ABC: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind
An intense examination of the effects of technology on literacy and language. The authors argue that there is a phenomenon transforming modern culture--language is becoming part of a technology of "information systems" with an emphasis on control, rather than human exchange. As a result, all language is becoming debased.
The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist
To watch apes dressed in human clothing and mimicking human manners--an old standby in films and television shows--can make some human viewers uncomfortable, writes the noted primatologist Frans de Waal. Somehow, by doing so, the apes are crossing some line in the sand, a line that speaks to issues of culture, which humans alone are presumed to have. Closely examining anthropocentric theories of culture, de Waal counterposes the notion of anthropodenial, "the a priori rejection of shared characteristics between humans and animals when in fact they may exist." Perhaps no human alive knows more about the great apes than does Frans de Waal. With this book, he ably shows that he knows a great deal about humans, too. Students of biology, culture, and communication will find much food for thought in his pages. "--Gregory McNamee"
Aristotle's Categories and Concerning Interpretation with Commentaries
These translations of Plato and Aristotle differ substantially from any prior translation of them because significant discoveries recently made about both the Greek language, and the procedural assumptions used by these authors. Not only are there now considerable differences in what they literally say, but there are even greater differences in the interpretation that can reasonably be made of what they say. For the text itself, debated for centuries, is now far more secure than ever before, for the procedure controlling it is now understood. Gratuitous textual problems, that resulted from conflicts in procedural assumptions between writer and translator, are now set aside. The understanding of Aristotle's' procedure has also occasioned a reexamination of the function of translation. For British scholarly customs, which dominated American scholarship as well, made untenable assumptions greatly obscuring ancient thought.
The Art of Memory
One of Modern Library's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century
Augmenting human intellect;: A conceptual framework
Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again
Brain, body, and world are united in a complex dance of circular causation and extended computational activity. In "Being There", Andy Clark weaves these several threads into a pleasing whole and goes on to address foundational questions concerning the new tools and techniques needed to make sense of the emerging sciences of the embodied mind. Clark brings together ideas and techniques from robotics, neuroscience, infant psychology, and artificial intelligence. He addresses a broad range of adaptive behaviors, from cockroach locomotion to the role of linguistic artifacts in higher-level thought.
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
In "The Blank Slate", Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.
Brief History of Libraries and Librarianship in the West
The Carolingians and the Written Word
This pioneering book studies the function and status of the written word in Carolingian society in France and Germany in the eighth and ninth centuries. It demonstrates that literacy was by no means confined to a clerical élite, but was dispersed in lay society and used for government and administration, as well as for ordinary legal transactions among the peoples of the Frankish kingdom. While employing a huge range of primary material, the author does not confine herself to a functional analysis of the written word in Carolingian northern Europe but goes on to assess the consequences and implications of literacy for the Franks themselves and for the subsequent development of European society after 1000.
The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual
How would you classify a book that begins with the salutation, "People of Earth..."? While the captains of industry might dismiss it as mere science fiction, "The Cluetrain Manifesto" is definitely of this day and age. Aiming squarely at the solar plexus of corporate America, authors Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger show how the Internet is turning business upside down. They proclaim that, thanks to conversations taking place on Web sites and message boards, and in e-mail and chat rooms, employees and customers alike have found voices that undermine the traditional command-and-control hierarchy that organizes most corporate marketing groups. "Markets are conversations," the authors write, and those conversations are "getting smarter faster than most companies." In their view, the lowly customer service rep wields far more power and influence in today's marketplace than the well-oiled front office PR machine. While "Cluetrain" will strike many as loud and over the top, the message itself remains quite relevant and unique. This book is for anyone interested in the Internet and e-commerce, and is especially important for those businesses struggling to navigate the topography of the wired marketplace. All aboard! "--Harry C. Edwards"
The Coming of the Book: The Impact of Printing 1450-1800
Books, and the printed word more generally, are aspects of modern life that are all too often taken for granted. Yet the emergence of the book was a process of immense historical importance and heralded the dawning of the epoch of modernity. In this much praised history of that process, Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin mesh together economic and technological history, sociology and anthropology, as well as the study of modes of consciousness, to root the development of the printed word in the changing social relations and ideological struggles of Western Europe.
Computer Lib/Dream Machines
Two books you MUST read if you are remotely interested in humanities future.This one and Literary Machines.In CL/DM the article "The Mightiest Computer" is STILL light years ahead of most of the computer world.After you have read both of these books be sure to download zigzag ,cosmicbook and the demo's from xanadu.com ...and marvel!
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
The biologist Edward O. Wilson is a rare scientist: having over a long career made signal contributions to population genetics, evolutionary biology, entomology, and ethology, he has also steeped himself in philosophy, the humanities, and the social sciences. The result of his lifelong, wide-ranging investigations is "Consilience" (the word means "a jumping together," in this case of the many branches of human knowledge), a wonderfully broad study that encourages scholars to bridge the many gaps that yawn between and within the cultures of science and the arts. No such gaps should exist, Wilson maintains, for the sciences, humanities, and arts have a common goal: to give understanding a purpose, to lend to us all "a conviction, far deeper than a mere working proposition, that the world is orderly and can be explained by a small number of natural laws." In making his synthetic argument, Wilson examines the ways (rightly and wrongly) in which science is done, puzzles over the postmodernist debates now sweeping academia, and proposes thought-provoking ideas about religion and human nature. He turns to the great evolutionary biologists and the scholars of the Enlightenment for case studies of science properly conducted, considers the life cycles of ants and mountain lions, and presses, again and again, for rigor and vigor to be brought to bear on our search for meaning. The time is right, he suggests, for us to understand more fully that quest for knowledge, for ""Homo sapiens", the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us.... Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become." Wilson's wisdom, eloquently expressed in the pages of this grand and lively summing-up, will be of much help in that search.
Creativity in Human Evolution and Prehistory
Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence
Here's a mesmerizing account of the evolution of machines and thoughts about machines, woven into a story about the evolution of intelligence. "Darwin Among the Machines" is not so much about how today's intelligence came to be, but about how it may further develop as humanity and computer grow closer together. George Dyson tells the story largely through stories--both historical and legendary--from the lives of scientists and philosophers who paved the way for today's cybernetics revolution, starting with the 17th-century insights of Thomas Hobbes. This book challenges the assumption that nature and machine are opposing forces. Dyson believes them to be allies.
Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society
God or evolution? Though the debate about our origins has swirled in epic controversy since Darwin's time, David Sloan Wilson bravely blends these two contentious theories. This has been tried before, of course, mainly by religious intellectuals. What makes "Darwin's Cathedral" stand out is that Wilson does not pursue the classic "intelligent design" argument (evolution is God's hand at work), but instead argues that religion is evolution at work.
Emanuel Goldberg and His Knowledge Machine: Information, Invention, and
This book tells the story of Emanuel Goldberg, a chemist, inventor, and industrialist who contributed to almost every aspect of imaging technology in the first half of the 20th century. Photographic sensitometry, reprographics, standardized film speeds, color printing (moire effect), aerial photography, extreme microphotography (microdots), optics, camera design (the Contax), the first hand-held movie camera, and early television technology--Golberg was involved with them all. Yet history has not been kind to him, and his name has been all but erased from the annals of information science. An incredible story emerges as Buckland unearths forgotten documents and rogue citations to make the case that it was Goldberg, not Vannevar Bush, who created the first desktop search engine. Goldberg, not "Professor Zapp" (a figment of J. Edgar Hoover's imagination), who developed microdot technology. Goldberg, not Heinz Kueppenbender, who designed the famous Contax 35 mm camera. Buckland firmly yet engagingly gives credit where credit is due, in the process shedding light on the circumstances that led to Goldberg's obscurity. The result is an illuminating tribute to a great mind, and a fascinating investigation of a crucial period in the history of information science and technology.
