The Accidental Homo Sapiens: Genetics, Behavior, and Free Will [Audiobook]
26 April 2019, 16:49
2019 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 7h 42m | 210.27/6.88MB
What happens now that human population has outpaced biological natural selection? Two leading scientists reveal how we became who we are - and what we might become.
When you think of evolution, the picture that most likely comes to mind is a straight-forward progression, the iconic illustration of a primate morphing into a proud, upright human being. But in reality, random events have played huge roles in determining the evolutionary histories of everything from lions to lobsters to humans. However, random genetic novelties are most likely to become fixed in small populations. It is mathematically unlikely that this will happen in large ones.
With our enormous, close-packed, and seemingly inexorably expanding population, humanity has fallen under the influence of the famous (or infamous) "bell curve." Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle's revelatory new book explores what the future of our species could hold, while simultaneously revealing what we didn't become - and what we won't become.
A cognitively unique species, and our actions fall on a bell curve as well. Individual people may be saintly or evil; generous or grasping; narrow-minded or visionary. But any attempt to characterize our species must embrace all of its members and so all of these antitheses. It is possible not just for the species, but for a single individual to be all of these things - even in the same day. We all fall somewhere within the giant hyperspace of the human condition that these curves describe.
The Accidental Homo Sapiens shows listeners that though humanity now exists on this bell curve, we are far from a stagnant species. Tattersall and DeSalle reveal how biological evolution in modern humans has given way to a cultural dynamic that is unlike anything else the Earth has ever witnessed, and that will keep life interesting - perhaps sometimes too interesting - for as long as we exist on this planet.
Mind Fixers: Psychiatry's Troubled Search for the Biology of Mental Illness [Audiobook]
26 April 2019, 00:54
2019 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 11h 50m | 326.8MB
The story of the unfulfilled quest to find the biological basis of mental illness, and its profound effects on patients, families, and American society.
In the 1980s, American psychiatry announced that it was time to toss aside Freudian ideas of mental disorder because the true path to understanding and treating mental illness lay in brain science, biochemistry, and drugs. This sudden call to revolution, however, was not driven by any scientific breakthroughs. Nor was it as unprecedented as it seemed. Why had previous efforts stalled? Was this latest call really any different?
In Mind Fixers, Anne Harrington offers the first comprehensive history of the troubled search for the biological basis of mental illness. She makes clear that this story is not just about laboratories and clinical trials, but also momentous public policies, acrid professional rivalries, cultural upheavals, grassroots activism, and profit-mongering. Harrington traces a consistent thread of over-promising and frustrated hopes. Above all, she helps us understand why psychiatry's biological program is in crisis today, and what needs to happen next.
Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine [Audiobook]
31 October 2018, 16:20
2018 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hours and 51 minutes | 186.87MB
You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather determined your fate - a human or an algorithm?
An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgment. Yet a human can look you in the eye before passing sentence.
You need a liver transplant to save your life. Who would you want in charge of organ allocation?
An algorithm can match organ donors with patients, potentially saving many more lives. But it may send you to the back of the queue.
You're buying a (driverless) car. One vehicle is programmed to save as many lives as possible in a collision. Another promises to prioritise the lives of its passengers. Which do you choose?
Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions - in health care, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go, even whom we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want?
Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.