Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner
A scientific analysis of the ancient art of divination1 which shows that forecasting is a talent; luckily it can be learned. You need a healthy appetite for information, a willingness to revisit predictions in light of new data, and the ability to synthesise material from sources with very different outlooks on the world.
The descriptions of how autistic children were treated in the 20th century is especially shocking.
The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is?
A persuasive3 and demanding attempt, by a thought-provoking British scientist, a biochemist at University College London, to answer some of the most fundamental questions in biology. It posits4 a new theory of how life came to be.
Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
An intriguing5, insightful and well-written look at how modern artificial intelligence, powering algorithms and robots, threatens jobs and may increase wealth inequalities, by a Silicon6 Valley entrepreneur and AI expert.
Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
This is an unusual, in-depth but highly accessible popular-maths book by a member of the London Mathematical Society who also has a sideline in stand-up comedy.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
A startling and illustrative distillation7 of centuries of science by an Italian theoretical physicist8.
A carefully researched, analytical10 look at the effects that new species have on different environments into which they are introduced. The book debunks11 poor science and the cherry-picking of statistical12 examples to feed hysteria about keeping invasive species out and protecting an imaginary perfect past.
Adventures in Human Being
A Scottish doctor takes a delightful13 journey closer to home, through the wondrous14 human body, from top to tail, inside to out.
Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells
A marine15 biologist-turned-science writer describes coming face-to-shell with a giant clam16 on the Great Barrier Reef, enjoying a bag of smoked oysters17 in Gambia and meeting a sea-silk seamstress in Italy. She makes an impassioned and convincing argument that, contrary to expectations, molluscs have much to teach us.
How to Talk about Videogames
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