Tattoos - Philosophy for Everyone: I Ink, Therefore I Am

Tattoos - Philosophy for Everyone: I Ink, Therefore I Am

Tattoos - Philosophy for Everyone: I Ink, Therefore I Am edited by Robert Arp, Fritz Allhoff
2012 | PDF | 1.7MB

Covering philosophical issues ranging from tattooed religious symbols to a feminist aesthetics of tattoo, Tattoos and Philosophy offers an enthusiastic analysis of inking that will lead readers to consider the nature of the tattooing arts in a new and profound way.

  • Contains chapters written by philosophers (most all with tattoos themselves), tattoo artists, and tattoo enthusiasts that touch upon many areas in Western and Eastern philosophy
  • Enlightens people to the nature of tattoos and the tattooing arts, leading readers to think deeply about tattoos in new ways
  • Offers thoughtful and humorous insights that make philosophical ideas accessible to the non-philosopher

Parasite Rex

Parasite Rex

Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer
2009 | EPUB | 3.4MB

In this re-issued edition with a new epilogue, Carl Zimmer reveals the power, danger, and beauty of parasites in “a book capable of changing how we see the world” ( Los Angeles Times).

For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and the darkest shadows of science. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer takes readers on a fantastic voyage into the secret universe of these extraordinary life-forms—which are not only among the most highly evolved on Earth, but make up the majority of life’s diversity. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the parasite-riddled war zone of southern Sudan, Zimmer introduces an array of amazing creatures that invade their hosts, prey on them from within, and control their behavior. His vivid descriptions bring to life parasites that can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.

This comprehensive, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us all about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe—the laws of Parasite Rex.

Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist [TTC Audio]

Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist [TTC Audio]

Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist [The Great Courses] (TTC Audio) by Professor Michael Shermer
The Teaching Company | 2013 | Course No 9388 | MP3@96 kbps | 9 hrs 12 mins | 379.18MB

Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” These words are no less insightful today than they were when he wrote them in 1985. Despite our best efforts, we are all vulnerable to believing things without using logic or having proper evidence—and it doesn’t matter how educated or well read we are. Our brains seem to be hardwired to have our beliefs come first and explanations for our beliefs second. And although we are skilled at recognizing the cognitive biases in other people’s thinking, we often have blinders on when it comes to our own.

But there is a method for avoiding these pitfalls of human nature, and it’s called skepticism. By using rational inquiry and seeing subjects from a scientific perspective, we can approach even the most sensitive claims with clear eyes to ultimately arrive at the truth. And today, the need for skepticism has never been more dire as superstition and magical thinking experience a resurgence in our society and around the world.

Professor Michael Shermer of Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University calls the hallmarks of skepticism the “best tools ever devised in human history for thinking about anything,” including life’s biggest questions. In Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist, he reveals how to use these concepts and techniques to better comprehend the world around you. Over the course of 18 thought-provoking lectures that will surprise, challenge, and entertain you, you will learn how to think, not just what to think—and you’ll come to understand why extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

A Scientific Approach to Life

For the skeptic, the word “science” is used in the traditional sense and in a broader context that refers to the scientific method and its systematic and empirical way of looking at the world. Skepticism 101 outlines how science works and illuminates how it can help us differentiate between real science and pseudoscience, as well as between “scientific” history and pseudohistory—distinctions that have serious educational and political implications.

Fascinating case studies illustrate how you can apply the methods of skepticism to detect specious claims and faulty logic in any scenario you encounter. Among the topics you’ll inspect are

  • the methodology employed by Holocaust deniers;
  • arguments made by proponents of creationism;
  • the biology of near-death experiences and the sensed-presence effect;
  • psychic abilities and other “paranormal” phenomena; and
  • how UFOlogists differ from mainstream scientists engaged in SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

How Thinking Goes Wrong

As you learn how our brains work to form beliefs, you’ll examine the classic fallacies of thought that lead us to experience mistakes in thinking—particularly when it comes to finance—and to form bad arguments in favor of our beliefs. You’ll discover numerous ways even smart people deceive themselves.

  • After-the-fact reasoning: A form of superstition that attributes an outcome to a previous action—such as a baseball player who believes his two home runs are the result of his not shaving
  • Coincidences: Commonly seen as deeply significant, but actually nothing more than the laws of probability at work
  • The either/or phenomenon: A tendency to dichotomize the world in a way that says if you discredit one position, the observer is forced to accept the other
  • Tautology or redundancy: Occurs when the conclusion or claim is merely a restatement of one of the premises

You’ll explore how we maintain and reinforce our beliefs through a number of powerful biases that not only distort precepts to fit our preconceived concepts, but lead us to resist other viewpoints. From confirmation bias to hindsight bias to attribution bias, over a dozen of these cognitive heuristics are presented in this course to help you recognize them and avoid falling prey to them in the future.

Why You Believe What You Believe

Is there a God? Is there life after death? Is there a basis for morality without God? Skepticism 101 doesn’t shy away from controversial questions, nor does it give final answers. What it offers are methods and hard evidence for rationally evaluating various claims, positions, and “weird things”—as skeptics call unlikely claims with only anecdotal evidence—and an opportunity to understand why you believe what you believe.

You’ll peel back the layers of conspiracy theories to examine the psychological principles that interfere with our ability to reason clearly about major events, then you’ll explore the powerful psychological forces that lead seemingly normal people to become members of cults. You’ll also take an intriguing look at the psychology and neuroscience of religion, including evidence that our religious preferences are a product of both our evolutionary heritage and our cultural histories.

Lessons from the World's Most Prominent Skeptic

As the author of 10 books on science and skepticism, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, Professor Shermer brings a wealth of experience, research, and insight to this course that few could match. This seasoned and captivating lecturer is a popular speaker on the TED Talks lecture circuit and is the executive director of the Skeptics Society, which sponsors the monthly Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology.

Perhaps you’ve seen a self-help guru inspire his audience with a fire walk or witnessed a psychic giving a reading and thought there must be a logical explanation. Using empirical evidence and a scientific approach, Professor Shermer reveals the very of-this-world explanations behind these and other seemingly out-of-this world phenomena.

But more importantly, in Skepticism 101 he demonstrates how you can build a skeptical toolkit and apply this way of thinking to any claim or situation that arises.

Lectures:

  1. The Virtues of Skepticism
  2. Skepticism and Science
  3. Mistakes in Thinking We All Make
  4. Cognitive Biases and Their Effects
  5. Wrong Thinking in Everyday Life
  6. The Neuroscience of Belief
  7. The Paranormal and the Supernatural
  8. Science versus Pseudoscience
  9. Comparing SETI and UFOlogy
  10. Comparing Evolution and Creationism
  11. Science, History, and Pseudohistory
  12. The Lure of Conspiracy Theories
  13. Inside the Modern Cult
  14. The Psychology of Religious Belief
  15. The God Question
  16. Without God, Does Anything Go?
  17. Life, Death, and the Afterlife
  18. Your Skeptical Toolkit

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen
2010 | EPUB | 2.73MB

Rosen tackles the history of the Industrial Revolution by tracing the development of steam power. He says innovations in steam technology such as Thomas Newcomen's 1712 atmospheric engine and George Stephenson's 1829 locomotive built one upon another to create a prosperous, enduring industrial economy like none before it. He explains that though an understanding of steam had existed for some 2000 years, it was the English patent system with its inherent incentive of potential wealth that drove inventors to invest the requisite time to make and perfect technological breakthroughs.

Rosen's narrative meanders between diverse subject threads from patent law through mining to physics and economics. He introduces numerous inventors and others ranging from Francis Bacon to Abraham Lincoln. His writing style is generally clear, with humorous asides, and with an overall approach reminiscent of the science historian and broadcaster James Burke. The many technical descriptions of pumps and other mechanisms would have benefited from better illustrations than the few period drawings included.

