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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

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

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