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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

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>AN INSTANT #1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER</b><br /> <b><i>聽</i></b><br /> <b><i>鈥淗ow To</i> will make you laugh as you learn鈥ith <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>.鈥?lt;i> 鈥?lt;/i>CNET</b><br /> <b>聽</b><br /> <b><b>鈥淸<i>How To</i>] has science and jokes in it, so 10/10 can recommend.鈥?lt;/b> <b><i>鈥擲imone 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聽<i>What If?</i>聽and聽<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.
Letters from an Astrophysicist
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Language

English

Pages

253

Publication Date

October 08, 2019

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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鈥檚 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鈥檚 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鈥檚 most candid and heartfelt writing yet, <em>Letters from an Astrophysicist</em> introduces us to a newly personal dimension of Tyson鈥檚 quest to explore our place in the cosmos.</p>
Chancing It: The Laws of Chance and How They Can Work for You
by Robert Matthews

Language

English

Pages

304

Publication Date

September 19, 2017

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Customer Reviews
<b>Make your own luck by understanding probability</b><br /><br />Over the years, some very smart people have thought they understood the rules of chance?only to fail dismally. Whether you call it probability, risk, or uncertainty, the workings of chance often defy common sense. Fortunately, advances in math and science have revealed the laws of chance, and understanding those laws can help in your everyday life.<br /><br />In <i>Chancing It</i>, award-winning scientist and writer Robert Matthews shows how to understand the laws of probability and use them to your advantage. He gives you access to some of the most potent intellectual tools ever developed and explains how to use them to guide your judgments and decisions. By the end of the book, you will know:<br /><br /><li>How to understand and even predict coincidences</li><br /><li>When an insurance policy is worth having</li><br /><li>Why 鈥渆xpert鈥?predictions are often misleading</li><br /><li>How to tell when a scientific claim is a breakthrough or baloney</li><br /><li>When it makes sense to place a bet on anything from sports to stock markets</li><br /><br />A groundbreaking introduction to the power of probability, <i>Chancing It</i> will sharpen your decision-making and maximize your luck.
This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progres...
by John Brockman

Language

English

Pages

595

Publication Date

February 17, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>The bestselling editor of <em>This Explains Everything </em>brings together 175 of the world鈥檚 most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org鈥檚 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress?</p><p>Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org鈥斺€漈he world鈥檚 smartest website鈥?(<em>The Guardian</em>)鈥攃hallenges some of the world鈥檚 greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating. In :</p><ul> <li> Steven Pinker dismantles the working theory of human behavior</li> <li> Richard Dawkins renounces essentialism</li> <li> Sherry Turkle reevaluates our expectations of artificial intelligence</li> <li> Geoffrey West challenges the concept of a 鈥淭heory of Everything鈥?lt;/li> <li> Andrei Linde suggests that our universe and its laws may not be as unique as we think</li> <li> Martin Rees explains why scientific understanding is a limitless goal</li> <li> Nina Jablonski argues to rid ourselves of the concept of race</li> <li> Alan Guth rethinks the origins of the universe</li> <li> Hans Ulrich Obrist warns against glorifying unlimited economic growth</li> <li> and much more.</li></ul><p>Profound, engaging, thoughtful, and groundbreaking, <em>This Idea Must Die </em>will change your perceptions and understanding of our world today . . . and tomorrow.</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鈥檚 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聽of <i>A Walk in the Woods </i>and<i> The Body,</i>聽confronts his greatest challenge yet: to understand鈥攁nd, if possible, answer鈥攖he 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鈥檚 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.
Diagnosis: Solving the Most Baffling Medical Mysteries
by Lisa Sanders

