Only a Trillion by Isaac Asimov [EPUB]
07 January 2017, 08:47
2016 | EPUB | 3.78MB
A trillion seconds is equal to 31,700 years.
A trillion inches is equal to 15,800,000 miles.
In other words, a trillion seconds ago, Stone Age man lived in caves, and mastodons roamed Europe and North America.
Or, a trillion-inch journey will carry you 600 times around the Earth, and leave more than enough distance to carry you to the moon and back.
And yet a good part of the chapters that follow ought to show you quite plainly that even a trillion can become a laughably small figure in the proper circumstances.
Isaac Asimov is curious about nearly everything, and he has made it his business to share whatever he learns with us—there are few people as good at it as he is.
ONLY A TRILLION is only one example of the range of his talents and the depth of his knowledge. These twelve essays are on such diverse subjects as life on other planets, the famous Thiotimoline—and The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs…but you’re just going to have to buy this book to find out what he knows about that.
Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance [EPUB]
07 January 2017, 01:56
2016 | EPUB | 11.46MB
The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact―and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Age of Discovery shows how.
Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others―and make us all more vulnerable to one another.
Business and science are working giant revolutions upon our societies, but our politics and institutions evolve at a much slower pace. That’s why, in a moment when everyone ought to be celebrating giant global gains, many of us are righteously angry at being left out and stressed about where we’re headed.
To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognize: we’ve been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, democratized communication and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.
Now is the second Renaissance. We can still flourish―if we learn from the first.
Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience: Why We Can't Trust Our Brains [EPUB]
06 January 2017, 17:35
2016 | EPUB | 3.08MB
This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens. Rather than merely focusing on critical thinking grounded in philosophy and psychology, the text incorporates the perspectives of biology, physics, medicine, and other disciplines to reinforce different categories of rational explanation. The book is also distinguished by its respectful approach to individuals whose ideas are, according to the authors, deeply flawed. Accessible and engaging, it describes what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skillsóusing scientific methods--that promote it. The text also examines why critical thinking can be difficult to engage in and explores the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims.
From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims. Particularly timely is the text's examination of how, using the narrative of today's "culture wars," religion and culture impact science. The authors focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information. Authored by a psychologist and a philosopher who have extensive experience teaching and writing on critical thinking and skeptical inquiry, this work will help students to strengthen their skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens.
- Addresses the foundations of critical thinking and how to apply it through the popular activity of examining pseudoscience
- Explains why humans are vulnerable to pseudoscientific claims and how critical thinking can overcome fallacies and biases
- Reinforces critical thinking through multidisciplinary analyses of pseudoscience
- Examines how religion and culture impact science
- Enlightens using an engaging, entertaining approach
- Written by experienced and innovative scholar/educators well known in the skeptic community
- Features teaching resources including an Instructor's Guide and Powepoint slides