Kabbalah: Secrecy, Scandal and the Soul [EPUB]
16 August 2019, 02:01
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1472950984 | 6.89MB
This book tells the story of the mystical Jewish system known as Kabbalah, from its earliest origins until the present day. We trace Kabbalah's development, from the second century visionaries who visited the divine realms and brought back tales of their glories and splendours, through the unexpected arrival of a book in Spain that appeared to have lain unconcealed for over a thousand years, and on to the mystical city of Safed where souls could be read and the history of heaven was an open book.
Kabbalah's Christian counterpart, Cabala, emerged during the Renaissance, becoming allied to magic, alchemy and the occult sciences. A Kabbalistic heresy tore apart seventeenth century Jewish communities, while closer to our time Aleister Crowley hijacked it to proclaim 'Do What Thou Wilt'. Kabbalah became fashionable in the late 1960s in the wake of the hippy counter-culture and with the approach of the new age, and enjoyed its share of fame, scandal and disrepute as the twenty first century approached.
This concise, readable and thoughtful history of Kabbalah tells its story as it has never been told before. It demands no knowledge of Kabbalah, just an interest in asking the questions 'why?' and 'how?'
Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind [EPUB]
12 August 2019, 02:05
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 0691180148 | 5.3MB
A sober-minded philosophical exploration of what AI can and cannot achieve
Humans may not be Earth’s most intelligent species for much longer: the world champions of chess, Go, and Jeopardy! are now all AIs. Given the rapid pace of progress in AI, many predict that it could advance to human-level intelligence within the next several decades. From there, it could quickly outpace human intelligence. What do these developments mean for the future of the mind?
In Artificial You, Susan Schneider says that it is inevitable that AI will take intelligence in new directions, but urges that it is up to us to carve out a sensible path forward. As AI technology turns inward, reshaping the brain, as well as outward, potentially creating machine minds, it is crucial to beware. Homo sapiens, as mind designers, will be playing with "tools" they do not understand how to use: the self, the mind, and consciousness. Schneider argues that an insufficient grasp of the nature of these entities could undermine the use of AI and brain enhancement technology, bringing about the demise or suffering of conscious beings. To flourish, we must grasp the philosophical issues lying beneath the algorithms.
At the heart of her exploration is a sober-minded discussion of what AI can truly achieve: Can robots really be conscious? Can we merge with AI, as tech leaders like Elon Musk and Ray Kurzweil suggest? Is the mind just a program? Examining these thorny issues, Schneider proposes ways we can test for machine consciousness, questions whether consciousness is an unavoidable byproduct of sophisticated intelligence, and considers the overall dangers of creating machine minds.
Jewish Wisdom: The Wisdom of the Kabbalah, The Wisdom of the Talmud, and The Wisdom of the Torah [EPUB]
09 August 2019, 18:42
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 1504054857 | 7.48MB
From the sacred texts of Judaism: ancient and lyrical reflections on the meaning of life, faith, and humanity.The Wisdom of the Kabbalah: Handed down in the oral tradition for thousands of years and transcribed in fourteenth-century Spain, the Kabbalah is the classical expression of Jewish mysticism. This collection draws from the main work of Kabbalah—Sepher ha-Zohar, or The Book of Splendor.
The Wisdom of the Talmud: Developed in the Jewish academies of Palestine and Babylonia, the Talmud is the rabbinical commentary on the Torah. From man's purpose and miracles, to marriage and wellness, to consciousness and community, the Talmud considers the practice of faith on a daily basis through a changing world. This approachable guide explores how interpretation of the Torah has informed Jewish life for thousands of years.
The Wisdom of the Torah: In Hebrew, the word Torah means instruction, and for thousands of years, the Torah has provided instruction in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The inspirational selections in this collection include some of its most powerful and poetic passages, such as "The Poems of King David," "The Parables of King Solomon," and "The Love Songs of King Solomon."