ABOUT THE SOCIAL SCIENCE PLAYLIST

Browse our playlists below to listen to our team’s top picks for the year so far. We will be curating more playlists for you so that you can listen to your favorite authors with ease and on any device of your choosing. Stay tuned for more playlists coming your way!

BROWSE THE SOCIAL SCIENCE PLAYLIST

Buy 90s Bitch

To understand how we got here, we have rewind the VHS tape. 90s Bitch tells the real story of women and girls in the 1990s, exploring how they were maligned by the media, vilified by popular culture, and objectified in the marketplace. Trailblazing women like Hillary Clinton, Anita Hill, Marcia Clark, and Roseanne Barr were undermined. Newsmakers like Monica Lewinsky, Tonya Harding, and Lorena Bobbitt were shamed and misunderstood. The advent of the 24-hour news cycle reinforced society’s deeply entrenched sexism. Meanwhile, marketers hijacked feminism and poisoned girlhood for a generation of young women.

Today, there are echoes of 90s “bitchification” nearly everywhere we look. To understand why, we must revisit and interrogate the 1990s—a decade in which female empowerment was twisted into objectification, exploitation, and subjugation.

Yarrow’s thoughtful, juicy, and timely examination is a must-read for anyone trying to understand 21st century sexism and end it for the next generation

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Buy The Age of AI

Three of our most accomplished and deep thinkers come together to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the way it is transforming human society—and what it means for us all.

An AI learned to win chess by making moves human grand masters had never conceived. Another AI discovered a new antibiotic by analyzing molecular properties human scientists did not understand. Now, AI-powered jets are defeating experienced human pilots in simulated dogfights. AI is coming online in searching, streaming, medicine, education, and many other fields and, in so doing, transforming how humans are experiencing reality.

In The Age of AI, three leading thinkers have come together to consider how AI will change our relationships with knowledge, politics, and the societies in which we live. The Age of AI is an essential roadmap to our present and our future, an era unlike any that has come before.

 

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Buy Shutdown

Deftly weaving finance, politics, business, and the global human experience into one tight narrative, a tour-de-force account of 2020, the year that changed everything–from the acclaimed author of Crashed.

The shocks of 2020 have been great and small, disrupting the world economy, international relations and the daily lives of virtually everyone on the planet. Never before has the entire world economy contracted by 20 percent in a matter of weeks nor in the historic record of modern capitalism has there been a moment in which 95 percent of the world’s economies were suffering all at the same time. Across the world hundreds of millions have lost their jobs. And over it all looms the specter of pandemic, and death.

Adam Tooze, whose last book was universally lauded for guiding us coherently through the chaos of the 2008 crash, now brings his bravura analytical and narrative skills to a panoramic and synthetic overview of our current crisis. By focusing on finance and business, he sets the pandemic story in a frame that casts a sobering new light on how unprepared the world was to fight the crisis, and how deep the ruptures in our way of living and doing business are. The virus has attacked the economy with as much ferocity as it has our health, and there is no vaccine arriving to address that.

Tooze’s special gift is to show how social organization, political interests, and economic policy interact with devastating human consequences, from your local hospital to the World Bank. He moves fluidly from the impact of currency fluctuations to the decimation of institutions–such as health-care systems, schools, and social services–in the name of efficiency. He starkly analyzes what happened when the pandemic collided with domestic politics (China’s party conferences; the American elections), what the unintended consequences of the vaccine race might be, and the role climate change played in the pandemic. Finally, he proves how no unilateral declaration of ‘independence” or isolation can extricate any modern country from the global web of travel, goods, services, and finance.

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Buy System Error

A forward-thinking manifesto from three Stanford professors—experts who have worked at ground zero of the tech revolution for decades—which reveals how big tech’s obsession with optimization and efficiency has sacrificed fundamental human values and outlines steps we can take to change course, renew our democracy, and save ourselves.

In no more than the blink of an eye, a naïve optimism about technology’s liberating potential has given way to a dystopian obsession with biased algorithms, surveillance capitalism, and job-displacing robots. Yet too few of us see any alternative to accepting the onward march of technology. We have simply accepted a technological future designed for us by technologists, the venture capitalists who fund them, and the politicians who give them free rein.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

System Error exposes the root of our current predicament: how big tech’s relentless focus on optimization is driving a future that reinforces discrimination, erodes privacy, displaces workers, and pollutes the information we get. This optimization mindset substitutes what companies care about for the values that we as a democratic society might choose to prioritize. Well-intentioned optimizers fail to measure all that is meaningful and, when their creative disruptions achieve great scale, they impose their values upon the rest of us.

Armed with an understanding of how technologists think and exercise their power, three Stanford professors—a philosopher working at the intersection of tech and ethics, a political scientist who served under Obama, and the director of the undergraduate Computer Science program at Stanford (also an early Google engineer)—reveal how we can hold that power to account.

Troubled by the values that permeate the university’s student body and its culture, they worked together to chart a new path forward, creating a popular course to transform how tomorrow’s technologists approach their profession. Now, as the dominance of big tech becomes an explosive societal conundrum, they share their provocative insights and concrete solutions to help everyone understand what is happening, what is at stake, and what we can do to control technology instead of letting it control us.

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Buy The Wires of War

From the former news policy lead at Google, an urgent and groundbreaking account of the high-stakes global cyberwar brewing between Western democracies and the autocracies of China and Russia that could potentially crush democracy.

From 2016 to 2020, Jacob Helberg led Google’s global internal product policy efforts to combat disinformation and foreign interference. During this time, he found himself in the midst of what can only be described as a quickly escalating two-front technology cold war between democracy and autocracy.

On the front-end, we’re fighting to control the software—applications, news information, social media platforms, and more—of what we see on the screens of our computers, tablets, and phones, a clash which started out primarily with Russia but now increasingly includes China and Iran. Even more ominously, we’re also engaged in a hidden back-end battle—largely with China—to control the Internet’s hardware, which includes devices like cellular phones, satellites, fiber-optic cables, and 5G networks.

This tech-fueled war will shape the world’s balance of power for the coming century as autocracies exploit twenty-first-century methods to re-divide the world into twentieth century-style spheres of influence. Helberg cautions that the spoils of this fight are power over every meaningful aspect of our lives, including our economy, our infrastructure, our national security, and ultimately, our national sovereignty. Without a firm partnership with the government, Silicon Valley is unable to protect democracy from the autocrats looking to sabotage it from Beijing to Moscow and Tehran. The stakes of the ongoing cyberwar are no less than our nation’s capacity to chart its own future, the freedom of our democratic allies, and even the ability of each of us to control our own fates, Helberg says. And time is quickly running out.

 

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Buy Data Feminism

Today, data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate, police, and surveil. This potential for good, on the one hand, and harm, on the other, makes it essential to ask: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? The narratives around big data and data science are overwhelmingly white, male, and techno-heroic. In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics—one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought.

Illustrating data feminism in action, D’Ignazio and Klein show how challenges to the male/female binary can help challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems. They explain how, for example, an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization, and how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems. And they show why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.”

Data Feminism offers strategies for data scientists seeking to learn how feminism can help them work toward justice, and for feminists who want to focus their efforts on the growing field of data science.

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Buy The Wizard and the Prophet

From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493–an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow’s world.

In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups–Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces–food, water, energy, climate change–grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author’s insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.

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Buy This Is Your Mind on Plants

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, a radical challenge to how we think about drugs, and an exploration into the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants—and the equally powerful taboos.

Of all the things humans rely on plants for—sustenance, beauty, medicine, fragrance, flavor, fiber—surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Take coffee and tea: People around the world rely on caffeine to sharpen their minds. But we do not usually think of caffeine as a drug, or our daily use as an addiction, because it is legal and socially acceptable. So, then, what is a “drug”? And why, for example, is making tea from the leaves of a tea plant acceptable, but making tea from a seed head of an opium poppy a federal crime?

In This Is Your Mind on Plants, Michael Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—and throws the fundamental strangeness, and arbitrariness, of our thinking about them into sharp relief. Exploring and participating in the cultures that have grown up around these drugs while consuming (or, in the case of caffeine, trying not to consume) them, Pollan reckons with the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants. Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?

In this unique blend of history, science, and memoir, as well as participatory journalism, Pollan examines and experiences these plants from several very different angles and contexts, and shines a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively—as a drug, whether licit or illicit. But that is one of the least interesting things you can say about these plants, Pollan shows, for when we take them into our bodies and let them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can. Based in part on an essay published almost twenty-five years ago, this groundbreaking and singular consideration of psychoactive plants, and our attraction to them through time, holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds, and our entanglement with the natural world.

 

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Buy Cultish : The Language of Fanaticism

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power.

What makes “cults” so intriguing and frightening? What makes them powerful? The reason why so many of us binge Manson documentaries by the dozen and fall down rabbit holes researching suburban moms gone QAnon is because we’re looking for a satisfying explanation for what causes people to join—and more importantly, stay in—extreme groups. We secretly want to know: could it happen to me? Amanda Montell’s argument is that, on some level, it already has . . .

