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61. The Next Fifty Years : Science
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62. The Mars Pathfinder Approach to
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63. Introduction to Nanotechnology
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61. The Next Fifty Years : Science in the First Half of the Twenty-first Century
list price: $14.00
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(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375713425
Catlog: Book (2002-05-14)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 22989
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Scientists love to speculate about the direction research and technology will take us, and editor John Brockman has given a stellar panel free rein to imagine the future in The Next Fifty Years. From brain-swapping and the hunt for extraterrestrials to the genetic elimination of unhappiness and a new scientific morality, the ideas in this book are wild and thought-provoking. The list of scientists and thinkers who participate is impressive: Lee Smolin and Martin Rees on cosmology; Ian Stewart on mathematics; and Richard Dawkins and Paul Davies on the life sciences, just to name a few. Many of the authors remind readers that science has changed a lot since the blind optimism of the early 20th century, and they are unanimously aware of the potential consequences of the developments they describe. Fifty years is a long time in the information age, and these essays do a credible and entertaining job of guessing where we're going. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Quite an eclectic mix but came good in the end
When I started this book, my first reaction was - who are all these authors? I only recognised 20% of the names. Hardly had I thought this then the Introduction told me exactly who they were - very timely.

However, as I progressed through the book, there was quite a variance in the quality of the writing. Some authors, such as those on Cosmology, communicated well, but then others were far too high-level for a general audience. It was the latter chapters that brought me considerable delight & education when discussing the Mind, Psychology etc (not my favourite subjects I may add).

If all the contributors had tuned their work to the same general audience, then this would have deserved 5 stars; if it wasn't for the redeeming work by the psychologists & neuroscientists I'd have probably rated the book as 3 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking about the next fifty years
John Brockman has brought together a group of thinkers to create an online think tank called the EDGE. In an attempt to overcome the great divide between literary intellectuals and scientists that C.P. Snow defined as the "Two Cultures", Brockman created the EDGE to be "The Third Culture".

The Next Fifty Years, is a collection of essays from some of the thinkers from the EDGE. They explore the next fifty years on different topics ranging from Csikszentmihalyi's engineered IQ and Dawkin's thoughts on the genome to colonization on Mars and the importance of Mathematics in the year 2050.

The essays were stimulating and I found this book to be well worth the effort to read. Any book that triggers new thoughts and ideas is one that I will treasure. As many of the scientists point out, trying to predict the future is a futile endeavor, but for me it gives a great insight into the present to see what these minds are pondering today. The ideas that might shape the next fifty years, might not turn out to be accurate, but the ideas and research that are happening today will effect us one way or another in the next 10 years. As humans we over estimate what can be achieved in year, but under estimate what can be achieved in a decade, and in general completely miss the mark when trying to estimate anything that exceeds those time lines. But I think Brockman chose fifty years, to give the thinkers some creative freedom.

If you are interested in science, and you are interested in what some of our best brains are mulling over at present, then you will enjoy this diverse collection of essays on the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fairly good overview
The making of predictions is necessary and important, for it can instill both optimism and caution. There is only a modest collection of predictions in this book, but they do give a fairly good representation of the different scientific fields and what to expect in these fields by the end of the fifth decade of the 21st century. Here is a brief summary and commentary of a few of them:

- "The Future of the Nature of the Universe" (Lee Smolin). The author predicts that quantum computing will become a reality in 50 years, as long as quantum mechanics remains true when extrapolated to macroscopic systems. COMMENT: Due to studies in decoherence and more honest interpretations of experiments testing the phenomenon of entanglement, quantum theory will instead be viewed in more "classical" terms in its formalism and foundations. Research into quantum computation, as understood presently, will fade from the scene.

- "Cosmological Challenges: Are We Alone, and Where?" (Martin Rees). The author is optimisitic about the SETI project and other attempts to detect the presence of life external to the Earth. COMMENT: Due to advances in solid state device physics, life on other planets will be detected via the by-products they put into their atmospheres. The information theory behind the SETI searches will become more refined also, increasing the probability of understanding a real message from another civilization.

- "Son of Moore's Law" (Richard Dawkins). The author predicts an exponential increase in DNA sequencing power, which he labels as the "Son of Moore's Law." The author also expresses a fear that there will still be theologians in 2050, this being done in the context of ethical debates on the genetic sequencing of "Lucy" and the possibility of the reintroduction of dinosaurs. COMMENT: The sequencing projects and the number of sequenced organisms will increase hyperexponentially. In addition, tens of thousands of new "transgenic" organisms will appear, all of them optimized to carry out certain biological functions. The field of horticulture will explode, with thousands of new species of ornamental plants appearing before 2050. The university will meet its demise by 2050, but theologians will not disappear. On the contrary, and perhaps unfortunately, the major religions will be with us for many centuries to come, and they will accompany humankind on their voyages to other worlds, for better or worse.

-"The Mathematics of 2050" (Ian Stewart). The author predicts major revolutions in mathematics, due partially to the increasing influence of the computer, bioinformatics, and financial engineering. He also predicts that the current split between "pure" and "applied" mathematics will end, with the result being just "mathematics". He mentions also the "Milennium Problems", one being the Riemann hypothesis, which he predicts will be solved by 2050, its solution being hinted at by considerations in physics. The P/NP problem will be proved undecidable, the Hodge conjecture will be disproved, the Birch/Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture will be proved, the Navier-Stokes equations will turn out not to have solutions in certain circumstances, the Yang-Mills mass gap problem will be settled but will be deemed irrelevant by physicists, and the Poincare conjecture will be "wide-open". Interestingly, the author is one of the few who have mentioned the role of "quantization of mathematics" via quantum algebra, quantum topology, and quantum number theory. COMMENT: The Poincare conjecture will be resolved by 2010 with its resolution being in the context of the "quantization of mathematics" mentioned by the author. In fact, the quantization of mathematics will be the driving force behind whole new areas of mathematics. Pure mathematics will continue to be viewed as disjoint from applied mathematics. In fact, there will be an intense effort, as evident from the last two meetings of the International Congress of Mathematicians, to keep pure and applied mathematics as separate disciplines. Mathematical finance will continue to explode and there will be intense competition between financial firms to develop highly sophisticated algorithms for financial prediction and portfolio manangement. Financial mathematics will also have more overlap with physics and meteorology, as energy and weather derivatives take on even more importance. The next fifty years will see the rise of financial firms, and others, managed, staffed, and run completely by intelligent machines. In addition, due to hardware advances and the development of highly sophisticated algorithms in mathematical biology and bioinformatics, the entire biosphere will be sequenced by 2050. Complete mathematical models of the entire human body will be developed by mathematicians working in the biotechnology industry, and drug discovery will be viewed as essentially mathematical, with the actual physical chemistry and manufacture being essentially automatic. In this same light, combinatorial chemistry will become a branch of mathematics in its own right, attracting the attention of hundreds of mathematicians. Advances in artificial intelligence will bring about, with indications by the year 2040, of intelligent machines able to construct original concepts and theories in pure mathematics. Skepticism as to the possibility of thinking machines will be alleviated because of these developments. "Artificial" mathematicians will begin to become competitive with "natural" ones by the year 2050. Further, cryptography will continue to explode as a field of mathematics, due to the increasing need for online security and individual privacy. Increased computer power will fuel this need, and the competition between encryption and de-encryption algorithms will become very intense. lastly, by 2050 it will be accurate to say that mathematics will enter into every phase of human and machine activity. There will be no process, no business transaction, no entertainment function, no leisurely activity, that will not depend predominantly on mathematical structures or algorithms.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting glimpse into the future
As Yogi Berra said, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." However, if anyone can make meaningful predictions, it's the twenty-five leading scientists and authors whose essays grace The Next Fifty Years.

It's an exciting book. Almost every piece is enlightening, stimulating, and remarkably well written. I read a lot of books and articles about science, but still came across dozens of new ideas, convincing arguments and sparkling insights. Here are a few items that got me thinking:

Physicist Lee Smolin points out that subtle changes in light waves as they cross space may provide the first test of quantum theories of gravity--we won't need to build accelerators the size of the solar system to gain this information.

Evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller speculates that gene activation chips will soon allow researchers to map the changes in our brains caused by "every state of mind lasting more than a few hours." The result will be a far richer understanding of human consciousness.

Mathematician Steven Strogatz expects that new methods for creating complex, evolving systems on computers will mean that we humans will "end up as bystanders, unable to follow along with the machines we've built, flabbergasted by their startling conclusions."

Richard Dawkins predicts that by 2050 it will cost just a few hundred dollars to sequence one's own personal genome, computers will be able to simulate an organism's entire development from its genetic code, and scientists may even be able to reconstruct extinct animals a la Jurassic Park.

Computer scientist Rodney Brooks thinks wars may be fought over genetic engineering and artificial enhancements that have the potential to turn humans into "manipulable artifacts."

AI researcher Roger Schank foresees the end of schools, classrooms and teachers, to be replaced by an endless supply of virtual experiences and interactions.

In many cases, the bold ideas of one writer are challenged or balanced by another, making the book a kind of high-level dialogue. Cosmologist Martin Rees, for example, takes on Smolin's idea of evolving universes, and neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky is much less optimistic about our ability to conquer depression than is psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

It's not all perfection, however. A few of the essays seemed relatively uninspired. These included psychologist Paul Bloom's pessimistic view of our ability ever to understand consciousness or the nature of thought--"We might be like dogs trying to understand calculus." And I found computer scientist David Gelernter's essay on the grand "information beam" that will transform everyone's lives an unconvincing one-note techno-fix. Also the book really needs an index--that simple addition would have made it much more useful.

However, it's a book that tackles big questions about our future in as thoughtful, insightful and well informed a manner as I've ever encountered. It's worth reading and re-reading.

Robert Adler, author of Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation (Wiley, 2002).

2-0 out of 5 stars Why good scientists rarely make good futurists
A wonderful example across the sciences as to why people working in a field have excellent visibility over the next 5 years, and very poor visibility (or at least very unoriginal) when asked to speculate over longer time periods. For those of you familiar with the research of these people, their vision of the future looks extraordinary like the work they do, only extrapolated in ways that are obvious to those in the field. What I expected was the "creative destruction" by people of their own agendas. All the computer scientists (Brooks, Holland, Gelernter and Schank) disappointed in this regard. Richard Dawkins was the only intriguing one.

Just to calibrate the thought again. If you want to learn the views of some pretty good scientists on the larger backdrop of their research, this is a good book to read. However, other than the fact that they are working on what they are working on, there is no convincing argument as to why the world will turn out the way they envision. Not to mention, good scientists tend to be spectacularly wrong on long term visions (remember Lord Kelvin's claim about the end of chemistry a century ago).

I still look forward enthusiastically to a book with this same title, but a different cast of contributors. ... Read more

62. The Mars Pathfinder Approach to "Faster-Better-Cheaper"
by Price Pritchett, Brian Muirhead
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Asin: 0944002749
Catlog: Book (1998-03-30)
Publisher: Pritchett & Hull Associates, Incorporated
Sales Rank: 368585
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There's a new market battle cry being sounded around the world: Faster-Better-Cheaper. Organizations everywhere are in a competitive war trying to pick up speed, improve output, and do it all for less money.

Actually, "improvement" per se isn't too hard to come by with all of today's technological advancements. The tricky part comes in doing things faster, better, and cheaper all at the same time. That takes creativity. Ingenuity. Innovation. To help your employees grow in this regard, they need role models. Good examples. It helps greatly to see living proof of "faster-better-cheaper" in action.

Price Pritchett's latest title, The Mars Pathfinder Approach to "Faster-Better-Cheaper" provides that proof, and breaks it down into 13 high-impact guidelines your employees can use to drive your organization to spectacular success.

Co-authored with Brian Muirhead, Flight Systems Manager of the JPL Mars Pathfinder Team, this book shows how a small group of dedicated people-tapping into the spirit of ingenuity and innovation-proved "faster-better-cheaper" works in deep space as well as it does on Earth.

Most important, the book draws the "faster-better-cheaper" business messages out of this intriguing story, and shows your employees how to apply them in your organization. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Where Brian Muirhead when you need him?
What an incredible book! Brian Muirhead's story of developing, launching, and landing the successful Mars Pathfinder Mission is an incredible story of vision, hard work, attention to detail, and because of it all, success.

The professionalism exhibited by Brian and his team continue to inspire me months after I read the book.

In the current days of failed missions to Mars, I can't help but think that if Brian Muirhead had been in charge of those failed missions, they too would have been a success.

