Rachel Z. Arndt, “Beyond Measure” (Sarabande Books, 2018)
Our world today is full of algorithms and metrics designed to help us keep up, to keep track, to keep going. New devices, such as the smartwatch, now make it possible to quantify and standardize every conceivable human activity, from keeping track of personal bests at the gym to getting... Read More
Theodore M. Porter, “Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity” (Princeton UP, 2018)
In Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity (Princeton University Press, 2018), Theodore Porter uncovers the unfamiliar origins of human genetics in the asylums of Europe and North America. Rather than beginning his story with Gregor Mendel or 1909, the date when Wilhelm Johannsen coined the term “gene,”... Read More
Hervé Guillemain, “Schizophrenics in the Twentieth Century: The Side Effects of History” (Alma, 2018)
Schizophrènes au XXe siècle: des effets secondaires de l’histoire [Schizophrenics in the Twentieth Century: The Side Effects of History] is a strong argument in support of the history of psychiatry “from below.” Using vast archival resources and ample patient files, Hervé Guillemain demonstrates convincingly how schizophrenia in France was a... Read More
Peter Harries-Jones, “Upside-Down Gods: Gregory Bateson’s World of Difference” (Fordham UP, 2016)
The work of polymath Gregory Bateson has long been the road to cybernetics travelled by those approaching this trans-disciplinary field from the direction of the social sciences and even the humanities.  Fortunately for devotees of Bateson’s expansive vision, Peter Harries-Jones has continued the expert analysis that gave us 1995’s A Recursive Vision:... Read More
Byron Reese, “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” (Simon & Schuster, 2018)
In his new book, The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity (Simon & Schuster, 2018), futurist, technologist, and CEO of Gigaom, Byron Reese makes the case that technology has reshaped humanity just three times in history: 100,000 years ago, we harnessed fire, which led to... Read More
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