Our culture tends to provide pretty flimsy answers to questions of cult influence, mostly having to do with vague talk of “brainwashing.” But the true answer has nothing to do with freaky mind-control wizardry or Kool-Aid. In Cultish, Montell argues that the key to manufacturing intense ideology, community, and us/them attitudes all comes down to language. In both positive ways and shadowy ones, cultish language is something we hear—and are influenced by—every single day.  

Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities “cultish,” revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven’s Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of “cultish” everywhere.

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Buy Rez Rules : My Indictment of Canada's and America's Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

A common-sense blueprint for what the future of First Nations should look like as told through the fascinating life and legacy of a remarkable leader.

In 1984, at the age of twenty-four, Clarence Louie was elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in the Okanagan Valley. Nineteen elections later, Chief Louie has led his community for nearly four decades. The story of how the Osoyoos Indian Band—“The Miracle in the Desert”—transformed from a Rez that once struggled with poverty into an economically independent people is well-known. Guided by his years growing up on the Rez, Chief Louie believes that economic and business independence are key to self-sufficiency, reconciliation, and justice for First Nations people.

 

In Rez Rules, Chief Louie writes about his youth in Osoyoos, from early mornings working  in the vineyards, to playing and coaching sports, and attending a largely white school in Oliver, B.C. He remembers enrolling in the “Native American Studies” program at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College in 1979 and falling in love with First Nations history. Learning about the historic significance of treaties was life-changing. He recalls his first involvement in activism: participating in a treaty bundle run across the country before embarking on a path of leadership. He and his band have worked hard to achieve economic growth and record levels of employment. Inspired by his ancestors’ working culture, and by the young people on the reserve, Chief Louie continues to work for First Nations’ self-sufficiency and independence.

Direct and passionate, Chief Louie brings together wide-ranging subjects: life on the Rez, including Rez language and humour; per capita payments; the role of elected chiefs; the devastating impact of residential schools; the need to look to culture and ceremony for governance and guidance; the use of Indigenous names and logos by professional sports teams; his love for motorcycle honour rides; and what makes a good leader. He takes aim at systemic racism and examines the relationship between First Nations and colonial Canada and the United States, and sounds a call to action for First Nations to “Indian Up!” and “never forget our past.” Offering leadership lessons on and off the Rez, this memoir describes the fascinating life and legacy of a remarkable leader and provides a common-sense blueprint for the future of First Nations communities. In it, Chief Louie writes, “Damn, I’m lucky to be an Indian!”

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Buy The 9.9 Percent : The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality and Warping Our Culture

A scorching, trenchant analysis of how the wealthiest group in American society is making life miserable for everyone—including themselves.

In 21st century America, the top 0.1% of the wealth distribution have walked away with the big prizes even while the bottom 90% have lost ground. What’s left of the American Dream has taken refuge in the 9.9% that lies just below the tip of extreme wealth. Collectively, the members of this group control more than half of the wealth in the country—and they are doing whatever it takes to hang on to their piece of the action in an increasingly unjust system.

They log insane hours at the office and then turn their leisure time into an excuse for more career-building, even as they rely on an underpaid servant class to power their economic success and satisfy their personal needs. They have segregated themselves into zip codes designed to exclude as many people as possible. They have made fitness a national obsession even as swaths of the population lose healthcare and grow sicker. They have created an unprecedented demand for admission to elite schools and helped to fuel the dramatic cost of higher education. They channel their political energy into symbolic conflicts over identity in order to avoid acknowledging the economic roots of their privilege. And they have created an ethos of “merit” to justify their advantages. They are all around us. In fact, they are us—or what we are supposed to want to be.

In The 9.9 Percent, Matthew Stewart argues that a new aristocracy is emerging in American society and it is repeating the mistakes of history. It is entrenching inequality, warping our culture, eroding democracy, and transforming an abundant economy into a source of misery. He calls for a regrounding of American culture and politics on a foundation closer to the original promise of America.

 

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Buy Back to Earth : What Life in Space Taught Me About Our Home Planet—And Our Mission to Protect It

Inspired by insights gained in spaceflight, a NASA astronaut offers key lessons to empower Earthbound readers to fight climate change

When Nicole Stott first saw Earth from space, she realized how interconnected we are and knew she had to help protect our planetary home.

