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In popular culture there is a perceived conflict between science and faith, yet in many ways scientific understanding can enhance faith. Messy Church Does Science offers Messy Churches the tools to use science to explore aspects of the Christian faith; demonstrate that science and faith are complementary; and enable children and adults alike to appreciate the wonder of creation. Ten sizzling sessions provide inspiration for the Bible-based activities element of Messy Church.
A major new history of how the Enlightenment transformed people (TM)s everyday lives The Secular Enlightenment is a panoramic account of the radical ways that life began to change for ordinary people in the age of Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau. In this landmark book, familiar Enlightenment figures share places with voices that have remained largely unheard until now, from freethinkers and freemasons to French materialists, anticlerical Catholics, pantheists, pornographers, readers, and travelers. Margaret Jacob, one of our most esteemed historians of the Enlightenment, reveals how this newly secular outlook was not a wholesale rejection of Christianity but rather a new mental space in which to encounter the world on its own terms. She takes readers from London and Amsterdam to Berlin, Vienna, Turin, and Naples, drawing on rare archival materials to show how ideas central to the emergence of secular democracy touched all facets of daily life. Human frailties once attributed to sin were now viewed through the lens of the newly conceived social sciences. People entered churches not to pray but to admire the architecture, and spent their Sunday mornings reading a newspaper or even a risqu (c) book. The secular-minded pursued their own temporal and commercial well-being without concern for the life hereafter, regarding their successes as the rewards for their actions, their failures as the result of blind economic forces. A majestic work of intellectual and cultural history, The Secular Enlightenment demonstrates how secular values and pursuits took hold of eighteenth-century Europe, spilled into the American colonies, and left their lasting imprint on the Western world for generations to come.
The SCM Core Text, "Christianity & Science" provides an advanced introduction to the lively debate between the relative truth claims made by science and the absolute truth claims made by religions, and Christianity in particular. The author examines the interaction between science and the Christian faith and explores the place of faith in an age of science. John Weaver, himself a scientist, explores the responses of the Christian faith to scientific advances, particularly as they impinge upon an understanding of God and human nature. Contemporary issues such as cloning, stem cell research, GM crops, global climate change and ecological destruction, new research on the origins of life and the issue of suffering brought about by 'natural evil' such as the Boxing Day tsunami, are covered in this accessible and student-friendly textbook. It is designed to communicate information clearly and accessibly, using chapter summaries, diagrams and questions for further reading as well as suggestions for further reading at the close of chapters.
A guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology and why we should never assume that computers always get it right. In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith Broussard argues that our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a tremendous amount of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally-hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners-that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work. Broussard, a software developer and journalist, reminds us that there are fundamental limits to what we can (and should) do with technology. With this book, she offers a guide to understanding the inner workings and outer limits of technology-and issues a warning that we should never assume that computers always get things right. Making a case against technochauvinism-the belief that technology is always the solution-Broussard argues that it's just not true that social problems would inevitably retreat before a digitally enabled Utopia. To prove her point, she undertakes a series of adventures in computer programming. She goes for an alarming ride in a driverless car, concluding "the cyborg future is not coming any time soon"; uses artificial intelligence to investigate why students can't pass standardized tests; deploys machine learning to predict which passengers survived the Titanic disaster; and attempts to repair the U.S. campaign finance system by building AI software. If we understand the limits of what we can do with technology, Broussard tells us, we can make better choices about what we should do with it to make the world better for everyone.