Eat the City

Eat the City

Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York by Robin Shulman
2013 | EPUB | 2.58MB

New York, the city of money, glass, and concrete, seems like no kind of place to produce food. Yet in this smart, funny, and beautifully written book, Robin Shulman places today's urban food production in the context of hundreds of years of history, tracing the changing ways we live and eat. As Shulman tells the story of New York's ability to feed people, she also shows the things we've always longed for in the cities that we build: closer human connections and a sense of something pure.

Food, of course, is about hunger—but it's also about community. With humor and insight, Eat the City shows how, in places like New York, people have always found ways to use their collective hunger to build their own kind of city.

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz
2013 | EPUB | 2.4MB

In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference.

It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.

This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.

Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do About It by Josh Lerner
2012 | PDF | 2.01MB

Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tel Aviv--the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity--all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? Boulevard of Broken Dreams is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides valuable insights into why some public initiatives work while others are hobbled by pitfalls, and he offers suggestions for how public ventures should be implemented in the future.

Discussing the complex history of Silicon Valley and other pioneering centers of venture capital, Lerner uncovers the extent of government influence in prompting growth. He examines the public strategies used to advance new ventures, points to the challenges of these endeavors, and reveals the common flaws undermining far too many programs--poor design, a lack of understanding for the entrepreneurial process, and implementation problems. Lerner explains why governments cannot dictate how venture markets evolve, and why they must balance their positions as catalysts with an awareness of their limited ability to stimulate the entrepreneurial sector.

As governments worldwide seek to spur economic growth in ever more aggressive ways, Boulevard of Broken Dreams offers an important caution. The book argues for a careful approach to government support of entrepreneurial activities, so that the mistakes of earlier efforts are not repeated.

The Girl With No Name

The Girl With No Name

The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys by Marina Chapman, Lynne Barrett-Lee
2013 | AZW3 | 813.85KB

The poignant story of a girl who overcomes unique hardship and deprivation - growing up with a troop of capuchin monkeys - to find ultimate redemption.

In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself.

So begins the story of her five years among the monkeys, during which time she gradually became feral; she lost the ability to speak, lost all inhibition, lost any real sense of being human, replacing the structure of human society with the social mores of her new simian family. But society was eventually to reclaim her. At age ten she was discovered by a pair of hunters who took her to the lawless Colombian city of Cucuta where, in exchange for a parrot, they sold her to a brothel. When she learned that she was to be groomed for prostitution, she made her plans to escape. But her adventure wasn’t over yet...

In the vein of Slumdog Millionaire and City of God, this rousing story of a lost child who overcomes the dangers of the wild and the brutality of the streets to finally reclaim her life will astonish readers everywhere.

City of God: A Novel

City of God: A Novel

City of God: A Novel by Paulo Lins
2011 | EPUB | 2.15MB

Cidade de Deus, the City of God ... welcome to one of Rio's most notorious slums. A place where the streets are awash with drugs, where violence can erupt at any moment, over drugs, money ... and love... but also where the samba beat rocks til dawn, where the women are the most beautiful on earth, and where one young man wants to escape his background and become a photographer.

Paulo Lins was born in Rio de Janeiro and at age seven moved to the 'City of God' housing project. He escaped the cycle of violence there to become an internationally celebrated writer, and still lives in Rio. This novel is the result of extended research in the housing project where Lins was raised. He spent eight years interviewing people and researching the drug trafficking and gang warfare that marked the history of the neighbourhood in the 1970s and 80s.

Based on a true story, this is a sprawling, magnificently told epic about the history of gang life in Rio's favelas. The original novel of the hugely acclaimed film.

Eat Right for Life

Eat Right for Life

Eat Right for Life: How Healthy Foods Can Keep You Living Longer, Stronger and Disease-Free by Raymond A Schep
2010 | EPUB | 815.1KB

It's Never Wrong to Eat Right!

Eat Right for Life is full of healthy, natural alternatives to today's manufactured, chemically-charged and processed food. Improve your health and waistline with an organic lifestyle. It's easy with more than 100 food options, dozens of recipes and other life-changing natural solutions that help provide a balanced life.