The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex
When the whole is greater than the sum of the parts--indeed, so great that the sum far transcends the parts and represents something utterly new and different--we call that phenomenon emergence. When the chemicals diffusing in the primordial waters came together to form the first living cell, that was emergence. When the activities of the neurons in the brain result in mind, that too is emergence. In The Emergence of Everything, one of the leading scientists involved in the study of complexity, Harold J. Morowitz, takes us on a sweeping tour of the universe, a tour with 28 stops, each one highlighting a particularly important moment of emergence. For instance, Morowitz illuminates the emergence of the stars, the birth of the elements and of the periodic table, and the appearance of solar systems and planets. We look at the emergence of living cells, animals, vertebrates, reptiles, and mammals, leading to the great apes and the appearance of humanity. He also examines tool making, the evolution of language, the invention of agriculture and technology, and the birth of cities. And as he offers these insights into the evolutionary unfolding of our universe, our solar system, and life itself, Morowitz also seeks out the nature of God in the emergent universe, the God posited by Spinoza, Bruno, and Einstein, a God Morowitz argues we can know through a study of the laws of nature. Written by one of our wisest scientists, The Emergence of Everything offers a fascinating new way to look at the universe and the natural world, and it makes an important contribution to the dialogue between science and religion.
Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
An individual ant, like an individual neuron, is just about as dumb as can be. Connect enough of them together properly, though, and you get spontaneous intelligence. Web pundit Steven Johnson explains what we know about this phenomenon with a rare lucidity in "Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software". Starting with the weird behavior of the semi-colonial organisms we call slime molds, Johnson details the development of increasingly complex and familiar behavior among simple components: cells, insects, and software developers all find their place in greater schemes.
Encyclopedia of Library History
An English 13th century bestiary: A new discovery in the technique of
A founder of and leading thinker in the field of modern ethnobiology looks at the widespread regularities in the classification and naming of plants and animals among peoples of traditional, nonliterate societies--regularities that persist across local environments, cultures, societies, and languages. Brent Berlin maintains that these patterns can best be explained by the similarity of human beings' largely unconscious appreciation of the natural affinities among groupings of plants and animals: people recognize and name a grouping of organisms quite independently of its actual or potential usefulness or symbolic significance in human society. Berlin's claims challenge those anthropologists who see reality as a "set of culturally constructed, often unique and idiosyncratic images, little constrained by the parameters of an outside world." Part One of this wide-ranging work focuses primarily on the structure of ethnobiological classification inferred from an analysis of descriptions of individual systems. Part Two focuses on the underlying processes involved in the functioning and evolution of ethnobiological systems in general.
Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, Second Edition
" Composed of cutting-edge reasearch and featuring an engaging writing style, the author offers compelling scientific answers to the profound human questions regarding love and work. " Beginning with a historial introduction, the text logically progresses by discussing adaptive problems humans face and ends with a chapter showing how the new field of evolutionary psychology encompasses all branches of psychology. Each chapter is alive with the subjects that most occupy our minds: sex, mating, getting along, getting ahead, friends, enemies, and social hierarchies. Why is child abuse 40 times more prevalent among step-families than biologically intact families? Why, according to one study, did 75% of men but 0% of women consent to have sex with a complete stranger? Buss explores these intriguing quandaries with his vision of psychology in the new millenium as a new science of the mind. " Anyone with an interest in the biological facets of human psychology will find this a fascinating read.
Reading Jorge Luis Borges is an experience akin to having the top of one's head removed for repairs. First comes the unfamiliar breeze tickling your cerebral cortex; then disorientation, even mild discomfort; and finally, the sense that the world has been irrevocably altered--and in this case, rendered infinitely more complex. First published in 1945, his "Ficciones" compressed several centuries' worth of philosophy and poetry into 17 tiny, unclassifiable pieces of prose. He offered up diabolical tigers, imaginary encyclopedias, ontological detective stories, and scholarly commentaries on nonexistent books, and in the process exploded all previous notions of genre. Would any of David Foster Wallace's famous footnotes be possible without Borges? Or, for that matter, the syntactical games of Perec, the metafictional pastiche of Calvino? For good or for ill, the blind Argentinian paved the way for a generation's worth of postmodern monkey business--and fiction will never be simply "fiction" again.
