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Our Own Devices

Our Own Devices Author Edward Tenner
ISBN-10 9780307489227
Release 2009-08-26
Pages 336
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This delightful and instructive history of invention shows why National Public Radio dubbed Tenner “the philosopher of everyday technology.” Looking at how our inventions have impacted our world in ways we never intended or imagined, he shows that the things we create have a tendency to bounce back and change us. The reclining chair, originally designed for brief, healthful relaxation, has become the very symbol of obesity. The helmet, invented for military purposes, has made possible new sports like mountain biking and rollerblading. The typewriter, created to make business run more smoothly, has resulted in wide-spread vision problems, which in turn have made people more reliant on another invention—eyeglasses. As he sheds light on the many ways inventions surprise and renew us, Tenner considers where technology will take us in the future, and what we can expect from the devices that we no longer seem able to live without. From the Trade Paperback edition.



Why Things Bite Back

Why Things Bite Back Author Edward Tenner
ISBN-10 9780679747567
Release 1997
Pages 431
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Explores the irony of progress in technology, including how advances in medicine, mechanics, transportation, and computers have had natural regressive consequences for society and the economy



Remaking the World

Remaking the World Author Henry Petroski
ISBN-10 9780307773203
Release 2011-01-05
Pages 256
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This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World Petroski gravitates this time, perhaps, toward the big: the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the QE2, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, now the tallest buildings in the world. He profiles Charles Steinmetz, the genius of the General Electric Company; Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer who created Robert's Rules of Order; and James Nasmyth, the Scotsman whose machine tools helped shape nineteenth-century ocean and rail transportation. Petroski sifts through the fossils of technology for cautionary tales and remarkable twists of fortune, and reminds us that failure is often a necessary step on the path to new discoveries. He explains soil mechanics by way of a game of "rock, scissors, paper," and clarifies fundamental principles of engineering through the spokes of a Ferris wheel. Most of all, Henry Petroski continues to celebrate the men and women whose scrawls on the backs of envelopes have immeasurably improved our world. From the Hardcover edition.



The Inner History of Devices

The Inner History of Devices Author Sherry Turkle
ISBN-10 9780262291569
Release 2011-09-30
Pages 224
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For more than two decades, in such landmark studies as The Second Self and Life on the Screen, Sherry Turkle has challenged our collective imagination with her insights about how technology enters our private worlds. In The Inner History of Devices, she describes her process, an approach that reveals how what we make is woven into our ways of seeing ourselves. She brings together three traditions of listening -- that of the memoirist, the clinician, and the ethnographer. Each informs the others to compose an inner history of devices. We read about objects ranging from cell phones and video poker to prosthetic eyes, from Web sites and television to dialysis machines. In an introductory essay, Turkle makes the case for an "intimate ethnography" that challenges conventional wisdom. One personal computer owner tells Turkle: "This computer means everything to me. It's where I put my hope." Turkle explains that she began that conversation thinking she would learn how people put computers to work. By its end, her question has changed: "What was there about personal computers that offered such deep connection? What did a computer have that offered hope?" The Inner History of Devices teaches us to listen for the answer. In the memoirs, ethnographies, and clinical cases collected in this volume, we read about an American student who comes to terms with her conflicting identities as she contemplates a cell phone she used in Japan ("Tokyo sat trapped inside it"); a troubled patient who uses email both to criticize her therapist and to be reassured by her; a compulsive gambler who does not want to win steadily at video poker because a pattern of losing and winning keeps her more connected to the body of the machine. In these writings, we hear untold stories. We learn that received wisdom never goes far enough.



The Color Revolution

The Color Revolution Author Regina Lee Blaszczyk
ISBN-10 9780262017770
Release 2012
Pages 380
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"In association with the Lemelson Center, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C."



The Efficiency Paradox

The Efficiency Paradox Author Edward Tenner
ISBN-10 9780525520306
Release 2018-04-17
Pages 320
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A bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency--and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity Algorithms, multitasking, the sharing economy, life hacks: our culture can't get enough of efficiency. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than we ever have before. There is no doubt that we're performing at higher levels and moving at unprecedented speed, but what if we're headed in the wrong direction? Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of digital platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns. Edward Tenner offers a smarter way of thinking about efficiency, revealing what we and our institutions, when equipped with an astute combination of artificial intelligence and trained intuition, can learn from the random and unexpected.



The Runaway Species

The Runaway Species Author David Eagleman
ISBN-10 9781936787678
Release 2017-10-01
Pages 296
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“The authors look at art and science together to examine how innovations—from Picasso’s initially offensive paintings to Steve Jobs’s startling iPhone—build on what already exists and rely on three brain operations: bending, breaking and blending. This manifesto . . . shows how both disciplines foster creativity.” —The Wall Street Journal “The Runaway Species approach[es] creativity scientifically but sensitively, feeling its roots without pulling them out.” —The Economist The Runaway Species is a deep dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how we can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate. David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt seek to answer the question: what lies at the heart of humanity’s ability—and drive—to create? Our ability to remake our world is unique among all living things. But where does our creativity come from, how does it work, and how can we harness it to improve our lives, schools, businesses, and institutions? Eagleman and Brandt examine hundreds of examples of human creativity through dramatic storytelling and stunning images in this beautiful, full-color volume. By drawing out what creative acts have in common and viewing them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, they uncover the essential elements of this critical human ability, and encourage a more creative future for all of us.