5-0 out of 5 stars At last a simple powerful book on how to perform in groups
You were so impressed by the Mars Pathfinder mission, and you are definetely interested by people management issues: get this great little book, you will appreciate the conciseness, precision, and high value of all the concepts it expresses.

If history is to teach us how to be 'better' in the present and the future, such short and enjoyable summaries of what was done well, how and why, is THE way to learn, grow and improve.

What a mission, what a book ! I missed two metro stops while savoring each of its words ! Bravo !: 5 stars !

2-0 out of 5 stars A management, not science book
This book is an advertisement for Pritchett Associates. It is not a book about Pathfinder science. The amount of real information about Pathfinder and the team is minimal. There is more Pathfinder information on NASAs web site. Unless you have never read a quality or other management book in the past few years, this book is nothing special.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great ideas for finding new ways to do more with less!
Outstanding book showing how the Pathfinder team put a rover on Mars in less time and with a fraction of the money than it took to put up Voyager. Great ideas for how to look beyond the status quo and do things better, faster, cheaper. A great team leadership book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A management, not science book
This book is an advertisement for Pritchett Associates. It is not a book about Pathfinder science. The amount of real information about Pathfinder and the team is minimal. There is more Pathfinder information on NASAs web site. The management information contained is not outstanding. ... Read more

63. Introduction to Nanotechnology
by Charles P.Poole, Frank J.Owens
list price: $84.95
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Asin: 0471079359
Catlog: Book (2003-05-23)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 372929
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This self-confessed introduction provides technical administrators and managers with a broad, practical overview of the subject and gives researchers working in different areas an appreciation of developments in nanotechnology outside their own fields of expertise. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Presents abridged versions of other reviews
This book merely presents abridged versions of other reviews on nanotechnology. For example, the chapter on self-assembly misses most if not all if the initial discoveries and describes second and third generation reports that merely duplicate the concepts with new chemical building blocks. If one reads the reviews cited at the end of the chapters one will get a better view of the respective topics. ... Read more

64. Developing Quality Technical Information : A Handbook for Writers and Editors (2nd Edition) (IBM Press Series--Information Management)
by Gretchen Hargis, Michelle Carey, Ann Kilty Hernandez, Polly Hughes, Deirdre Longo, Shannon Rouiller, Elizabeth Wilde
list price: $39.99
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Asin: 0131477498
Catlog: Book (2004-04-06)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Sales Rank: 95626
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A year after buying it, it is still my resource of choice
What a great book! Ms. Hargis has developed a manual that provides readily-accessible and practical information regarding the technical writing process. I actually read (yes, read) this book from cover to cover. Hargis practices what she preaches, by designing a tech writing book with the actual tech writing skills she prescribes. I use this book almost as often as my dictionary and my Microsoft Manual of Style.

One of the most impressive aspects of this book is the vast amount of tech writing examples that can be incorporated into actual documentation. Instead of merely telling the writer what steps to take, Hargis actually SHOWS the writer what to do. How refreshing to read a handbook that actually illustrates tech writing techniques.

The book also provides a multitude of checklists that show the writer the logical progression of the documentation.

A definite must for your stack of books next to your computer.

4-0 out of 5 stars Concepts and examples anchor excellent reference
In spite of the editorial errors in the book (blame IBM Press) and the rather pointless pedantic goings-on in these reviews about the use of the word "quality", this is a most worthwhile manual. Hargis presents her strategy of ensuring that technical documents reflect accuracy, clarity, completeness, concreteness, organization, retrievability, style, task orientation and visual effectiveness. She devotes a chapter to each concept and offers relevant examples to show aspiring tech writers how to apply the concepts to their own work. This is not just a grammar book; it is a well thought out set of tactics that help generate a worthwhile technical document. I'd like to see future editions of this expand into the area of data gathering and instructional system design. Nevertheless, the concepts Hargis describes here are worthwhile, as is this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on quality and technical writing!
I use many books to assist me in my editing, but this one is the best on my desk. Even if you don't write or edit technical documentation, these pages provide a wealth of information on how to do it right. And, if you do write or edit technical information, this is a great one to have available, no matter what style you use or must conform to. These folks did a great job of breaking down the quality of technical writing into easily digested categories. Recently, I taught the "nine quality characteristics" of the book to the writers I work with and they saw great value in them.

