ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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Introductory texts in psychology present an opportunity to discover reasons for human behaviour and address the issues which impact upon their behaviour. This first Australian and New Zealand adaptation of the well respected Psychology 9th edition, by Bernstein et al. continues to strike a balance between classical and contemporary topics with an easy to read, comprehensive, research-oriented approach. The text takes an active learning approach with the use of hallmark pedagogical features such as Linkages, Focus on Research Methods, and Thinking Critically. Features enriching this adaptation include research, issues and examples of psychology relevant to the Australian and New Zealand regional perspective; indigenous research; graduate attributes and psychological literacy sections; other cultural and international considerations, and extended online appendices for searching psychology databases and careers in psychology.
Relatively little is known about Africa's endangered languages. Unlike indigenous languages in Australia, North Asia, and the Americas, which are predominantly threatened by colonizers, African languages are threatened most immediately by other local languages. As a result, the threat of language extinction is perceived as lower in Africa than in other parts of the globe, and a disproportionate amount of research is devoted to the study of endangered African languages when compared to any other linguistically threatened region in the world. There are approximately 308 highly endangered languages spoken in Africa (roughly 12% of all African languages) and at least 201 extinct African languages. This volume hopes to illuminate and challenge this trend. Chapters offer both documentary and theoretical perspectives, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between the two approaches and its implications for the preservation of endangered languages, both in the African context and more broadly. Documentary-oriented chapters deal with key issues in African language documentation including language preservation and revitalization, community activism, and data collection and dissemination methodologies, among others. Theoretically-oriented chapters provide detailed descriptions and analyses of phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic phenomena, and connect these to current theoretical issues and debates. Africa's Endangered Languages provides thorough coverage of a continent's neglected languages that will spur linguists and Africanists alike to work to protect them.
Accessible and up-to-date, the Seventh Edition of SOCIOLOGY IN OUR TIMES: THE ESSENTIALS, Seventh Edition, builds on the best of previous editions while offering new insights, learning tools, and opportunities to apply the content of each chapter to relevant sociological issues of the twenty-first century. Acclaimed in the field for being first to integrate race, class, and gender issues, Kendall continues her focus on diversity and inequality, emphasizing social consciousness and active participation in bettering the world around us. Compelling examples, a vivid writing style, and chapter themes grounded in timely social issues already familiar to students get students involved in sociology by showing them how they can make a difference in their own communities. Among its other changes, the Seventh Edition includes a new Sociology Works! feature; new assignable Reflect & Analyze questions that conclude selected features; two new photo essays, each with new assignable video activities; a vibrant new interior design; improved concept review tables; and more photos and illustrations, making this text the most up-to-date, applications-oriented introduction to sociology available. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains. If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation? To get closer to an answer to this question, we must make our way through a fascinating landscape of topics and considerations. Read the book and learn about oracles, genies, singletons; about boxing methods, tripwires, and mind crime; about humanity's cosmic endowment and differential technological development; indirect normativity, instrumental convergence, whole brain emulation and technology couplings; Malthusian economics and dystopian evolution; artificial intelligence, and biological cognitive enhancement, and collective intelligence. This profoundly ambitious and original book picks its way carefully through a vast tract of forbiddingly difficult intellectual terrain. Yet the writing is so lucid that it somehow makes it all seem easy. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Vols. 1-49 are Proceedings of the 1st-57th annual meetings.