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Books > Science & Mathematics > Science: general issues > Impact of science & technology on society

Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences, Series Number 42 - Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action... Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences, Series Number 42 - Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action (Paperback)
Navid Hassanpour
R627 Discovery Miles 6 270 Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Political revolutions, economic meltdowns, mass ideological conversions and collective innovation adoptions occur often, but when they do happen, they tend to be the least expected. Based on the paradigm of 'leading from the periphery', this groundbreaking analysis offers an explanation for such spontaneity and apparent lack of leadership in contentious collective action. Contrary to existing theories, the author argues that network effects in collective action originating from marginal leaders can benefit from a total lack of communication. Such network effects persist in isolated islands of contention instead of overarching action cascades, and are shown to escalate in globally dispersed, but locally concentrated networks of contention. This is a trait that can empower marginal leaders and set forth social dynamics distinct from those originating in the limelight. Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action provides evidence from two Middle Eastern uprisings, as well as behavioral experiments of collective risk-taking in social networks.

Merchants of Doubt - How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Paperback):... Merchants of Doubt - How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Paperback)
Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes
R256 R200 Discovery Miles 2 000 Save R56 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. Our scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly - some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These 'experts' supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

Believers - Faith in Human Nature (Hardcover): Melvin Konner Believers - Faith in Human Nature (Hardcover)
Melvin Konner
R546 R427 Discovery Miles 4 270 Save R119 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Believers is a scientist's answer to attacks on faith by some well-meaning scientists and philosophers- a firm rebuke of the "Four Horsemen": Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, known for writing about religion as something irrational and ultimately harmful. Konner, who was raised as an Orthodox Jew but has lived his adult life without such faith, explores the psychology, development, brain science, evolution, and even genetics of the varied religious impulses we as a species experience. Conceding that faith is not for everyone, he views religious people with a sympathetic eye; his own upbringing, his apprenticeship in the trancedance religion of the African Bushmen, and his friends in Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and other faiths have all shaped his perspective. He concludes that religion does much good as well as undoubted harm, and that for at least a large minority of humanity, the belief in things unseen neither can nor should go away.

Religion Within Reason (Paperback): Steven M Cahn Religion Within Reason (Paperback)
Steven M Cahn
R447 R350 Discovery Miles 3 500 Save R97 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

In the views of most believers and critics, religion is essentially connected to the existence of a supernatural deity. If supernaturalism is not reasonable, the argument goes, religion cannot be reasonable-or if supernaturalism is reasonable, religion must be as well. Are faith and reason, religion and science, doomed to a constant struggle for the heart of humanity? Steven M. Cahn believes that they are not, that even if God exists, religion may not be justified and that even if religion is justified, belief in God may not be. In Religion Within Reason, Cahn argues that the common understanding of the relationship between religion and supernaturalism is flawed and that while supernaturalism is not reasonable, religious commitment may well be. Writing not as a theist but as one who finds much to admire in a religious life, he examines faith and reason, miracles, heaven and hell, religious diversity, and the problem of evil, using a variety of examples taken from religious thought, literature, and popular culture. Lucidly written in a nonpolemical spirit, Religion Within Reason offers an exciting new approach to the reconciliation of science and religion.

Explaining the Future - How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies (Hardcover): Sunny Bains Explaining the Future - How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies (Hardcover)
Sunny Bains
R645 R546 Discovery Miles 5 460 Save R99 (15%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Will this new technology work to solve the problem its inventors claim it will? Is it likely to succeed? What is the right technical solution for a particular problem? Can we narrow down the options before we invest in development? How do we persuade our colleagues, investors, clients, or readers of our technical reasoning? Whether you're a researcher, a consultant, a venture capitalist, or a technology officer, you may need to be able to answer these questions systematically and with clarity. Most people learn these skills through years of experience. However, they are so basic to a high-level technical career that they should be made explicit and learned up front. Bains provides you with the tools you need to think through how to match new (and old) technologies, materials, and processes with applications. It starts with key questions to ask, goes through the resources you'll need to answer them, and helps you think through who is most (and least) likely to deserve your trust. Next, it talks you through analyzing the information you've gathered in a systematic way. The book includes chapters on audience (and how to tailor your explanation to them), how to make a persuasive and structured technical argument, and how to write this up in a way that is credible and easy to follow. Finally, the book includes a case study: a real worked example that goes from an idea through the twists and turns of the research and analysis process to a final report.