Language

English

Pages

292

Publication Date

August 13, 2019

Product Description
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鈥攏ow a Netflix original series</b><br /><br /><b>鈥淟isa Sanders is a paragon of the modern medical detective storyteller.鈥濃€擜tul Gawande, author of聽<i>Being Mortal</i></b><br /><br />As a Yale School of Medicine physician, the聽<i>New York Times聽</i>bestselling author of聽<i>Every Patient Tells a Story,聽</i>and an inspiration and adviser for the hit Fox TV drama聽<i>House, M.D.,聽</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.聽<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 鈥渟lamming a door inside his head.鈥?lt;br /><br />In each of these cases, the path to diagnosis鈥攁nd treatment鈥攊s 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鈥檚 place. It lets them see what doctors see, feel the uncertainty they feel鈥攁nd experience the thrill when the puzzle is finally solved.
Genes vs Cultures vs Consciousness: A Brief Story of Our Computat...
by Andres Campero

Language

English

Pages

103

Publication Date

June 18, 2019

Product Description
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>
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2019 (The Best Ameri...
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language

English

Pages

384

Publication Date

October 01, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>A NATIONAL BESTSELLER<br /><br /> Sy Montgomery, <i>New York Times</i> best-selling author and recipient of numerous awards, edits this year鈥檚聽volume of the finest聽science and nature writing.</b><br /><br /> 鈥淪cience is important because this is how we seek to discover the truth about the world. And this is what makes excellent science and nature writing essential,鈥?observes <i>New York Times</i> best-selling author Sy Montgomery. 鈥淪cience and nature writing are how we share the truth about the universe with the people of the world.鈥?And collected here are truths about nearly every corner of the universe. From meditations on extinction, to the search for alien life, to the prejudice that infects our medical system, the pieces in this year鈥檚 <i>Best American Science and Nature Writing </i>seek to bring to the people stories of some of the most pressing issues facing our planet, as well as moments of wonder reflecting the immense beauty our natural world offers.<br /> 聽
Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Language

English

Pages

385

Publication Date

November 17, 2007

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>"[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects鈥ith great humor, humility, and鈥攎ost important鈥攈umanity." 鈥?lt;em>Entertainment Weekly</em></strong></p><br /><p>Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in <em>Natural History</em> magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, <em>Death by Black Hole</em> explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.</p>
The Day It Finally Happens: Alien Contact, Dinosaur Parks, Immort...
by Mike Pearl

Language

English

Pages

304

Publication Date

September 17, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>From a <i>Vice</i> magazine columnist whose beat is 鈥渢he future,鈥?here is entertaining speculation featuring both authoritative research and a bit of mischief: a look at how humanity is likely to weather such happenings as the day nuclear war occurs, the day the global internet goes down, the day we run out of effective antibiotics, and the day immortality is achieved.</b><br /><br />If you live on planet Earth you鈥檙e probably scared of the future. How could you <i>not</i> be? Some of the world鈥檚 most stable democracies are looking pretty shaky. Technology is invading personal relationships and taking over jobs. Relations among the three superpowers鈥攖he US, China, and Russia鈥攁re growing more complicated and dangerous. A person watching the news has to wonder: is it safe to go out there or not?<br /> <br />Taking inspiration from his virally popular <i>Vice </i>column 鈥淗ow Scared Should I Be?,鈥?Mike Pearl in <i>The Day It Finally Happens</i> games out many of the 鈥渃ould it really happen?鈥?scenarios we鈥檝e all speculated about, assigning a probability rating, and taking us through how it would unfold. He explores what would likely occur in dozens of possible scenarios鈥攁mong them the final failure of antibiotics, the loss of the world鈥檚 marine life, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even the arrival of aliens鈥攁nd reports back from the future, providing a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances.<br /> <br />For fans of such bestsellers as <i>What If? </i>and <i>The</i> <i>Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, The Day It Finally Happens</i> is about taking future events that we don鈥檛 really understand and getting to know them in close detail. Pearl makes science accessible and is a unique form of existential therapy, offering practical answers to some of our most worrisome questions. Thankfully, the odds of humanity鈥檚 pulling through look pretty good.

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