In Back to Earth, Stott imparts essential lessons in problem-solving, survival, and crisis response that each of us can practice to make change. She knows we can overcome differences to address global issues, because she saw this every day on the International Space Station. Stott shares stories from her spaceflight and insights from scientists, activists, and changemakers working to solve our greatest environmental challenges. She learns about the complexities of Earth’s biodiversity from NASA engineers working to enable life in space and from scientists protecting life on Earth for future generations. Ultimately, Stott reveals how we each have the power to respect our planetary home and one another by living our lives like crewmates, not passengers, on an inspiring shared mission.

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Buy How to Innovate

What we can learn about fostering innovation and creative thinking from some of the most inventive people of all times—the ancient Greeks.

When it comes to innovation and creative thinking, we are still catching up with the ancient Greeks. Between 800 and 300 BCE, they changed the world with astonishing inventions—democracy, the alphabet, philosophy, logic, rhetoric, mathematical proof, rational medicine, coins, architectural canons, drama, lifelike sculpture, and competitive athletics. None of this happened by accident. Recognizing the power of the new and trying to understand and promote the conditions that make it possible, the Greeks were the first to write about innovation and even the first to record a word for forging something new. In short, the Greeks “invented” innovation itself—and they still have a great deal to teach us about it.

How to Innovate is an engaging and entertaining introduction to key ideas about—and examples of—innovation and creative thinking from ancient Greece. Armand D’Angour provides lively new translations of selections from Aristotle, Diodorus, and Athenaeus. These writings illuminate and illustrate timeless principles of creating something new—borrowing or adapting existing ideas or things, cross-fertilizing disparate elements, or criticizing and disrupting current conditions.

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Buy Big Data

A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?

The key to answering these questions, and many more, is big data. “Big data” refers to our burgeoning ability to crunch vast collections of information, analyze it instantly, and draw sometimes profoundly surprising conclusions from it. This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena—from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books—into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior.

In this brilliantly clear, often surprising work, two leading experts explain what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards. Big Data is the first big book about the next big thing.

 

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Buy A Curious History of Sex

The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that stigmatize particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue around the world. Attitudes will change and grow—hopefully for the better—but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it has come from.

Based on the popular research project Whores of Yore, and written with her distinctive humor and wit, A Curious History of Sex draws upon Dr Kate Lister’s extensive knowledge of sex history. From medieval impotence tests to twentieth-century testicle thefts, from the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, to modern-day sex doll brothels, Kate unashamedly roots around in the pants of history, debunking myths, challenging stereotypes and generally getting her hands dirty.

You will laugh, you will wince and you will wonder just how much has actually changed.

Contains mature themes.

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Buy The Fire Next Time

At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.

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Buy Courage Is Calling

The instant New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller!

Ryan Holiday’s bestselling trilogy—The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and Stillness is the Key—captivated professional athletes, CEOs, politicians, and entrepreneurs and helped bring Stoicism to millions of readers. Now, in the first book of an exciting new series on the cardinal virtues of ancient philosophy, Holiday explores the most foundational virtue of all: Courage.

Almost every religion, spiritual practice, philosophy and person grapples with fear. The most repeated phrase in the Bible is “Be not afraid.” The ancient Greeks spoke of phobos, panic and terror. It is natural to feel fear, the Stoics believed, but it cannot rule you. Courage, then, is the ability to rise above fear, to do what’s right, to do what’s needed, to do what is true. And so it rests at the heart of the works of Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, and CS Lewis, alongside temperance, justice, and wisdom.
 
In Courage Is Calling, Ryan Holiday breaks down the elements of fear, an expression of cowardice, the elements of courage, an expression of bravery, and lastly, the elements of heroism, an expression of valor. Through engaging stories about historic and contemporary leaders, including Charles De Gaulle, Florence Nightingale, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Holiday shows you how to conquer fear and practice courage in your daily life.
 
You’ll also delve deep into the moral dilemmas and courageous acts of lesser-known, but equally as important, figures from ancient and modern history, such as Helvidius Priscus, a Roman Senator who stood his ground against emperor Vespasian, even in the face of death; Frank Serpico, a former New York City Police Department Detective who exposed police corruption; and Frederick Douglass and a slave named Nelly, whose fierce resistance against her captors inspired his own crusade to end slavery.
 
In a world in which fear runs rampant—when people would rather stand on the sidelines than speak out against injustice, go along with convention than bet on themselves, and turn a blind eye to the ugly realities of modern life—we need courage more than ever. We need the courage of whistleblowers and risk takers. We need the courage of activists and adventurers. We need the courage of writers who speak the truth—and the courage of leaders to listen.
 
We need you to step into the arena and fight.