Gadget Nation

Gadget Nation Author Steve Greenberg
ISBN-10 9781402736865
Release 2008
Pages 244
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Features amateur inventors and their gizmos, from lighted slippers and finger shields to bird diapers and an alarm clock that rolls away from you when you reach for the snooze button.



Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method

Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method Author Henry H. Bauer
ISBN-10 0252064364
Release 1994-01-01
Pages 180
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Concern has recently arisen over the quality of American education and our declining scientific and research orientation. Debates are emerging about what direction public universities should be taking as we head into the twenty-first century. Why and to what extent should society know about science? This book will help readers come to an informed understanding about the place of science and technology in today's world.



Digital Is Destroying Everything

Digital Is Destroying Everything Author Andrew V. Edwards
ISBN-10 9781442246522
Release 2015-06-01
Pages 246
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Digital surrounds us for better or for worse, but it has changed our lives forever. This book takes a look at how these changes have undermined areas of our lives—both good and bad. Andrew Edwards shows us how this has happened and how to be more thoughtful about the effects of the technology that surrounds us and continues to proliferate.



Is Human Nature Obsolete

Is Human Nature Obsolete Author Harold W. Baillie
ISBN-10 0262524287
Release 2005
Pages 422
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An interdisciplinary exploration of whether modern genetics and bioengineering are leading us to a posthuman future.



The Fate of the Species

The Fate of the Species Author Fred Guterl
ISBN-10 9781608192601
Release 2013-05-21
Pages 209
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"A beautifully written book that will make you think and worry."--Fareed Zakaria



The Master Algorithm

The Master Algorithm Author Pedro Domingos
ISBN-10 9780465061921
Release 2015-09-22
Pages 352
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"Wonderfully erudite, humorous, and easy to read." --KDNuggets 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 your smartphone. He assembles a blueprint for the future universal learner-the Master Algorithm-and discusses what it will mean for business, science, and society. If data-ism is today's philosophy, this book is its bible.



Remaking London

Remaking London Author Ben Campkin
ISBN-10 9780857722720
Release 2013-08-13
Pages 256
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Contemporary urban regeneration seeks to encourage diverse, creative new neighbourhoods that are rich in economic potential. Yet the end result frequently displaces precisely those qualities, activities and communities it claims to engender. Are people best served by a preoccupation with regeneration as economic growth? In The Regeneration Game Ben Campkin provides a lucid and wide-ranging critique of contemporary regeneration. Focusing on present-day regeneration areas in London that are key to the capital’s modern identity, including the site of the 2012 Olympics, the result is both a compelling account of contested sites within the capital’s recent history and a powerful critique of modern methods of urban regeneration.



The Quest

The Quest Author Daniel Yergin
ISBN-10 9781101563700
Release 2011-09-20
Pages 832
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This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. The Quest tells the inside stories, tackles the tough questions, and reveals surprising insights about coal, electricity, and natural gas. He explains how climate change became a great issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never more timely, The Quest vividly reveals the decisions, technologies, and individuals that are shaping our future.



The End of the Long Summer

The End of the Long Summer Author Dianne Dumanoski
ISBN-10 0307452220
Release 2009-07-14
Pages 320
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For the past twelve thousand years, Earth’s stable climate has allowed human civilization to flourish. But this long benign summer is an anomaly in the Earth’s history and one that is rapidly coming to a close. The radical experiment of our modern industrial civilization is now disrupting our planet’s very metabolism; our future hinges in large part on how Earth responds. Climate change is already bearing down, hitting harder and faster than expected. The greatest danger is not extreme yet discrete weather events, such as Hurricane Katrina or the calamitous wildfires that now plague California, but profound and systemic disruptions on a global scale. Contrary to the pervasive belief that climate change will be a gradual escalator ride into balmier temperatures, the Earth’s climate system has a history of radical shifts–dramatic shocks that could lead to the collapse of social and economic systems. The question is no longer simply how can we stop climate change, but how can we as a civilization survive it. The guiding values of modern culture have become dangerously obsolete in this new era. Yet as renowned environmental journalist Dianne Dumanoski shows, little has been done to avert the crisis or to prepare human societies for a time of growing instability. In a work of astonishing scope, Dumanoski deftly weaves history, science, and culture to show how the fundamental doctrines of modern society have impeded our ability to respond to this crisis and have fostered an economic globalization that is only increasing our vulnerability at this critical time. She exposes the fallacy of banking on a last-minute technological fix as well as the perilous trap of believing that humans can succeed in the quest to control nature. Only by restructuring our global civilization based on the principles that have allowed Earth’s life and our ancestors to survive catastrophe——diversity, redundancy, a degree of self-sufficiency, social solidarity, and an aversion to excessive integration——can we restore the flexibility needed to weather the trials ahead. In this powerful and prescient book, Dumanoski moves beyond now-ubiquitous environmental buzzwords about green industries and clean energy to provide a new cultural map through this dangerous passage. Though the message is grave, it is not without hope. Lucid, eloquent, and urgent, The End of the Long Summer deserves a place alongside transformative works such as Silent Spring and The Fate of the Earth. From the Hardcover edition.



Neuroscience and Religion

Neuroscience and Religion Author Volney P. Gay
ISBN-10 9780739133934
Release 2009-08-16
Pages 300
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This is a unique set of multidisciplinary reflections on how the neurosciences shape our understanding of religious experience and religious institutions. Twelve scholars and scientists assess how advances in the neurosciences affect our traditional sense of mind, self, and soul.