Future Histories - What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us About Digital Technology (Hardcover):... Future Histories - What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us About Digital Technology (Hardcover)
Lizzie O'Shea 1
R508 R364 Discovery Miles 3 640 Save R144 (28%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A highly engaging tour through progressive history in the service of emancipating our digital tomorrow. When we talk about technology we always talk about tomorrow and the future -- which makes it hard to figure out how to even get there. In Future Histories, public interest lawyer and digital specialist Lizzie O'Shea argues that we need to stop looking forward and start looking backwards. Weaving together histories of computing and progressive social movements with modern theories of the mind, society, and self, O'Shea constructs a "usable past" that can help us determine our digital future. What, she asks, can the Paris Commune tell us about earlier experiments in sharing resources--like the Internet--in common? How can Frantz Fanon's theories of anti colonial self-determination help us build digital world in which everyone can participate equally? Can debates over equal digital access be helped by American revolutionary Tom Paine's theories of democratic, economic redistribution? What can indigenous land struggles teach us about stewarding our digital climate? And, how is Elon Musk not a future visionary but a steampunk throwback to Victorian-era technological utopians? In engaging, sparkling prose, O'Shea shows us how very human our understanding of technology is, and how when we draw on the resources of the past, we can see the potential for struggle, for liberation, for art and poetry in our technological present. Future Histories is for all of us--makers, coders, hacktivists, Facebook-users, self-styled Luddites--who find ourselves in a brave new world.

The Shallows - What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (Paperback): Nicholas Carr The Shallows - What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (Paperback)
Nicholas Carr 1
R240 R201 Discovery Miles 2 010 Save R39 (16%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "tools of the mind"-from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer-Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways. Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic-a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption-and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes-Friedrich Nietzsche wrestling with a typewriter, Sigmund Freud dissecting the brains of sea creatures, Nathaniel Hawthorne contemplating the thunderous approach of a steam locomotive-even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

In The Shadow of the Machine - The Prehistory of the Computer and the Evolution of Consciousness (Paperback): Jeremy Naydler In The Shadow of the Machine - The Prehistory of the Computer and the Evolution of Consciousness (Paperback)
Jeremy Naydler
R529 R409 Discovery Miles 4 090 Save R120 (23%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Contemporary life is so deeply reliant upon digital technology that the computer has come to dominate almost every aspect of our culture. What is the philosophical and spiritual significance of this dependence on electronic technology, both for our relationship to nature and for the future of humanity? And, what processes in human perception and awareness have produced the situation we find ourselves in? As Jeremy Naydler elucidates in this penetrating study, we cannot understand the emergence of the computer without seeing it within the wider context of the evolution of human consciousness, which has taken place over millennia. Modern consciousness, he shows, has evolved in conjunction with the development of machines and under their intensifying shadow. The computer was the product of a long historical development, culminating in the scientific revolution of the 17th century. It was during this period that the first mechanical calculators were invented and the project to create more complex `thinking machines' began in earnest. But the seeds were sown many hundreds of years earlier, deep in antiquity. Naydler paints a vast panorama depicting human development and the emergence of electronic technology. His painstaking research illuminates an urgent question that concerns every living person today: What does it mean to be human and what, if anything, distinguishes us from machines?

Zucked - Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Hardcover): Roger McNamee Zucked - Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe (Hardcover)
Roger McNamee
R595 R374 Discovery Miles 3 740 Save R221 (37%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days
Science and Christianity - An Introduction to the Issues (Paperback): J. B. Stump Science and Christianity - An Introduction to the Issues (Paperback)
J. B. Stump
R570 R454 Discovery Miles 4 540 Save R116 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

Science and Christianity is an accessible, engaging introduction to topics at the intersection of science and Christian theology. * A philosophically orientated treatment that introduces the relationship of science to Christianity and explores to what extent the findings of science affect traditional Christian theology * Addresses important theological topics in light of contemporary science, including divine action, the problem of natural evil, and eschatology * Historically oriented chapters and chapters covering methodological principles for both science and theology provide the reader with a strong foundational understanding of the issues * Includes feature boxes highlighting quotations, biographies of major scientists and theologians, key terms, and other helpful information * Issues are presented as fairly and objectively as possible, with strengths and weaknesses of particular interpretations fully discussed