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Buy Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes

So what ARE you getting into, if you choose to buy this book? Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes is my latest and timely essay collection! We’ve all been through a trying time, which is why I wrote something to make you laugh until you pee a little, feel until you want to rage a little, and think until you go back to laughing a little. That means telling you about the embarrassing accident that happened while quarantining with my boyfriend, the ways Black Lives Matter and performative allyship have taken center stage, my mom begrudgingly leaving her house so she could meet Michelle Obama, my decision to not have kids, and everything I’ve learned from running multiple companies (Pro tip: Always have a wig on standby for impromptu Zoom meetings).
 
No pressure, but by clicking “buy” right now, you get all the laughs I drummed up, and you get to read the first book from my new imprint, Tiny Reparations Books.

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Buy A Brief History of a Perfect Future

A Brief History of a Perfect Future

What if, instead of trying to predict the future, we could just pick the one we want—and then invent it? Well, we can.

Think of the wealth of technological resources already available to us. The computing power in that smartphone in your pocket could have guided 120 million Apollo-era spacecraft to the moon and back. A gigabyte of memory cost $300,000 in the 1980s—today, it costs a fraction of a penny. Now, try to imagine 2050, when your computing devices will be a million times more powerful or available at one-millionth of today’s prices.

In this deeply researched and compelling book, the authors do the imagining for you, describing seven so-incredible-as- to-be-almost-magical capabilities that will be available by 2050 in computing, communication, information, genomics, energy, water, and transportation. You may finally get that flying car, have ample water even in a desert, and be treated for disease through microscopic robots in your bloodstream.

Drawing on their decades of experience helping major organizations formulate strategies for innovation, the authors demonstrate how to use combinations of those seven capabilities to imagine “perfect” futures, whether that means reversing climate change, resolving today’s disinformation crisis, or living 20 years longer. This book paints visions of how the world could—and should—look as we pass the planet on to future generations.

We can use those visions to start inventing a perfect future—today.

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Buy Stride Toward Freedom

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s account of the first successful large-scale application of nonviolent resistance in America is comprehensive, revelatory, and intimate. King described his book as “the chronicle of 50,000 Negroes who took to heart the principles of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth.” Stride Toward Freedom traces the phenomenal journey of a community and shows how the twenty-six-year-old King, with his conviction for equality and nonviolence, helped transform the nation and the world.

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Buy Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Issues Challenge Literally Everyone

In today’s connected world, everyone benefits from cybersecurity

Cyberattacks are an evolving danger to organizations, employees, and consumers. They may be designed to access or destroy sensitive data, extort money or even put your family at risk.

At an individual level, a cybersecurity attack can result in everything from identity theft to extortion attempts, to the loss of important data like family photos.

However, there are simple things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your work. In fact, it’s easier than you think and you don’t need to be a cybersecurity specialist or techie. By the end of this book, you will understand cyber security issues and how to combat them even if you have a non-technical background.

Here is just a tiny fraction of what you will discover:

  • Why do people still fall for phishing scams
  • Protect your reputation and your website
  • Avoid having your personal or families data stolen
  • How hackers are blackmailing for money and how to avoid being a victim
  • How businesses are affected by cybersecurity dangers
  • Encrypt sensitive business data so that it is unreadable without the use of an encryption key and/or password
  • Secure online transactions
  • Managing risks and identifying the level of protection required
  • Responding to a cybersecurity incident
  • How thieves steal millions from ATMs and how to stay safe 
  • Staying up to date cybersecurity threats

Cyber threats are ever-evolving, save yourself the time and stress by avoiding being the next cyber victim. 

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Buy Internet Culture

Memes are often considered silly and trivial, but as we’ve seen in recent years, they can have a profound impact on the way we consume culture. Listen in as Wisecrack breaks down all things memes from the origins of the phrase “OK Boomer,” to storming Area 51 in this curated collection, available for the first time in audio.

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Buy World Travel

A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain saw more of the world than nearly anyone. His travels took him from the hidden pockets of his hometown of New York to a tribal longhouse in Borneo, from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, Paris, and Shanghai to Tanzania’s utter beauty and the stunning desert solitude of Oman’s Empty Quarter—and many places beyond.

In World Travel, a life of experience is collected into an entertaining, practical, fun and frank travel guide that gives readers an introduction to some of his favorite places—in his own words. Featuring essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid, World Travel provides essential context that will help readers further appreciate the reasons why Bourdain found a place enchanting and memorable.

Supplementing Bourdain’s words are a handful of essays by friends, colleagues, and family that tell even deeper stories about a place, including sardonic accounts of traveling with Bourdain by his brother, Christopher; a guide to Chicago’s best cheap eats by legendary music producer Steve Albini.

