Can't Just Stop
By Sharon Begley
'Filled with emotionally resonant stories, Can't Just Stop helps us understand not only the underpinnings of some forms of mental illness, but also the everyday worries that drive so much of our behaviour. A fascinating peek into the human mind in our age of anxiety.'David Kessler, author of Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering Do you check your smartphone continuously for messages? Or perhaps do the weekly shop with military precision? Maybe you always ensure the cutlery is perfectly lined up on the table?Compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms are life-altering disorders.Sharon Begley's meticulously researched book is the first of its kind to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behaviour; using fascinating case studies to understand their deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion - that it is a coping response to varying degrees of anxiety.Through the personal stories of dozens of interviewees exhibiting behaviours such as OCD, hoarding, compulsive acquiring, exercise or even altruism, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the neuroscience behind it, and strange manifestations of the behaviour throughout history. Can't Just Stop makes compulsion comprehensible and accessible, exploring how we can realistically grapple with it in ourselves and in those we love.
The Climate Fix
By Roger Pielke Jr.
The world's response to climate change has been deeply flawed. The Climate Fix is where we begin to get it back on track, as science policy expert Roger Pielke, Jr. dissects the disastrous climate debate and offers a solution: expanding energy access and increasing energy security while lowering costs through technological innovation.
By James D. Stein
Our fascination with numbers begins when we are children and continues throughout our lives. We start counting our fingers and toes and end up balancing checkbooks and calculating risk. So powerful is the appeal of numbers that many people ascribe to them a mystical significance. Other numbers go beyond the supernatural, working to explain our universe and how it behaves. In Cosmic Numbers , mathematics professor James D. Stein traces the discovery, evolution, and interrelationships of the numbers that define our world. Everyone knows about the speed of light and absolute zero, but numbers like Boltzmann's constant and the Chandrasekhar limit are not as well known, and they do far more than one might imagine: They tell us how this world began and what the future holds. Much more than a gee-whiz collection of facts and figures, Cosmic Numbers illuminates why particular numbers are so important,both to the scientist and to the rest of us.
By Sian Beilock
In the tradition of Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works, popular psychologist Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals the astonishing new science of why we choke under pressure. She explains what happens in the body and mind when everything clicks and the perfect golf swing, tricky mathematical problem, or high-pressure business pitch suddenly become easy.With surprising insights on every page, Beilock examines how: attention and working memory guide human performance; how experience and practice, innate factors, and brain development interact to create our abilities;how these interconnected elements react to stress - explaining counterintuitive realities, like why the cleverest students do worst on standardized tests; why we may learn foreign languages best when we're not paying attention; why early childhood athletic training can backfire; and how our emotions can make us both smarter and dumber.the mind and body are in even closer communication than was ever thought - and breaks new ground on top of 30 years of integrative health investigations.
The Crime of Reason
By Robert B. Laughlin
We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is technical",but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because it's technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age: a time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance. Thus we find ourselves dealing more and more with the Crime of Reason, the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities. The Crime of Reason is a reader-friendly jeremiad, On Bullshit for the Slashdot and Creative Commons crowd: a short, fiercely argued essay on a problem of increasing concern to people at the frontiers of new ideas.
By James Hughes
A provocative work by medical ethicist James Hughes, Citizen Cyborg argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life if they are controlled democratically. Hughes challenges both the technophobia of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama and the unchecked enthusiasm of others for limitless human enhancement. He argues instead for a third way, "democratic transhumanism," by asking the question destined to become a fundamental issue of the twenty-first century: How can we use new cybernetic and biomedical technologies to make life better for everyone? These technologies hold great promise, but they also pose profound challenges to our health, our culture, and our liberal democratic political system. By allowing humans to become more than human - "posthuman" or "transhuman" - the new technologies will require new answers for the enduring issues of liberty and the common good. What limits should we place on the freedom of people to control their own bodies? Who should own genes and other living things? Which technologies should be mandatory, which voluntary, and which forbidden? For answers to these challenges, Citizen Cyborg proposes a radical return to a faith in the resilience of our democratic institutions.
Chaos In The Cosmos
By Barry Parker
From award-winning science writer Barry Parker, the only book to consider chaos theory in all areas of astronomy.
By Jean Guisnel
To some a brand-new forum for the freedom of speech, the Internet is also the most up-to-date way to gather intelligence. Brilliant hackers like Kevin Mitnik,modern-day pirates",pose real security threats to government and industry. Cyberwars explores a dangerous new world where international terrorists plot their attacks and are tracked by secret service organizations on-line, drug traffickers do business and launder money, and electronic economic espionage is the order of the day. Examining efforts to police on-line communication and content, Guisnel assesses the implications of pervasive surveillance for the inherently democratic medium of the Internet. As these issues are the focus of ongoing debates in government and the private sector, Cyberwars couldn't be more timely.
By Pierre Levy
The number of travellers along the information superhighway is increasing at a rate of 10 percent a month. How will this communications revolution affect our culture and society? Pierre Lévy shows how the unfettered exchange of ideas in cyberspace has the potential to liberate us from the social and political hierarchies that have stood in the way of mankind's advancement.Anthropologist, historian, sociologist, and philosopher, Lévy writes with a depth of scholarship and imaginative insight rare among media critics. At once a profound historical analysis of the development of human culture and a blueprint for the future, Collective Intelligence is a visionary work.
Civilization And The Limpet
By Martin Wells
Written during a long sea voyage from England through the Mediterranean, Civilization and the Limpet unveils many fascinating phenomena of undersea life. Wells captures with exquisite detail how limpets, like bees, navigate by the stars how the brainless sea urchin makes a myriad of critical survival decisions every day how deserted islands" teem with an incredible abundance of animal life and why deep-diving whales never get the bends. Elegant and finely crafted, Civilization and the Limpet will enlighten, amuse, and awe anyone interested in the natural world.
By Carl Sagan
* Spacecraft missions to nearby planets* The Library of ancient Alexandria* The human brain* Egyptian hieroglyphics* The origin of life* The death of the sun* The evolution of galaxies* The origins of matter, suns and worldsThe story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan's remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting.