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An Optimist’s Tour of the Future

January 7, 2011

An Optimist's Tour of the Future book cover

Author:
Mark Stevenson
Publisher:
Profile (2011)

Amazon | Mark Stevenson has been to the future a few years ahead of the rest of us — and reckons it has a lot going for it. His voyage of discovery takes him to Oxford to meet Transhumanists (they intend to live forever), to Boston where he confronts a robot with mood swings, to an underwater cabinet meeting in the Indian Ocean, and Australia to question the… read more

Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations

July 16, 2010

Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations

Author:
Fred Charles Iklé
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2006)

Powells | In this eloquent and impassioned book, defense expert Fred Iklé predicts a revolution in national security that few strategists have grasped; fewer still are mindful of its historic roots. We are preoccupied with suicide bombers, jihadist terrorists, and rogue nations producing nuclear weapons, but these menaces are merely distant thunder that foretells the gathering storm.

It is the dark side of technological progress that explains this… read more

Anticipating 2025: A guide to the radical changes that may lie ahead, whether or not we’re ready

July 30, 2014

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

The near future deserves more of our attention. A great deal can change over the next few years.

From mid 2014 until 2025, there will be seven 18-month “Moore’s Law” generations, potentially resulting in a 128-fold increase in raw computing performance (that’s 2 multiplied by itself 7 times). That will enable devices with core components that are, for example, 5 times more powerful, 5 times cheaper, and 5… read more

Apocalypse When?: Calculating How Long The Human Race Will Survive

October 29, 2010

Apocalypse When?

Author:
Willard Wells
Publisher:
Praxis (2009)

Amazon | This book will be a key trailblazer in a new and upcoming field. The author’s predictive approach relies on simple and intuitive probability formulations that will appeal to readers with a modest knowledge of astronomy, mathematics, and statistics. Wells’s carefully erected theory stands on a sure footing and thus should serve as the basis of many rational predictions of survival in the face of not only natural… read more

Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality

July 8, 2010

Apocalyptic AI cover

Author:
Robert Geraci
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2010)

Amazon | Apocalyptic AI, the hope that we might one day upload our minds into machines or cyberspace and live forever, is a surprisingly wide-spread and influential idea, affecting everything from the world view of online gamers to government research funding and philosophical thought. In Apocalyptic AI, Robert Geraci offers the first serious account of this “cyber-theology” and the people who promote it.

Drawing on interviews with roboticists… read more

Apocalyptic Planet: A Field Guide to the Future of the Earth (Vintage)

August 2, 2013

Apocalyptic Planet

Author:
Craig Childs
Publisher:
Vintage (2013)

2013 Orion Book Award Winner
2013 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winner

Ours is not a stable planet. It is prone to sudden, violent natural disasters and extremes of climate. In this exhilarating exploration of our globe, Craig Childs goes to where the apocalypse can be seen now. From the driest deserts of Chile, through the genetic wasteland of central Iowa, to the site of the drowned land bridge… read more

Are the Androids Dreaming Yet?

March 23, 2015

cover

Author:
James Tagg
Publisher:
Hurst Farm Books (2015)

How Alan Turing invented the computer, helped win world war II and left us with one of the greatest puzzles of our time: are humans simply computers or are we more than that? Many scientists think we have a tenuous hold on the title, “most intelligent being on the planet”. They think it’s just a matter of time before computers become smarter than us, and then what? This book… read more

Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century

October 29, 2012

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Author:
James R. Flynn
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press (2012)

The ‘Flynn effect’ is a surprising finding, identified by James R. Flynn, that IQ test scores have significantly increased from one generation to the next over the past century. Flynn now brings us an exciting new book which aims to make sense of this rise in IQ scores and considers what this tells us about our intelligence, our minds and society. Are We Getting Smarter? features fascinating new material… read more

Are We Spiritual Machines? Ray Kurzweil vs. the Critics of Strong A.I.

June 8, 2001

Are We Spiritual Machines

Author:
Jay W. Richards, Ray Kurzweil, George Gilder
Publisher:
Discovery Institute (2001)

Computers are becoming more powerful at an ever-increasing rate, but will they ever become conscious? Artificial intelligence guru Ray Kurzweil thinks so and explains how we will “download” our software (our minds) and “upgrade” our hardware (our bodies) to become immortal — before the dawn of the 22nd century.

In this debate with his critics, including several Discovery Institute fellows, Kurzweil defends his views and sets the stage… read more

Armageddon Science: The Science of Mass Destruction

November 29, 2010

armageddonscience

Author:
Brian Clegg
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press (2010)

Publisher’s Weekly | Clegg (Before the Big Bang) explores how runaway science and other disasters might destroy humanity. He begins with the much discussed but highly speculative concerns over the operation of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The collider is designed to recreate energies equal to those existing at the time of the big bang, which some theorists say might create a chain reaction that would dissolve the… read more

Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies

March 22, 2012

ArtificialCulture_Cover1

Author:
Tama Leaver
Publisher:
Routledge (2011)

Amazon | Artificial Culture is an examination of the articulation, construction, and representation of “the artificial” in contemporary popular cultural texts, especially science fiction films and novels. The book argues that today we live in an artificial culture due to the deep and inextricable relationship between people, our bodies, and technology at large. While the artificial is often imagined as outside of the natural order and thus also beyond… read more

Artificial General Intelligence

August 10, 2013

Artificial General Intelligence

Author:
Ben Goertzel, Casio Pennachin
Publisher:
Springer (2006)

This is the first book on current research on artificial general intelligence (AGI), work explicitly focused on engineering general intelligence — autonomous, self-reflective, self-improving, commonsensical intelligence.

Each author explains a specific aspect of AGI in detail in each chapter, while also investigating the common themes in the work of diverse groups, and posing the big, open questions in this vital area.

This book will be of interest to… read more

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

November 6, 2012

As the Future Catches You

Author:
Juan Enriquez
Publisher:
Crown Business (2005)

If you think the world has changed dramatically in the last five years, you haven’t seen anything yet.

You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on all our lives.

Genetics… read more

Atlas Shrugged

April 21, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Author:
Ayn Rand
Publisher:
Plume (1999)

Amazon | Published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand’s greatest achievement and last work of fiction. In this novel she dramatizes her unique philosophy through an intellectual mystery story that integrates ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics, economics, and sex.

Set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists, this novel presents an astounding panorama… 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

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