For veteran travelers, armchair enthusiasts, and those in between, World Travel offers a chance to experience the world like Anthony Bourdain.

 

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Buy The Book of Hope

Looking at the headlines—the worsening climate crisis, a global pandemic, loss of biodiversity, political upheaval—it can be hard to feel optimistic. And yet hope has never been more desperately needed.

In this urgent audiobook, Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous living naturalist, and Douglas Abrams, the internationally bestselling co-author of The Book of Joy, explore through intimate and thought-provoking dialogue one of the most sought after and least understood elements of human nature: hope. In The Book of Hope, Jane focuses on her “Four Reasons for Hope”: The Amazing Human Intellect, The Resilience of Nature, The Power of Young People, and The Indomitable Human Spirit.

Drawing on decades of work that has helped expand our understanding of what it means to be human and what we all need to do to help build a better world, The Book of Hope touches on vital questions, including: How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless? How do we cultivate hope in our children? What is the relationship between hope and action? Filled with moving and inspirational stories and photographs from Jane’s remarkable career, The Book of Hope is a deeply personal conversation with one of the most beloved figures in the world today.

While discussing the experiences that shaped her discoveries and beliefs, Jane tells the story of how she became a messenger of hope, from living through World War II to her years in Gombe to realizing she had to leave the forest to travel the world in her role as an advocate for environmental justice. And for the first time, she shares her profound revelations about her next, and perhaps final, adventure.

The second audiobook in the Global Icons Series—which launched with the instant classic The Book of Joy with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu—The Book of Hope is a rare and intimate look not only at the nature of hope but also into the heart and mind of a woman who revolutionized how we view the world around us and has spent a lifetime fighting for our future.

There is still hope, and this book will help guide us to it.

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Buy Tech Panic

From award-winning journalist and author of the “methodical, earnest, and insightful” (The Guardian) Panic Attack, an examination of recent kneejerk calls to regulate Big Tech from both sides of the aisle.

Not so long ago, we embraced social media as a life-changing opportunity to connect with friends and family all across the globe. Today, the pendulum of public opinion is swinging in the opposite direction as Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, and similar sites are being accused of corrupting our democracy, spreading disinformation, and fanning the flames of hatred. We once marveled at the revolutionary convenience of ordering items online and having them show up on our doorsteps, sometimes overnight. Now we fret about Amazon outsourcing our jobs overseas, or building robots to do them for us.

Here, with insightful analysis and in-depth research, Robby Soave explores some of the biggest issues animating both the right and the left: bias, censorship, disinformation, privacy, screen addiction, crime, and more. Far from polemical, Tech Panic is grounded in interviews with insiders at companies like Facebook and Twitter, as well as expert analysis by both tech boosters and skeptics—from Mark Zuckerberg to Josh Hawley. Readers will learn not just about the consequences of Big Tech, but also the consequences of altering the ecosystem that allowed tech to get big. Offering a fresh and crucial perspective on one of the biggest influences of the 21st century, Robby Soave seeks to stand athwart history and yell, Wait, are we sure we really want to do this?

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Buy Thinking Better

One of the world’s great mathematicians shows why math is the ultimate timesaver—and how everyone can make their lives easier with a few simple shortcuts.

We are often told that hard work is the key to success. But success isn’t about hard work – it’s about shortcuts. Shortcuts allow us to solve one problem quickly so that we can tackle an even bigger one. They make us capable of doing great things. And according to Marcus du Sautoy, math is the very art of the shortcut.

Thinking Better is a celebration of how math lets us do more with less. Du Sautoy explores how diagramming revolutionized therapy, why calculus is the greatest shortcut ever invented, whether you must really practice for ten thousand hours to become a concert violinist, and why shortcuts give us an advantage over even the most powerful AI. Throughout, we meet artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs who use mathematical shortcuts to change the world.

Delightful, illuminating, and above all practical, Thinking Better is for anyone who has wondered why you should waste time climbing the mountain when you could go around it much faster.

 

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Buy Kill All Normies

Recent years have seen a revival of the heated culture wars of the 1990s, but this time its battle ground is the internet. On one side the alt right ranges from the once obscure neo-reactionary and white separatist movements, to geeky subcultures like 4chan, to more mainstream manifestations such as the Trump-supporting gay libertarian Milo Yiannopolous. On the other side, a culture of struggle sessions and virtue signalling lurks behind a therapeutic language of trigger warnings and safe spaces. The feminist side of the online culture wars has its equally geeky subcultures right through to its mainstream expression. Kill All Normies explores some of the cultural genealogies and past parallels of these styles and subcultures, drawing from transgressive styles of 60s libertinism and conservative movements, to make the case for a rejection of the perpetual cultural turn.

