Author: Robert B. Laughlin
Release Date: 2010-12-28
We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is ''technical'' - but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because it's technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age; a time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance. Thus we find ourselves dealing more and more with the Crime of Reason, the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities. The Crime of Reason is a reader-friendly jeremiad, On Bullshit for the Slashdot and Creative Commons crowd; a short, fiercely argued essay on a problem of increasing concern to people at the frontiers of new ideas.
Author: Robert B. Laughlin
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2008-07-31
In this age of superstring theories and Big Bang cosmology, we're used to thinking of the unknown as impossibly distant from our everyday lives. But in A Different Universe, Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin argues that the scientific frontier is right under our fingers. Instead of looking for ultimate theories, Laughlin considers the world of emergent properties-meaning the properties, such as the hardness and shape of a crystal, that result from the organization of large numbers of atoms. Laughlin shows us how the most fundamental laws of physics are in fact emergent. A Different Universe is a truly mind-bending book that shows us why everything we think about fundamental physical laws needs to change.
Author: Robert B. Laughlin
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2011-09-27
In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we’ve ceased to use carbon from the ground—either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm. How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water, and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we’ve burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal. The Predictable: Fossil fuels will run out. The present flow of crude oil out of the ground equals in one day the average flow of the Mississippi River past New Orleans in thirteen minutes. If you add the energy equivalents of gas and coal, it’s thirty-six minutes. At the present rate of consumption, we’ll be out of fossil fuels in two centuries’ time. We always choose the cheapest gas. From the nineteenth-century consolidation of the oil business to the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, the energy business has shown, time and again, how low prices dominate market share. Market forces—not green technology—will be the driver of energy innovation in the next 200 years. The laws of physics remain fixed. Energy will still be conserved, degrade entropically with use, and have to be disposed of as waste heat into outer space. How much energy a fuel can pack away in a given space is fixed by quantum mechanics—and if we want to keep flying jet planes, we will need carbon-based fuels. The Potential: Animal waste.If dried and burned, the world’s agricultural manure would supply about one-third as much energy as all the coal we presently consume. Trash. The United States disposes of 88 million tons of carbon in its trash per year. While the incineration of waste trash is not enough to contribute meaningfully to the global demand for energy, it will constrain fuel prices by providing a cheap supply of carbon. Solar energy.The power used to light all the cities around the world is only one-millionth of the total power of sunlight pouring down on earth’s daytime side. And the amount of hydropump storage required to store the world’s daily electrical surge is equal to only eight times the volume of Lake Mead. PRAISE FOR ROBERT B. LAUGHLIN “Perhaps the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Richard Feynman”—George Chapline, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Powerful but controversial.”— Financial Times “[Laughlin’s] company … is inspirational.” —New Scientist
Author: Robert R. Reilly
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2014-04-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The book you must read to understand the Islamist crisis—and the threat to us all Robert R. Reilly’s eye-opening book masterfully explains the frightening behavior coming out of the Islamic world. Terrorism, he shows, is only one manifestation of the spiritual pathology of Islamism. Reilly uncovers the root of our contemporary crisis: a pivotal struggle waged within the Muslim world nearly a millennium ago. In a heated battle over the role of reason, the side of irrationality won. The deformed theology that resulted, Reilly reveals, produced the spiritual pathology of Islamism, and a deeply dysfunctional culture. The Closing of the Muslim Mind solves such puzzles as: · Why the Arab world stands near the bottom of every measure of human development · Why scientific inquiry is nearly dead in the Islamic world · Why Spain translates more books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years · Why some people in Saudi Arabia still refuse to believe man has been to the moon
Presents a groundbreaking investigation into the origins of morality at the core of religion and politics, offering scholarly insight into the motivations behind cultural clashes that are polarizing America.
Author: Dennis C. Mueller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2009-08-24
The rise of religious fundamentalism in different parts of the world in recent years and its association with terrorism has led to renewed interest in the nature of religion and its compatibility with Western institutions. Much of the focus of this new interest has contrasted religion and science as systems of knowledge. This book also emphasizes the difference between religion and science as means for understanding causal relationships, but it focuses much more heavily on the challenge religious extremism poses for liberal democratic institutions. The treatment contains a discussion of human psychology, describes the salient characteristics of all religions, and contrasts religion and science as systems of thought. Historical sketches are used to establish a link between modernity and the use of the human capacity for reasoning to advance human welfare. The book describes the conditions under which democratic institutions can advance human welfare, and the nature of constitutional rights as protectors of individual freedoms. Extremist religions are shown to pose a threat to liberal democracy, a threat that has implications for immigration and education policies and the definition of citizenship.
Author: Allan Bloom
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2008-06-30
Genre: Social Science
The Closing of the American Mind, a publishing phenomenon in hardcover, is now a paperback literary event. In this acclaimed number one national best-seller, one of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is essential to understanding America today. It has fired the imagination of a public ripe for change.
