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The Brain: Big Bangs, Behaviors, and Beliefs (by Rob DeSalle, Ian Tattersall, Patricia J. Wynne)

The Brain: Big Bangs, Behaviors, and Beliefs

~ Ian Tattersall (author) More about this product
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After several million years of jostling for ecological space, only one survivor from a host of hominid species remains standing: us. Human beings are extraordinary creatures, and it is the unprecedented human brain that makes them so. In this delightfully accessible book, the authors present the first full, step-by-step account of the evolution of the brain and nervous system.


Tapping the very latest findings in evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and molecular biology, Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall explain how the cognitive gulf that separates us from all other living creatures could have occurred. They discuss the development and uniqueness of human consciousness, how human and nonhuman brains work, the roles of different nerve cells, the importance of memory and language in brain functions, and much more. Our brains, they conclude, are the product of a lengthy and supremely untidy history—an evolutionary process of many zigs and zags—that has accidentally resulted in a splendidly eccentric and creative product.

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Scientific instrumentation: The aided eye

Scientific instrumentation: The aided eye | CxBooks |

In the seventeenth century, scientists learnt how to see, discovering the astronomically large and the invisibly small. Both the telescope and the microscope had been invented, independently, by the first decades of the century, and Europe's intelligentsia were astonished, amused and unnerved by what was revealed.
In Eye of the Beholder, historian Laura Snyder describes the insights derived from the microscope by Dutch cloth merchant Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, who, using self-made microscopes with a resolution as fine as one micrometre, found teeming life in drops of rainwater. In Galileo's Telescope, historians of science Massimo Bucciantini, Michele Camerota and Franco Giudice offer a new account of how Galileo Galilei introduced the world to the telescope's power to unravel the heavens. They track the genesis and influence of Galileo's 1610 booklet Sidereus nuncius (Starry messenger). Both of these detailed studies show how sensational it was to discover worlds not perceivable to the naked eye.
Snyder also explores the parallels between the interests of Leeuwenhoek and those of the artist Johannes Vermeer. Both men of Delft, they put lenses to work for different purposes — Leeuwenhoek to satisfy an insatiable curiosity, Vermeer to extend his ability to perceive and record the world, for example with a camera obscura. Did they share knowledge as acquaintances, even friends? Leeuwenhoek was executor of Vermeer's estate; although this may have been the civic duty of an eminent merchant, Snyder points out that the few other times Leeuwenhoek took such a role, he had links with the deceased.

Scientific instrumentation: The aided eye
• Philip Ball
Nature 520, 156 (09 April 2015) ;

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Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English (by Michael D. Gordin)

Scientific Babel: How Science Was Done Before and After Global English

~ Michael D. Gordin (author) More about this product
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English is the language of science today. No matter which languages you know, if you want your work seen, studied, and cited, you need to publish in English. But that hasn’t always been the case. Though there was a time when Latin dominated the field, for centuries science has been a polyglot enterprise, conducted in a number of languages whose importance waxed and waned over time—until the rise of English in the twentieth century.
So how did we get from there to here? How did French, German, Latin, Russian, and even Esperanto give way to English? And what can we reconstruct of the experience of doing science in the polyglot past? With Scientific Babel, Michael D. Gordin resurrects that lost world, in part through an ingenious mechanism: the pages of his highly readable narrative account teem with footnotes—not offering background information, but presenting quoted material in its original language. The result is stunning: as we read about the rise and fall of languages, driven by politics, war, economics, and institutions, we actually see it happen in the ever-changing web of multilingual examples. The history of science, and of English as its dominant language, comes to life, and brings with it a new understanding not only of the frictions generated by a scientific community that spoke in many often mutually unintelligible voices, but also of the possibilities of the polyglot, and the losses that the dominance of English entails.



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Radium and the Secret of Life (by Luis A. Campos)

Radium and the Secret of Life

~ Luis A. Campos (author) More about this product
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Before the hydrogen bomb indelibly associated radioactivity with death, many chemists, physicians, botanists, and geneticists believed that radium might hold the secret to life. Physicists and chemists early on described the wondrous new element in lifelike terms such as "decay" and "half-life," and made frequent references to the "natural selection" and "evolution" of the elements. Meanwhile, biologists of the period used radium in experiments aimed at elucidating some of the most basic phenomena of life, including metabolism and mutation.