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Buy Girly Drinks

From Los Angeles Times bestselling author Mallory O’Meara comes a lively and engrossing feminist history of women drinking through the ages

Strawberry daiquiris. Skinny martinis. Vodka sodas with lime. These are the cocktails that come in sleek-stemmed glasses, bright colors and fruity flavors—these are the Girly Drinks.

From the earliest days of civilization, alcohol has been at the center of social rituals and cultures worldwide. But when exactly did drinking become a gendered act? And why have bars long been considered “places for men” when, without women, they might not even exist?

With whip-smart insight and boundless curiosity, Girly Drinks unveils an entire untold history of the female distillers, drinkers and brewers who have played a vital role in the creation and consumption of alcohol, from ancient Sumerian beer goddess Ninkasi to iconic 1920s bartender Ada Coleman. Filling a crucial gap in culinary history, O’Meara dismantles the long-standing patriarchal traditions at the heart of these very drinking cultures, in the hope that readers everywhere can look to each celebrated woman in this book—and proudly have what she’s having.

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Buy Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now is a timely call-to-arms from a Silicon Valley pioneer.

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. In his important new audiobook, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms behind before it’s too late.

Lanier’s reasons for freeing ourselves from social media’s poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more “connected” than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the “benefits” of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom?

Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us towarda richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

 

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Buy The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called “surveillance capitalism,” and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.

Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new “behavioral futures markets,” where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new “means of behavioral modification.”

The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a “Big Other” operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff’s comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled “hive” of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit — at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future.

With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future — if we let it.

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Buy Work Without the Worker

An accessible analysis of the new forms of work whose seismic changes will increasingly determine the future of capitalism

Automation and the decline in industrial employment have lead to rising fears of a workless future. But what happens when your work itself is the thing that will make your job obsolete?

In the past few years, online crowdworking platforms—like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Clickworker—have become an increasingly important source of work, particularly for those in the Global South. Here, small tasks are assigned to people online, and are often used to train algorithms to spot patterns, patterns through machine learning those same algorithms will then be able to spot more effectively than humans. Used for everything from the mechanics of self-driving cars to Google image search, this is an increasingly powerful part of the digital economy. But what happens to work when it makes itself obsolete. In this stimulating work that blends political economy, studies of contemporary work, and speculations on the future of capitalism, Phil Jones looks at what this often murky and hidden form of labor looks like, and what it says about the state of global capitalism.

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Buy Brotopia

Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world. Unless you’re a woman.

It’s time to break up the boys’ club. Incisive, powerful, and a fierce rallying cry, Emily Chang shows us how to fix Silicon Valley’s toxic culture–to bring down Brotopia, once and for all.

Silicon Valley is not a fantasyland of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops for women in tech. Instead, it’s a “Brotopia,” where men hold the cards and make the rules. While millions of dollars may seem to grow on trees in this land of innovation, tech’s aggressive, misogynistic, work-at-all costs culture has shut women out of the greatest wealth creation in the history of the world.

Brotopia reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures even as its companies claim the moral high ground, and how women are speaking out and fighting back. Drawing on her deep network of Silicon Valley insiders, Chang opens the boardroom doors of male-dominated venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, the subject of Ellen Pao’s high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, and Sequoia, where a partner once famously said they “won’t lower their standards” just to hire women. Exposing the flawed logic in common excuses for why tech has long suffered the “pipeline” problem and invests in the delusion of meritocracy, Brotopia also shows how bias coded into AI, internet troll culture, and the reliance on pattern recognition harms not just women in tech but us all, and at unprecedented scale.

 

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Buy Press Reset

From the bestselling author of Blood, Sweat, and Pixels comes the next definitive, behind-the-scenes account of the video game industry: how some of the past decade’s most renowned studios fell apart—and the stories, both triumphant and tragic, of what happened next.

Jason Schreier’s groundbreaking reporting has earned him a place among the preeminent investigative journalists covering the world of video games. In his eagerly anticipated, deeply researched new book, Schreier trains his investigative eye on the volatility of the video game industry and the resilience of the people who work in it.

The business of videogames is both a prestige industry and an opaque one. Based on dozens of first-hand interviews that cover the development of landmark games—Bioshock Infinite, Epic Mickey, Dead Space, and more—on to the shocking closures of the studios that made them, Press Reset tells the stories of how real people are affected by game studio shutdowns, and how they recover, move on, or escape the industry entirely.

