• How artificial intelligence and robotics are transforming the future of love and desire: a philosophical thriller and essays. A chance encounter between two women and a road trip into the future: It’s Christmas Eve, and Scarlett, banker-turned-technologist, is leaving a secret underground lab to catch the last flight that will get her home in time to open presents with her three-year-old son. She offers a lift to a young woman in distress, who shares her intimate life story as they drive to the airport. These revelations will have devastating consequences for both of them. The Love Makers is a philosophical thriller about female friendship, class, motherhood, women, and work–and how artificial intelligence and robotics are transforming the future of love and desire. Aifric Campbell combines her novel with essays from leading scientists and commentators who examine what’s at stake in our human-machine relationships. What is our future as friends, parents, lovers? Will advances in intelligent machines reverse decades of progress for women? From robot nannies to generative art and our ancient dreams of intelligent machines, The Love Makers blends storytelling with science communication to investigate the challenges and opportunities of emergent technologies and how we want to live.
  • A sweeping history of and meditation on humanity's relationship with machines, showing how we got here and what happens next. Faith in technological fixes for our problems is waning. Automation, which promised relief from toil, has reactivated the long-standing fear of job redundancy. Information technology, meant to liberate us from traditional authority, is placing unprecedented powers of surveillance and control in the hands of a purely secular Big Brother. And for the first time, artificial intelligence threatens anthropogenic disaster - disaster caused by our own activities. Scientists join imaginative writers in warning us of the fate of Icarus, whose wings melted because he flew too close to the sun. This book tells the story of our fractured relationship with machines from humanity's first tools down to the present and into the future. It raises the crucial question of why some parts of the world developed a 'machine civilisation' and not others, and traces the interactions between capitalism and technology, and between science and religion, in the making of the modern world. Taking in the peaks of philosophy and triumphs of science, the foundation of economics and speculations of fiction, Robert Skidelsky embarks on a bold intellectual journey through the evolution of our understanding of technology and what this means for our lives and politics. 'Unless we understand technology as a system of ideas rather than as a necessity,' he writes, 'we will be powerless to choose which technology is best suited to our needs and purposes.'
  • From the author of the award-winning bestseller An Irish Atlantic Rainforest comes The Magic of An Irish Rainforest: A Visual Journey. In 2023, environmentalist and rewilder Eoghan Daltun travelled the length and breadth of Ireland photographing areas of temperate rainforest, in a bid to illustrate their beauty and immense ecological value, and to document, in almost all cases, their state of decline. The resulting collection of stunning images, combined with deeply illuminating nature writing, charts that exploration, beginning with the author's own thriving wild rainforest on the Beara Peninsula, West Cork, and taking us through the four provinces of Ireland - places such as Killarney National Park, Kerry; The Gearagh, Cork, The Burren, Clare; Old Head Wood, County Mayo; Glenveagh National Park, Donegal; Correl Glen and Cladagh Glen, County Fermanagh; and Wicklow's beauty spot of Glendalough. From close-range to wide-lens, luscious forest imagery and landscapes are captured, unimaginably rich in native flora and fauna, offering us a deep insight into rare and priceless ecosystem fragments that we still have but are losing fast, alongside a compelling treatise for how that could so easily be changed for the better. Published on 24th September 2024 - Order Now.
  • 165 million years ago saw the birth of rhythm. 66 million years ago came the first melody. 40 thousand years ago Homo sapiens created the first musical instrument. Today music fills our lives. How we have created, performed and listened to this music throughout history has defined what our species is and how we understand who we are. Yet music is an overlooked part of our origin story. The Musical Human takes us on an exhilarating journey across the ages - from Bach to BTS and back - to explore the vibrant relationship between music and the human species. With insights from a wealth of disciplines, world-leading musicologist Michael Spitzer renders a global history of music on the widest possible canvas, looking at music in our everyday lives; music in world history; and music in evolution, from insects to apes, humans to AI. ISBN 9781526602787
  • Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, and one of The Observer's 'Thirty books to help us understand the world'. Are we really to blame for the climate crisis? Over 70 per cent of global emissions come from the same 100 organisations, but fossil-fuel companies have taken no responsibility themselves. Instead, they have waged a 30-year campaign to blame individuals. The result has been disastrous for our planet. In The New Climate War, renowned scientist Michael E. Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters - fossil-fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petro-states - and outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change. ISBN 9781914484551
  • The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize and The Quest reveals how climate battles and energy revolutions are mapping our futureA new type of Cold War is emerging between China and the West. . The global order is being simultaneously shaken by climate change and the shale revolution in oil and gas - and now by the coronavirus. Controversial fracking technology has given America unprecedented leverage as the world's leading energy powerhouse, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, upending the chessboard of global politics and changing the psychology of the global economy. Despite being weighed down by sanctions, Russia is pivoting east toward China as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping unite to challenge America and lay claim to almost all of the South China Sea, one of the world's most critical trade routes. Elsewhere, the map of the Middle East created after World War I is being attacked by ISIS and Iran's Revolutionary Guards as the region struggles to come to grips with the recent oil price collapse caused by the rise of shale. Oil producers, from the Middle East and Moscow to corporate boardrooms around the world, now fear that peak demand for oil is coming as renewable energy vies with fossil fuels. The New Map tells a sweeping story about how the role of energy in climate change is shaping geopolitical discussions, challenging our industries and our lifestyles, and accelerating a second energy revolution - the quest for renewables. It also brings realism to the debates over the energy transition. ISBN 9780241472347