From the creation of half-living microbes in the test tube to charting the earliest histories of genetic engineering, Radium and the Secret of Life highlights previously unknown interconnections between the history of the early radioactive sciences and the sciences of heredity. Equating the transmutation of radium with the biological transmutation of living species, biologists saw in metabolism and mutation properties that reminded them of the new element. These initially provocative metaphoric links between radium and life proved remarkably productive and ultimately led to key biological insights into the origin of life, the nature of heredity, and the structure of the gene. Radium and the Secret of Life recovers a forgotten history of the connections between radioactivity and the life sciences that existed long before the dawn of molecular biology.



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Why More Is Different: Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems (edited by Brigitte Falkenburg & Margaret Morrison)

The physics of condensed matter, in contrast to quantum physics or cosmology, is not traditionally associated with deep philosophical questions. However, as science - largely thanks to more powerful computers - becomes capable of analysing and modelling ever more complex many-body systems, basic questions of philosophical relevance arise. Questions about the emergence of structure, the nature of cooperative behaviour, the implications of the second law, the quantum-classical transition and many other issues. This book is a collection of essays by leading physicists and philosophers. Each investigates one or more of these issues, making use of examples from modern condensed matter research. Physicists and philosophers alike will find surprising and stimulating ideas in these pages.



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Rust: The Longest War (by Jonathan Waldman)

Rust: The Longest War

~ Jonathan Waldman (author) More about this product
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It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined.

This book is a fresh and often funny account of an overlooked engineering endeavor that is as compelling as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world. Rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water, and it will determine the legacy we leave on this planet. This exploration of corrosion, and the incredible lengths we go to fight it, is narrative nonfiction at its very best—a fascinating and important subject, delivered with energy and wit.



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Network Literacy: Essential Concepts and Core Ideas

Network Literacy: Essential Concepts and Core Ideas | CxBooks |

Network science is a significant pathway into understanding many kinds of Big Data. Since its inceptions during the late 20th century it has been increasing its relevance to people's everyday life. Networks can help us to make sense of this increasingly complex world, making it a useful literacy for people living in the 21st century. 

Liz Rykert's curator insight, March 24, 7:07 AM

Love the simplicity of this!

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The Developing Genome: An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics (by David S. Moore)

The Developing Genome: An Introduction to Behavioral Epigenetics

~ David S. Moore (author) More about this product
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Why do we grow up to look, act, and feel as we do? Through most of the twentieth century, scientists and laypeople answered this question by referring to two factors alone: our experiences and our genes. But recent discoveries about how genes work have revealed a new way to understand the developmental origins of our characteristics. These discoveries have emerged from the new science of behavioral epigenetics--and just as the whole world has now heard of DNA, "epigenetics" will be a household word in the near future.

Behavioral epigenetics is important because it explains how our experiences get under our skin and influence the activity of our genes. Because of breakthroughs in this field, we now know that the genes we're born with don't determine if we'll end up easily stressed, likely to fall ill with cancer, or possessed of a powerful intellect. Instead, what matters is what our genes do. And because research in behavioral epigenetics has shown that our experiences influence how our genes function, this work has changed how scientists think about nature, nurture, and human development. Diets, environmental toxins, parenting styles, and other environmental factors all influence genetic activity through epigenetic mechanisms; this discovery has the potential to alter how doctors treat diseases, and to change how mental health professionals treat conditions from schizophrenia to post-traumatic stress disorder. These advances could also force a reworking of the theory of evolution that dominated twentieth-century biology, and even change how we think about human nature itself.

In spite of the importance of this research, behavioral epigenetics is still relatively unknown to non-biologists. The Developing Genome is an introduction to this exciting new discipline; it will allow readers without a background in biology to learn about this work and its revolutionary implications.