`An indispensable guide.' Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn `Tech's most valuable teacher.' Forbes Silicon Valley's leading intellectual and the founder of O'Reilly Media explores the upside and the potential downsides of our future - what he calls the `next economy'. Tim O'Reilly's genius is to identify and explain emerging technologies with world shaking potential - the World Wide Web, Open Source Software, Web 2.0, Open Government data, the Maker Movement, Big Data. `The man who can really can make a whole industry happen,' according to Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, O'Reilly has most recently focused on the future of work - AI, algorithms, and new approaches to business organisation that will shape our lives. He has brought together an unlikely coalition of technologists, business leaders, labour advocates, and policy makers to wrestle with these issues. In WTF? he shares the evolution of his intellectual development, applying his approach to a number of challenging issues we will face as citizens, employees, business leaders, and a nation. What is the future when an increasing number of jobs can be performed by intelligent machines instead of people, or only done by people in partnership with those machines? What happens to our consumer based societies - to workers and to the companies that depend on their purchasing power? Is income inequality and unemployment an inevitable consequence of technological advancement, or are there paths to a better future? What will happen to business when technology-enabled networks and marketplaces are better at deploying talent than traditional companies? What's the future of education when on-demand learning outperforms traditional institutions? Will the fundamental social safety nets of the developed world survive the transition, and if not, what will replace them? The digital revolution has transformed the world of media, upending centuries-old companies and business models. Now, it is restructuring every business, every job, and every sector of society. Yet the biggest changes are still ahead. To survive, every industry and organisation will have to transform itself in multiple ways. O'Reilly explores what the next economy will mean for the world and every aspect of our lives - and what we can do to shape it.
In an era of accelerating technology and increasing complexity, how should we reimagine the emancipatory potential of feminism? How should gender politics be reconfigured in a world being transformed by automation, globalization and the digital revolution? These questions are addressed in this bold new book by Helen Hester, a founding member of the 'Laboria Cuboniks' collective that developed the acclaimed manifesto 'Xenofeminism: A Politics for Alienation'. Hester develops a three-part definition of xenofeminism grounded in the ideas of technomaterialism, anti-naturalism, and gender abolitionism. She elaborates these ideas in relation to assistive reproductive technologies and interrogates the relationship between reproduction and futurity, while steering clear of a problematic anti-natalism. Finally, she examines what xenofeminist technologies might look like in practice, using the history of one specific device to argue for a future-oriented gender politics that can facilitate alternative models of reproduction. Challenging and iconoclastic, this visionary book is the essential guide to one of the most exciting intellectual trends in contemporary feminism.
'Do I wish to keep up with the times? No. My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can' The great American poet, novelist and environmental activist argues for a life lived slowly. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
We are now acutely aware, as if all of the sudden, that data matters enormously to how we live. How did information come to be so integral to what we can do? How did we become people who effortlessly present our lives in social media profiles and who are meticulously recorded in state surveillance dossiers and online marketing databases? What is the story behind data coming to matter so much to who we are? In How We Became Our Data, Colin Koopman excavates early moments of our rapidly accelerating data-tracking technologies and their consequences for how we think of and express our selfhood today. Koopman explores the emergence of mass-scale record keeping systems like birth certificates and social security numbers, as well as new data techniques for categorizing personality traits, measuring intelligence, and even racializing subjects. This all culminates in what Koopman calls the "informational person" and the "informational power" we are now subject to. The recent explosion of digital technologies that are turning us into a series of algorithmic data points is shown to have a deeper and more turbulent past than we commonly think. Blending philosophy, history, political theory, and media theory in conversation with thinkers like Michel Foucault, J rgen Habermas, and Friedrich Kittler, Koopman presents an illuminating perspective on how we have come to think of our personhood--and how we can resist its erosion.
For the millions of people who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris's new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. From bestselling author, neuroscientist, and "new atheist" Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the increasingly large numbers of people who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives-and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow. Waking Up is part seeker's memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris-a scientist, philosopher, and famous sceptic-could write it.
Offering the first scholarly analysis of the economic nature of blockchains and the formation of the blockchain economy, this timely book explores the future of global capitalism. Applying the institutional economics of Ronald Coase and Oliver Williamson, the authors highlight how blockchains are poised to reshape the nature of firms, governments, markets and civil society. Chapters apply basic economic principles to explore blockchains and distributed ledger technologies through the framework of institutional economics. The book suggests ways in which cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may develop further in the future, bringing us back to a barter economy which removes the need for a third person in economic transactions. Outlining a leger-centric view of the economy, authors explore how blockchains and dehierarchalisation will reduce the demand for government regulation. Institutional and economists and scholars will greatly appreciate the thorough analysis of the development of institutional cryptoeconomics and insight into the future of blockchains that this book offers. Computer and technology scientists will also find this book to be a valuable read, as well as those working specifically in the blockchain industry.
The shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future--now. One recent estimate predicts 13 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next seven years-jobs that won't be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society? In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and automation software are making millions of Americans' livelihoods irrelevant. The consequences are these trends are already being felt across our communities in the form of political unrest, drug use, and other social ills. The future looks dire-but is it unavoidable? In The War on Normal People, Yang imagines a different future -- one in which having a job is distinct from the capacity to prosper and seek fulfillment. At this vision's core is Universal Basic Income, the concept of providing all citizens with a guaranteed income-and one that is rapidly gaining popularity among forward-thinking politicians and economists. Yang proposes that UBI is an essential step toward a new, more durable kind of economy, one he calls "human capitalism."
The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior. In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth. Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets," where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification." The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit--at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future. With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future--if we let it.
'Ryan Avent is a superb writer ... highly readable and lively' Thomas Piketty 'A pleasure to read. This is an important argument on a subject that will shape the coming decades' Duncan Weldon, Prospect To work is human, yet the world of work is changing fast, and in unexpected ways. With rapid advances in information technology, huge swathes of the job market - from cleaners and drivers to journalists and doctors - are being automated: a staggering 47% of American employment is at risk of automation within the next two to three decades. At the same time, millions more jobs are being created. What does the future of work hold? In this illuminating new investigation of what this means for us, Ryan Avent lays bare the contradictions in today's global labour market. From Volvo's operations in Sweden to the vast 'Factory Asia' hub in China, he offers the first clear explanation of the state we're in-and how we could get out of it.
Since the 1960s, a significant effort has been underway to program computers to "see" the human face—to develop automated systems for identifying faces and distinguishing them from one another-commonly known as Facial Recognition Technology. While computer scientists are developing FRT in order to design more intelligent and interactive machines, businesses and states agencies view the technology as uniquely suited for "smart" surveillance-systems that automate the labor of monitoring in order to increase their efficacy and spread their reach. Tracking this technological pursuit, Our Biometric Future identifies FRT as a prime example of the failed technocratic approach to governance, where new technologies are pursued as shortsighted solutions to complex social problems. Culling news stories, press releases, policy statements, PR kits and other materials, Kelly Gates provides evidence that, instead of providing more security for more people, the pursuit of FRT is being driven by the priorities of corporations, law enforcement and state security agencies, all convinced of the technology's necessity and unhindered by its complicated and potentially destructive social consequences. By focusing on the politics of developing and deploying these technologies, Our Biometric Future argues not for the inevitability of a particular technological future, but for its profound contingency and contestability.
A Financial Times 'Best Thing I Read This Year' LONGLISTED FOR THE FT & MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD Google. Amazon. Facebook. The modern world is defined by vast digital monopolies turning ever-larger profits. Those of us who consume the content that feeds them are farmed for the purposes of being sold ever more products and advertising. Those that create the content - the artists, writers and musicians - are finding they can no longer survive in this unforgiving economic landscape. But it didn't have to be this way. In Move Fast and Break Things, Jonathan Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the entrepreneurs like Peter Thiel and Larry Page who founded these all-powerful companies. Their unprecedented growth came at the heavy cost of tolerating piracy of books, music and film, while at the same time promoting opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users to create the surveillance marketing monoculture in which we now live. It is the story of a massive reallocation of revenue in which $50 billion a year has moved from the creators and owners of content to the monopoly platforms. With this reallocation of money comes a shift in power. Google, Facebook and Amazon now enjoy political power on par with Big Oil and Big Pharma, which in part explains how such a tremendous shift in revenues from creators to platforms could have been achieved and why it has gone unchallenged for so long. And if you think that's got nothing to do with you, their next move is to come after your jobs. Move Fast and Break Things is a call to arms, to say that is enough is enough and to demand that we do everything in our power to create a different future.
