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Futurology


Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Lowest new price: $10.95
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Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

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Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds Lowest new price: $10.22
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Author: adrienne maree brown
Brand: AK Press

Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.

adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.

Features:

  • AK Press

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Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World

Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World Lowest new price: $10.69
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Author: Rutger Bregman

Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.

After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.

Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come.

Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

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Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy

Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy Lowest new price: $14.71
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Author: George Gilder

FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE MONTH

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: "Nothing Mr. Gilder says or writes is ever delivered at anything less than the fullest philosophical decibel..Mr. Gilder sounds less like a tech guru than a poet, and his words tumble out in a romantic cascade."

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.” — Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies and author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The Age of Google, built on big data and machine intelligence, has been an awesome era. But it’s coming to an end. In Life after Google, George Gilder—the peerless visionary of technology and culture—explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns.

Google’s astonishing ability to “search and sort” attracts the entire world to its search engine and countless other goodies—videos, maps, email, calendars….And everything it offers is free, or so it seems. Instead of paying directly, users submit to advertising. The system of “aggregate and advertise” works—for a while—if you control an empire of data centers, but a market without prices strangles entrepreneurship and turns the Internet into a wasteland of ads.

The crisis is not just economic. Even as advances in artificial intelligence induce delusions of omnipotence and transcendence, Silicon Valley has pretty much given up on security. The Internet firewalls supposedly protecting all those passwords and personal information have proved hopelessly permeable.

The crisis cannot be solved within the current computer and network architecture. The future lies with the “cryptocosm”—the new architecture of the blockchain and its derivatives. Enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NEO and Hashgraph, it will provide the Internet a secure global payments system, ending the aggregate-and-advertise Age of Google.

Silicon Valley, long dominated by a few giants, faces a “great unbundling,” which will disperse computer power and commerce and transform the economy and the Internet.

Life after Google is almost here.

 

For fans of "Wealth and Poverty," "Knowledge and Power," and "The Scandal of Money." 

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The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality Lowest new price: $13.96
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Author: Blake J. Harris

The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console Wars.

In The History of the Future, Harris once again deep-dives into a tech drama for the ages to expertly tell the larger-than-life true story of Oculus, the virtual reality company founded in 2012 that—less than two years later—would catch the attention of Mark Zuckerberg and wind up being bought by Facebook for over $2 billion dollars.

This incredible underdog story begins with inventor Palmer Luckey, then just a nineteen-year-old dreamer, living alone in a camper trailer in Long Beach, California. At the time, virtual reality—long-hailed as the ultimate technology—was so costly and experimental that it was unattainable outside of a few research labs and military training facilities. But with the founding of Oculus, and the belief that his tantalizing vision of the future could one day be more than science fiction, Luckey put everything he had into creating a device that would allow gamers like him to step into virtual worlds and, in doing so, hopefully kickstart a VR revolution. 

With the help of an industry legend, a serial entrepreneur, and a slew of colorful characters—including those behind gaming sensations like Doom, Words with Friends, and Guitar Hero—Luckey’s scrappy startup would finally deliver the dream of immersive and affordable virtual reality to consumers, leading geeks and gamers to be excited in a way that they hadn’t been in years, and tech firms and investors scrambling to get in on the action before it was too late.

Over the course of three years (and with unprecedented access from Oculus and Facebook), Harris conducted hundreds of interviews with key players in the VR revolution—including Luckey, his partners, and their cult of dreamers—to weave together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns, and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a supremely accessible, entertaining look at the birth of a new multi-billion-dollar industry; one full of heroes, villains, and twists at every corner. Take, for instance, Harris’ own discovery while writing this story. When he started this endeavor, he had no idea that this tale would somehow involve Donald Trump, billion-dollar lawsuits, illegal practices, and end with Luckey—eventually ousted from Facebook—as one of the most polarizing figures in Silicon Valley.