Political Theology of the Earth - Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public (Paperback): Catherine Keller Political Theology of the Earth - Our Planetary Emergency and the Struggle for a New Public (Paperback)
Catherine Keller
R479 R374 Discovery Miles 3 740 Save R105 (22%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Amid melting glaciers, rising waters, and spreading droughts, Earth has ceased to tolerate our pretense of mastery over it. But how can we confront climate change when political crises keep exploding in the present? Noted ecotheologian and feminist philosopher of religion Catherine Keller reads the feedback loop of political and ecological depredation as secularized apocalypse. Carl Schmitt's political theology of the sovereign exception sheds light on present ideological warfare; racial, ethnic, economic, and sexual conflict; and hubristic anthropocentrism. If the politics of exceptionalism are theological in origin, she asks, should we not enlist the world's religious communities as part of the resistance? Keller calls for dissolving the opposition between the religious and the secular in favor of a broad planetary movement for social and ecological justice. When we are confronted by populist, authoritarian right wings founded on white male Christian supremacism, we can counter with a messianically charged, often unspoken theology of the now-moment, calling for a complex new public. Such a political theology of the earth activates the world's entangled populations, joined in solidarity and committed to revolutionary solutions to the entwined crises of the Anthropocene.

Wonderland - How Play Made the Modern World (Paperback, Main Market Ed.): Steven Johnson Wonderland - How Play Made the Modern World (Paperback, Main Market Ed.)
Steven Johnson 1
R240 R158 Discovery Miles 1 580 Save R82 (34%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'The book is a house of wonders' The New York Times 'Steven Johnson is the Darwin of technology' Walter Issacson, author of Steve Jobs What connects Paleolithic bone flutes to the invention of computer software? Or the Murex sea snail to the death of the great American city? How does the bag of crisps you hold in your hand help tell the story of humanity itself? In Wonderland, his brilliant work on the history of innovation, international bestseller Steven Johnson argues that the pursuit of novelty and wonder has always been a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. He finds that throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. Johnson's storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colourful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows. Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

Energies in the Arts (Hardcover): Douglas Kahn Energies in the Arts (Hardcover)
Douglas Kahn
R1,039 R701 Discovery Miles 7 010 Save R338 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Investigating the concepts and material realities of energy coursing through the arts: a foundational text. This book investigates energies-in the plural, the energies embedded and embodied in everything under the sun- as they are expressed in the arts. With contributions from scholars and critics from the visual arts, art history, anthropology, music, literature, and the history of science, it offers the first multidisciplinary investigation of the concepts and material realities of energy coursing through the arts. Just as Douglas Kahn's earlier books helped introduce sound as a category for study in the arts, this new volume will be a foundational volume for future explorers in a largely uncharted domain. The modern concept of energy is only two hundred years old-an abstraction grounded in extraction-but this book takes a more expansive view. It opens with a clap: the sonic energies in a ceremony of the indigenous Goolarabooloo people of Australia. Other chapters explore the energies of photography; responses of artists in the early twentieth century-including Marcel Duchamp-to scientific discoveries in electricity and electromagnetism; the aestheticization of entropy in works by Hans Haacke and Robert Smithson; free-jazz musician Milford Graves's cross-cultural engagement with music, science, and spiritualism; energy field performance; and the self-generating energy of rumor and gossip as artwork. Contributors include such leading scholars as Linda Dalrymple Henderson, John Tresch, and Caroline A. Jones. Practicing artists and students of art history will find Energies in the Arts an essential work. Contributors Susan Ballard, Jennifer Biddle, Marcus Boon, Joan Brassil, Steven Connor, Milford Graves, Daniel Hackbarth, Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Caroline A. Jones, Douglas Kahn, David Mather, Stephen Muecke, James Nisbet, Daniela Silvestrin, Michael Taussig, John Tresch, Melissa Warak

Data and Goliath - The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World (Hardcover): Bruce Schneier Data and Goliath - The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World (Hardcover)
Bruce Schneier
R527 R426 Discovery Miles 4 260 Save R101 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 13 working days

Data is everywhere. We create it every time we go online, turn our phone on (or off ), or pay with a credit card. This data is stored, studied, and bought and sold by corporations and governments for surveillance and for control. Foremost security expert (Wired) and best-selling author Bruce Schneier shows how this data has led to a double-edged Internet a Web that gives power to the people but is abused by the institutions on which those people depend.