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Disaster Theory: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Concepts and Causes (by David Etkin)

Disaster Theory: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Concepts and Causes

~ David Etkin (author) More about this product
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Disaster Theory: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Concepts and Causes offers the theoretical background needed to understand what disasters are and why they occur. Drawing on related disciplines, including sociology, risk theory, and seminal research on disasters and emergency management, Disaster Theory clearly lays out the conceptual framework of the emerging field of disaster studies. Tailored to the needs of advanced undergraduates and graduate students, this unique text also provides an ideal capstone for students who have already been introduced to the fundamentals of emergency management. Disaster Theory emphasizes the application of critical thinking in understanding disasters and their causes by synthesizing a wide range of information on theory and practice, including input from leading scholars in the field.

  • Offers the first cohesive depiction of disaster theory
  • Incorporates material from leading thinkers in the field, as well as student exercises and critical thinking questions, making this a rich resource for advanced courses
  • Written from an international perspective and includes case studies of disasters and hazards from around the world for comparing the leading models of emergency response
  • Challenges the reader to think critically about important questions in disaster management from various points of view



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Network Science Book

The power of network science, 
the beauty of network visualization.
Network Science, a textbook for network science, is freely available under the Creative Commons licence. Follow its development on Facebook, Twitter or by signining up to our mailing list, so that we can notify you of new chapters and developments.
The book is the result of a collaboration between a number of individuals, shaping everything, from content (Albert-László Barabási), to visualizations and interactive tools (Gabriele Musella, Mauro Martino, Nicole Samay, Kim Albrecht), simulations and data analysis (Márton Pósfai). The printed version of the book will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2015. In the coming months the website will be expanded with an interactive version of the text, datasets, and slides to teach the material. 

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Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies: Cesar Hidalgo

Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies

~ Cesar Hidalgo (author) More about this product
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Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies [Cesar Hidalgo] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions

Via Complejidady Economía
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To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science (by Steven Weinberg)

To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

~ Steven Weinberg (author) More about this product
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A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg—a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.

In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.



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The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order (by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey)

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order

~ Michael J. Casey (author) More about this product
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Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about bitcoin?

In The Age of Cryptocurrency, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world's billions of "unbanked" individuals into a new global economy. Cryptocurrency holds the promise of a financial system without a middleman, one owned by the people who use it and one safeguarded from the devastation of a 2008-type crash.

But bitcoin, the most famous of the cybermonies, carries a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business; some fear it has the power to eliminate jobs and to upend the concept of a nation-state. It implies, above all, monumental and wide-reaching change—for better and for worse. But it is here to stay, and you ignore it at your peril.

Vigna and Casey demystify cryptocurrency—its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy.



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A Course on Cooperative Game Theory (by Satya R. Chakravarty et al.)

A Course on Cooperative Game Theory

~ Palash Sarkar (author) More about this product
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Cooperative game theory deals with situations where objectives of participants of the game are partially cooperative and partially conflicting. It is in the interest of participants to cooperate in the sense of making binding agreements to achieve the maximum possible benefit. When it comes to distribution of benefit/payoffs, participants have conflicting interests. Such situations are usually modelled as cooperative games. While the book mainly discusses transferable utility games, there is also a brief analysis of non-transferable utility games. Alternative solution concepts to cooperative game theoretic problems are presented in chapters 1-9 and the next four chapters present issues related to computations of solutions discussed in the earlier chapters. The proofs of all results presented in the book are quite explicit. Additionally the mathematical techniques employed in demonstrating the results will be helpful to those who wish to learn application of mathematics for solving problems in game theory.



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The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences (by Brian Epstein)

We live in a world of crowds and corporations, artworks and artifacts, legislatures and languages, money and markets. These are all social objects - they are made, at least in part, by people and by communities. But what exactly are these things? How are they made, and what is the role of people in making them?

In The Ant Trap, Brian Epstein rewrites our understanding of the nature of the social world and the foundations of the social sciences. Epstein explains and challenges the three prevailing traditions about how the social world is made. One tradition takes the social world to be built out of people, much as traffic is built out of cars. A second tradition also takes people to be the building blocks of the social world, but focuses on thoughts and attitudes we have toward one another. And a third tradition takes the social world to be a collective projection onto the physical world. Epstein shows that these share critical flaws. Most fundamentally, all three traditions overestimate the role of people in building the social world: they are overly anthropocentric.

Epstein starts from scratch, bringing the resources of contemporary metaphysics to bear. In the place of traditional theories, he introduces a model based on a new distinction between the grounds and the anchors of social facts. Epstein illustrates the model with a study of the nature of law, and shows how to interpret the prevailing traditions about the social world. Then he turns to social groups, and to what it means for a group to take an action or have an intention. Contrary to the overwhelming consensus, these often depend on more than the actions and intentions of group members.



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Cool: How the Brain's Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World (by Steven Quartz & Anette Asp)

Cool: How the Brain's Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World

~ Anette Asp (author) More about this product
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If you have ever wondered why SUVs replaced minivans, how one rap song turned the cognac industry upside down, or what gives Levi's jeans their iconic allure, look no further-in Cool, Steven Quartz and Anette Asp finally explain the fascinating science behind unexpected trends and enduring successes.
We live in a world of conspicuous consumption, where the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the food we eat lead double lives: they don't merely satisfy our needs; they also communicate our values, identities, and aspirations. In Beverly Hills, tourists flock to the famous Rodeo Drive-not to shop, but simply to take photographs of themselves in front of luxury stores. And for one week in August, hundreds of thousands of HarleyDavidson fans from all over the world descend on the remote town of Sturgis, South Dakota, and engulf the otherwise sleepy hamlet in the deafening roar of motorcycle engines. Why do brands inspire such devotion?
Quartz and Asp bring together groundbreaking findings in neuroscience, economics, and evolutionary biology to present a new understanding of why we consume and how our concepts of what is "cool"-be it designer jeans, smartphones, or craft beer-help drive the global economy. The authors highlight the underlying neurological and cultural processes that contribute to our often unconscious decision making, explaining how we're able to navigate the supermarket on autopilot for certain items and yet arrive at the checkout counter with a basket full of products picked up on the spur of the moment. And they explore the opposite side of the consumer equation-the "choice architects" who design store interiors and the "coolhunters" who scour Berlin and Tokyo on the lookout for the latest trends. Through a novel combination of cultural and economic history and in-depth studies of the brain, Cool puts forth a provocative theory of consumerism that reveals the crucial missing links in an understanding of our spending habits: our brain's status-seeking "social calculator" and an instinct to rebel that fuels our dislike of being subordinated by others. Quartz and Asp show how these ancient motivations make us natural-born consumers and how they sparked the emergence of "cool consumption"in the middle of the twentieth century, creating new lifestyle choices and routes to happiness. Examining how cool was reshaped in the 1990s by a changing society and the Internet, they unpack the social motivations behind today's hip, ethical consumption, arguing that we should embrace, rather than deny, the power of consumerism.



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Simulation and Control of Chaotic Nonequilibrium Systems (by William Graham Hoover & Carol Griswold Hoover)

This book aims to provide a lively working knowledge of the thermodynamic control of microscopic simulations, while summarizing the historical development of the subject, along with some personal reminiscences. Many computational examples are described so that they are well-suited to learning by doing. The contents enhance the current understanding of the reversibility paradox and are accessible to advanced undergraduates and researchers in physics, computation, and irreversible thermodynamics.



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Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth (by Juan Enriquez & Steve Gullans)

Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth

~ Steve Gullans (author) More about this product
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Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species—or several?

In Evolving Ourselves, futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example:

  • Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014. What’s more, there’s evidence that other species, from pasture-fed horses to lab animals to house cats, are also getting fatter.
  • As reported by U.S. government agencies, the rate of autism rose by 131 percent from 2001 to 2010, an increase that cannot be attributed simply to increases in diagnosis rates.
  • Three hundred years ago, almost no one with a serious nut allergy lived long enough to reproduce. Today, despite an environment in which food allergies have increased by 50 percent in just over a decade, 17 million Americans who suffer from food allergies survive, thrive, and pass their genes and behaviors on to the next generation.
  • In the pre-Twinkie era, early humans had quite healthy mouths. As we began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Today the consequences are evident not only in our teeth but throughout our bodies and minds.



