Hacking Planet Earth: How Geoengineering Can Help Us Reimagine the Future [Audiobook]
16 August 2020, 13:33
Author: Thomas M Kostigen | Narrator: Johnathan McClain
2020 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9 hours and 38 minutes | 265.88MB
An exploration of the cutting-edge technology that will enable us to confront the realities of climate change.
For decades scientists and environmentalists have sounded the alarm about the effects of global warming. We are now past the tipping point. As floods, storms, and extreme temperatures become our daily reality, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" efforts aren't enough anymore. In Hacking Planet Earth, New York Times best-selling author Thomas Kostigen takes listeners to the frontlines of geoengineering projects that scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and other visionaries around the world are developing to solve the problems associated with climate change.
From giant parasols hovering above the Earth to shield us from an unforgiving sun, to lasers shooting up into clouds to coax out much-needed water, Kostigen introduces listeners to this inspiring work and the people who are spearheading it. These futurist, far- thinking, world-changing ideas will save us, and Hacking Planet Earth offers listeners their new vision for the future.
The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A Cultural History [Audiobook]
14 August 2020, 13:59
Author: Paolo Zellini | Narrator: Mark Elstob
2020 | M4B@128 kbps + EPUB | 6 hours and 46 minutes | 373.05MB
The complexity of mathematics - its abstract rules and obscure symbols - can seem very distant from the everyday. There are those things that are real and present, it is supposed, and then there are mathematical concepts: creations of our mind, mysterious tools for those unengaged with the world. Yet, from its most remote history and deepest purpose, mathematics has served not just as a way to understand and order, but also as a foundation for the reality it describes.
In this elegant book, mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini offers a brief cultural and intellectual history of mathematics, ranging widely from the paradoxes of ancient Greece to the sacred altars of India, from Mesopotamian calculus to our own contemporary obsession with algorithms. Masterful and illuminating, The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men transforms our understanding of mathematical thinking, showing that it is inextricably linked with the philosophical and the religious as well as the mundane - and, indeed, with our own very human experience of the universe.
You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass): Embracing the Emotions, Habits, and Mystery That Make You You [Audiobook]
13 August 2020, 18:17
Author and Narrator: Mike McHargue
2020 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hours and 53 minutes | 162.17MB
Why is there such a gap between what you want to do and what you actually do? The host of Ask Science Mike explains why our desires and our real lives are so wildly different - and what you can do to close the gap.
For thousands of years, scientists, philosophers, and self-help gurus have wrestled with one of the basic conundrums of human life: Why do we do the things we do? Or, rather, why do we so often not do the things we want to do? As a podcast host whose voice goes out to millions each month, Mike McHargue gets countless emails from people seeking to understand their own misbehavior - why we binge on Netflix when we know taking a walk outside would be better for us, or why we argue politics on Facebook when our real friends live just down the street. Everyone wants to be a good person, but few of us, 20 years into the new millennium, have any idea how to do that.
In You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass), McHargue addresses these issues. We like to think we're in control of our thoughts and decisions, he writes, but science has shown that a host of competing impulses, emotions, and environmental factors are at play in every action we undertake. Touching on his podcast listeners' most pressing questions, from relationships and ethics to stress and mental health, and sharing some of the biggest triumphs and hardships from his own life, McHargue shows us how some of our qualities that seem most frustrating - including "negative" emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety - are actually key to helping humans survive and thrive. In doing so, he invites us on a path of self-understanding and, ultimately, self-acceptance.
You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass) is a guided tour through the mystery of human consciousness, showing listeners how to live more at peace with themselves in a complex world.
Star Settlers: The Billionaires, Geniuses, and Crazed Visionarie [Audiobook]
12 August 2020, 04:48
2020 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hours and 11 minutes | 280.04MB
The story behind the elite scientists, technologists, SF enthusiasts, and billionaires who believe that humanity’s destiny is to populate the stars....
Does humanity have a destiny "in the stars"? Should a species triggering massive extinctions on its own planet instead stay put? This new book traces the waxing and waning of interest in space settlement through the decades, and offers a journalistic tour through the influential subculture attempting to shape a multiplanetary future.