The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, And Intelligence Evolved from Our
Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans
In the childhood of every human being and at the dawn of human history there is an amazing and, until now, unexplained leap from simple genetically programmed behavior to language, symbolic thinking, and culture. In "The First Idea", Stanley Greenspan and Stuart Shanker explore this missing link and offer brilliant new insights into two longstanding questions: how human beings first create symbols and how these abilities evolved and were transmitted across generations over millions of years. From fascinating research into the intelligence of both human infants and apes, they identify certain cultural practices that are vitally important if we are to have stable and reflective future societies.
Five kingdoms: An illustrated guide to the phyla of life on earth
This is the most complete and original biological field guide in history. Lynn Margulis, one of the most brilliant biologists of the 20th century, and her colleague Karlene Schwartz provide a roller-skate tour of the whole world of living things, from the smallest bacteria in the hot springs of Yellowstone to the mightiest oak (humans too, but we are set firmly in our place). In his Foreword, Stephen Jay Gould says "If the originality comes before us partly as a 'picture book,' it should not be downgraded for that reason--for primates are visual animals, and the surest instruction in a myriad of unknown creatures must be a set of figures with concise instruction about their meaning--all done so admirably in this volume." "--Mary Ellen Curtin"
From Memex To Hypertext
Vannevar Bush, the engineer who designed the world's most powerful analog computer, predicted the development of a new kind of computing machine he called Memex. For many computer and information scientists, Bush's Memex has been the prototype for a machine to help people think. This book contains Bush's essays, and original essays by academic and commerical researchers relating the state of art in personal computing, hypertext and information retrieval software to bush's ideas and Memex.
Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin
The human mind has a trusty device for simplifying a complex world: reduce to averages and identify trends. Although valuable, the risk is that we ignore variations and end up with a skewed view of reality. In evolutionary terms, the result is a view in which humans are the inevitable pinnacle of evolutionary progress, instead of, as Stephen Jay Gould patiently argues, "a cosmic accident that would never arise again if the tree of life could be replanted." The implications of Gould's argument may threaten certain of our philosophical and religious foundations but will in the end provide us with a clearer view of, and a greater appreciation for, the complexities of our world.
The Future of Man
The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone
Thinks and Feels
Thomas Cahill, author of the bestselling "How the Irish Saved Civilization", continues his Hinges of History series with "The Gifts of the Jews", a light-handed, popular account of ancient Jewish culture, the culture of the Bible. The book is written from a decidedly modern point of view. Cahill notes, for instance, that Abraham moved the Jews from Ur to the land of Canaan "to improve their prospects," and that the leering inhabitants of Sodom surrounded Lot's lodging "like the ghouls in "Night of the Living Dead"." "The Gifts of the Jews" nonetheless encourages us to see the Old Testament through ancient eyes--to see its characters not as our contemporaries but as those of Gilgamesh and Amenhotep. Cahill also lingers on often-overlooked books of the Bible, such as Ruth, to discuss changes in ancient sensibility. The result is a fine, speculative, eminently readable work of history.
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
When did big-picture optimism become cool again? While not blind to potential problems and glitches, "Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From the Big Bang to the 21st Century" confidently asserts that our networked culture is not only inevitable but essential for our species' survival and eventual migration into space. Author Howard Bloom, believed by many to be R. Buckminster Fuller's intellectual heir, takes the reader on a dizzying tour of the universe, from its original subatomic particle network to the unimaginable data-processing power of intergalactic communication. His writing is smart and snappy, moving with equal poise through depictions of frenzied bacteria passing along information packets in the form of DNA and nomadic African tribespeople putting their heads together to find water for the next year.
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Twenty years after it topped the bestseller charts, Douglas R. Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" is still something of a marvel. Besides being a profound and entertaining meditation on human thought and creativity, this book looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel. It also looks at the prospects for computers and artificial intelligence (AI) for mimicking human thought. For the general reader and the computer techie alike, this book still sets a standard for thinking about the future of computers and their relation to the way we think.
