bookshelf by year

Cloud Atlas: A Novel

October 9, 2012

Cloud Atlas

author |
David Mitchell
year published |

Now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip… read more

Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life

May 26, 2011

Code/Space cover image

author |
Rob Kitchin, Martin Dodge
year published |

Amazon | After little more than half a century since its initial development, computer code is extensively and intimately woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. From the digital alarm clock that wakes us to the air traffic control system that guides our plane in for a landing, software is shaping our world: it creates new ways of undertaking tasks, speeds up and automates existing practices,… read more

Collider: The Search for the World’s Smallest Particles

April 6, 2011

Collider book cover

author |
Paul Halpern
year published |

Amazon | An accessible look at the hottest topic in physics and the experiments that will transform our understanding of the universe

The biggest news in science today is the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle-smasher, and the anticipation of finally discovering the Higgs boson particle. But what is the Higgs boson and why is it often referred to as the God Particle?… read more

Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human

September 14, 2015


author |
Tom Boellstorff
year published |

Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds. Second Life is one of the largest of these virtual worlds. The residents of Second Life create communities, buy property and build homes, go to concerts, meet in bars, attend weddings and religious services, buy and sell virtual goods and services, find friendship, fall in love–the possibilities are endless, and all encountered through… read more

Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence

July 6, 2011

CETI book cover

author |
Douglas A. Vakoch
year published |

SUNY Press | Highlights the most recent developments in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and advocates a diverse range of approaches to make SETI increasingly more powerful and effective in the years to come.

In April 2010, fifty years to the month after the first experiment in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), scholars from a range of disciplines — including astronomy, mathematics, anthropology, history,… read more

Complexity: A Guided Tour

June 7, 2011

Complexity: A Guided Tour book cover

author |
Melanie Mitchell
year published |

Amazon | What enables individually simple insects like ants to act with such precision and purpose as a group? How do trillions of individual neurons produce something as extraordinarily complex as consciousness? What is it that guides self-organizing structures like the immune system, the World Wide Web, the global economy, and the human genome? These are just a few of the fascinating and elusive questions that the… read more

Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom

February 16, 2011

Composing a Further Life book cover

author |
Mary Catherine Bateson
year published |

Amazon | From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, “Adulthood II,” created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources — of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to… read more

Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits

March 20, 2014


author |
John Gribbin
year published |

A mind-blowing glimpse into the near future, where quantum computing will have world-transforming effects.

The quantum computer is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Pioneering physicists are on the brink of unlocking a new quantum universe which provides a better representation of reality than our everyday experiences and common sense ever could.

The birth of quantum computers — which, like Schrödinger’s famous “dead and alive” cat,… read more

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization

May 6, 2016


author |
Parag Khanna
year published |

From the visionary bestselling author of The Second World and How to Run the World comes a bracing and authoritative guide to a future shaped less by national borders than by global supply chains, a world in which the most connected powers—and people—will win.

Connectivity is the most revolutionary force of the twenty-first century. Mankind is reengineering the planet, investing up to ten trillion dollars per year in transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure… read more

Connectome: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are

December 5, 2011


author |
Sebastian Seung
year published |

Amazon | The bold and thrilling quest to finally understand the brain — and along with it our mental afflictions, from depression to autism — by a rising star in neuroscience.

Sebastian Seung, a dynamic young professor at MIT, is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells… read more

Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts

February 20, 2014

Consciousness and the Brain Cover

author |
Stanislas Dehaene
year published |

A breathtaking look at the new science that can track consciousness deep in the brain

How does our brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before.

In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other… read more

Consciousness Encounters Quantum Physics: A Scientific Argument for Panpsychism

May 5, 2014


author |
Shan Gao
year published |

Consciousness is the most familiar phenomenon. Yet it is the hardest one to explain. Even today, it is still unclear whether and how consciousness emerges from mere matter or whether consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. The crux of the issue is to decide if consciousness has causal efficacies in the physical world, which is not classical but quantum at the deepest level. If consciousness is fundamental as… read more

Consciousness in the Universe: Quantum Physics, Evolution, Brain & Mind

May 5, 2011

Consciousness in the Universe book cover

author |
Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff
year published |

Amazon | Is consciousness an epiphenomenal happenstance of this particular universe? Or does the very concept of a universe depend upon its presence? Does consciousness merely perceive reality, or does reality depend upon it? Did consciousness simply emerge as an effect of evolution? Or was it, in some sense, always out there in the world?


  • Evolution and origin of consciousness
  • Consciousness and quantum

read more

Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

April 30, 2012


author |
Christof Koch
year published |

Amazon | What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book — part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation — describes Koch’s search for an empirical explanation… read more

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

September 13, 2010


author |
Henry Jenkins
year published |

Reed Business Information | Henry Jenkins, founder and director of MIT’s comparative media studies program, debunks outdated ideas of the digital revolution in this remarkable book, proving that new media will not simply replace old media, but rather will learn to interact with it in a complex relationship he calls “convergence culture.”  The book’s goal is to explain how convergence is currently impacting the relationship among media… read more

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