"The Fourth Age not only discusses what the rise of A.I. will mean for us, it also forces readers to challenge their preconceptions. And it manages to do all this in a way that is both entertaining and engaging." -The New York Times As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, The Fourth Age offers fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species. In The Fourth Age, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history: - 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to language. - 10,000 years ago, we developed agriculture, which led to cities and warfare. - 5,000 years ago, we invented the wheel and writing, which lead to the nation state. We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. The Fourth Age provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point, and how-rather than what-we should think about the topics we'll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, superintelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity. By asking questions like "Are you a machine?" and "Could a computer feel anything?", Reese leads you through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they'll transform humanity.
**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
In this expansive historical synthesis, Richard Butsch integrates social, economic, and political history to offer a comprehensive and cohesive examination of screen media and screen culture globally - from film and television to computers and smart phones - as they have evolved through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Drawing on an enormous trove of research on the USA, Britain, France, Egypt, West Africa, India, China, and other nations, Butsch tells the stories of how media have developed in these nations and what global forces linked them. He assesses the global ebb and flow of media hegemony and the cultural differences in audiences' use of media. Comparisons across time and space reveal two linked developments: the rise and fall of American cultural hegemony, and the consistency among audiences from different countries in the way they incorporate screen entertainments into their own cultures. Screen Culture offers a masterful, integrated global history that invites media scholars to see this landscape in a new light. Deeply engaging, the book is also suitable for students and interested general readers.
What would our world today be like without inventions like tarmac, aspirin, liquid crystals, and barbed wire? This guide shows how patents and the inventions they describe have shaped the 21st century. It gives us insights into the inventions, big and small, that have had huge impacts, many unexpected, on multiple spheres of our lives, from popular culture and entertainment, to global health, to transportation, to the waging of war. It features patent documents that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Patent documents describe inventions and represent an accurate and rich source of information about the history and current state of modern technology, as patents are examined and their accuracy can be challenged. The subject matter covers many technical areas. Patents discussed include, for example, Morse code, the diode, triode, transistors, television, frozen foods, ring-pull for soft drink cans, board games such as Monopoly, gene editing, metamaterials, MRI, computerised tomography, insulin, and monoclonal antibodies such as Herceptin. The text is illustrated with drawings adapted from the original patent documents. Patent numbers are included to allow interested readers to trace the documents. Inventions described in the patents are placed in historical perspective. For example, the book discusses the role of the cavity magnetron and radar in World War II, and the influence of the diode on the development of broadcasting at the beginning of the 20th century.
How smart machines are transforming us all ― and what we should do about it.
The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Here, Nigel Shadbolt, one of Britain’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence, and Roger Hampson dispel terror, confusion, and misconception. They argue that it is human stupidity, not artificial intelligence, that should concern us.
Lucid, well-informed, and deeply human, The Digital Ape offers a unique approach to some of the biggest questions about our future.
In You are Not a Gadget digital guru and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier reveals how the internet is deadening personal interaction, stifling genuine inventiveness and even changing us as people. Something went wrong around the start of the twenty-first century. The crowd was wise. Social networks replaced individual creativity. There were more places to express ourselves than ever before... yet no one really had anything to say. Does this have to be our future? Showing us the way to a future where individuals mean more than machines, this is a searing manifesto against mass mediocrity, a creative call to arms - and an impassioned defence of the human. 'A provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book ... Lucid, powerful and persuasive' The New York Times 'There is hardly a page that does not contain some fascinating provocation' Guardian 'Short and frightening ... from a position of real knowledge and insight' Zadie Smith, New York Review of Books 'Poetic and prophetic, this could be the most important book of the year' The Times Jaron Lanier is a philosopher and computer scientist who has spent his career pushing the transformative power of modern technology to its limits. From coining the term 'Virtual Reality' and creating the world's first immersive avatars to developing cutting-edge medical imaging and surgical techniques, Lanier is one of the premier designers and engineers at work today. A musician with a collection of over 700 instruments, he has been recognised by Encyclopedia Britannica (but certainly not Wikipedia) as one of history's greatest inventors and named one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by Prospect and Foreign Policy.
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.
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