Going Inside: A Tour Round a Single Moment of Consciousness
What happens in our brain just before we act or speak? A look at a revolution in science.
The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age
What hath the inexpensive personal computer, the portable cassette player, and the CD-ROM wrought? Are books as we know them dead? And does--or should--it matter if they are? Birkerts, a renowned critic, examines the practice of reading with an eye to what the future will bring.
The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man
Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World with Words
The invention of writing, the alphabet, and the Internet: these are three signal events in the history of human culture, joined by a fourth: Johann Gutenberg's introduction of movable type and the printed book to the West, the subject of this illuminating study. Of Gutenberg himself little is known, at least not until the 1440s, when the native of Mainz, Germany, began to apply techniques he had learned in the coin-making trade to the development of the printing press. (He had observed the work of men "who could carve a letter in steel that had at least six, and perhaps sixty, times the resolution of a modern laser printer.") His genius, writer John Man tells us, lay not only in the invention of the handheld mold for making type but also in developing a reliable technique for binding that type into a form, all of which required years of trial and error. The result, in time, was Gutenberg's famous Bible--not a "pretty book," Man allows, but one that would have a revolutionary effect. Full of details on the art of printing and the context of Gutenberg's time, this is a sparking detective study that will bring much pleasure to fans of books about books. "--Gregory McNamee"
Historical Studies in Information Science
A History of Illuminated Manuscript
For anyone who loves illuminated manuscripts, book arts, or the Medieval period in general, this is a wonderful resource. It is a book that I consider an indispensable resource in my personal library. It is very well written and easily accessible for anyone. Although some of the terminology may be unfamiliar, it isn't so esoteric that it is beyond the scope of general understanding.
A History of Libraries in the Western World
How the Irish Saved Civilization
In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.
The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society
For those of us who cannot grasp the mathematical, technical version of Wiener's theory of messages in _Cybernetics_, this book is a wonderful stand-in. Wiener wrote this entirely equationless text as a populariztion of his ideas about humans and machines. this book is a fascinating piece of philosophy and sociology also, as Wiener expands his theories and brings them to bear on history, journalism etc. He never loses his scientific perspective though; this gives his writing and ideas a clarity freshness that is uncommon in theoretical writings about society. This is a great and important book
Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization
Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology
The Implications of Literacy
This book explores the influence of literacy on eleventh and twelfth-century life and thought on social organization, on the criticism of ritual and symbol, on the rise of empirical attitudes, on the relationship between language and reality, and on the broad interaction between ideas and society.
Information Ages: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Computer Revolution
Hobart and Schiffman see what we call "the" "information age" as actually the third such "age." The first began with the invention of writing and the second with the development of the printing press. Further, they claim that the present information revolution, while creating much faster change than the other two, will actually have less impact on human thought and culture than its predecessors.
Interface Culture : How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and
Steven Johnson turns the tables on the way we consider our computer interfaces. While many discussions focus on how interfaces help us work by adapting to our ways of thinking and our real-world metaphors, Johnson jumps from there to look at how our thinking and world view are altered by our computer interfaces.
Interfaces of the Word: Studies in the Evolution of Consciousness and
Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
If Jorge Luis Borges had been a computer scientist, he probably would have invented hypertext and the World Wide Web.
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
Language, Mind and Nature: Artificial Languages in England from Bacon
In the attempt to make good one of the desiderata in Bacon's Advancement of Learning, a cohort of philosophers, scientists, schoolmasters, clergymen and cranks attempted to devise artificial languages that would immediately represent the order of thought, held both directly to represent the order of things and to be a universal characteristic of the human mind. Language, Mind and Nature fully reconstructs, for the first time, this artificial language movement in seventeenth-century England. In so doing, it reveals a great deal about the beliefs and activities of those who sought to reform learning in the early modern period. Artificial languages straddle occult, religious and proto-scientific approaches to representation and communication, and suggest that much of the so-called 'new philosophy' was not very new at all. This study breaks new ground within its field, and will be of interest to anyone concerned with intellectual or linguistic history during this period.
