain.

Bill DeSmedt has crafted another tour de force of cutting… read more

Personality Capture and Emulation

January 22, 2014

Personality-Capture

Author:
William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher:
Springer (2014)

Personality Capture and Emulation is the gateway to an amazing future that actually may be achieved, enabling the preservation and simulation of human personalities at progressively higher levels of fidelity.

This challenge is no longer the province merely of uninhibited visionaries, but has become a solid field of research, drawing upon a wide range of information technologies in human-centered computing and cyber-human systems.

Even at modest levels of… read more

The Case for Space Solar Power

January 16, 2014

The Case for Solar Power.

Author:
John Mankins
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services (2014)

This book makes the Case for Space Solar Power. recounting the history of this fascinating concept and summarizing the many different ways in which it might be accomplished. It describes in detail a highly promising concept – SPS-ALPHA (Solar Power Satellite by means of Arbitrarily Large Phased Array) – and presents a business case comprising applications in space and markets on Earth.

The book explains how it is… read more

The Naked Future: What Happens in a World that Anticipates Your Every Move?

March 8, 2014
Author:
Patrick Tucker
Publisher:
Penguin (2014)

“Patrick Tucker’s thought-provoking, eye-opening, and highly entertaining book The Naked Future skillfully illustrates how the intelligent analysis of big data is allowing us to see into the future with ever-increasing precision.” — Ray Kurzweil

Right now the power of big data is in the hands of those mega-institutions inside the cryptic vaults of the NSA, the pioneers of Silicon Valley, and at the fingertips of Madison Avenue.… read more

Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power

November 5, 2013

Smarter

Author:
Dan Hurley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2013)

Can you make yourself, your kids, and your parents smarter?

Expanding upon one of the most-read New York Times Magazine features of 2012, Smarter penetrates the hot new field of intelligence research to reveal what researchers call a revolution in human intellectual abilities. Shattering decades of dogma, scientists began publishing studies in 2008 showing that “fluid intelligence”—the ability to learn, solve novel problems, and get to the heart of things—can be increased… read more

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