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Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human

September 5, 2014

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Author:
David Roden
Publisher:
Routledge (2014)

We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0.

Posthuman Liferead more

Bankrupting Physics: How Today’s Top Scientists are Gambling Away Their Credibility

September 12, 2013

bankrupting-physics

Author:
Alexander Unzicker, Sheilla Jones
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2013)

The recently celebrated discovery of the Higgs boson has captivated the public’s imagination with the promise that it can explain the origins of everything in the universe. It’s no wonder that the media refers to it grandly as the “God particle.” Yet behind closed doors, physicists are admitting that there is much more to this story, and even years of gunning the Large Hadron Collider and herculean number crunching may… read more

Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Are Next to Worthless, and You Can Do Better

April 4, 2011

Future Babble book cover

Author:
Dan Gardner
Publisher:
Dutton Adult (2011)

Amazon | An award-winning journalist uses landmark research to debunk the whole expert prediction industry, and explores the psychology of our obsession with future history.

In 2008, experts predicted gas would hit $20 a gallon; it peaked at $4.10. In 1967, they said the USSR would be the world’s fastest-growing economy by 2000; by 2000, the USSR no longer existed. In 1908, it was pronounced that… read more

The Hidden Alpha

February 19, 2013

thehiddenalpha

Author:
Alexander Popoff
Publisher:
Alexander Popoff (2013)

X Factors are unknown, emerging risks to human wellbeing, even survival. These risks might come from inner space (human cognitive and body enhancement, associated with genetic engineering, nanotechnologies, neural and cybernetic implants, etc.) and outer space (discovery and contact with extraterrestrial life and artificial intelligence).

That’s not preposterous science fiction mumbo jumbo of professor Farnsworth from Futurama but a serious discussion at the annual World Economic Forum in… read more

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

Starmus: 50 Years of Man in Space

September 8, 2014

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Author:
Garik Israelian
Publisher:
Carlton Books Ltd (2014)

Starmus is an incredible series of talks, articles and recollections that celebrate the human exploration of space. It is the result of the Starmus meeting in 2011, where legendary Russian and American pioneers of the space age met up for the first time to share the moments that electrified the human race. The next Starmus meeting is in September 2014. An all-star cast of international celebrities have joined forces in… read more

Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution

November 30, 2010

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Author:
Jim Blascovich, Jeremy Bailenson
Publisher:
William Morrow (2011)

Harper Collins | How far off is the science in the film Avatar? Do our brains know where “reality” ends and “virtual” begins? Where is technology leading us? Two leading authorities in the field of virtual reality answer these questions and more as they examine the possibilities and potential of emerging digital technologies to free our minds and change our understanding of what it means to be… 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

@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex

December 18, 2014

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Author:
Shane Harris
Publisher:
Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014)

A surprising, page-turning account of how the wars of the future are already being fought today
The United States military currently views cyberspace as the “fifth domain” of warfare (alongside land, air, sea, and space), and the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and the CIA all field teams of hackers who can, and do, launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @WAR shows, U.S. hackers were crucial… read more

When Gadgets Betray Us: The Dark Side of Our Infatuation With New Technologies

May 6, 2011

When Gadgets Betray Us

Author:
Robert Vamosi
Publisher:
Basic Books (2011)

Amazon | Technology is evolving faster than we are. As our mobile phones, mp3 players, cars, and digital cameras become more and more complex, we understand less and less about how they actually work and what personal details these gadgets might reveal about us.

Robert Vamosi, an award-winning journalist and analyst who has been covering digital security issues for more than a decade, shows us the dark… read more

Bowl of Heaven

October 3, 2012

Bowl of Heaven

Author:
Gregory Benford, Larry Niven
Publisher:
Tor Books (2012)

In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths…and it’s on a direct path heading for the same… read more

Smart Machines: IBM’s Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing

October 18, 2013

Smart machines

Author:
John E. Kelly III, Steve Hamm
Publisher:
Columbia University Press (2013)

We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. The victory of IBM’s Watson on the television quiz show Jeopardy! revealed how scientists and engineers at IBM and elsewhere are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice.

In Smart Machines, John E. Kelly… read more

The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother Who Slept with Her iPhone)Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale

January 25, 2011

The Winter of Our Disconnect

Author:
Susan Maushart
Publisher:
Tarcher (2011)

Amazon | The wise and hilarious story of a family who discovered that having fewer tools to communicate with led them to actually communicate more.

When Susan Maushart first announced her intention to pull the plug on her family’s entire armory of electronic weaponry for six months — from the itsy-bitsiest iPod Shuffle to her son’s seriously souped-up gaming PC — her three kids didn’t blink an eye.… read more

Who Owns the Future?

May 7, 2013

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Author:
Jaron Lanier
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster (2013)

The Dazzling New Masterwork from the Prophet of Silicon Valley

Jaron Lanier is the bestselling author of You Are Not a Gadget, the father of virtual reality, and one of the most influential thinkers of our time. For decades, Lanier has drawn on his expertise and experience as a computer scientist, musician, and digital media pioneer to predict the revolutionary ways in which technology is transforming our culture.… read more

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

September 7, 2010

theshallows

Author:
Nicholas G. Carr
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2010)

Amazon | The best-selling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology’s effect on the mind. “Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the… read more

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