Libraries in the Ancient World
The Dewey decimal system of cataloguing and its modern successors are relatively new, and they sometimes seem inadequate as ways of organizing knowledge in ever-changing fields of study. But the idea of bringing order to collections of written material is an ancient one, as Lionel Casson writes in this lucid survey of bibliophilia in the ancient Mediterranean. Among the earliest examples of written material that we have are lists of library holdings, clay tablets from Mesopotamia that archive commercial inventories, scholarly texts, and a surprising number of works on witchcraft and remedies against it.
Library: An Unquiet History
"Splendidly articulate, informative and provoking....A book to be savored and gone back to.""Baltimore Sun"
The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson
"Jefferson aspired beyond the ambition of a nationality,
Literary Machines 93.1
This book describes the legendary and daring PROJECT XANADU, and initiative toward an instantaneous electronic literature; the most audacious and specific plan for knowledge, freedom, and a better world yet to come out of computerdom; the original (perhaps the ultimate) HYPERTEXT SYSTEM.
Man Makes Himself
This book is the classic introduction to the history of early man. Starting more than 340,000 years ago, when man's ability to make a fire and fashion stone tools helped him to survive among the wild beasts, it traces his development as a food producer, the emergence of cities and states, the rise of foreign trade, and the urban revolution. Contents include: Chronological Table for Egypt and Mesopotamia, Human and Natural History, Organic Evolution and Cultural Progress, Time Scales, Food Gatherers, the Neolithic Revolution, Prelude to the Second Revolution, the Urban Revolution, the Revolution in Human Knowledge, the Acceleration and Retardation of Progress.
The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary
An accessible introduction to the science of evolutionary psychology and how it explains many aspects of human nature. Unlike many books on the topic,which focus on abstractions like kin selection, this book focuses on Darwinian explanations of why we are the way we are--emotionally and morally. Wright deals particularly well with explaining the reasons for the stereotypical dynamics of the three big "S's:" sex, siblings, and society.
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
"Nonzero", from "New Republic" writer Robert Wright, is a difficult and important book--well worth reading--addressing the controversial question of purpose in evolution. Using language suggesting that natural selection is a designer's tool, Wright inevitably draws the conclusion that evolution is goal-oriented (or at least moves toward inevitable ends independently of environmental or contingent variables).
Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach
The essays in this volume represent an approach to human knowledge that has had a profound influence on many recent thinkers. Popper breaks with a traditional commonsense theory of knowledge that can be traced back to Aristotle. A realist and fallibilist, he argues closely and in simple language that scientific knowledge, once stated in human language, is no longer part of ourselves but a separate entity that grows through critical selection.
Jeff Hawkins, the high-tech success story behind PalmPilots and the Redwood Neuroscience Institute, does a lot of thinking about thinking. In "On Intelligence" Hawkins juxtaposes his two loves--computers and brains--to examine the real future of artificial intelligence. In doing so, he unites two fields of study that have been moving uneasily toward one another for at least two decades. Most people think that computers are getting smarter, and that maybe someday, they'll be as smart as we humans are. But Hawkins explains why the way we build computers today won't take us down that path. He shows, using nicely accessible examples, that our brains are memory-driven systems that use our five senses and our perception of time, space, and consciousness in a way that's totally unlike the relatively simple structures of even the most complex computer chip. Readers who gobbled up Ray Kurzweil's ("The Age of Spiritual Machines" and Steven Johnson's "Mind Wide Open" will find more intriguing food for thought here. Hawkins does a good job of outlining current brain research for a general audience, and his enthusiasm for brains is surprisingly contagious. "--Therese Littleton"
Orality and Literacy
Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence
This is an thoughtful, erudite and complex book weaving together various strands of research in evolution, neural organisation, cognition and mind together. Every page is littered with references, not carelessly I hasten to add. The author's main thesis, as i understand it, is that the mind essentially 'runs' simulations, and this is an evolution endowmnet arising from ontogenetic requirements to exercise control of behaviour and the environment. Anyone locked into folk psychology, especially Stich's simualtion theory, will find much to ponder here. Geary holds that folk psychology has many 'anchors' that orient the human organism towards fundamental activities to sustain itself, e.g. social cues. These anchors are shaped in development under evolutionary imperatives. Much of the book is devoted to teasing out in detail the framework that allows this to occur. The notion of a fluid intelligence is introduced to debnk the g factor (as too limitinf a construct) and explain adaptive behaviours. Each chapter deserves a review by itself. Overall, the book is tremendously impressive and detailed however, it still faces to problem of splicing folk psychological concepts with neuroscientific data, and it is here that most critics will focus there attention. Geary has assemled a welther of piece sof evidence and argumentation to make this work, but eliminativtists will not be satisfied. Having read this book quickly, I can state baldly that it is the first book in years that I will reread. Lots of food for thought.
The Origins of the English Library:
Studies the background of libraries developed since classical times, and the part they played in building up our present culture.
Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and
This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of the life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? In seeking the answer, Merlin Donald traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to artificial intelligence, presenting an enterprising and original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form.
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic
In many ways, the 20th century has been the Age of Physics. Out of Control is an accessible and entertaining explanation of why the coming years will probably be the Age of Biology -- particularly evolution and ethology -- and what this will mean to most every aspect of our society. Kelly is an enthusiastic and well-informed guide who explains the promises and implications of this rapidly evolving revolution very well.
I have heard some call this work a confused jumble
of unrelated concepts. These people just didn't get it. There is one unified
theme to the Phaedrus: without a deep connection to the soul and to the
higher Reality only accessible to the soul, then all human endeavors are
The Platypus and the Mermaid: And Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination
Emile Durkheim and Marcel Mauss maintain that society is the source of the very categories of human thought. First published in the "Année Sociologique" in 1903, this classic essay has been translated by Rodney Needham, who also provides a critical introduction. "["Primitive Classification"] will impress the reader with its quiet elegance, its direct, logical form, its clarity of style, its spirit of careful, yet bold, exploration."—Harry Alpert, "American Journal of Sociology ""Particularly instructive for anyone who wonders what social anthropology is: how, if at all, it differs from sociology and whether it has any unifying theoretical problem."—F. K. Lehman, "American Sociological Review "
The Printing Press as an Agent of Change
Originally published in two volumes, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change is now issued in a paperback edition containing both volumes. The work is a full-scale historical treatment of the advent of printing and its importance as an agent of change. Professor Eisenstein begins by examining the general implications of the shift from script to print, and goes on to examine its part in three of the major movements of early modern times - the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of modern science.
Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible
In this book Arthur C. Clarke considers the future development of human technology, focusing on the ultimate limits of what is possible rather than on what the near future is likely to bring. Originally published in 1962, Clarke has added comments where developments have substantially modified his earlier views. He addresses a wide range of questions: transport, colonising space, novel sources of energy, artificial intelligence, a universal machine that can produce any specified artefact, as well as more fanciful possibilities such as time-travel, teleportation, and invisibility. He suggests we should be slow to pronounce anything "impossible" as the technology of the future may be as hard for us to imagine as ours would have been for people of earlier ages. (He also quotes a number of "authorities" who denied the possibility of heavier than air flight or the rocket shortly before they became realities!) Sadly, my enjoyment of this book was somewhat spoiled by Clarke's style which is inclined to be rather laboured and pompous. A pity, as this is otherwise a first rate read.
Promethean Fire: Reflections on the Origin of Mind
There is a missing link in human evolution about which few facts are known and surprisingly little has been written. It is not any one of the intermediate forms connecting modern man to his apelike ancestors. It is something much more challenging—the early human mind. How did it come into existence? And why?
Readings in library history
The Renaissance Computer
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter
In Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, his fourth volume to explore “the hinges of history,” Thomas Cahill escorts the reader on another entertaining—and historically unassailable—journey through the landmarks of art and bloodshed that defined Greek culture nearly three millennia ago.
Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual
Development of Science
Applies evolutionary models to the cultural and conceptual change of intellectual communities. Essential reading for anyone interested in how ideas evolve, and how best to describe these processes rigorously.