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Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work Lowest new price: $9.93
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Author: Steven Kotler

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

CNBC and Strategy + Business Best Business Book of 2017

"Steven and Jamie have done a wonderful job of balancing the promises, perils, and how-to prescriptions of engineering peak states such as 'flow.'" Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

It’s the biggest revolution you’ve never heard of, and it’s hiding in plain sight. Over the past decade, Silicon Valley executives like Eric Schmidt and Elon Musk, Special Operators like the Navy SEALs and the Green Berets, and maverick scientists like Sasha Shulgin and Amy Cuddy have turned everything we thought we knew about high performance upside down. Instead of grit, better habits, or 10,000 hours, these trailblazers have found a surprising short cut. They're harnessing rare and controversial states of consciousness to solve critical challenges and outperform the competition.

New York Times bestselling author Steven Kotler and high performance expert Jamie Wheal spent four years investigating the leading edges of this revolution—from the home of SEAL Team Six to the Googleplex, the Burning Man festival, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, Red Bull’s training center, Nike’s innovation team, and the United Nations’ Headquarters. And what they learned was stunning: In their own ways, with differing languages, techniques, and applications, every one of these groups has been quietly seeking the same thing: the boost in information and inspiration that altered states provide.

Today, this revolution is spreading to the mainstream, fueling a trillion dollar underground economy and forcing us to rethink how we can all lead richer, more productive, more satisfying lives. Driven by four accelerating forces—psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology—we are gaining access to and insights about some of the most contested and misunderstood terrain in history. Stealing Fire is a provocative examination of what’s actually possible; a guidebook for anyone who wants to radically upgrade their life.

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The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail--but Some Don't Lowest new price: $6.00
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Author: Nate Silver
Brand: Penguin Books

"One of the more momentous books of the decade." 
-The New York Times Book Review


Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of the website FiveThirtyEight. 
 
Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.

Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.

With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.

Features:

  • Penguin Books

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The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth

The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth Lowest new price: $10.85
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Author: Michio Kaku

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The #1 bestselling author of The Future of the Mind traverses the frontiers of astrophysics, artificial intelligence, and technology to offer a stunning vision of man's future in space, from settling Mars to traveling to distant galaxies.


We are entering a new Golden Age of space exploration. With irrepressible enthusiasm and a deep understanding of the cutting-edge research in space travel, World-renowned physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku presents a compelling vision of how humanity may develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. He reveals the developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology that may allow us to terraform and build habitable cities on Mars and beyond. He then journeys out of our solar system and discusses how new technologies such as nanoships, laser sails, and fusion rockets may actually make interstellar travel a possibility. We travel beyond our galaxy, and even beyond our universe, as Kaku investigates some of the hottest topics in science today, including warp drive, wormholes, hyperspace, parallel universes, and the multiverse. Ultimately, he shows us how humans may someday achieve a form of immortality and be able to leave our bodies entirely, laser porting to new havens in space.

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  • Stated First Edition, First Printing, New and Pristine

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The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future Lowest new price: $7.99
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Author: Kevin Kelly
Brand: PENGUIN

“A quintessential work of technological futurism.” – James Surowiecki, strategy + business, “Best Business Books 2017 – Innovation”

From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives


Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. In this fascinating, provocative new book, Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives—from virtual reality in the home to an on-demand economy to artificial intelligence embedded in everything we manufacture—can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces. Kelly both describes these deep trends—interacting, cognifying, flowing, screening, accessing, sharing, filtering, remixing, tracking, and questioning—and demonstrates how they overlap and are codependent on one another. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, says Kelly, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kelly’s bright, hopeful book will be indispensable to anyone who seeks guidance on where their business, industry, or life is heading—what to invent, where to work, in what to invest, how to better reach customers, and what to begin to put into place—as this new world emerges.

Features:

  • PENGUIN

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Sapiens/Homo Deus box set

Sapiens/Homo Deus box set Lowest new price: $27.86
Lowest used price: $47.31
List price: $70.00
Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Featuring Two Exclusive Essays by Yuval Noah Harari: "The Crisis of Liberalism" and "The Theater of Terror"

Discover humanity’s past and its future in this in this special box set featuring Sapiens—a reading pick of President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg—and its acclaimed companion Homo Deus.

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