In Data and Goliath, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship, and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar. He shares technological, legal, and social solutions that can help shape a more equal, private, and secure world. This is a book everyone with an Internet connection or bank account, or smart device, or car, for that matter needs to read."

Dreamscapes of Modernity - Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (Paperback): Sheila Jasanoff, Sang Hyun Kim Dreamscapes of Modernity - Sociotechnical Imaginaries and the Fabrication of Power (Paperback)
Sheila Jasanoff, Sang Hyun Kim
R613 R569 Discovery Miles 5 690 Save R44 (7%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Dreamscapes of Modernity offers the first book-length treatment of sociotechnical imaginaries, a concept originated by Sheila Jasanoff and developed in close collaboration with Sang-Hyun Kim to describe how visions of scientific and technological progress carry with them implicit ideas about public purposes, collective futures, and the common good. The book presents a mix of case studies-including nuclear power in Austria, Chinese rice biotechnology, Korean stem cell research, the Indonesian Internet, US bioethics, global health, and more-to illustrate how the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries can lead to more sophisticated understandings of the national and transnational politics of science and technology. A theoretical introduction sets the stage for the contributors' wide-ranging analyses, and a conclusion gathers and synthesizes their collective findings. The book marks a major theoretical advance for a concept that has been rapidly taken up across the social sciences and promises to become central to scholarship in science and technology studies.

Positive Computing - Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential (Paperback): Rafael A. Calvo, Dorian Peters Positive Computing - Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential (Paperback)
Rafael A. Calvo, Dorian Peters
R351 R284 Discovery Miles 2 840 Save R67 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A case for building a digital environment that can make us happier and healthier, not just more productive, and a theoretical framework for doing so. On the eve of Google's IPO in 2004, Larry Page and Sergey Brin vowed not to be evil. Today, a growing number of technologists would go further, trying to ensure that their work actively improves people's lives. Technology, so pervasive and ubiquitous, has the capacity to increase stress and suffering; but it also has the less-heralded potential to improve the well-being of individuals, society, and the planet. In this book, Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters investigate what they term "positive computing"-the design and development of technology to support psychological well-being and human potential. Calvo and Peters explain that technologists' growing interest in social good is part of a larger public concern about how our digital experience affects our emotions and our quality of life-which itself reflects an emerging focus on humanistic values in many different disciplines. Synthesizing theory, knowledge, and empirical methodologies from a variety of fields, they offer a rigorous and coherent foundational framework for positive computing. Sidebars by experts from psychology, neuroscience, human-computer interaction, and other disciplines supply essential context. Calvo and Peters examine specific well-being factors, including positive emotions, self-awareness, mindfulness, empathy, and compassion, and explore how technology can support these factors. Finally, they offer suggestions for future research and funding. Sidebars Timothy N. Bickmore, Jeremy Bailenson, danah boyd, Jane Burns, David R. Caruso, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Felicia Huppert, Mary-Helen Immordino-Yang, Adele Krusche and J. Mark G. Williams, Jane McGonigal, Jonathan Nicholas, Don Norman, Yvonne Rogers

How to Be Human in the Digital Economy (Hardcover): Nicholas Agar How to Be Human in the Digital Economy (Hardcover)
Nicholas Agar
R550 R384 Discovery Miles 3 840 Save R166 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

An argument in favor of finding a place for humans (and humanness) in the future digital economy. In the digital economy, accountants, baristas, and cashiers can be automated out of employment; so can surgeons, airline pilots, and cab drivers. Machines will be able to do these jobs more efficiently, accurately, and inexpensively. But, Nicholas Agar warns in this provocative book, these developments could result in a radically disempowered humanity. The digital revolution has brought us new gadgets and new things to do with them. The digital revolution also brings the digital economy, with machines capable of doing humans' jobs. Agar explains that developments in artificial intelligence enable computers to take over not just routine tasks but also the kind of "mind work" that previously relied on human intellect, and that this threatens human agency. The solution, Agar argues, is a hybrid social-digital economy. The key value of the digital economy is efficiency. The key value of the social economy is humanness. A social economy would be centered on connections between human minds. We should reject some digital automation because machines will always be poor substitutes for humans in roles that involve direct contact with other humans. A machine can count out pills and pour out coffee, but we want our nurses and baristas to have minds like ours. In a hybrid social-digital economy, people do the jobs for which feelings matter and machines take on data-intensive work. But humans will have to insist on their relevance in a digital age.