Seymour Lubetzky: Writings on the Classical Art of Cataloging
Seymour Lubetzky ranks among the greatest minds in library science. His groundbreaking works devoted to the problem of modern cataloging in the 20th century place him with Antonio Panizzi and Charles Cutter. Now, for the first time, Lubetzky's works are being published as a collection, which includes a complete reproduction of his three most influential titles: Cataloging Rules and Principles, Code of Cataloging Rules, and Principles of Cataloging, as well as periodical articles. The selections included in this book are presented in chronological order so that the development of Lubetzky's thought can be followed from his first writings on cataloging problems in the late thirties and early forties to writings in the following decades that consolidate and reiterate his philosophical and methodological stances. The book includes an introduction by the editors, relating to the major events in Lubetzky's writing career, as well as a comprehensive bibliography of his works. An absolute must-have for faculty and students of library and information science, cataloging professionals, and librarians.
The Social Life of Information
How many times has your PC crashed today? While Gordon Moore's now famous law projecting the doubling of computer power every 18 months has more than borne itself out, it's too bad that a similar trajectory projecting the reliability and usefulness of all that power didn't come to pass, as well. Advances in information technology are most often measured in the cool numbers of megahertz, throughput, and bandwidth--but, for many us, the experience of these advances may be better measured in hours of frustration.
Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition
E.O. Wilson defines sociobiology as "the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior," the central theoretical problem of which is the question of how behaviors that seemingly contradict the principles of natural selection, such as altruism, can develop. "Sociobiology: A New Synthesis", Wilson's first attempt to outline the new field of study, was first published in 1975 and called for a fairly revolutionary update to the so-called Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. Sociobiology as a new field of study demanded the active inclusion of sociology, the social sciences, and the humanities in evolutionary theory. Often criticized for its apparent message of "biological destiny," "Sociobiology" set the stage for such controversial works as Richard Dawkins's "The Selfish Gene" and Wilson's own "Consilience".
Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences
Is this book sociology, anthropology, or taxonomy? "Sorting Things Out", by communications theorists Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, covers a lot of conceptual ground in its effort to sort out exactly how and why we classify and categorize the things and concepts we encounter day to day. But the analysis doesn't stop there; the authors go on to explore what happens to our thinking as a result of our classifications. With great insight and precise academic language, they pick apart our information systems and language structures that lie deeper than the everyday categories we use. The authors focus first on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a widely used scheme used by health professionals worldwide, but also look at other health information systems, racial classifications used by South Africa during apartheid, and more.
Have you ever wandered why men don't ask for directions? Why we react with anger to infidelity? Why we love music and art? Why war and racism still thrive in our most sophisticated cultures?
A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History
Following in the wake of his groundbreaking "War in the Age of Intelligent Machines", Manuel De Landa presents a radical synthesis of historical development over the last one thousand years. More than a simple expository history, "A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History" sketches the outlines of a renewed materialist philosophy of history in the tradition of Fernand Braudel, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari, while also engaging the critical new understanding of material processes derived from the sciences of dynamics. Working against prevailing attitudes that see history as an arena of texts, discourses, ideologies, and metaphors, De Landa traces the concrete movements and interplays of matter and energy through human populations in the last millennium.
The Triumph of Sociobiology
Scientists tend to be a bit insecure about their position in society. Nowhere is this more evident than in the decades-old sociobiology debate, and behavioral scientist John Alcock tries to shore up his side against the sometimes hysterical opposition in "The Triumph of Sociobiology". Inevitably, the book is somewhat defensive and apologetic, but the author explains himself and his field well and will convince most readers that studying the evolution of behavior is no more controversial than any other aspect of evolution. Between charming, engaging tales of field study and intriguing analyses of the chief arguments against sociobiology, Alcock disarms the reader's natural discomfort with the topic and makes his case clearly.
Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things
"Its publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal."--David E. Leary, "American Scientist"
Works and Days and Theogony
Guide to Greek Mythos (and a guide to farming), by, roughly speaking, Homer's contemporary Hesiod.