  • In Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, the revolutionary, acclaimed book, radio series and podcast, bestselling economist Tim Harford introduced us to a selection of fifty radical inventions that changed the world. Now, in this new book, Harford once again brings us an array of remarkable, memorable, curious and often unexpected 'things' - inventions that teach us lessons by turns intimate and sweeping about the complex world economy we live in today. From the brick, blockchain and the bicycle to fire, the factory and fundraising, and from solar PV and the pencil to the postage stamp, this brilliant and enlightening collection resonates, fascinates and stimulates. It is a wonderful blend of insight and inspiration from one of Britain's finest non-fiction storytellers. ISBN 9780349144030
  • Discover the wonders of the Universe with this indispensable guide. The Night Sky is chock full of information explaining what, when and how to observe space and understanding the night sky. Not only accessible, but also invaluable, this is the perfect practical guide for both budding and seasoned astronomers, an easy introduction to astronomy and a useful resource for more experienced stargazers.
  • Every year, as darkness falls upon woodlands, the nightingale heralds the arrival of Spring. Throughout history, its sweet song has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world, from Germany, France and Italy to Greece, Ukraine and Korea. Here, passionate conservationist, renowned musician and folk expert Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. This book reveals in beautiful detail the bird's song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood. From Greek mythology to John Keats, to Persian poetry and 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square', Lee delves into the various ways we have celebrated the nightingale through traditions, folklore, music, literature, from ancient history to the present day. The Nightingale is a unique and lyrical portrait of a famed yet elusive songbird. 'Sam Lee has brought the poetic magic that has long enchanted so many of his musical fans into the written word. Allow yourself to glimpse the world Sam sees, to be part of his love affair with the nightingale, and you will no doubt be delighted.' LILY COLE 'A magical marriage of the lyrical and practical: a book that makes us want to seek out the nightingale and then reveals how we can.' TRISTAN GOOLEY
  • From the author of 'The Music of the Primes' and 'Finding Moonshine' comes a short, lively book on five mathematical problems that just refuse be solved - and on how many everyday problems can be solved by maths. Every time we download a song from Itunes, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our mobile phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. Maths may fail to provide answers to various of its own problems, but it can provide answers to problems that don't seem to be its own - how prime numbers are the key to Real Madrid's success, to secrets on the Internet and to the survival of insects in the forests of North America. In 'The Number Mysteries', Marcus du Sautoy explains how to fake a Jackson Pollock; how to work out whether or not the universe has a hole in the middle of it; how to make the world's roundest football. He shows us how to see shapes in four dimensions - and how maths makes you a better gambler. He tells us about the quest to predict the future - from the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to predicting population growth. It's a book to dip in to; a book to challenge and puzzle - and a book that gives us answers. ISBN 9780007309863
  • 'Some five years ago, I sought solace from the ways of the world by stepping into the embrace of an ancient oak tree... From the first meeting, there grew a strange sense of attachment I did not consciously recognise until I later began to realise the significance that trees, and oak trees especially, can have in our lives.' James Canton spent two years sitting with and studying the Honywood Oak. A colossus of a tree, it would have been a sapling when Magna Carta was signed. Initially visiting the tree for escape and solitude, in time he learns to study it more closely. He examines how our long-standing dependency on oak trees has developed and morphed into myth and legend. The Oak Papers is a stunning, meditative and healing book about the lessons we can learn from the natural world, if only we slow down enough to listen. ISBN 9781838851514
  • An acclaimed physicist's accessible yet rigorous introduction to quantum mechanics for nonspecialists. This is a rare and much-needed book: a concise but comprehensive account of quantum mechanics for popular science readers written by a respected physicist. Sam Treiman - who was internationally renowned for his work in particle physics - makes quantum mechanics accessible to nonspecialists. Combining mastery of the material with clear, elegant prose and infectious enthusiasm, he conveys the substance, methods, and profound oddities of the field. Treiman begins with an overview of quantum mechanics. He sketches the early development of the field by Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schroedinger, and others, and he makes clear how the quantum outlook flies in the face of common sense. As he explains, the quantum world is intrinsically probabilistic. For example, a particle is not in general in some particular place at a given instant, nor does it have a definite momentum. According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, there is a limit to how well both location and momentum can be specified simultaneously. In addition, particles can move through barriers and otherwise move in regions of space that are forbidden by classical mechanics. If a particle has a choice of different paths, it pursues all of them at once. Particles display wave-like characteristics and waves show particle-like characteristics. Treiman pays special attention to the more fundamental wave outlook and its expression in quantum field theory. He deals here with the remarkable fact that all the particles of a given species are strictly identical, and with the unnerving fact that particles can be created and destroyed. As Treiman introduces us to these and other wonders, he also touches - without resolution - on some of the deep philosophical problems of quantum mechanics, notably how probabilities become facts. Weaving together impeccable science, engaging writing, and a talent for clear explanation honed over Treiman's distinguished career as a physicist and teacher, The Odd Quantum is a remarkable survey of a field that changed the course of modern scientific and philosophical thought.
