bookshelf by year

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

January 25, 2016

the-big-picture-cover

author |
Sean Carroll
year published |
2016

*A Publishers Weekly Top 10 New Science Release of 2016*

Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?

Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but… read more

Centauri Dreams: Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration

April 9, 2009

centauri dreams

author |
Paul Gilster
year published |
2004

Why, today, would anyone undertake a plan to launch a spacecraft some 30 years in the future, and on a journey that would take some 40 years to complete? Paul Gilster investigates the science, and the spirit, of the NASA and JPL researchers who are actually at work on just such a project.  — Science Daily

You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto

July 13, 2010

You Are Not A Gadget by Jaron Lanier

author |
Jaron Lanier
year published |
2010

Amazon | Computer scientist and Internet guru Lanier’s fascinating and provocative full-length exploration of the Internet’s problems and potential is destined to become a must-read for both critics and advocates of online-based technology and culture. Lanier is best known for creating and pioneering the use of the revolutionary computer technology that he named virtual reality. Yet in his first book, Lanier takes a step back and critiques the… read more

Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future

July 16, 2010

Seeding the Universe with Life: Securing Our Cosmological Future

author |
Michael Noah Mautner
year published |
2000

Amazon | The future of life in the universe is an important subject of astrobiology. In this new popular science title, a well recognized researcher describes how we can seed new solar systems with microbial representatives of our family of organic life. The book also describes a life-centered astroethics that will motivate these missions. It describes the unity of all gene/protein life: a common ancestry, a special place in… read more

Brain Cuttings

November 29, 2010

Brain Cuttings Book Cover

author |
Carl Zimmer
year published |
2010

Amazon | The human brain has long been a mystery, but twenty-first century science is beginning to reveal some of its inner workings. With microscopes and brain scans, with psychological experiments and breakthroughs in genetics, neuroscientists are developing new theories about every aspect of our minds — from the nature of consciousness to the causes of disorders like autism and schizophrenia.

In Brain Cuttings, award-winning science… read more

Robot Building for Beginners

February 3, 2011

Robot Building for Beginners Cover

author |
David Cook
year published |
2010

The book gives basics on the electronics needed for building a robot. It is a good guide for those who want to learn not only about robots at the beginning level but who are keen to know how to use a multi-meter and what and when to use a resistor. It can turn a beginner’s fear of robotic electronics into a robotic blast-off.

Homo Evolutis

March 16, 2011

Homo Evolutis cover

author |
Juan Enriquez, Steve Gullans
year published |
2011

Amazon | There have been at least 25 prototype humans. We are but one more model, and there is no evidence evolution has stopped. So unless you think Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are the be all and end all of creation, and it just does not get any better, then one has to ask what is next? Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, two of the world’s… read more

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

May 5, 2011

Cycles of Time book cover

author |
Roger Penrose
year published |
2011

Amazon | From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

Current understanding of our universe dictates that all matter will eventually thin out to zero density,… read more

Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life

June 23, 2011

Rewire Your Brain book cover

author |
John B. Arden, Ph.D.
year published |
2010

Amazon | Not long ago, it was thought that the brain you were born with was the brain you would die with, and that the brain cells you had at birth were the most you would ever possess. Your brain was thought to be “hardwired” to function in predetermined ways. It turns out that’s not true. Your brain is not hardwired, it’s “softwired” by experience. This book shows… read more

FYI (Popular Science): 229 Curious Questions Answered by the World’s Smartest People

September 1, 2011

popularsciencefyi

author |
The Editors of Popular Science
year published |
2011

Popular Science | If you’ve ever wondered… Can someone use your GPS receiver to track you? Are those paper toilet-seat covers really protecting you from anything? Should you worry about electromagnetic pulses destroying your electronics?

If you’re curious about these and other strange, mind-expanding things — this book was written for you. Popular Science FYI is bursting with surprising answers to weird and zany questions smart people love… read more

Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

January 12, 2012

yourbrainonfood

author |
Gary Wenk
year published |
2010

Amazon | Why is eating chocolate so pleasurable? Can the function of just one small group of chemicals really determine whether you are happy or sad? Does marijuana help to improve your memory in old age? Is it really best to drink coffee if you want to wake up and be alert? Why is a drug like PCP potentially lethal? Why does drinking alcohol make you drowsy? Do… read more

Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems

May 4, 2012

needspeedgreed

author |
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
year published |
2012

Amazon | Over the past few decades, globalization and Googlization have kicked off the first phase of an innovation revolution more profound and more powerful than any economic force since the arrival of Europeans on North American shores half a millennium ago. These developments have brought us such advances as the Web, social networking, 24/7 connectivity, and global markets.

But the benefits of all this progress have not… read more

A Computable Universe: Understanding and Exploring Nature as Computation

September 6, 2012
author |
Hector Zenil
year published |
2012

This volume, with a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature.

It focuses on two main questions:

  • What is computation?
  • How does nature compute?

The contributors are world-renowned experts who have helped shape a cutting-edge computational understanding of the universe. They discuss computation in the world from a variety of perspectives, ranging from foundational concepts… read more

Robot Futures

March 20, 2013

Robot Futures

author |
Illah Reza Nourbakhsh
year published |
2013

With robots, we are inventing a new species that is part material and part digital. The ambition of modern robotics goes beyond copying humans, beyond the effort to make walking, talking androids that are indistinguishable from people. Future robots will have superhuman abilities in both the physical and digital realms. They will be embedded in our physical spaces, with the ability to go where we cannot, and will have… read more

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

August 25, 2014

cover

author |
Daniel J. Levitin
year published |
2014

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more—and faster—decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or… read more

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