bookshelf by year

Civilization: The West and the Rest

February 13, 2013
author |
Niall Ferguson
year published |
2012

Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries

How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that… read more

Visions of the Future

January 13, 2016

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author |
J. Daniel Batt et al.
year published |
2015

Visions of the Future is a collection of stories and essays including Nebula and Hugo award-winning works. In this anthology, you’ll find stories and essays about artificial intelligence, androids, faster-than-light travel, and the extension of human life. You’ll read about the future of human institutions and culture.

But these literary works are more than just a reprisal of the classical elements of science fiction and futurism. At their core,… read more

Seveneves: A Novel

August 1, 2016

SEVENEVES

author |
Neal Stephenson
year published |
2015

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon comes an exciting and thought-provoking science fiction epic—a grand story of annihilation and survival spanning five thousand years.

What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to… read more

Solar Express

November 3, 2015

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author |
L. E. Modesitt
year published |
2015

You can’t militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis; what appears to be an undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. There is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed… read more

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

November 24, 2016

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author |
Thomas L. Friedman
year published |
2016

Friedman (coauthor of That Used to Be Us), a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner for his work as a reporter with the New York Times, engages in an intelligent but overlong discussion of the faster paces of change in technology, globalization, and climate around the world. His core argument is that “simultaneous accelerations in the Market, Mother Nature and Moore’s law” (the principle that the power of microchips doubles every two years)… 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
year published |
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

Thinking Machines: The Quest for Artificial Intelligence and Where It’s Taking Us Next

March 17, 2017

thinking-machines-cover

author |
Luke Dormehl
year published |
2017

A fascinating look at Artificial Intelligence, from its humble Cold War beginnings to the dazzling future that is just around the corner.

When most of us think about Artificial Intelligence, our minds go straight to cyborgs, robots, and sci-fi thrillers where machines take over the world. But the truth is that Artificial Intelligence is already among us. It exists in our smartphones, fitness trackers, and refrigerators that tell us… read more

The Brain Supremacy: Notes from the Frontiers of Neuroscience

November 1, 2012

The Brain Supremacy

author |
Kathleen Taylor
year published |
2012

Advances in physics, chemistry and other natural sciences have given us extraordinary control over our world. But today the balance of power in the sciences is changing, as research on the brain and mind has produced important breakthroughs in our understanding of ourselves and of our environment. As a result, funding and researchers are pouring into the field of neuroscience.

The Brain Supremacy is a lucid and rational guide… read more

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t

November 26, 2012

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author |
Nate Silver
year published |
2012

“Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century.”
—Rachel Maddow, author of Drift

Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty.The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters.… read more

Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People

August 1, 2016

Idea Makers

author |
Stephen Wolfram
year published |
2016

This book of thoroughly engaging essays from one of today’s most prodigious innovators provides a uniquely personal perspective on the lives and achievements of a selection of intriguing figures from the history of science and technology. Weaving together his immersive interest in people and history with insights gathered from his own experiences, Stephen Wolfram gives an ennobling look at some of the individuals whose ideas and creations have helped shape… read more

The Master Algorithm: How the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world

March 7, 2017

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author |
Pedro Domingos
year published |
2015

about from publisher:

In the world’s top research labs and universities, the race is on to invent the ultimate learning algorithm: one capable of discovering any knowledge from data, and doing anything we want, before we even ask. In 

The Master Algorithm, Pedro Domingos lifts the veil to give us a peek inside the learning machines that power Google, Amazon, and… read more

Model Zero: Why You Are Obsolete at Almost Every Level and Live Largely in Fiction

March 18, 2016

MODEL ZERO

author |
Ari Heljakka
year published |
2014

What is real?

You are inclined to drift deeper and deeper into fictional thinking and obsolescence. You keep constructing and sticking with increasingly obsolete ideas about the world, even though many of them were rather fictional to begin with.

Model Zero shows how these forces emerge. Some very basic operating principles of your mind, mental models and language pull you towards fiction. The way you interact with the… read more

The Book of Immortality

September 11, 2013

TheBookofImmortality

author |
Adam Leith Gollner
year published |
2013

What have we not done to live forever? Adam Leith Gollner, the critically acclaimed author of The Fruit Hunters, weaves together religion, science, and mythology in a gripping exploration of the most universal of human obsessions: immortality.

Raised without religion, Adam Leith Gollner was struck by mankind’s tireless efforts to cheat aging and death. In a narrative that pivots between profundity and hilarity, he brings us into the world of… read more

Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft

November 16, 2015

Future Visions

author |
Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, Nancy Kress
year published |
2015

Future Visions: Original Science Fiction Inspired by Microsoft is an anthology of new short work from some of the greatest science fiction writers in the field. These visionary stories explore prediction science, quantum computing, real-time translation, machine learning, and much more. The authors used inside access to leading-edge work from Microsoft Research as inspiration, crafting pieces that predict the near-future of technology — and examine its complex relationship to our core… read more

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

June 3, 2016

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author |
Kevin Kelly
year published |
2016

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives

Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming… read more

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