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How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems
by Randall Munroe

Language

English

Pages

320

Publication Date

September 03, 2019

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<b>AN INSTANT #1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER</b><br /> <b><i> </i></b><br /> <b><i>“How To</i> will make you laugh as you learn…With <i>How To</i>, you can't help but appreciate the glorious complexity of our universe and the amazing breadth of humanity's effort to comprehend it. If you want some lightweight edification, you won't go wrong with <i>How To</i>.”<i> —</i>CNET</b><br /> <b> </b><br /> <b><b>“[<i>How To</i>] has science and jokes in it, so 10/10 can recommend.”</b> <b><i>—Simone Giertz</i></b></b><br /> <b><br /> The world's most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the bestsellers <i>What If?</i> and <i>Thing Explainer</i></b> <br /><br />For any task you might want to do, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. <i>How To</i> is a guide to the third kind of approach. It's full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole. <br /><br />Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you're a baby boomer or a 90's kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and powering your house by destroying the fabric of space-time. And if you want to get rid of the book once you're done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth's mantle, or launching it into the Sun. <br /><br />By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn't just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in <i>What If?</i>, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and fun illustrations, <i>How To</i> is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.
Genes vs Cultures vs Consciousness: A Brief Story of Our Computat...
by Andres Campero

Language

English

Pages

103

Publication Date

June 18, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<p><b> What is the mind? How did it evolve? Can we engineer it?</b></p><p>This interdisciplinary short book explores the mind and its development from a computational perspective. It touches on its evolutionary development, its algorithmic nature and its scientific history by bridging ideas across Neuroscience, Computer Science, Biotechnology, Evolutionary History, Cognitive Science, Political Philosophy, and Artificial Intelligence.</p><p>Never before had there been nearly as many scientists, resources or productive research focused on these topics, and humanity has achieved some understanding and some clarification. With the speed of progress it is timely to communicate an overreaching perspective, this book puts an emphasis on conveying the essential questions and what we know about their answers in a simple, clear and exciting way.</p><p>Humans, along with the first RNA molecules, the first life forms, the first brains, the first conscious animals, the first societies and the first artificial agents constitute an amazing and crucial development in a path of increasingly complex computational intelligence. And yet, we occupy a minuscule time period in the history of Earth, a history that has been written by Genes, by Cultures and by Consciousnesses. If we abandon our anthropomorphic bias it becomes obvious that Humans are not so special after all. We are an important but short and transitory step among many others in a bigger story. The story of our computational minds, which is ours but not only ours.</p><ul><li><b>What is the relationship between computation, cognition and everything else? </b></li><li><b>What is life and how did it originate? </b></li><li><b>What is the role of culture in human minds?</b> </li><li><b>What do we know about the algorithmic nature of the mind, can we engineer it?</b></li><li><b>What is the computational explanation of consciousness? </b></li><li><b>What are some possible future steps in the evolution of minds?</b> </li></ul><p>The underlying thread is the computational nature of the Mind which results from the mixture of Genes, Cultures and Consciousness. While these three interact in complex ways, they are ultimately computational systems on their own which appeared at different stages of history and which follow their own selective processes operating at different time scales. As technology progresses, the distinction between the three components materializes and will be a key determinant of the future.</p><p>Among the many topics covered are the origin of life, the concept of computation and its relation to Turing Machines, cultural evolution and the notion of a Selfish Meme, free will and determinism, moral relativity, the hard problem of consciousness, the different theories of concepts from the perspective of cognitive science, the current status of AI and Machine Learning including the symbolic vs sub-symbolic dichotomy, the contrast between logical reasoning and neural networks, and the recent history of Deep Learning, Geoffrey Hinton, DeepMind and its algorithm AlphaGo. It also develops on the history of science and looks into the possible future building on the work of authors like Daniel Dennett, Yuval Harari, Richard Dawkins, Francis Crick, George Church, David Chalmers, Susan Carey, Stanislas Dehaene, Robert Boyd, Joseph Henrich, Daniel Kahneman, Moran Cerf, Josh Tenenbaum, David Deutsch, Steven Pinker, Ray Kurzweil, John von Neumann, Herbert Simon and many more. </p><p><b>Andres Campero is a researcher and PhD student at the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department and at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).</b> </p>
Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries
by Lisa Sanders