Digital Human - The Fourth Revolution of Humanity Includes Everyone (Hardcover): Chris Skinner Digital Human - The Fourth Revolution of Humanity Includes Everyone (Hardcover)
Chris Skinner
R582 R409 Discovery Miles 4 090 Save R173 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Digital is far-reaching and ubiquitous - everything you know is about to change. We are living in the fourth age of humanity. First, we became human. Then we became civilized. The third age saw the creation of commerce. Now, we are becoming digital. Technology has changed the way we communicate, trade, and transact, with repercussions extending far beyond our personal spheres. Digital Human is a visionary roadmap for the future, a timely guide on how to navigate the world of finance as we create the next generation of humanity. It explores the digital evolution's impact and offers clear insights on thriving in this new era. Human and business relationships are evolving, and existing businesses must undergo substantial transformative changes to compete with the smaller, "lighter," and more agile companies that are able to quickly maneuver to match shifting consumer demands. A lack of online presence has become unthinkable, as consumer preferences continue to trend heavily toward online business and transactions--is your company equipped to thrive in this new era? While there is no definitive guide to this new reality, this insightful resource provides the starting point and roadmap to digital success in the financial services arena, covering aspects such as: Digital is not merely a "bolting on" of technology to produce results faster and cheaper, but a complete rethinking of common business practices and notions of efficiency and customer engagement Rethinking business starts with the customer - new business models are constructed entirely around this single, guiding principle A digital business model is all about connectivity, with front-office apps tied in to both back-office analytics and marketplaces with many players and segments Businesses must open their operations to this marketplace of players through APIs, necessitating a conversion of many core systems Central business and technology systems must change to adapt to new market entrants and new technologies that range from AI for back-office analytics to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) for global operations Leaders must rethink their businesses to be fit for the future digital age, and this comprehensive resource shines a spotlight on the key elements to this transformation.

The Gene - An Intimate History (Paperback): Siddhartha Mukherjee The Gene - An Intimate History (Paperback)
Siddhartha Mukherjee 1
R235 R185 Discovery Miles 1 850 Save R50 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER Spanning the globe and several centuries, this is the remarkable story of the gene and an intimate history of the author's own family, from award-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee The story begins in an Augustinian abbey in 1856, and takes the reader from Darwin's groundbreaking theory of evolution, to the horrors of Nazi eugenics, to present day and beyond - as we learn to "read" and "write" the human genome that unleashes the potential to change the fates and identities of our children. Majestic in its scope and ambition, The Gene provides us with a definitive account of the epic history of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans - and paints a fascinating vision of both humanity's past and future. "Siddhartha Mukherjee is the perfect person to guide us through the past, present, and future of genome science' Bill Gates `A thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time...Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next' Sunday Times

Talking to Robots - A Brief Guide to Our Human-Robot Futures (Paperback): David Ewing Duncan Talking to Robots - A Brief Guide to Our Human-Robot Futures (Paperback)
David Ewing Duncan 1
R325 R225 Discovery Miles 2 250 Save R100 (31%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

'A refreshing variation on the will-intelligent-robots-bring-Armageddon genre . . . this colorful mixture of expert futurology and quirky speculation does not disappoint' Kirkus

'A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.' Isaac Asimov, The First Law of Robotics

What robot and AI systems are being built and imagined right now? What do they say about us, their creators? Will they usher in a fantastic new future, or destroy us? What do some of our greatest thinkers, from physicist Brian Greene and futurist Kevin Kelly to inventor Dean Kamen, geneticist George Church and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, anticipate for our human-robot future? For even as robots and AI intrigue us and make us anxious about the future, our fascination with robots has always been about more than the potential of the technology - it also concerns what robots tell us about being human.

From present-day Facebook and Amazon bots to near-future 'intimacy' bots and 'the robot that swiped my job' bots, bestselling American popular science writer David Ewing Duncan's Talking to Robots is a wonderfully entertaining and insightful guide to possible future scenarios about robots, both real and imagined.

Featured bots include robot drivers; doc bots; politician bots; warrior bots; sex bots; synthetic bio bots; dystopic bots that are hopefully just bad dreams; and ultimately, God Bot (as described by physicist Brian Greene).

These scenarios are informed by discussions with well-known thinkers, engineers, scientists, artists, philosophers and others, who share with us their ideas, hopes and fears about robots. David spoke with, among others, Kevin Kelly, David Baldacci, Brian Greene, Dean Kamen, Craig Venter, Stephanie Mehta, David Eagleman, George Poste, George Church, General R. H. Latiff, Robert Seigel, Emily Morse, David Sinclair, Ken Goldberg, Sunny Bates, Adam Gazzaley, Tim O'Reilly, Tiffany Shlain, Eric Topol and Juan Enriquez.

These discussions, along with some reporting on bot-tech, bot-history and real-time societal and ethical issues with robots, are the launch pads for unfurling possible bot futures that are informed by how people and societies have handled new technologies in the past.

The book describes how robots work, but its primary focus is on what our fixation with bots and AI says about us as humans: about our hopes and anxieties; our myths, stories, beliefs and ideas about beings both real and artificial; and our attempts to attain perfection.

We are at a pivotal moment when our ancient infatuation with human-like beings with certain attributes or superpowers - in mythology, religion and storytelling - is coinciding with our ability to actually build some of these entities.

Machine Learners - Archaeology of a Data Practice (Hardcover): Adrian Mackenzie Machine Learners - Archaeology of a Data Practice (Hardcover)
Adrian Mackenzie
R694 R534 Discovery Miles 5 340 Save R160 (23%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

If machine learning transforms the nature of knowledge, does it also transform the practice of critical thought? Machine learning-programming computers to learn from data-has spread across scientific disciplines, media, entertainment, and government. Medical research, autonomous vehicles, credit transaction processing, computer gaming, recommendation systems, finance, surveillance, and robotics use machine learning. Machine learning devices (sometimes understood as scientific models, sometimes as operational algorithms) anchor the field of data science. They have also become mundane mechanisms deeply embedded in a variety of systems and gadgets. In contexts from the everyday to the esoteric, machine learning is said to transform the nature of knowledge. In this book, Adrian Mackenzie investigates whether machine learning also transforms the practice of critical thinking. Mackenzie focuses on machine learners-either humans and machines or human-machine relations-situated among settings, data, and devices. The settings range from fMRI to Facebook; the data anything from cat images to DNA sequences; the devices include neural networks, support vector machines, and decision trees. He examines specific learning algorithms-writing code and writing about code-and develops an archaeology of operations that, following Foucault, views machine learning as a form of knowledge production and a strategy of power. Exploring layers of abstraction, data infrastructures, coding practices, diagrams, mathematical formalisms, and the social organization of machine learning, Mackenzie traces the mostly invisible architecture of one of the central zones of contemporary technological cultures. Mackenzie's account of machine learning locates places in which a sense of agency can take root. His archaeology of the operational formation of machine learning does not unearth the footprint of a strategic monolith but reveals the local tributaries of force that feed into the generalization and plurality of the field.

The Death of the Gods - The New Global Power Grab (Paperback): Carl Miller The Death of the Gods - The New Global Power Grab (Paperback)
Carl Miller 1
R215 R169 Discovery Miles 1 690 Save R46 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

**Winner of the Transmission Prize 2019** THE OLD GODS ARE DYING. Giant corporations collapse overnight. Newspapers are being swallowed. Stock prices plummet with a tweet. NEW IDOLS ARE RISING IN THEIR PLACE. More crime now happens online than offline. Facebook has grown bigger than any state, bots battle elections, coders write policy, and algorithms shape our lives in more ways than we can imagine. The Death of the Gods is an exploration of power in the digital age, and a journey in search of the new centres of control. From a cyber-crime raid in British suburbia to the engine rooms of Silicon Valley, pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller traces how power is being transformed, fought over, lost and won. `A timely and incisive book that grapples with some of the most significant issues of our time.' Wired 'Uncovers the fascinating and often hidden characters that are changing the world. Essential reading.' Jamie Bartlett, author of The People vs Tech `A magisterial guide to the impact of the digital revolution on our institutions and our lives.' Anthony Giddens

