The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man [Audiobook]

The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man [Audiobook]
The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man [Audiobook] by Michael Tennesen, read by Sean Runnette
2015 | MP3@64 kbps+ EPUB | 10 hrs 22 mins | 293.55MB

While examining the history of our planet and actively exploring our present environment, science journalist Michael Tennesen describes what life on earth could look like after the next mass extinction.

A growing number of scientists agree we are headed toward a mass extinction, perhaps in as little as 300 years. Already there have been five mass extinctions in the last 600 million years, including the Cretaceous Extinction, during which an asteroid knocked out the dinosaurs. Though these events were initially destructive, they were also prime movers of evolutionary change in nature. And we can see some of the warning signs of another extinction event coming, as our oceans lose both fish and oxygen. In The Next Species, Michael Tennesen questions what life might be like after it happens.

Tennesen discusses the future of nature and whether humans will make it through the bottleneck of extinction. Without man, could the seas regenerate to what they were before fishing vessels? Could life suddenly get very big as it did before the arrival of humans? And what if man survives the coming catastrophes, but in reduced populations? Would those groups be isolated enough to become distinct species? Could the conquest of Mars lead to another form of human? Could we upload our minds into a computer and live in a virtual reality? Or could genetic engineering create a more intelligent and long-lived creature that might shun the rest of us? And how would we recognize the next humans? Are they with us now?

Tennesen delves into the history of the planet and travels to rainforests, canyons, craters, and caves all over the world to explore the potential winners and losers of the next era of evolution. His predictions, based on reports and interviews with top scientists, have vital implications for life on earth today.

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time [Audiobook]

Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time [Audiobook]
Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein's Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time [Audiobook] by Richard P Feynman
2005 | MP3 VBR V5 + EPUB | 5 hrs 24 mins | 165.83MB

No 20th-century American scientist is better known to a wider spectrum of people than Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), physicist, teacher, author, and cultural icon. His autobiographies and biographies have been read and enjoyed by millions of readers around the world, while his wit and eccentricities have made him the subject of TV specials and even a theatrical film. The spectacular reception of the book and audio versions of Feynman's Six Easy Pieces resulted in a worldwide clamor for "More Feynman! More Feynman!"

The outcome is these six additional lectures, drawn from the celebrated three-volume Lectures on Physics. Though slightly more challenging than the first six, these lectures are more focused, delving into the most revolutionary discovery in 20-century physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity. No single breakthrough in 20-century physics (with the possible exception of quantum mechanics) changed our view of the world more than that of Einstein's discovery of relativity. The notions that the flow of time is not a constant, that the mass of an object depends on its velocity, and that the speed of light is a constant no matter what the motion of the observer, at first seemed shocking to scientists and laymen alike.

But, as Feynman shows so clearly and so entertainingly in the lectures chosen for this volume, these crazy notions are no mere dry principles of physics, but are things of beauty and elegance. No one, not even Einstein himself, explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Richard Feynman.

Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking [Audiobook]

Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking [Audiobook]
Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking [Audiobook] by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander, read by Sean Pratt
2013 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 33 hrs 52 mins | 970.21MB

Analogy is the core of all thinking.

This is the simple but unorthodox premise that Pulitzer Prize–winning author Douglas Hofstadter and French psychologist Emmanuel Sander defend in their new work. Hofstadter has been grappling with the mysteries of human thought for over thirty years. Now, with his trademark wit and special talent for making complex ideas vivid, he has partnered with Sander to put forth a highly novel perspective on cognition.

We are constantly faced with a swirling and intermingling multitude of ill-defined situations. Our brain’s job is to try to make sense of this unpredictable, swarming chaos of stimuli. How does it do so? The ceaseless hail of input triggers analogies galore, helping us to pinpoint the essence of what is going on. Often this means the spontaneous evocation of words, sometimes idioms, sometimes the triggering of nameless, long-buried memories.

Why did two-year-old Camille proudly exclaim, “I undressed the banana!”? Why do people who hear a story often blurt out, “Exactly the same thing happened to me!” when it was a completely different event? How do we recognize an aggressive driver from a split-second glance in our rearview mirror? What in a friend’s remark triggers the offhand reply, “That’s just sour grapes”? What did Albert Einstein see that made him suspect that light consists of particles when a century of research had driven the final nail in the coffin of that long-dead idea?

The answer to all these questions, of course, is analogy-making—the meat and potatoes, the heart and soul, the fuel and fire, the gist and the crux, the lifeblood and the wellsprings of thought. Analogy-making, far from happening at rare intervals, occurs at all moments, defining thinking from top to toe, from the tiniest and most fleeting thoughts to the most creative scientific insights.

Like Gödel, Escher, Bach before it, Surfaces and Essences will profoundly enrich our understanding of our own minds. By plunging the reader into an extraordinary variety of colorful situations involving language, thought, and memory, by revealing bit by bit the constantly churning cognitive mechanisms normally completely hidden from view, and by discovering in them one central, invariant core—the incessant, unconscious quest for strong analogical links to past experiences—this book puts forth a radical and deeply surprising new vision of the act of thinking.

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