I usually think of my editing and writing books as references, but this one is actually enjoyable to read. Highly recommended!

4-0 out of 5 stars A really good book to teach you about technical writing.
I'm most impressed by this handbook. It's got great, practical advice and it gets right to the point in each chapter. I recommend it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Well argued, with good examples
Reading this new edition, I was quite impressed by the practical nature of its suggestions, which are reinforced by good choices of example texts that are then revised and improved, in accordance with those suggestions.

But it struck me that there is one logical subdivision of the book, which the authors may not necessarily have intended. It cleaves well into two portions. One deals with the timeless nature of writing clear, non-fiction text; totally independent of any computers. For example, it includes Part 2 of the book, entitled "Easy to understand", which spans 3 chapters, "Clarity", "Concreteness" and "Style". Even from the single word titles, you could guess that they are of this ilk.

In contrast, the other portion of the book relates more to a computer and browser oriented presentation.

Both portions are well put. But the authors and the publisher may have sold themselves short. The first portion, with minor tweaks, could be useful enough as a standalone text. But to a far broader audience than technical writers. It could be directed at the high school or undergraduate level, for a class on non-fiction writing. In my high school, we never had guidelines as cogently argued as this. I could have used it then. So perhaps could you.

Thus, the pity may be that most who might benefit from the book will never chance to encounter it. ... Read more

65. Chemistry of Hazardous Materials (4th Edition)
by Eugene Meyer
list price: $68.00
our price: $68.00
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Asin: 0131127608
Catlog: Book (2004-03-12)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 189056
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This revised fourth edition has been thoroughly updated to fully address the specific needs of firefighters and other professionals who deal with hazardous materials. This volume encompasses the key aspects of safely handling hazardous materials and the response actions to be implemented during terrorist actions, hazardous transportation mishaps and other disasters.This volume examines some features of matter and energy, flammable gases and flammable liquids, chemical forms of matter, as well as the principles of chemical reactions, aspects of the dot hazardous materials regulations, the chemistry of common elements, corrosive materials, water-reactive substances, toxic substances, oxidizers, hazardous organic compounds, polymeric materials, explosive materials and radioactive materials.For emergency responders, firefighters and others potentially involved with hazardous materials. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars good refresher/DOT reference
This is a well organized and indexed fire science text which is a useful reference for anyone who works with hazardous materials on a daily basis. It explains DOT regulations and how the regs are actually related to the chemistry of the materials. It explains the chemistry behind proper transport, handling, and storage of most major commodity chemicals and offers guidlines for emergency planning and response. The author does a good job of introducing/reviewing the concepts of chemistry with a clear focus on reactions which can lead to disaster. Two flaws: the writing is repetative, at times you can sense that the author/editiors were a bit tired of the text or in a hurry to get it to the press. The illustrations are O.K. but the black and white photos are AWFUL. Mr. Meyer, if you read this, go back and re-do all the photos for the next edition. I work at a RCRA TSDF and have found the text very useful for myself and our new employees who have studied chemistry but do not have a firm grasp of DOT and fire safety. ... Read more

66. Build, Operate, Transfer: Paving the Way for Tomorrow's Infrastructure
by Sidney M.Levy
list price: $120.00
our price: $99.60
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Asin: 047111992X
Catlog: Book (1996-09-13)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 562032
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Book Description

Using the Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) system, private developers design, finance, construct, and operate revenue-producing public projects, and, at the end of the pay-back period, turn projects over to the community. This book explore this new approach to privatization and provides detailed information on keeping these projects on time and budget. ... Read more

by Everett M. Rogers
list price: $32.95
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Asin: 0029266718
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 43269
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Since the first edition of this landmark book was published in 1962, Everett Rogers's name has become "virtually synonymous with the study of diffusion of innovations," according to Choice. The second and third editions of Diffusion of Innovations became the standard textbook and reference on diffusion studies. Now, in the fourth edition, Rogers presents the culmination of more than thirty years of research that will set a new standard for analysis and inquiry.

