New Book Highlights

The Age of Living Machines

A century ago, discoveries in physics came together with engineering to produce an array of astonishing new technologies: radios, telephones, televisions, aircraft, radar, nuclear power, computers, the Internet, and a host of still-evolving digital tools. These technologies so radically reshaped our world that we can no longer conceive of life without them.Today, the world's population is projected to rise to well over 9.5 billion by 2050, and we are currently faced with the consequences of producing the energy that fuels, heats, and cools us. With temperatures and sea levels rising, and large portions of the globe plagued with drought, famine, and drug-resistant diseases, we need new technologies to tackle these problems.But we are on the cusp of a new convergence, argues world-renowned neuroscientist Susan Hockfield, with discoveries in biology coming together with engineering to produce another array of almost inconceivable technologies--next-generation products that have the potential to be every bit as paradigm shifting as the twentieth century's digital wonders.The Age of Living Machines describes some of the most exciting new developments and the scientists and engineers who helped create them. Virus-built batteries. Protein-based water filters. Cancer-detecting nanoparticles. Mind-reading bionic limbs. Computer-engineered crops. Together they highlight the promise of the technology revolution of the twenty-first century to overcome some of the greatest humanitarian, medical, and environmental challenges of our time.

Bitcoin Billionaires

From Ben Mezrich, the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, comes Bitcoin Billionaires--the fascinating story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss's big bet on crypto-currency and its dazzling pay-off. Ben Mezrich's 2009 bestseller The Accidental Billionaires is the definitive account of Facebook's founding and the basis for the Academy Award-winning film The Social Network. Two of the story's iconic characters are Harvard students Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss: identical twins, Olympic rowers, and foils to Mark Zuckerberg. Bitcoin Billionaires is the story of the brothers' redemption and revenge in the wake of their epic legal battle with Facebook. Planning to start careers as venture capitalists, the brothers quickly discover that no one will take their money after their fight with Zuckerberg. While nursing their wounds in Ibiza, they accidentally run into an eccentric character who tells them about a brand-new idea: cryptocurrency. Immersing themselves in what is then an obscure and sometimes sinister world, they begin to realize "crypto" is, in their own words, "either the next big thing or total bulls--t." There's nothing left to do but make a bet. From the Silk Road to the halls of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bitcoin Billionaires will take us on a wild and surprising ride while illuminating a tantalizing economic future. On November 26, 2017, the Winklevoss brothers became the first bitcoin billionaires. Here's the story of how they got there--as only Ben Mezrich could tell it.

Dick Waterman

Growing up in an affluent Jewish family in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Dick Waterman (b. 1935) was a shy, stuttering boy living a world away from the Mississippi Delta. Though he never heard blues music at home, he became one of the most influential figures in blues of the twentieth century. A close proximity to Greenwich Village in the 1960s fueled Waterman's growing interest in folk music and led to an unlikely trip that resulted in the rediscovery of Delta blues artist Son House in 1964. Waterman began efforts to revive House's music career and soon became his manager. He subsequently founded Avalon Productions, the first management agency focused on representing black blues musicians. In addition to booking and managing, he worked tirelessly to protect his clients from exploitation, demanded competitive compensation, and fought for royalties due them. During his career, Waterman befriended and worked with numerous musicians, including such luminaries as B. B. King, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, and Eric Clapton. During the early years of his career, he documented the work of scores of musicians through his photography and gained fame as a blues photographer. This authorized biography is the crescendo of years of original research as well as extensive interviews conducted with Waterman and those who knew and worked with him.

The End of Forgetting - Growing up with Social Media

Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, our childhoods have been captured and preserved online, never to go away. But what happens when we can't leave our most embarrassing moments behind? Until recently, the awkward moments of growing up could be forgotten. But today we may be on the verge of losing the ability to leave our pasts behind. In The End of Forgetting, Kate Eichhorn explores what happens when images of our younger selves persist, often remaining just a click away. For today's teenagers, many of whom spend hours each day posting on social media platforms, efforts to move beyond moments they regret face new and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Unlike a high school yearbook or a shoebox full of old photos, the information that accumulates on social media is here to stay. What was once fleeting is now documented and tagged, always ready to surface and interrupt our future lives. Moreover, new innovations such as automated facial recognition also mean that the reappearance of our past is increasingly out of our control. Historically, growing up has been about moving on--achieving a safe distance from painful events that typically mark childhood and adolescence. But what happens when one remains tethered to the past? From the earliest days of the internet, critics have been concerned that it would endanger the innocence of childhood. The greater danger, Eichhorn warns, may ultimately be what happens when young adults find they are unable to distance themselves from their pasts. Rather than a childhood cut short by a premature loss of innocence, the real crisis of the digital age may be the specter of a childhood that can never be forgotten.

Pilgrim Days

'We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go, Always a little further; it may be, Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow.' If there was ever anyone who went a little further, a little beyond, it was Alastair MacKenzie. In a career spanning 30 years, MacKenzie served uniquely with the New Zealand Army in Vietnam, the British Parachute Regiment, the British Special Air Service (SAS), the South African Defense Force's famed ParaBats, the Sultan of Oman's Special Forces, and a host of private security agencies and defense contractors. MacKenzie lived the soldier's life to the full as he journeyed "the Golden Road to Samarkand." This extraordinary new work from the author ofSpecial Force: The Untold Story of 22nd Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) vividly documents, in a detail that stuns, the experience of infantry combat in Vietnam, life with the Paras, the tempo of selection for UK Special Forces, covert SAS operations in South Armagh and SAS Counter Terrorist training on the UK mainland, vehicle-mounted Pathfinder Brigade insertions into Angola, and maritime counter-terrorism work in Oman.

The Testaments

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE The Testaments is a modern masterpiece, a powerful novel that can be read on its own or as a companion to Margaret Atwood's classic, The Handmaid's Tale. More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.   Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third: Aunt Lydia.  Her complex past and uncertain future unfold in surprising and pivotal ways.   With The Testaments, Margaret Atwood opens up the innermost workings of Gilead, as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

Why Free Will Is Real

A crystal-clear, scientifically rigorous argument for the existence of free will, challenging what many scientists and scientifically minded philosophers believe. Philosophers have argued about the nature and the very existence of free will for centuries. Today, many scientists and scientifically minded commentators are skeptical that it exists, especially when it is understood to require the ability to choose between alternative possibilities. If the laws of physics govern everything that happens, they argue, then how can our choices be free? Believers in free will must be misled by habit, sentiment, or religious doctrine. Why Free Will Is Real defies scientific orthodoxy and presents a bold new defense of free will in the same naturalistic terms that are usually deployed against it. Unlike those who defend free will by giving up the idea that it requires alternative possibilities to choose from, Christian List retains this idea as central, resisting the tendency to defend free will by watering it down. He concedes that free will and its prerequisites--intentional agency, alternative possibilities, and causal control over our actions--cannot be found among the fundamental physical features of the natural world. But, he argues, that's not where we should be looking. Free will is a "higher-level" phenomenon found at the level of psychology. It is like other phenomena that emerge from physical processes but are autonomous from them and not best understood in fundamental physical terms--like an ecosystem or the economy. When we discover it in its proper context, acknowledging that free will is real is not just scientifically respectable; it is indispensable for explaining our world.

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Wilkes University Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The following bibliographies are an alphabetical listing by author of all Wilkes University graduate theses dissertations, separated by degree, cataloged by the E.S. Farley Library, and held in University Archives. Contact a librarian at the Reference Desk on the first floor to gain access to these titles. New theses and dissertations are automatically added to this list as they are received and cataloged by the Library.

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