What motivates figures such as billionaires Elon Musk and Yuri Milner? How important have science fiction authors and filmmakers been in stirring enthusiasm for actual space exploration and settlement? Is there a coherent motivating philosophy and ethic behind the spacefaring dream?
Star Settlers offers both a historical perspective and a journalistic window into a peculiar subculture packed with members of the scientific, intellectual, and economic elite, and captures the extra-scientific zeal for space travel and settlement, places it in its historical context, and tackles the somewhat surreal conceptions underlying the enterprise and prognoses for its future.
The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers [Audiobook]
12 August 2020, 04:46
2020 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 11 hours and 20 minutes | 314.68MB
The story of the people who see beyond the stars
Humans from the earliest civilizations were spellbound by the night sky - craning their necks each night, they used the stars to orient themselves in the large, strange world around them. Stargazing is a pursuit that continues to fascinate us: from Copernicus to Carl Sagan, astronomers throughout history have spent their lives trying to answer the biggest questions in the universe. Now, award-winning astronomer Emily Levesque shares the stories of modern-day stargazers, the people willing to adventure across high mountaintops and to some of the most remote corners of the planet, all in the name of science.
From the lonely quiet of midnight stargazing to tall tales of wild bears loose in the observatory, The Last Stargazers is a love letter to astronomy and an affirmation of the crucial role that humans can and must play in the future of scientific discovery.
In this sweeping work of narrative science, Levesque shows how astronomers in this scrappy and evolving field are going beyond the machines to infuse creativity and passion into the stars and inspires us all to peer skyward in pursuit of the universe's secrets.
Proof: How the World Became Geometrical [Audiobook]
04 January 2020, 11:52
2019 | M4B@128 kbps + EPUB | 10h 47m | 588.23MB
An eye-opening narrative of how geometric principles fundamentally shaped our world
One night in 1661, Nicholas Fouquet, a superintendent under Louis XIV, was arrested. His crime was peculiar: He had dared to construct a grand geometrical garden. In doing so, he violated an irrefutable hierarchy: that geometry, in its perfection, was a testament to divine right. The elegant, symmetrical designs were more than just ornament; they were proofs of incontestable certainty, and thus the authority to rule. But how did the French royalty fall in love with this peculiar landscape design? Wherefore Versailles?
In Proof!, the award-winning historian Amir Alexander argues that Euclidean geometry has been uniquely responsible for how our societies are structured. It has shaped how our cities are built and been used as a rationale to explain political structures. The proofs in Euclid's Elements were not only just true, but were certain by reason alone. Alexander tracks the rediscovery of Euclidean geometry in 15th-century Italy and recounts the French royalty's centuries-long love affair with geometrical gardening, which acted as a visual symbol of the king's consolidation of power during a time of violence and upheaval, and which culminated with the gardens at Versailles. Proof! tells the monumental story of the geometries that were carved into our world, the beliefs they supported, and the ways they shape our lives to this day.
Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans [Audiobook]
17 December 2019, 02:35
2019 | M4B@128 kbps + EPUB | 9h 33m | 525.79MB
This program includes an introduction read by the author.
No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying, and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. The award-winning author Melanie Mitchell, a leading computer scientist, now reveals its turbulent history and the recent surge of apparent successes, grand hopes, and emerging fears that surround AI.
In Artificial Intelligence, Mitchell turns to the most urgent questions concerning AI today: How intelligent - really - are the best AI programs? How do they work? What can they actually do, and when do they fail? How humanlike do we expect them to become, and how soon do we need to worry about them surpassing us? Along the way, she introduces the dominant methods of modern AI and machine learning, describing cutting-edge AI programs, their human inventors, and the historical lines of thought that led to recent achievements. She meets with fellow experts like Douglas Hofstadter, the cognitive scientist and Pulitzer Prize - winning author of the modern classic Gödel, Escher, Bach, who explains why he is "terrified" about the future of AI. She explores the profound disconnect between the hype and the actual achievements in AI, providing a clear sense of what the field has accomplished and how much farther it has to go.
Interweaving stories about the science and the people behind it, Artificial Intelligence brims with clear-sighted, captivating, and approachable accounts of the most interesting and provocative modern work in AI, flavored with Mitchell's humor and personal observations. This frank, lively book will prove an indispensable guide to understanding today's AI, its quest for "human-level" intelligence, and its impacts on all of our futures.
State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease [Audiobook]
11 December 2019, 15:03
2019 | M4B@128 kbps + EPUB | 11h 8m | 607.1MB
In State of the Heart, Dr. Haider Warraich takes readers inside the ER, inside patients' rooms, and inside the history and science of cardiac disease.
State of the Heart traces the entire arc of the heart, from the very first time it was depicted on stone tablets, to a future in which it may very well become redundant. While heart disease has been around for a while, the type of heart disease people have, why they have it, and how it's treated is changing. Yet, the golden age of heart science is only just beginning. And with treatments of heart disease altering the very definitions of human life and death, there is no better time to look at the present and future of heart disease, the doctors and nurses who treat it, the patients and caregivers who live with it, and the stories they hold close to their chests.
More people die of heart disease than any other disease in the world and when any form of heart disease progresses, it can result in the development of heart failure. Heart failure affects millions and can affect anyone at anytime, a child recovering from a viral infection, a woman who has just given birth or a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy. Yet new technology to treat heart failure is fundamentally changing just what it means to be human. Mechanical pumps can be surgically sown into patients' hearts and when patients with these pumps get really sick, sometimes they don't need a doctor or a surgeon - they need a mechanic.
In State of the Heart, the journey to rid the world of heart disease is shown to be reflective of the journey of medical science at large. We are learning not only that women have as much heart disease as men, but that the type of heart disease women experience is diametrically different from that in men. We are learning that heart disease and cancer may have more in common than we could have imagined. And we are learning how human evolution itself may have led to the epidemic of heart disease. In understanding how our knowledge of the heart evolved, State of the Heart traces the twisting and turning road that science has taken - filled with potholes and blind turns - all the way back to its very origin.
Virtual Reality (MIT Press Essential Knowledge) [Audiobook]
11 December 2019, 14:11
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5h 45m | 158.23MB
A comprehensive overview of developments in augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality—and how they could affect every part of our lives.
After years of hype, extended reality—augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR)—has entered the mainstream. Commercially available, relatively inexpensive VR headsets transport wearers to other realities—fantasy worlds, faraway countries, sporting events—in ways that even the most ultra-high-definition screen cannot. AR glasses receive data in visual and auditory forms that are more useful than any laptop or smartphone can deliver. Immersive MR environments blend physical and virtual reality to create a new reality. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, technology writer Samuel Greengard offers an accessible overview of developments in extended reality, explaining the technology, considering the social and psychological ramifications, and discussing possible future directions.
Greengard describes the history and technological development of augmented and virtual realities, including the latest research in the field, and surveys the various shapes and forms of VR, AR, and MR, including head-mounted displays, mobile systems, and goggles. He examines the way these technologies are shaping and reshaping some professions and industries, and explores how extended reality affects psychology, morality, law, and social constructs. It's not a question of whether extended reality will become a standard part of our world, he argues, but how, when, and where these technologies will take hold. Will extended reality help create a better world? Will it benefit society as a whole? Or will it merely provide financial windfalls for a select few? Greengard's account equips us to ask the right questions about a transformative technology.
Imagined Life: A Speculative Scientific Journey among the Exoplanets in Search of Intelligent Aliens, Ice Creatures, and Supergravity Animals [Audiobook]
11 December 2019, 14:10
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 9h 33m | 262.37MB
The captivating possibilities of extraterrestrial life on exoplanets, based on current scientific knowledge of existing worlds and forms of life
It is now known that we live in a galaxy with more planets than stars. The Milky Way alone encompasses 30 trillion potential home planets. Scientists Trefil and Summers bring listeners on a marvelous experimental voyage through the possibilities of life-unlike anything we have experienced so far - that could exist on planets outside our own solar system.
Life could be out there in many forms: on frozen worlds, living in liquid oceans beneath ice and communicating (and even battling) with bubbles; on super-dense planets, where they would have evolved body types capable of dealing with extreme gravity; on tidally locked planets with one side turned eternally toward a star; and even on "rogue worlds," which have no star at all. Yet this is no fictional flight of fancy: The authors take what we know about exoplanets and life on our own world and use that data to hypothesize about how, where, and which sorts of life might develop. Imagined Life is a must-have for anyone wanting to learn how the realities of our universe may turn out to be far stranger than fiction.