How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World [EPUB]
15 October 2014, 05:12
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 7.68/12.17MB
In this illustrated volume, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.
In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.
First You Build a Cloud [EPUB]
13 October 2014, 13:45
2012 | EPUB | 3.26MB
Now that's good science writing--punchy, direct, and immediately meaningful to the reader's life. K.C. Cole, the Leonardo da Vinci of science writers, has taken her great, out-of-print Sympathetic Vibrations and revised, expanded, and updated it to create an entirely new book, First You Build a Cloud: And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life. Her enthusiasm for science as an intensely meaningful endeavor comes through on each page: here is someone who not only thinks about the world around her but gets others to do the same.
In addition to her chapter on forces (quoted above), Cole covers the quantum world, relativity, and universal patterns, among other fundamental topics. Throughout she manages to show the reader the power of science to shape our dreams, religion, and poetry, as well as our bridges, dams, and highways. Conversations with such luminaries as Richard Feynman and Frank Oppenheimer enlighten us on both the form and substance of what was once known as "natural philosophy" and rehumanize this field too often recognized for its dizzying abstractions. Despite the enormity of its role in our lives, science should not be feared. Instead, we should keep working on new translations of its mysteries; with scribes like Cole, the work becomes much easier for us all.
Six Easy Pieces [EPUB]
13 October 2014, 12:58
2011 | EPUB | 1.4MB
This book reprints the six easiest chapters from Feynman's celebrated Lectures on Physics, which the Nobel Prize-winning scientist delivered from 1961 to 1963 at the California Institute of Technology. Intended for as wide an audience as possible, these chapters are primarily qualitative in nature, with a minimum of formal mathematics. They discuss atoms, basic physics, the relation of physics to other sciences, the conservation of energy, gravitation, and quantum behavior. While this informative work provides a relevant historical perspective on the essentials of physics, the result is somewhat superficial. Nonetheless, because Lectures on Physics is out of print and because the information is still relevant, reprinting these specific chapters was probably a realistic move. The material will be readily understood by scholars, physics students, and informed lay readers.