The fourth edition is (1) a revision of the theoretical framework and the research evidence supporting this model of diffusion, and (2) a new intellectual venture, in that new concepts and new theoretical viewpoints are introduced. This edition differs from its predecessors in that it takes a much more critical stance in its review and synthesis of 5,000 diffusion publications. During the past thirty years or so, diffusion research has grown to be widely recognized, applied and admired, but it has also been subjected to both constructive and destructive criticism. This criticism is due in large part to the stereotyped and limited ways in which many diffusion scholars have defined the scope and method of their field of study. Rogers analyzes the limitations of previous diffusion studies, showing, for example, that the convergence model, by which participants create and share information to reach a mutual understanding, more accurately describes diffusion in most cases than the linear model.

Rogers provides an entirely new set of case examples, from the Balinese Water Temple to Nintendo videogames, that beautifully illustrate his expansive research, as well as a completely revised bibliography covering all relevant diffusion scholarship in the past decade. Most important, he discusses recent research and current topics, including social marketing, forecasting the rate of adoption, technology transfer, and more. This all-inclusive work will be essential reading for scholars and students in the fields of communications, marketing, geography, economic development, political science, sociology, and other related fields for generations to come. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed With Knowledge!
Why would a villager draw polluted drinking water from a canal where a dead donkey floats instead of using a nearby tap to get clean drinking water? Why did it take hundreds of years for the British Navy to give sailors oranges and lemons when tests had proven that citrus fruit cured the scurvy that killed sailors and left vessels under-manned? Why do eminently sensible things not happen? If you've ever wondered, this book will give you the answers. It's a thick, heavy, academic tome, but spiced with abundant anecdotes and observations that make it an easy, enjoyable read. This is the rare book that combines solid intellectual content with thought-provoking entertainment. We highly recommend this classic from 1962 to all audiences, but especially those whose business it is to understand and use the social mechanisms through which innovations must diffuse.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book for researchers
this is one of a kind book that researchers in sociology, psychology and business can use. great to be used in determining the audience impact, use of certain media, tools, ideas, etc. the model used is exactly an innovation that researchers can't resist in using. a new paradigm shift in research methodology. the book is full of illustrative stories to use in related literature of a study. E. Rogers is an excellent scholar. i give him a five star award for his innovation. From: Prof. Rudy P. Divino, DBA(cand)

5-0 out of 5 stars Masterful Treatment
Well organized and full of relevant real-world case illustrations, this book is exceptionally well-done. Both educational and thoroughly entertaining. As complete as a textbook on the subject yet highly readable.

1-0 out of 5 stars bleeahh.
Tedious psycho-babble, and a waste of time and money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Narrowly Focused, But Very Solid
Professor Rogers begins his book by really getting to the heart of the matter. "Getting a new idea adopted, even when it has obvious advantages, is often very difficult," he writes. "Many innovations require a lengthy period, often many years, from the time they become available to the time they are widely adopted"

I have often wondered why getting new ideas adopted is so difficult, not only in business and technology, which is Professor Roger's primary area of research, but also in the arts, music, painting, and literature. It seems that whenever someone has a really innovative concept, it gets attacked, trashed, savaged, and often sabotaged by the mainstream? Why?

Professor Rogers never really answers this question, and this is my only complaint about an otherwise exceptional book. His primary interest is in figuring out ways to "speed up the rate of the diffusion of an innovation." Within a narrow context of business and policy objectives, he is successful. The strengths of this book are its very competent and exhaustive research, which include case studies, criticisms, and policy discussions. It is a worthy book if you are interested in the focused academic topics it attempts to address.

I thought that Malcolm Gladwell did a better job, with a much simpler book, in explaining why and how new ideas get introduced. Still, many questions remain to be answered about innovations. I'd love to read an equivalent book about innovations in the arts. If we are lucky, someone as competent and as thorough as Professor Rogers will take up the topic. ... Read more

68. The Elements of Technical Writing
by Gary Blake, Robert W. Bly
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
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Asin: 0020130856
Catlog: Book (2000-12-19)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 88939
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the mini bible for Technical communications
As a technical writer I have found this book an excellent resource. Most examples are short and concise. The rules and examples are probably the most up-to-date in the Technical Communications industry.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not necessarily for long term use
This book is general in its coverage and doesn't attempt to teach writing. It does teach some mechanics and offer some adivce on how to structure reports and articles.

