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Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality

February 23, 2011

virtually you

Author:
Elias Aboujaoude
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company (2011)

 

Amazon | A penetrating examination of the insidious effects of the Internet on our personalities — online and off. Whether sharing photos or following financial markets, many of us spend a shocking amount of time online. While the Internet can enhance well-being, Elias Aboujaoude has spent years treating patients whose lives have been profoundly disturbed by it.

Part of the danger lies in how the Internet allows us… read more

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

March 23, 2012

whynationsfail

Author:
Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson
Publisher:
Crown Business (2012)

Amazon | Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how… read more

Humanity’s End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement

November 29, 2010

humanitysend

Author:
Nicholas Agar
Publisher:
The MIT Press (2010)

Amazon | Proposals to make us smarter than the greatest geniuses or to add thousands of years to our life spans seem fit only for the spam folder or trash can. And yet this is what contemporary advocates of radical enhancement offer in all seriousness. They present a variety of technologies and therapies that will expand our capacities far beyond what is currently possible for human beings.… read more

Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture

December 27, 2013

uncharted_book

Author:
Erez Aiden, Jean-Baptiste Michel
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover (2013)

“One of the most exciting developments from the world of ideas in decades, presented with panache by two frighteningly brilliant, endearingly unpretentious, and endlessly creative young scientists.” — Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature

Our society has gone from writing snippets of information by hand to generating a vast flood of 1s and 0s that record almost every aspect of our lives: who we know,… read more

Twelve Tomorrows

December 14, 2013

twelve_tomorrows_cover

Author:
Brian W. Aldiss, David Brin, Greg Egan
Publisher:
MIT Technology Review (2013)

The Anthology: Science fiction inspired by today’s new technologies

Inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered in the pages of MIT Technology Review, renowned writers Brian W. Aldiss, David Brin, and Greg Egan join the hottest emerging authors from around the world to envision the future of the Internet, biotechnology, computing, and more.

This collection features 12 all-new stories, an exclusive interview with science fiction legend Neal Stephenson, and… read more

Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

March 28, 2013
Author:
Buzz Aldrin, Leonard David
Publisher:
National Geographic (2013)

In a new book from National Geographic, celebrated astronaut and bestselling author Buzz Aldrin boldly advocates continuing exploration of our solar system. In Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration by Buzz Aldrin and Leonard David, Aldrin lays out his goals for the space program and how he believes we can get humans to Mars by the 2030s, a vision shared by President Obama and one that is fortified by private… read more

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft

May 5, 2011

Idea Man book cover

Author:
Paul Allen
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover (2011)

Amazon | “The entire conversation took five minutes. When it was over, Bill and I looked at each other. It was one thing to talk about writing a language for a microprocessor and another to get the job done . . . If we’d been older or known better, Bill and I might have been put off by the task in front of us. But we were… read more

Extinction

April 18, 2013

Extinction

Author:
Mark Alpert
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books (2013)

A malevolent, artificial life form created by military scientists threatens to destroy humanity in this smart, Crichtonesque thriller.

Jim Pierce hasn’t heard from his daughter in years, ever since she rejected his military past and started working as a hacker. But when a Chinese assassin shows up at Jim’s lab looking for her, he knows that she’s cracked some serious military secrets. Now, her life is on the line if he doesn’t find her first.

The Chinese military… read more

Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry

June 9, 2013

Deep State

Author:
Marc Ambinder, D. B. Grady
Publisher:
Wiley (2013)

There is a hidden country within the United States. It was formed from the astonishing number of secrets held by the government and the growing ranks of secret-keepers given charge over them. The government secrecy industry speaks in a private language of codes and acronyms, and follows an arcane set of rules and customs designed to perpetuate itself, repel penetration, and deflect oversight. It justifies itself with the assertion that… read more

The Scientific American Day in the Life of Your Brain

January 6, 2011

scientificamerican

Author:
Scientific American, Judith Horstman
Publisher:
Jossey-Bass (2009)

Amazon |  Have you ever wondered what’s happening in your brain as you go through a typical day and night? This fascinating book presents an hour-by-hour round-the-clock journal of your brain’s activities. Drawing on the treasure trove of information from Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines as well as original material written specifically for this book, Judith Horstman weaves together a compelling description of… read more

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

July 8, 2010

The Edge of Physics cover

Author:
Anil Ananthaswamy
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade (2010)

Amazon | Despite 20th-century physics’ revelations, from relativity and quantum mechanics to the physics of the atom’s nucleus and the life cycles of stars, ninety-odd percent of the universe is a complete mystery, says a scientist quoted by Ananthaswamy, a consulting editor for New Scientist. Dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity: these are the topics that keep physicists awake at night, requiring bigger, more massive, more extreme experiments to test… read more

Makers: The New Industrial Revolution

October 1, 2012

makers_the_new_industrial_revolution_book

Author:
Chris Anderson
Publisher:
Crown Business (2012)

Wired magazine editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop.  In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing.  A generation of “Makers”… read more

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

February 24, 2014

0805098070.01.S001.LXXXXXXX

Author:
Julia Angwin
Publisher:
Times Books (2014)

An inside look at who’s watching you, what they know and why it matters. We are being watched.

We see online ads from websites we’ve visited, long after we’ve moved on to other interests. Our smartphones and cars transmit our location, enabling us to know what’s in the neighborhood but also enabling others to track us. And the federal government, we recently learned, has been conducting a massive… read more

Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts

December 16, 2013

frankensteins_cat_book

Author:
Emily Anthes
Publisher:
Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2013)

One of Nature’s Summer Book Picks
One of Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Spring 2013 Science Books

For centuries, we’ve toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador?… read more

DIY Satellite Platforms: Building a Space-Ready General Base Picosatellite for Any Mission

September 6, 2012
Author:
Sandy Antunes
Publisher:
Make (2012)

Want to build your own satellite and launch it into space? It’s easier than you may think. The first in a series of four books, this do-it-yourself guide shows you the essential steps needed to design a base picosatellite platform—complete with a solar-powered computer-controlled assembly—tough enough to withstand a rocket launch and survive in orbit for three months.

Whether you want to conduct scientific experiments, run… read more

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