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Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live

August 21, 2013

Paleofantasy

Author:
Marlene Zuk
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2013)

An exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today.

We evolved to eat berries rather than bagels, to live in mud huts rather than condos, to sprint barefoot rather than play football—or did we? Are our bodies and brains truly at odds with modern life? Although it may seem as though we have barely had time to shed our hunter-gatherer legacy, biologist… read more

3D Printing: The Next Technology Gold Rush – Future Factories and How to Capitalize on Distributed Manufacturing

August 21, 2013

3d printing

Author:
Christopher D. Winnan
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2013)

This book concentrates on three main areas.

1. Easy to read, yet detailed explanations of all the 3D printing related technologies currently available
2. Practical advice on how this technology can be leveraged as a successful business in today’s economy.
3. The wider long-term repercussions, including real world examples of how 3D printing is set to change the future of industry.

Part 1 of this book presents… read more

The Chaos Imperative: How Chance and Disruption Increase Innovation, Effectiveness, and Success

August 21, 2013

The Chaos Imperative

Author:
Ori Brafman, Judah Pollack
Publisher:
Crown Business (2013)

In the bestselling tradition of Switch and Made to Stick, Ori Brafman reveals how organizations can drive growth and profits by allowing contained chaos and disruption the space to flourish, generating new ideas that trigger innovation.

In The Chaos Imperative, organizational expert and bestselling author Ori Brafman (SwayThe Starfish and the Spider) shows how even the best and most efficient organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to today’s US Army, benefit from allowing… read more

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

August 20, 2013

Mind and Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

Author:
Thomas Nagel
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA (2012)

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.

Since minds are features of biological systems that have… 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

A Very Short Tour of the Mind: 21 Short Walks Around the Human Brain

August 14, 2013

book_a_very_short_tour_of_the_mind

Author:
Michael C. Corballis
Publisher:
Overlook Hardcover (2013)

Why do we remember faces but not names? If your brain were cut in half would you suffer more than a splitting headache? How does your dog remember where it buried its bone but you can’t find your keys? And do we really only use ten percent of our brains? In A Very Short Tour of the Mind, Michael C. Corballis answers these questions and more.… read more

Engineering the Next Revolution in Neuroscience: The New Science of Experiment Planning

August 13, 2013

Engineering the next rev in neuro

Author:
Alcino J. Silva, Anthony Landreth, John Bickle
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2013)

Science is growing at a pace that exceeds our comprehension. This is no less true of neuroscience than any other discipline. Ambiguity about what is known and what has been disproven confounds researchers and hampers research planning. There are simply too many research articles and too few hours in the day for anyone to read all that is relevant, let alone distinguish the reliable results from the sketchy ones.… read more

The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality

August 13, 2013

book_the_universe_in_the_rearview_mirror

Author:
Dave Goldberg
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2013)


A physicist speeds across space, time and everything in between showing that our elegant universe—from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies—is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all our recent discoveries about the universe and all the ones to come.

Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrink-ray gun? If there is antimatter, can… read more

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

August 13, 2013

book_scatter-adapt-and-remember

Author:
Annalee Newitz
Publisher:
Doubleday (2013)


In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past… read more

50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know

August 12, 2013

50 ideas

Author:
Moheb Costandi
Publisher:
Quercus (2013)

Neuroscience is one of the most fascinating and complex areas of scientific research, with new advances being made every day. In 50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know, Mo Costandi condenses all we know about the brain and how it works into series of introductions to the most important concepts.

Outlining both long-standing theories — such as the function of neurons and synaptic transmission — and cutting-edge… read more

Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience

August 12, 2013

Brainwashed

Author:
Sally Satel, Scott O. Lilienfeld
Publisher:
Basic Books (2013)

What can’t neuroscience tell us about ourselves? Since fMRI — functional magnetic resonance imaging — was introduced in the early 1990s, brain scans have been used to help politicians understand and manipulate voters, determine guilt in court cases, and make sense of everything from musical aptitude to romantic love. But although brain scans and other neurotechnologies have provided groundbreaking insights into the workings of the human brain, the increasingly fashionable… 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

Crux

August 9, 2013

crux-cover

Author:
Ramez Naam
Publisher:
Angry Robot (2013)

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5.  The world is a different, more dangerous place.

In the United States, the terrorists — or freedom fighters — of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies. In Washington DC, a government scientist, secretly addicted to Nexus, uncovers more than he wants to know… read more

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking

August 5, 2013

Dennett-Intuition pumps

Author:
Daniel Dennett
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2013)

One of the world’s leading philosophers offers aspiring thinkers his personal trove of mind-stretching thought experiments.

Over a storied career, Daniel C. Dennett has engaged questions about science and the workings of the mind. His answers have combined rigorous argument with strong empirical grounding. And a lot of fun.

Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking offers 77 of Dennett’s most successful “imagination-extenders and focus-holders” meant to guide… 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

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