Society, Ethics, and Technology, International Edition (Paperback, 5th edition): Morton E. Winston, Ralph Edelbach Society, Ethics, and Technology, International Edition (Paperback, 5th edition)
Morton E. Winston, Ralph Edelbach
R1,528 R1,263 Discovery Miles 12 630 Save R265 (17%) Shipped within 8 - 13 working days

From today's headlines to your textbook, SOCIETY, ETHICS, AND TECHNOLOGY, 5E, International Edition explores the cutting edge of technological innovation and how these advances represent profound moral dilemmas for society as a whole. You will build a strong foundation in theory and applied ethics as you are challenged to examine critically the social effects of technology in your daily life. This timely anthology, filled with cutting-edge work from prominent scholars and thinkers, focuses on current technological issues and ethical debates. Insightful introductions and focus questions before each piece help put readings in context and to establish frameworks for ethical decision-making. The readings examine the consequences of technological change from a variety of historical, social, and philosophical perspectives. Special coverage of the history of technology focuses on ground-breaking developments, as well as the technological underpinnings of contemporary globalization. New articles examine the impact of contemporary technological advances, such as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and social media. In addition, the book explores the future of technology in such areas as human rights, overpopulation, biotechnology, information technology, climate change, and the environment.

Bored and Brilliant - How Time Spent Doing Nothing Changes Everything (Hardcover, Main Market Ed.): Manoush Zomorodi Bored and Brilliant - How Time Spent Doing Nothing Changes Everything (Hardcover, Main Market Ed.)
Manoush Zomorodi 1
R346 R265 Discovery Miles 2 650 Save R81 (23%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Bored and Brilliant is full of easy steps to make each day more effective' Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit It's time to move `doing nothing' to the top of your to-do list Have you ever noticed how you have your best ideas when doing the dishes or staring out the window? It's because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy connecting ideas and solving problems. However in the modern world it often feels as though we have completely removed boredom from our lives; we are addicted to our phones, we reply to our emails twenty-four hours a day, tweet as we watch TV, watch TV as we commute, check Facebook as we walk and Instagram while we eat. Constant stimulation has become our default mode. In this easy to follow, practical book, award-winning journalist Manoush Zomorodi explores the connection between boredom and original thinking, and will show you how to ditch your screens and start embracing time spent doing nothing. Bored and Brilliant will help you unlock the way to becoming your most productive and creative self.

Future Politics - Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech (Hardcover): Jamie Susskind Future Politics - Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech (Hardcover)
Jamie Susskind 1
R380 R331 Discovery Miles 3 310 Save R49 (13%) Shipped within 4 - 9 working days

Future Politics confronts one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform politics and society? The great political debate of the last century was about how much of our collective life should be determined by the state and what should be left to the market and civil society. In the future, the question will be how far our lives should be directed and controlled by powerful digital systems - and on what terms? Jamie Susskind argues that rapid and relentless innovation in a range of technologies - from artificial intelligence to virtual reality - will transform the way we live together. Calling for a fundamental change in the way we think about politics, he describes a world in which certain technologies and platforms, and those who control them, come to hold great power over us. Some will gather data about our lives, causing us to avoid conduct perceived as shameful, sinful, or wrong. Others will filter our perception of the world, choosing what we know, shaping what we think, affecting how we feel, and guiding how we act. Still others will force us to behave certain ways, like self-driving cars that refuse to drive over the speed limit. Those who control these technologies - usually big tech firms and the state - will increasingly control us. They will set the limits of our liberty, decreeing what we may do and what is forbidden. Their algorithms will resolve vital questions of social justice, allocating social goods and sorting us into hierarchies of status and esteem. They will decide the future of democracy, causing it to flourish or decay. A groundbreaking work of political analysis, Future Politics challenges readers to rethink what it means to be free or equal, what it means to have power or property, what it means for a political system to be just or democratic, and proposes ways in which we can - and must - regain control.

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