Author: Kim R. Holmes
Publisher: Encounter Books
Release Date: 2017-12-12
Genre: Political Science
A former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and currently Acting Senior Vice President for Research at The Heritage Foundation, Kim R. Holmes surveys the state of liberalism in America today and finds that it is becoming its opposite—illiberalism—abandoning the precepts of open-mindedness and respect for individual rights, liberties, and the rule of law upon which the country was founded, and becoming instead an intolerant, rigidly dogmatic ideology that abhors dissent and stifles free speech. Tracing the new illiberalism historically to the radical Enlightenment, a movement that rejected the classic liberal ideas of the moderate Enlightenment that were prominent in the American Founding, Holmes argues that today’s liberalism has forsaken its American roots, incorporating instead the authoritarian, anti-clerical, and anti-capitalist prejudices of the radical and largely European Left. The result is a closing of the American liberal mind. Where once freedom of speech and expression were sacrosanct, today liberalism employs speech codes, trigger warnings, boycotts, and shaming rituals to stifle freedom of thought, expression, and action. It is no longer appropriate to call it liberalism at all, but illiberalism—a set of ideas in politics, government, and popular culture that increasingly reflects authoritarian and even anti-democratic values, and which is devising new strategies of exclusiveness to eliminate certain ideas and people from the political process. Although illiberalism has always been a temptation for American liberals, lurking in the radical fringes of the Left, it is today the dominant ideology of progressive liberal circles. This makes it a new danger not only to the once venerable tradition of liberalism, but to the American nation itself, which needs a viable liberal tradition that pursues social and economic equality while respecting individual liberties.
Author: Daniel Petrocelli
Publisher: Graymalkin Media
Release Date: 2016-05-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
After the white Bronco, after the bloody glove, after the media frenzy and the verdict that set O.J. Simpson free, Daniel Petrocelli came to pick up the pieces. Outraged by the disastrous miscarriage of justice, the family of murder victim Ronald Goldman sought justice in civil court—their last chance to go after Simpson. To represent them, they hired Petrocelli, a respected attorney who had never before tried a criminal case. In order to win the case, Petrocelli would have to prove that O.J. Simpson was a killer. The physical evidence connecting Simpson to the murders was rock solid, but in the criminal trial, evidence was not enough. To bring the families justice, Petrocelli would have to do something that the District Attorney had not been able to do: confront O.J. Simpson face-to-face. Called “the best book on the subject” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Triumph of Justice is the definitive account of the Simpson murders and their aftermath. In the long, twisted history of the trial of the century, Daniel Petrocelli has the final word.
Author: Donald F. Gustafson
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Simple seeing. Plain talking. Language in use and persons in action. These are among the themes of Virgil Aldrich's writings, from the 1930's onward. Throughout these years, he has been an explorer of conceptual geography: not as a foreign visitor studying an alien land, but close up 'in the language in which we live, move, and have our being'. This is his work. It is clear to those who know him best that he also has fun at it. Yet, in the terms of his oft-cited distinction, it is equally clear that he is to be counted not among the funsters of philosophy, but among its most committed workers. Funsters are those who attempt to do epistemology, metaphysics, or analysis by appealing to examples which are purely imaginary, totally fictional, as unrealistic as you like, 'completely unheard of'. Such imaginative wilfullness takes philosophers away from, not nearer to, 'the rough ground' (Wittgenstein) where our concepts have their origin and working place. In the funsters' imagined, 'barely possible' (but actually impossible) world, simple seeing becomes transformed into the sensing of sense-data; plain talk is rejected as imprecise, vague, and misleading; and per sons in action show up as ensouled physical objects in motion. Then the fly is in the bottle, buzzing out its tedious tunes: the problem of perception of the external world; the problem of meaning and what it is; the mind-body problem. Image-mongering has got the best of image-management.
Author: Bruce Bawer
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2012-09-04
Respected author, critic, and essayist Bruce Bawer—whose previous book, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within, was a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist—now offers a trenchant and sweeping critique of the sorry state of higher education since the campus revolutions of the late ’60s and early ’70s. In The Victims’ Revolution, Bawer incisively contends that the rise of identity-based college courses and disciplines (Women’s Studies, Black Studies, Gay Studies, etc.) forty years ago has resulted in an impoverishment of thought and widespread political confusion, while filling the brains of students with politically correct mush. Timely, controversial, and brilliantly argued, Bawer’s The Victims’ Revolution is necessary reading for students, educators, and anyone concerned about the contemporary crisis in academia—a serious and important work that stands with other essential books on the subject, like The Shadow University by Alan Kors, Illiberal Education by Dinesh D’Souza, and Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind.