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Stephen Baker's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Stephen Baker recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Stephen Baker's favorite book recommendations of all time.

As John Casti wrote, "Finally, a book that really does explain consciousness." This groundbreaking work by Denmark's leading science writer draws on psychology, evolutionary biology, information theory, and other disciplines to argue its revolutionary point: that consciousness represents only an infinitesimal fraction of our ability to process information. Although we are unaware of it, our brains sift through and discard billions of pieces of data in order to allow us to understand the world around us. In fact, most of what we call thought is actually the unconscious discarding of... more
Recommended by Stephen Baker, and 1 others.

Stephen BakerIt’s about how our minds and our memories work and the tiny bit of bandwidth through which information can go into our brains. (Source)

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Recommended by Stephen Baker, and 1 others.

Stephen BakerWritten at the dawn of the age of the Internet, it’s a book for generalists, and a very interesting look at the history of maths and science. (Source)

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Introducing a cast of known and unknown characters, George B. Dyson traces the course of the information revolution, illuminating the lives and work of visionaries - from the time of Thomas Hobbes to the time of John von Neumann - who foresaw the development of artificial intelligence, artificial life, and artificial mind. This book derives both its title and its outlook from Samuel Butler's 1863 essay "Darwin Among the Machines." Observing the beginnings of miniaturization, self-reproduction, and telecommunication among machines, Butler predicted that nature's intelligence, only temporarily... more
Recommended by Stephen Baker, Antonio Eram, and 2 others.

Stephen BakerThe evolution of humans is actually taking place through our tools – taking cognitive leadership of the planet. (Source)

Antonio EramThis book was recommended by Antonio when asked for titles he would recommend to young people interested in his career path. (Source)

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The Soul of a New Machine

The computer revolution brought with it new methods of getting work done—just look at today's news for reports of hard-driven, highly-motivated young software and online commerce developers who sacrifice evenings and weekends to meet impossible deadlines. Tracy Kidder got a preview of this world in the late 1970s when he observed the engineers of Data General design and build a new 32-bit minicomputer in just one year. His thoughtful, prescient book, The Soul of a New Machine, tells stories of 35-year-old "veteran" engineers hiring recent college graduates and encouraging them to work... more

Stephen BakerA marvelously detailed book, and I found it very inspiring. An interesting way of looking at how computing has utterly changed in the last 30 years. (Source)

Scott JohnsonTracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine. This was the first book that really took a deep dive into the process of creating a high tech product from scratch. Tracy really humanized the engineering process and made me realize that was the type of industry where I wanted to be. (Source)

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What do primordial bacteria, medieval alchemists, and the World Wide Web have to do with each other? This fascinating exploration of how information systems emerge takes readers on a provocative journey through the history of the information age.

Today's "information explosion" may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation--nor even the first species--to wrestle with the problem of information overload. Long before the advent of computers, human beings were collecting, storing, and organizing information: from Ice Age taxonomies to Sumerian...
Recommended by Jason Santa Maria, Stephen Baker, and 2 others.

Stephen BakerA whole history of information and what we, as humans, decide to keep in our heads. (Source)

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