  • What is a dream? Why do we dream? How do our bodies and minds use dreams? These questions are the starting point for this unprecedented, astonishing study of the role and significance of dreams, from the beginning of human history. An investigation on the grand scale, encompassing literature, anthropology, religion, and science, it articulates the essential place dreams occupy in human culture, and how they functioned as the catalyst that compelled us to transform our earthly habitat into a human world. From the earliest cave paintings - where the author finds a key to humankind's first dreams, which contributed to our capacity to perceive past and future - to cutting-edge scientific research, Ribeiro arrives at startling and revolutionary conclusions about the role of dreams in human existence and evolution. He explores the advances that contemporary neuroscience, biochemistry and psychology have made into the connections between sleep, dreams, and learning, before revealing what dreams have taught us about the neural basis of memory and the transformation of memory in recall. And he makes clear that the earliest insight into dreams as oracular has been confirmed by contemporary research. Accessible, authoritative, and fascinating from first to last, The Oracle of Night gives us a wholly new way to understand this most basic of human experiences. ISBN 9781787633827
  • "A stunning blend of science, poetry, and philosophy. Rovelli unfurls the universe and how we experience time in a humourous, accessible way. Beautifully written, and at times quite poignant, this is a book for the curious. Plus he lets you skip the technical bits if you want!"Rebekah ISBN 9780141984964
  • From the renowned naturalist Stephen Moss, bestselling author of The Robin, The Wren and The Swan comes a new instalment in his beloved bird biography series. Uncover the secret life of owls through this beautiful guide to these secretive and charismatic birds. Owls are among the most mysterious birds in the world. Their hauntingly beautiful calls and mostly nocturnal habits have long captured our collective imagination, inspiring more superstitions, folktales and myths than any other group of birds. Seven species of owl - the tawny, little, barn, long-eared, short-eared, snowy and eagle owl - can be found in the British Isles (out of sixteen different kinds across Europe). They have lived alongside people for thousands of years, yet we still know so little about their day-to-day lives. Discover their fascinating lives, from the moment they first hatch, to the way they hunt their prey and how they raise the next generation. Explore the rich folklore they've inspired around the world and learn how, with a bit of luck, you can catch a glimpse of them yourself. With beautiful illustrations throughout, and expert birdwatching tips, this eye-opening biography reveals the hidden secrets of one of the world's most famous and beloved birds.
  • In THE PAPER LANTERN, a single speaker charts and interrogates the shifts in mood and understanding that have defined a surreal, transformative period in both his own history and that of the surrounding area. Set in a shuttered pub - The Paper Lantern - in a village in the very middle of the country adjacent to the Chequers estate, the narrator embarks on a series of walks in the Chiltern Hills, which become the landscape for evocations of a past scarred with trauma and a present lacking compass. From local raves in secret valleys and the history of landmarks such as Halton House, to the fallout of the lockdown period, climate change and capitalism, THE PAPER LANTERN creates a tangible, lived-in, complicated rendering of a place. 'Will Burns is a soulful English poet of the kind we don't make enough of' MAX PORTER 'Hugely affecting and timely' LUKE TURNER 'A boldly struck chord, one that contains many of the dissonances, but also the harmonies, found in England today' CHRIS POWER ISBN 9781474624657
  • Why can humans alone invent? In this book, psychologist and world renowned autism expert Simon Baron-Cohen puts forward a bold new theory: because we can identify patterns, specifically if-and-then patterns. Baron-Cohen argues that the genes for this unique ability overlap with the genes for autism and have driven human progress for 70,000 years. From the first musical instruments to the agricultural, industrial, and digital revolutions, Pattern Seekers links one of our greatest human strengths with a condition that is so often misunderstood and challenges us to think differently about those who think differently. ISBN 9780141982397
  • The unique, moving and heartwarming true story of an unlikely friendship which captured imaginations around the world. Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. What he doesn't need is a pet. What he really doesn't need is a pet penguin. ISBN 9781405921800

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