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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

Immortality Wars (digital novel)

June 20, 2012

immortality_wars

Author:
Joe Tripician
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services (2012)

What is it about the Singularity that causes such controversy and conflict? In an age where nanotechnology and stem cells could greatly extend human life, and where human-to-computer mind upload is discussed as casually as the latest iPad app, the Singularity may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Award-winning author and filmmaker Joe Tripician offers up a tantalizing, satric and cautionary tale of one… read more

Who Owns the Future?

May 7, 2013

who_owns_the_future

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

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

October 26, 2012

The Blue Zones

Author:
Dan Buettner
Publisher:
National Geographic (2010)

In this expanded paperback edition of his New York Times bestseller, longevity expert Dan Buettner draws on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities—Blue Zones—around the globe to highlight the lifestyle, diet, outlook, and stress-coping practices that will add years to your life and life to your years.

A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits. If you adopt the right… read more

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

October 30, 2013

Hardwiring Happiness

Author:
Rick Hanson
Publisher:
Harmony (2013)

Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated?

Because your brain evolved to learn quickly from bad experiences but slowly from the good ones.

You can change this.

Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures full of happiness, love, confidence, and… read more

Augmenting Cognition

May 21, 2012

augmentingcognition

Author:
Idan Segev, Henry Markram
Publisher:
EFPL Press (2011)

Amazon | The Human brain is only 100,000 years old. Yet, this newly evolved organ endows us with unique creative capabilities beyond all other living creatures, including the gift to understand itself. As our very survival and success in life depends on utilizing our brain’s power, intense efforts have begun worldwide to understand the brain, reverse-engineer it and even augment its capacity. Towards this end we harness every trick in… read more

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World

December 26, 2012

Found_in_Translation_Book_Cover

Author:
Nataly Kelly, Jost Zetzsche
Publisher:
Perigee Trade (2012)

Translation affects every aspect of your life – and we’re not just talking about the obvious things, like world politics and global business.

Translation affects you personally, too. The books you read. The movies you watch. The food you eat. Your favorite sports team. The opinions you hold dear. The religion you practice. Even your looks and, yes, your love life. Right this very minute, translation is saving… read more

Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing

February 4, 2013

Fabricated

Author:
Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

Fabricated tells the story of 3D printers, humble manufacturing machines that are bursting out of the factory and into schools, kitchens, hospitals, even onto the fashion catwalk.  Fabricated describes our emerging world of printable products, where people design and 3D print their own creations as easily as they edit an online document.

A 3D printer transforms digital information into a physical object by carrying out instructions from an electronic design file,… read more

Memories With Maya

March 4, 2013

Memories with Maya

Author:
Clyde Dsouza
Publisher:
Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (2013)

“It’s Complicated,” Daniel types, updating his profile’s relationship status on his social network. He’s just lost his girlfriend. Emotions after all are shared online. Daniel (Dan) breathes technology. He will stop at nothing to win her back.

His work involves creating AR. solutions for Real-Estate. The recession and an explosion of data-cops is drying out his streams of income. He turns to close friend, Krish, a researcher in… read more

The Intelligent Universe: AI, ET, and the Emerging Mind of the Cosmos

June 29, 2011

Intelligent Universe book cover

Author:
James N. Gardner
Publisher:
New Page Books (2007)

Amazon | What is the ultimate destiny of our universe? That is the striking question addressed by James Gardner in The Intelligent Universe.

Traditionally, scientists (and Robert Frost) have offered two bleak answers to this profound issue: fire or ice.

The cosmos might end in fire — a cataclysmic Big Crunch in which galaxies, planets, and life forms are consumed in a raging inferno as the universe… read more

The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen — and What to Do

May 14, 2013

The Human Race to the Future

Author:
Daniel Berleant
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)

Who doesn’t wonder about the future… what things will be like some day, how long it might take, and what we can do about it?
This book gives possible answers, spanning from the current century to nearly eternity. Imaginative yet scientifically plausible, most chapters offer a concluding section discussing actions to take in view of the predicted future scenarios. Some of these actions can be done by individuals, others… read more

Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (P.S.)

November 26, 2012

Words and Rules

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Harper Perennial (2011)

How does language work? How do we learn to speak? Why do languages change? Why do they have so many quirks? What does language reveal about the mind?

Steven Pinker explores the mysteries of language in this original and hugely entertaining book. Pinker uses a deceptively simple phenomenon—regular and irregular verbs—to illuminate an astonishing array of topics: the history of languages, what we can learn from children’s grammatical… read more

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