Language

English

Pages

292

Publication Date

August 13, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<b>A collection of more than fifty hard-to-crack medical quandaries, featuring the best of <i>The New York Times Magazine's </i>popular Diagnosis column—now a Netflix original series</b><br /><br /><b>“Lisa Sanders is a paragon of the modern medical detective storyteller.”—Atul Gawande, author of <i>Being Mortal</i></b><br /><br />As a Yale School of Medicine physician, the <i>New York Times </i>bestselling author of <i>Every Patient Tells a Story, </i>and an inspiration and adviser for the hit Fox TV drama <i>House, M.D., </i>Lisa Sanders has seen it all. And yet she is often confounded by the cases she describes in her column: unexpected collections of symptoms that she and other physicians struggle to diagnose. <br /><br />A twenty-eight-year-old man, vacationing in the Bahamas for his birthday, tries some barracuda for dinner. Hours later, he collapses on the dance floor with crippling stomach pains. A middle-aged woman returns to her doctor, after visiting two days earlier with a mild rash on the back of her hands. Now the rash has turned purple and has spread across her entire body in whiplike streaks. A young elephant trainer in a traveling circus, once head-butted by a rogue zebra, is suddenly beset with splitting headaches, as if someone were “slamming a door inside his head.”<br /><br />In each of these cases, the path to diagnosis—and treatment—is winding, sometimes frustratingly unclear. Dr. Sanders shows how making the right diagnosis requires expertise, painstaking procedure, and sometimes a little luck. Intricate, gripping, and full of twists and turns, <i>Diagnosis</i> puts readers in the doctor’s place. It lets them see what doctors see, feel the uncertainty they feel—and experience the thrill when the puzzle is finally solved.
When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thoug...
by Jim Holt

Language

English

Pages

386

Publication Date

May 15, 2018

Product Description
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<p><b>From Jim Holt, the <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Why Does the World Exist?</i>, comes an entertaining and accessible guide to the most profound scientific and mathematical ideas of recent centuries in <i>When Einstein Walked with </i><i>Gödel</i><i>: Excursions to the Edge of Thought</i>.</b></p><p>Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot. Holt offers a painless and playful introduction to many of our most beautiful but least understood ideas, from Einsteinian relativity to string theory, and also invites us to consider why the greatest logician of the twentieth century believed the U.S. Constitution contained a terrible contradiction—and whether the universe truly has a future.</p>
A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition
by Bill Bryson

Language

English

Pages

692

Publication Date

November 30, 2010

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>This new edition of the acclaimed bestseller is lavishly illustrated to convey, in pictures as in words, Bill Bryson’s exciting, informative journey into the world of science.</b><i><br /></i><br />In <i>A Short History of Nearly Everything</i>, the bestselling author of <i>A Walk in the Woods </i>and<i> The Body,</i> confronts his greatest challenge yet: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. Taking as his territory everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being <i>us</i>. The result is a sometimes profound, sometimes funny, and always supremely clear and entertaining adventure in the realms of human knowledge, as only Bill Bryson can render it.<br /><br />Now, in this handsome new edition, Bill Bryson’s words are supplemented by full-color artwork that explains in visual terms the concepts and wonder of science, at the same time giving face to the major players in the world of scientific study. Eloquently and entertainingly described, as well as richly illustrated, science has never been more involving or entertaining.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018 (The Best Ameri...
by Sam Kean

Language

English

Pages

368

Publication Date

October 02, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
“This is one of the most exciting times in the history of science,” <i>New York Times</i>-bestselling author Sam Kean proclaims in his introduction to <i>The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2018</i>. “Things aren’t perfect by any means. But there are more scientists making more discoveries in more places about more things than ever before.” The twenty-six pieces assembled here chart the full spectrum of those discoveries. From the outer reaches of space, to the mysteries of the human mind, to the changing culture in labs and universities across the nation, we see time and again the sometimes rocky, sometimes revelatory road to understanding, and along the way catch a glimpse of all that’s left to learn.<br />  
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
by Natalie Angier