Schreier’s insider interviews cover hostile takeovers, abusive bosses, corporate drama, bounced checks, and that one time the Boston Red Sox’s Curt Schilling decided he was going to lead a game studio that would take out World of Warcraft. Along the way, he asks pressing questions about why, when the video game industry is more successful than ever, it’s become so hard to make a stable living making video games—and whether the business of making games can change before it’s too late.

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Buy Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

A humorous and rousing set of literal and figurative sojourns as well as a mission statement about comprehending, protecting, and truly experiencing the outdoors, fueled by three journeys undertaken by actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman has always felt a particular affection for the Land of the Free—not just for the people and their purported ideals but to the actual land itself: the bedrock, the topsoil, and everything in between that generates the health of your local watershed. In his new book, Nick takes a humorous, inspiring, and elucidating trip to America’s trails, farms, and frontier to examine the people who inhabit the land, what that has meant to them and us, and to the land itself, both historically and currently.  

In 2018, Wendell Berry posed a question to Nick, a query that planted the seed of this book, sending Nick on two memorable journeys with pals—a hiking trip to Glacier National Park with his friends Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders, as well as an extended visit to his friend James Rebanks, the author of The Shepherd’s Life and English Pastoral. He followed that up with an excursion that could only have come about in 2020—Nick and his wife, Megan Mullally, bought an Airstream trailer to drive across (several of) the United States. These three quests inspired some “deep-ish” thinking from Nick, about the history and philosophy of our relationship with nature in our national parks, in our farming, and in our backyards; what we mean when we talk about conservation; and the importance of outdoor recreation, all subjects very close to Nick’s heart. 

With witty, heartwarming stories and a keen insight into the human problems we all confront, this is both a ramble through and celebration of the land we all love.

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Buy Technology vs. Truth : Deception in the Digital Age

In the digital age, information, both true and false, spreads faster than ever. The same technology that provides access to data across the globe can abet the warping of truth and normalization of lies. In this audiobook, we examine the intersection of truth, untruth, and technology, including how social media manipulates behavior, technologies such as deepfakes that spread misinformation, the bias inherent in algorithms, and more.

 

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Buy How to Change Your Mind

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into the experience of various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both struggle and beauty, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

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Buy We Should All Be Feminists

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The highly acclaimed, provocative essay on feminism and sexual politics—from the award-winning author of Americanah

In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from the much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now—and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

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Buy Move Fast and Break Things

The book that started the Techlash.

A stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the Internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and that proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age.

Move Fast and Break Things is the riveting account of a small group of libertarian entrepreneurs who in the 1990s began to hijack the original decentralized vision of the Internet, in the process creating three monopoly firms — Facebook, Amazon, and Google — that now determine the future of the music, film, television, publishing and news industries.

Jonathan Taplin offers a succinct and powerful history of how online life began to be shaped around the values of the men who founded these companies, including Peter Thiel and Larry Page: overlooking piracy of books, music, and film while hiding behind opaque business practices and subordinating the privacy of individual users in order to create the surveillance-marketing monoculture in which we now live.

The enormous profits that have come with this concentration of power tell their own story. Since 2001, newspaper and music revenues have fallen by 70 percent; book publishing, film, and television profits have also fallen dramatically. Revenues at Google in this same period grew from $400 million to $74.5 billion. Today, Google’s YouTube controls 60 percent of all streaming-audio business but pay for only 11 percent of the total streaming-audio revenues artists receive. More creative content is being consumed than ever before, but less revenue is flowing to the creators and owners of that content.

The stakes here go far beyond the livelihood of any one musician or journalist. As Taplin observes, the fact that more and more Americans receive their news, as well as music and other forms of entertainment, from a small group of companies poses a real threat to democracy.

Move Fast and Break Things offers a vital, forward-thinking prescription for how artists can reclaim their audiences using knowledge of the past and a determination to work together. Using his own half-century career as a music and film producer and early pioneer of streaming video online, Taplin offers new ways to think about the design of the World Wide Web and specifically the way we live with the firms that dominate it.

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Buy The Year of Magical Thinking

Didion’s journalistic skills are displayed as never before in this story of a year in her life that began with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband unexpectedly dead due to a heart attack.

This powerful and moving work is Didion’s “attempt to make sense of the weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness, about marriage and children and memory, about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”

With vulnerability and passion, Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience of love and loss. The Year Of Magical Thinking will speak directly to anyone who has ever loved a husband, wife, or child.

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Buy Bad Feminist

From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better, coming from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics.

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