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Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems

October 26, 2012

Surpassing Shanghai

Author:
Marc S. Tucker, Linda Darling-Hammond
Publisher:
Harvard Education Press (2011)

This book answers a simple question: How would one redesign the American education system if the aim was to take advantage of everything that has been learned by countries with the world’s best education systems?

With a growing number of countries outperforming the United States on the most respected comparisons of student achievement—and spending less on education per student—this question is critical.

Surpassing Shanghai looks in depth at… read more

Virtually Human: The Promise and the Peril of Digital Immortality

September 7, 2014

virtually human

Author:
Martine Rothblatt, Ray Kurzweil
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press (2014)

Virtually Human explores what the not too distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness — simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives.  Meet Bina48, the world’s most sentient robot, commissioned by Martine Rothblatt and created by Hanson Robotics. Bina48 is a nascent Mindclone of Martine’s wife that can engage in conversation, answer questions, and even have spontaneous thoughts that are derived from multimedia data… read more

The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World

January 28, 2013

The Particle at the End of the Universe

Author:
Sean Carroll
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2012)

Scientists have just announced an historic discovery on a par with the splitting of the atom: the Higgs boson, the key to understanding why mass exists has been found. In The Particle at the End of the Universe, Caltech physicist and acclaimed writer Sean Carroll takes readers behind the scenes of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to meet the scientists and explain this landmark event.

The Higgs boson… 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

Thinking, Fast and Slow

December 14, 2011

thinkingfastandslow

Author:
Daniel Kahneman
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)

Amazon | Drawing on decades of research in psychology that resulted in a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Daniel Kahneman takes readers on an exploration of what influences thought example by example, sometimes with unlikely word pairs like “vomit and banana.” System 1 and System 2, the fast and slow types of thinking, become characters that illustrate the psychology behind things we think we understand but really don’t,… read more

The Transhumanist Wager

May 15, 2013

The Transhumanist Wager

Author:
Zoltan Istvan
Publisher:
Futurity Imagine Media LLC (2013)

Philosopher, entrepreneur, and former National Geographic and New York Times correspondent Zoltan Istvan presents his visionary novel, The Transhumanist Wager, as a seminal statement of our times.

Scorned by over 500 publishers and literary agents around the world, his philosophical thriller has been called “revolutionary” and “socially dangerous” by readers, scholars, and religious authorities. The novel debuts a challenging original philosophy, which rebuffs modern civilization by inviting the… read more

The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness

May 29, 2013

the-chimp-paradox-the-mind-management-program-to-help-you-achieve-success-confidence-and-happiness

Author:
Steve Peters
Publisher:
Tarcher (2013)

Your inner Chimp can be your best friend or your worst enemy…this is the Chimp Paradox

Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life?

Dr. Steve Peters explains that we all have a being within our minds that can wreak havoc on every aspect of our lives—be it business or personal. He calls… read more

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

October 31, 2013

Age of Context

Author:
Robert Scoble, Shel Israel
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social… read more

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True

October 4, 2011

Dawkins Final

Author:
Richard Dawkins
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back… read more

Pathways to the Future: The Robot Revolt

May 29, 2014

cover

Author:
David Mills
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2014)

Sandra Lightning was a hybrid: part computer, all woman. Her job: secretly penetrate the largest robot manufacturing company on Earth, use her unique talents to spy on them, find out what secret plans they are fermenting and investigate the role of their robots in several mysterious deaths.

Sandra is joined by Denver Smith, forced to leave his comfortable niche as a graduate student when his life is threatened.… read more

The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs. Terrans

December 15, 2010

Theartilectwar

Author:
Hugo de Garis
Publisher:
ETC Publications (2005)

Amazon |  This book’s main idea is that this century’s global politics will be dominated by the “species dominance” issue.  21st century technologies will enable the building of artilects (artificial intellects, artificial intelligences, massively intelligent machines) with 1040 components, using reversible, heatless, 3D, molecular scale, self assembling, one bit per atom, nano-teched, quantum computers, which may dwarf human intelligence levels by a factor of trillions of trillions… read more

Positioning Synthetic Biology to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century: Summary Report of a Six Academies Symposium Series (2013)

August 15, 2013

positioni;ng_synthetic_biology

Author:
Stephanie Joyce, Anne-Marie Mazza, Steven Kendall
Publisher:
National Research Council (2013)

Synthetic biology — unlike any research discipline that precedes it — has the potential to bypass the less predictable process of evolution to usher in a new and dynamic way of working with living systems.

Ultimately, synthetic biologists hope to design and build engineered biological systems with capabilities that do not exist in natural systems — capabilities that may ultimately be used for applications in manufacturing, food production, and… read more

Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation

November 11, 2013

Average is Over

Author:
Tyler Cowen
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2013)

Widely acclaimed as one of the world’s most influential economists, Tyler Cowen returns with his groundbreaking follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Great Stagnation.

The widening gap between rich and poor means dealing with one big, uncomfortable truth: If you’re not at the top, you’re at the bottom.

The global labor market is changing radically thanks to growth at the high end — and the low. About three… 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

The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

April 18, 2013

Infinite_Resource_Cover

Author:
Ramez Naam
Publisher:
UPNE (2013)

“Brilliant” — Ray Kurzweil

“This book contains a plan – probably the only plan – to save the world.” — Steven Pinker

Climate change. Finite fossil fuels. Fresh water depletion. Rising commodity prices. Ocean acidification. Overpopulation. Deforestation. Feeding the world’s billions.

We’re beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet… read more

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