How to Fly a Horse [EPUB]
23 January 2015, 16:28
2015 | EPUB | 2.14MB
As a technology pioneer at MIT and as the leader of three successful start-ups, Kevin Ashton experienced firsthand the all-consuming challenge of creating something new. Now, in a tour-de-force narrative twenty years in the making, Ashton leads us on a journey through humanity’s greatest creations to uncover the surprising truth behind who creates and how they do it. From the crystallographer’s laboratory where the secrets of DNA were first revealed by a long forgotten woman, to the electromagnetic chamber where the stealth bomber was born on a twenty-five-cent bet, to the Ohio bicycle shop where the Wright brothers set out to “fly a horse,” Ashton showcases the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures, and countless ordinary and usually uncredited acts that lead to our most astounding breakthroughs.
Creators, he shows, apply in particular ways the everyday, ordinary thinking of which we are all capable, taking thousands of small steps and working in an endless loop of problem and solution. He examines why innovators meet resistance and how they overcome it, why most organizations stifle creative people, and how the most creative organizations work. Drawing on examples from art, science, business, and invention, from Mozart to the Muppets, Archimedes to Apple, Kandinsky to a can of Coke, How to Fly a Horse is a passionate and immensely rewarding exploration of how “new” comes to be.
World in My Mind, My Mind in the World [EPUB]
22 January 2015, 22:19
2013 | EPUB | 2.08MB
Not consciousness, but knowledge of consciousness: that is what this book communicates in a fascinating way. Consciousness is the thread that links the disappearing gorilla with the octopus suffering from a stomach ache, and the person under anaesthetic with a new born baby. How these are different, yet illustrative of consciousness, is revealed in this accessible book by one of the world's leading thinkers and neural computing engineers.
Igor Aleksander addresses this enigmatic topic, by making us understand the difference between what happens to us when thinking consciously and when sort of thinking when dreaming or when not conscious at all, as when sleeping, anaesthetised or knocked out by a blow on the head.
The book also tackles the larger topics of free will, choice, God, Freud (what is 'the unconscious'?), inherited traits and individuality, while exploding the myths and misinformation of many earlier mind-hijackers. He shares the journey towards building a new model of consciousness, with an invitation to understand 5 axioms or basic ideas, which we easily recognise in ourselves.
The Naked Future [EPUB]
22 January 2015, 22:12
2014 | EPUB | 0.9MB
“Where I saw a thrilling and historic transformation in the world’s oldest idea—the future—other people saw only Target, Facebook, Google, and the government using their data to surveil, track, and trick them . . . But in fact, your data is your best defense against coercive marketing and intrusive government practices. Your data is nothing less than a superpower waiting to be harnessed.” —FROM THE INTRODUCTION
In the past, the future was opaque—the territory of fortune-tellers, gurus, and dubious local TV weathermen. But thanks to recent advances in computing and the reams of data we create through smartphone and Internet use, prediction models for individual behavior grow smarter and more sophisticated by the day. Whom you should marry, whether you’ll commit a crime or fall victim to one, if you’ll contract a specific strain of flu—even your precise location at any given moment years into the future—are becoming easily accessible facts. The naked future is upon us, and the implications are staggering.
Patrick Tucker draws on stories from health care to urban planning to online dating to reveal the shape of a future that’s ever more certain. In these pages you’ll meet scientists and inventors who can predict your behavior based on your friends’ Twitter updates. They are also hacking the New York City sewer system to predict environmental conditions, anticipating how much the weather a year from now will cost an individual farmer, figuring out the time of day you’re most likely to slip back into a bad habit, and guessing how well you’ll do on a test before you take it. You’ll learn how social networks like Facebook are using your data to turn you into an advertisement and why the winning formula for a blockbuster movie is more predictable than ever.
The rise of big data and predictive analytics means that governments and corporations are becoming much more effective at accomplishing their goals and at much less cost. Tucker knows that’s not always a good thing. But he also shows how we’ve gained tremendous benefits that we have yet to fully realize.
Thanks to the increased power of predictive science, we’ll be better able to stay healthy, invest our savings more wisely, learn faster and more efficiently, buy a house in the right neighborhood at the right time, avoid crime, thwart terrorists, and mitigate the consequences of natural disasters. What happens in a future that anticipates your every move? The surprising answer: we’ll live better as a result.