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Seeing the forest for the trees

We now live in a world obsessed with data, in which paper and pencil have been traded for code and algorithms. As a result, we often spend less time getting a feel for problems we are tackling than we would have 35 years ago. It was therefore very refreshing to read a book that encourages the reader to do just that.
The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering acts as a step-by-step guide that enables the reader to tackle fundamental scientific problems through simple back-of-the-envelope calculations. The main objective of the book is not to promote a thorough understanding of an underlying theory or to allow us to come to an exact solution but rather to encourage us to use our instincts and knowledge of the fundamental concepts to come to an approximate and reasonable solution. “Approximate first, and worry later,” says the book's author, Sanjoy Mahajan. “Otherwise you never start, and you can never learn that the approximations would have been accurate enough—if only you had gathered the courage to make them.”

Seeing the forest for the trees
Sybil Derrible
Review of "The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering: Mastering Complexity", by Sanjoy Mahajan, MIT Press, 2014. 408 pp.

Science 27 March 2015:
Vol. 347 no. 6229 p. 1426 ;

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Fundamentals of Complex Networks: Models, Structures and Dynamics (by Guanrong Chen et al.)

Fundamentals of Complex Networks: Models, Structures and Dynamics

~ Xiang Li (author) More about this product
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Complex networks such as the Internet, transportation networks, power grids, biological neural networks, and scientific cooperation networks of all kinds provide challenges for future technological development.

• The first systematic presentation of dynamical evolving networks, with many up-to-date applications and homework projects to enhance study
• Complex networks are becoming an increasingly important area of research
• Presented in a logical, constructive style, from basic through to complex, examining algorithms, through to construct networks and research challenges of the future



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Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World (by Bruce Schneier)

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World

~ Bruce Schneier (author) More about this product
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Your cell phone provider tracks your location and knows who’s with you. Your online and in-store purchasing patterns are recorded, and reveal if you're unemployed, sick, or pregnant. Your e-mails and texts expose your intimate and casual friends. Google knows what you’re thinking because it saves your private searches. Facebook can determine your sexual orientation without you ever mentioning it.

The powers that surveil us do more than simply store this information. Corporations use surveillance to manipulate not only the news articles and advertisements we each see, but also the prices we’re offered. Governments use surveillance to discriminate, censor, chill free speech, and put people in danger worldwide. And both sides share this information with each other or, even worse, lose it to cybercriminals in huge data breaches.

Much of this is voluntary: we cooperate with corporate surveillance because it promises us convenience, and we submit to government surveillance because it promises us protection. The result is a mass surveillance society of our own making. But have we given up more than we’ve gained? In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy.



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Place and Health as Complex Systems: A Case Study and Empirical Test (by Brian Castellani et al.)

Place and Health as Complex Systems: A Case Study and Empirical Test (SpringerBriefs in Public Health)

~ Frederic William Hafferty (author) More about this product
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The history of public health has focused on direct relationships between problems and solutions: vaccinations against diseases, ad campaigns targeting risky behaviors. But the accelerating pace and mounting intricacies of our lives are challenging the field to find new scientific methods for studying community health. The complexities of place (COP) approach is emerging as one such promising method.


Place and Health as Complex Systems demonstrates how COP works, making an empirical case for its use in for designing and implementing interventions. This brief resource reviews the defining characteristics of places as dynamic and evolving social systems, rigorously testing them as well as the COP approach itself. The study, of twenty communities within one county in the Midwest, combines case-based methods and complexity science to determine whether COP improves upon traditional statistical methods of public health research. Its conclusions reveal strengths and limitations of the approach, immediate possibilities for its use, and challenges regarding future research. Included in the coverage:


  • Characteristics of places and the complexities of place approach.
  • The Definitional Test of Complex Systems.
  • Case-based modeling using the SACS toolkit.
  • Methods, maps, and measures used in the study.
  • Places as nodes within larger networks.
  • Places as power-based conflicted negotiations.




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Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map

Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map | CxBooks |

In an age of information overload, the ability to make sense of vast amounts of data and to render insightful visualizations is as important as the ability to read and write. The Atlas of Knowledge explains and exemplifies the power of visualizations not only to help locate us in physical space but also to help us understand the extent and structure of our collective knowledge, to identify bursts of activity, pathways of ideas, and borders that beg to be crossed. 