Language

English

Pages

306

Publication Date

April 03, 2008

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>The<i> New York Times</i> bestseller that makes scientific subjects both understandable and fun: “Every sentence sparkles with wit and charm.” —Richard Dawkins</b><br />  <br /> From the Pulitzer Prize–winning <i>New York Times</i> science journalist and bestselling author of <i>Woman</i>, this is a playful, passionate guide to the science all around us (and inside us)—from physics to chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and more.<br />  <br /> Drawing on conversations with hundreds of the world’s top scientists, Natalie Angier creates a thoroughly entertaining guide to scientific literacy. For those who want a fuller understanding of some of the great issues of our time, <i>The Canon</i> offers insights on stem cells, bird flu, evolution, and global warming. For students—or parents whose kids ask a lot of questions about how the world works—it brings to life such topics as how the earth was formed, or what electricity is. Also included are clear, fascinating explanations of how to think scientifically and grasp the tricky subject of probability.<br />  <br /><i>The Canon</i> is a joyride through the major scientific disciplines that reignites our childhood delight and sense of wonder—and along the way, tells us what is actually happening when our ice cream melts or our coffee gets cold, what our liver cells do when we eat a caramel, why the horse is an example of evolution at work, and how we’re all really made of stardust.<br />  
Letters from an Astrophysicist
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Language

English

Pages

272

Publication Date

October 08, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>A luminous companion to the phenomenal bestseller <em>Astrophysics for People in a Hurry</em>.</strong></p><br /><p>Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has attracted one of the world’s largest online followings with his fascinating, widely accessible insights into science and our universe. Now, Tyson invites us to go behind the scenes of his public fame by revealing his correspondence with people across the globe who have sought him out in search of answers. In this hand-picked collection of 101 letters, Tyson draws upon cosmic perspectives to address a vast array of questions about science, faith, philosophy, life, and of course, Pluto. His succinct, opinionated, passionate, and often funny responses reflect his popularity and standing as a leading educator.</p><br /><p>Tyson’s 2017 bestseller <em>Astrophysics for People in a Hurry</em> offered more than one million readers an insightful and accessible understanding of the universe. Tyson’s most candid and heartfelt writing yet, <em>Letters from an Astrophysicist</em> introduces us to a newly personal dimension of Tyson’s quest to explore our place in the cosmos.</p>
Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Bril...
by , Matthew Sands

Language

English

Pages

180

Publication Date

March 22, 2011

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>"If one book was all that could be passed on to the next generation of scientists it would undoubtedly have to be <i>Six Easy Pieces.</i>"- John Gribbin, <i>New Scientist</i></b><br />It was Richard Feynman's outrageous and scintillating method of teaching that earned him legendary status among students and professors of physics. From 1961 to 1963, Feynman delivered a series of lectures at the California Institute of Technology that revolutionized the teaching of physics around the world. <i>Six Easy Pieces</i>, taken from these famous Lectures on Physics, represent the most accessible material from the series.<br />In these classic lessons, Feynman introduces the general reader to the following topics: atoms, basic physics, energy, gravitation, quantum mechanics, and the relationship of physics to other topics. With his dazzling and inimitable wit, Feynman presents each discussion with a minimum of jargon. Filled with wonderful examples and clever illustrations, <i>Six Easy Pieces</i> is the ideal introduction to the fundamentals of physics by one of the most admired and accessible physicists of modern times.
The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Re...
by Steven Novella

Language

English

Pages

473

Publication Date

October 02, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>The <i>USA TODAY</i> bestseller </b><b>is now in paperback with a new chapter on Global Warming! This</b><b> all-encompassing guide to skeptical thinking from podcast host and academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine Steven Novella and his SGU co-hosts</b><b>, which Richard Wiseman calls "the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction."</b><b><br /></b>It is intimidating to realize that we live in a world overflowing with misinformation, bias, myths, deception, and flawed knowledge. There really are no ultimate authority figures-no one has the secret, and there is no place to look up the definitive answers to our questions (not even Google).<br /> Luckily, THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella-along with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein-will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories-from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N- rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co- worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking. <br /><br /> So are you ready to join them on an epic scientific quest, one that has taken us from huddling in dark caves to setting foot on the moon? (Yes, we really did that.) DON'T PANIC! With THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE, we can do this together.<br /><br /><b>"Thorough, informative, and enlightening, <i>The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe</i> inoculates you against the frailties and shortcomings of human cognition. If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilization unravel before our eyes."</b><b>--Neil deGrasse Tyson</b><br /><b>"In this age of real and fake information, your ability to reason, to think in scientifically skeptical fashion, is the most important skill you can have. Read <i>The Skeptics' Guide Universe</i>; get better at reasoning. And if this claim about the importance of reason is wrong, <i>The Skeptics' Guide </i>will help you figure that out, too." </b><b>--Bill Nye<br /></b><br />

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