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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

Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect

July 9, 2013

Social Why Our brains are wired to connect

Author:
Matthew D. Lieberman
Publisher:
Crown (2013)

We are profoundly social creatures – more than we know.

In Social, renowned psychologist Matthew Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience revealing that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental, more basic, than our need for food or shelter.  Because of this, our brain uses its spare time to learn about the social world – other people and our relation to them. It is… read more

The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate

September 11, 2013

the hanson_yudkowsky

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

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

April 7, 2014

creativity_inc

Author:
Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace
Publisher:
Random House (2014)

From Ed Catmull, co-founder (with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) of Pixar Animation Studios, comes an incisive book about creativity in business—sure to appeal to readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve… read more

The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

July 19, 2011

The Compass of Pleasure book cover

Author:
David J. Linden
Publisher:
Viking Adult (2011)

Amazon | A leading brain scientist’s look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions.

Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

As he… read more

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

September 17, 2013

kaku_future_mind

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 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

Augmented Dreams

June 13, 2013

augmented_dreams

Author:
Stephen B. Kagan
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

Augmented Dreams is an allegory of the modern mind (psyche) struggling to find balance between the roots of our ancestors and the modern world in a time of accelerating change. It is a palimpsest that takes place at the intersection between advanced technology, ancient myth, gaming and environmentalism.

Ben, a nature friendly virtual artist (world-weaver) and dream researcher follows a trail of darkness on an odyssey through different worlds… read more

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs

December 14, 2013

"Open Source Lab," a new book by Michigan Tech's Joshua Pearce, is a guide to help researchers slash the cost of doing science by making their own lab equipment.

Author:
Joshua M. Pearce
Publisher:
Elsevier (2013)

Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Scientific Research Costs details the development of the free and open-source hardware revolution. The combination of open-source 3D printing and microcontrollers running on free software enables scientists, engineers, and lab personnel in every discipline to develop powerful research tools at unprecedented low costs. After reading Open-Source Lab, you will be able to:

- Lower equipment costs by making your… read more

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

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