Atlas of Knowledge: Anyone Can Map
by Katy Börner

Complexity Digest's insight:

See Also Information Visualization MOOC ( ).

Liz Rykert's curator insight, March 5, 9:28 AM

I love tools for mapping things - the visual is always so powerful.

Rescooped by Complexity Digest from Étoile Platform!

Advances in Artificial Economics

Advances in Artificial Economics | CxBooks |

The interactions between Computer Science and the Social Sciences have grown fruitfully along the past 20 years. The mutual benefits of such a cross-fertilization stand as well at a conceptual, technological or methodological level. Economics in particular benefited from innovations in multi-agent systems in Computer Science leading to agent-based computational economics and in return the multi-agent systems benefited for instance of economic researches related to mechanisms of incentives and regulation to design self-organized systems.

Via Jorge Louçã
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Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains (by Susan Greenfield)

Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

~ Susan Greenfield (author) More about this product
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We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can outcompete dreary reality. Our brave new technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price?
Now renowned neuroscientist Susan Greenfield brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism to create an incisive snapshot of “the global now.” Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, Greenfield explores whether incessant exposure to social media sites, search engines, and videogames is capable of rewiring our brains, and whether the minds of people born before and after the advent of the Internet differ.
Stressing the impact on Digital Natives—those who’ve never known a world without the Internet—Greenfield exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli, how gaming can shape a chemical landscape in the brain similar to that in gambling addicts, how surfing the Net risks placing a premium on information rather than on deep knowledge and understanding, and how excessive use of social networking sites limits the maturation of empathy and identity.
But Mind Change also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. Sifting through the cocktail of not only threat but opportunity these technologies afford, Greenfield explores how gaming enhances vision and motor control, how touch tablets aid students with developmental disabilities, and how political “clicktivism” foments positive change.
In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online, and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Mind Change reveals as never before the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age. A book that will be to the Internet what An Inconvenient Truth was to global warming, Mind Change is provocative, alarming, and a call to action to ensure a future in which technology fosters—not frustrates—deep thinking, creativity, and true fulfillment.


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Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It (by Marc Goodman)

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It

~ Marc Goodman (author) More about this product
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Technological advances have benefited our world in immeasurable ways, but there is an ominous flip side: our technology can be turned against us. Hackers can activate baby monitors to spy on families, thieves are analyzing social media posts to plot home invasions, and stalkers are exploiting the GPS on smart phones to track their victims’ every move. We all know today’s criminals can steal identities, drain online bank accounts, and wipe out computer servers, but that’s just the beginning. To date, no computer has been created that could not be hacked—a sobering fact given our radical dependence on these machines for everything from our nation’s power grid to air traffic control to financial services. 
     Yet, as ubiquitous as technology seems today, just over the horizon is a tidal wave of scientific progress that will leave our heads spinning. If today’s Internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the sun. Welcome to the Internet of Things, a living, breathing, global information grid where every physical object will be online. But with greater connections come greater risks. Implantable medical devices such as pacemakers can be hacked to deliver a lethal jolt of electricity and a car’s brakes can be disabled at high speed from miles away. Meanwhile, 3-D printers can produce AK-47s, bioterrorists can download the recipe for Spanish flu, and cartels are using fleets of drones to ferry drugs across borders.
     With explosive insights based upon a career in law enforcement and counterterrorism, Marc Goodman takes readers on a vivid journey through the darkest recesses of the Internet. Reading like science fiction, but based in science fact, Future Crimes explores how bad actors are primed to hijack the technologies of tomorrow, including robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. These fields hold the power to create a world of unprecedented abundance and prosperity. But the technological bedrock upon which we are building our common future is deeply unstable and, like a house of cards, can come crashing down at any moment.
     Future Crimes provides a mind-blowing glimpse into the dark side of technological innovation and the unintended consequences of our connected world. Goodman offers a way out with clear steps we must take to survive the progress unfolding before us. Provocative, thrilling, and ultimately empowering, Future Crimes will serve as an urgent call to action that shows how we can take back control over our own devices and harness technology’s tremendous power for the betterment of humanity—before it’s too late.



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