Inside you'll find:

  • Dietary therapies for cancer, arthritis, allergies and more
  • Tips on healthy weight loss
  • Advice on eating sweets, exercise and eating raw foods

Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab

Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab

Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab by Dmitry Samarov
2011 | EPUB | 6.41MB

Cabdrivers and their yellow taxis are as much a part of the cityscape as the high-rise buildings and the subway. We hail them without thought after a wearying day at the office or an exuberant night on the town. And, undoubtedly, taxi drivers have stories to tell—of farcical local politics, of colorful passengers, of changing neighborhoods and clandestine shortcuts. No one knows a city’s streets—and thus its heart—better than its cabdrivers. And from behind the wheel of his taxi, Dmitry Samarov has seen more of Chicago than most Chicagoans will hope to experience in a lifetime.

An artist and painter trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Samarov began driving a cab in 1993 to make ends meet, and he’s been working as a taxi driver ever since. In Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab, he recounts tales that will delight, surprise, and sometimes shock the most seasoned urbanite. We follow Samarov through the rhythms of a typical week, as he waits hours at the garage to pick up a shift, ferries comically drunken passengers between bars, delivers prostitutes to their johns, and inadvertently observes drug deals. There are long waits with other cabbies at O’Hare, vivid portraits of street corners and their regular denizens, amorous Cubs fans celebrating after a game at Wrigley Field, and customers who are pleasantly surprised that Samarov is white—and tell him so. Throughout, Samarov’s own drawings—of his fares, of the taxi garage, and of a variety of Chicago street scenes—accompany his stories. In the grand tradition of Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Mike Royko, and Studs Terkel, Dmitry Samarov has rendered an entertaining, poignant, and unforgettable vision of Chicago and its people.

A Short History of Ireland

A Short History of Ireland

A Short History of Ireland by Sean McMahon
1996 | EPUB | 630.39KB

Change is constant in human affairs and Ireland has seen its fair share over the centuries. If we are to understand Ireland's current challenges then we must grasp the complexity of its past. This concise and even-handed account describes the history of Ireland from early times. Based upon up-to-date research, the narrative covers all political, social and cultural issues of importance, right up to the autumn of 1995 with the visit of President Clinton and the end of the first year of peace in Northern Ireland.

The Dialogue of the Dogs

The Dialogue of the Dogs

The Dialogue of the Dogs by Miguel de Cervantes
2008 | EPUB | 1.78MB

"Ever since I could chase a bone, I've longed to talk...."

The first talking-dog story in Western literature—from the writer generally acknowledged, alongside William Shakespeare, as the founding father of modern literature, no less?

Indeed, The Dialogue of the Dogs features, in a condensed, powerful version, all the traits the author of Don Quixote is famous for: It's a picaresque rich in bawdy humor, social satire, and fantasy, and it uses story tactics that were innovative at the time, such as the philandering husband who, given syphilis by his wife, is hospitalized. Late one feverish night he overhears the hospital's guard dogs telling each other their life's story—a wickedly ironic tale within the tale within the tale, wherein the two virtuous canines find themselves victim, time and again, to deceitful, corrupt humanity.

Here in a sparkling new translation, the parody of a Greek dialogue is so entertaining it belies the stunningly prescient sophistication of this novella—that it is a story about telling stories, and about creating a new way to discuss morality that isn't rooted in empiricism. In short, it's a masterful work that flies in the face of the forms and ethics of its time...and perhaps ours as well.

In Between the Sheets

In Between the Sheets

In Between the Sheets by Ian McEwan
2011 | EPUB | 2.05MB

Call them transcripts of dreams or deadly accurate maps of the tremor zones of the psyche, the seven stories in this collection engage and implicate us in the most fearful ways imaginable. A two-timing pornographer becomes an unwilling object in the fantasies of one of his victims. A jaded millionaire buys himself the perfect mistress and plunges into a hell of jealousy and despair. And in the course of a weekend with his teenage daughter, a guilt-ridden father discovers the depths of his own blundering innocence.

At once chilling and beguiling, and written in prose of lacerating beauty, In Between the Sheets is a tour de force by one of England's most acclaimed practitioners of literary unease.

