bookshelf by year

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

January 17, 2018

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author |
Steven Pinker
year published |
2018

“A terrific book…[Pinker] recounts the progress across a broad array of metrics, from health to wars, the environment to happiness, equal rights to quality of life.” –The New York Times

The follow-up to Pinker’s groundbreaking The Better Angels of Our Nature presents the big picture of human progress: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal… read more

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do

February 5, 2018

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author |
Jeremy Bailenson
year published |
2018

An in-depth look at virtual reality and how it can be harnessed to improve our everyday lives.

Virtual reality is able to effectively blur the line between reality and illusion, pushing the limits of our imagination and granting us access to any experience imaginable. With well-crafted simulations, these experiences, which are so immersive that the brain believes they’re real, are already widely available with a VR headset and… read more

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

January 24, 2018

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author |
Niall Ferguson
year published |
2018

A brilliant recasting of the turning points in world history, including the one we’re living through, as a collision between old power hierarchies and new social networks.

“Captivating and compelling.”—The New York Times

“Niall Ferguson has again written a brilliant book…In 400 pages you will have restocked your mind. Do it.”—The Wall Street Journal

The Square and the Tower, in addition to being provocative history, may prove to be… read more

Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse (Empire Games)

January 12, 2018

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author |
Charles Stross
year published |
2018

Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Stross dives deep into the underbelly of paratime espionage, nuclear warfare, and state surveillance in this provocative techno-thriller set in The Merchant Princes multi-verse

Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross’ new story-line, and perfect entry point for new readers, in The Merchant Princes series.

In the near-future, the collision of… read more

Still Think Robots Can’t Do Your Job?: Essays on Automation and Technological Unemployment

January 24, 2018

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author |
Riccardo Campa
year published |
2018

Is Artificial Intelligence qualitatively different from other means of economizing the use of labor? Are we on the edge of a jobless society? If yes, are we ready for it? These are a few of the questions discussed in this collection of academic works. This book traces a brief history of the concept of technological unemployment; proposes a short-term scenario analysis concerning the relations between automation, education, and unemployment;… read more

The Future (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series)

January 17, 2018

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author |
Nick Montfort
year published |
2017

How the future has been imagined and made, through the work of writers, artists, inventors, and designers.

The future is like an unwritten book. It is not something we see in a crystal ball, or can only hope to predict, like the weather. In this volume of the MIT Press’s Essential Knowledge series, Nick Montfort argues that the future is something to be made, not predicted. Montfort offers… read more

The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner

December 26, 2017

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author |
Daniel Ellsberg
year published |
2017

Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America’s Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day.

Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America’s nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the… read more

Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality

November 27, 2017

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author |
Jaron Lanier
year published |
2017

The father of virtual reality explains its dazzling possibilities by reflecting on his own lifelong relationship with technology

Bridging the gap between tech mania and the experience of being inside the human body, Dawn of the New Everything is a look at what it means to be human at a moment of unprecedented technological possibility.

Through a fascinating look back over his life in technology, Jaron… read more

Envisioning Holograms: Design Breakthrough Experiences for Mixed Reality

December 18, 2017

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author |
M. Pell
year published |
2017

Explore the approach, techniques, and mindshift needed to design truly breakthrough experiences for the Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality platform. Learn what’s so different about working with holograms, how to think spatially, and where to start designing your own holographic projects. You’ll move rapidly from initial concept to persuasive prototype—all without the need for expensive tools or a designer’s skill set.

Designing for mixed reality is a… read more

The Quantum Spy: A Thriller

December 1, 2017

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author |
David Ignatius
year published |
2017

From the best-selling author of The Director and Body of Lies comes a thrilling tale of global espionage, state-of-the-art technology, and unthinkable betrayal.

A hyper-fast quantum computer is the digital equivalent of a nuclear bomb; whoever possesses one will be able to shred any encryption and break any code in existence. The winner of the race to build the world’s first quantum machine will attain global dominance for generations to come. The… read more

The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality (Theoretical Minimum)

October 2, 2017

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author |
Paul Halpern
year published |
2017

The story of the unlikely friendship between the two physicists who fundamentally recast the notion of time and history

In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler’s Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The soft-spoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full… read more

The Runaway Species: How human creativity remakes the world

August 21, 2017

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author |
David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt
year published |
2017

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist David Eagleman teams up with composer Anthony Brandt in this powerful, wide-ranging exploration of human creativity. Together, they incisively explore how individuals, organizations, and educational institutions can benefit from fostering creativity, while celebrating humanity’s unique ability to remake the world.

The Runaway Species is a deep-dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how we can… read more

What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us

August 28, 2017

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author |
Tim O'Reilly
year published |
2017

“Everything is amazing, everything is horrible, and it’s all moving too fast,” writes O’Reilly, founder of a media company based in Silicon Valley, who describes himself as having spent most of his career thinking about the future. Here, he acknowledges that despite the amazing technological advances made in recent history, many people are trepidatious about the future, anticipating a dystopia in which robots have taken most human jobs. Who… read more

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

August 2, 2017

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author |
Max Tegmark
year published |
2017

How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology—and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

How can we grow our prosperity through automation without… read more

iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us

September 13, 2017

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author |
Jean M. Twenge PhD
year published |
2017

A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me.

With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today’s rising generation of teens and young adults. Born… read more

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