Enduring Love: A Novel

Enduring Love: A Novel

Enduring Love: A Novel by Ian McEwan
1997 | EPUB | 1.81MB

On a windy spring day in the Chilterns, the calm, organized life of science writer Joe Rose is shattered when he witnesses a tragic accident: a hot-air balloon with a boy trapped in its basket is being tossed by the wind, and in the attempt to save the child, a man is killed. A stranger named Jed Parry joins Rose in helping to bring the balloon to safety. But unknown to Rose, something passes between Parry and himself on that day--something that gives birth to an obsession in Parry so powerful that it will test the limits of Rose's beloved rationalism, threaten the love of his wife, Clarissa, and drive him to the brink of murder and madness.

Brilliant and compassionate, this is a novel of love, faith, and suspense, and of how life can change in an instant.

Black Dogs: A Novel

Black Dogs: A Novel

Black Dogs: A Novel by Ian McEwan
1999 | EPUB | 1.85MB

Set in late 1980s Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Black Dogs is the intimate story of the crumbling of a marriage, as witnessed by an outsider. Jeremy is the son-in-law of Bernard and June Tremaine, whose union and estrangement began almost simultaneously. Seeking to comprehend how their deep love could be defeated by ideological differences Bernard and June cannot reconcile, Jeremy undertakes writing June's memoirs, only to be led back again and again to one terrifying encouner forty years earlier--a moment that, for June, was as devastating and irreversible in its consequences as the changes sweeping Europe in Jeremy's own time.

In a finely crafted, compelling examination of evil and grace, Ian McEwan weaves the sinister reality of civiliation's darkest moods--its black dogs--with the tensions that both create love and destroy it.

Atonement [Audiobook]

Atonement [Audiobook]

Atonement [Audiobook] by Ian McEwan
2003 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 16 mins | 785.42MB

This haunting novel, which just failed to win the Booker this year, is at once McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive. It is in effect two, or even three, books in one, all masterfully crafted.

The first part ushers us into a domestic crisis that becomes a crime story centered around an event that changes the lives of half a dozen people in an upper-middle-class country home on a hot English summer's day in 1935. Young Briony Tallis, a hyperimaginative 13-year-old who sees her older sister, Cecilia, mysteriously involved with their neighbor Robbie Turner, a fellow Cambridge student subsidized by the Tallis family, points a finger at Robbie when her young cousin is assaulted in the grounds that night; on her testimony alone, Robbie is jailed.

The second part of the book moves forward five years to focus on Robbie, now freed and part of the British Army that was cornered and eventually evacuated by a fleet of small boats at Dunkirk during the early days of WWII. This is an astonishingly imagined fresco that bares the full anguish of what Britain in later years came to see as a kind of victory.

In the third part, Briony becomes a nurse amid wonderfully observed scenes of London as the nation mobilizes. No, she doesn't have Robbie as a patient, but she begins to come to terms with what she has done and offers to make amends to him and Cecilia, now together as lovers. In an ironic epilogue that is yet another coup de the tre, McEwan offers Briony as an elderly novelist today, revisiting her past in fact and fancy and contributing a moving windup to the sustained flight of a deeply novelistic imagination.

With each book McEwan ranges wider, and his powers have never been more fully in evidence than here.



EPUB

Amsterdam: A Novel

Amsterdam: A Novel

Amsterdam: A Novel by Ian McEwan
1999 | EPUB | 1.74MB

On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday had been Molly's lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence. Clive is Britain's most successful modern composer; Vernon is editor of the quality broadsheet The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had had other lovers, too, notably Julian Garmony, foreign secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister.

In the days that follow Molly's funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences neither has foreseen. Each will make a disastrous moral decision, their friendship will be tested to its limits, and Julian Garmony will be fighting for his political life.

In Amsterdam, a contemporary morality tale that is as profound as it is witty, we have Ian McEwan at his wisest and most wickedly disarming. And why Amsterdam? What happens there to Clive and Vernon is the most delicious climax of a novel brimming with surprises.

Winner of the 1998 Booker Prize