I found that I read this book once but now don't find it a useful reference. It does contain a number of style guidelines e.g., "representing numbers and math," but many examples are from chemistry and hard sciences; which I found less relevant to me. One chapter discusses what the authors call systems: computers and software.

Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" provided, in a small space, rules that you might recall for a lifetime. This book is more like a grammar guidebook with a focus on technical material mixed in.

For more examples, you'll need a bigger book on technical writing; and if you want a style guide, you might do well to remember that the basic conventions of English apply to technical writing too. Bly is great writer; unfortunately this is not one of his best books.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide
I found this book to be extremely useful. It was easy to read and clearly pointed out the major elements in technical writing. I recommend it to anyone who needs a boost in their writing, but not for someone looking for a thick reference guide. The only reason it gets 4 instead of 5 stars is it didn't have as many examples as I would have liked or any practice problems. Overall, it helped me organize my papers properly, avoid common writing flaws, and get my main points across.

3-0 out of 5 stars A decent tech writing intro and reference...
I found this to be a helpful, and quick, read...but was amused to find grammatical errors in the book. How tacky.


69. Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference
by Richard J.Lewis
list price: $195.00
our price: $177.45
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Asin: 0471441651
Catlog: Book (2002-01-07)
Publisher: Wiley-Interscience
Sales Rank: 269313
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Book Description

The Fifth Edition of Hazardous Chemicals Desk Reference contains Safety Profiles, synonyms, physical properties, standards, and recommendations of government agencies for approximately 5,000 chemicals deemed both important and potentially hazardous by the international scientific community. Substances were chosen on the basis of meeting a variety of criteria, including:

  • Having an OSHA standard
  • Having an ACGIH TLV
  • Listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Groups
1 through 4 assessments

  • Listed on the NTP Ninth Report on Carcinogens
  • Having a German Research Society’s Mak or Bat listing
  • Having especially dangerous toxic, reactive, or fire properties
The data for each entry is taken from the master file of DPIM. The Fifth Edition distinguishes itself from its predecessors by including the very latest information from a variety of international databases and organizations, while deleting entries that have proven to be the least pertinent to practitioners. As with previous incarnations, the organization of contents places a premium on providing a quick reference for individuals seeking a concise summary of a chemical’s hazards. The Desk Reference remains the premier resource on hazardous chemicals for students, professors, scientists, engineers, and all professionals whose work involves managing these materials. ... Read more

70. A Concise Guide to Technical Communication, Second Edition
by Laura J. Gurak, John M. Lannon
list price: $64.40
our price: $64.40
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Asin: 0321146158
Catlog: Book (2003-07-17)
Publisher: Longman
Sales Rank: 32503
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Book Description

The book takes a situational approach, emphasizing issues of audience, purpose, and task. In addition, it is the first Technical Communication text which acknowledges that most technical communication today is electronic—whether it be Web sites, CD–ROM help files, or e–mail reports, today's technical communicators work more in the new media than in the old ones. The Concise Guide offers a seamless connection between the new and old worlds of technical communication. Offering a critical look at communication technologies in relation to technical communication, this text is designed for a broad range of undergraduate classes. Includes concise coverage and examples of how to create and design successful technical print and electronic documents including proposals, instructions, specifications, documentation, procedures, reports, and memos. Also includes cutting edge coverage of such issues as ethics, copyright, plagiarism, usability, page design and visual communication.This book is for any professional who wants a concise guide to becoming a better communicator in the technical professions. ... Read more

71. Simplified TRIZ:New Problem Solving Applications for Engineers & Manufacturing Professionals
by Kalevi Rantanen, Ellen Domb
list price: $59.95
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Asin: 1574443232
Catlog: Book (2002-05-15)
Publisher: CRC Press
Sales Rank: 159567
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As customers and shareholders demand better products faster, more pressure is felt by technical professionals to develop it now and develop it right the first time. Considered the breakthrough design and inventive problem-solving approach of the past 100 years, TRIZ is a unique, algorithmic approach to problem solving that allows engineers, planners and managers to formulate the best possible solutions for technical systems problems and predict future product needs based on technology evolution and competitive advantages. Developed in Russia, the popularity of TRIZ is now spreading to Europe, the United States, and Japan, but until now no comprehensive, comprehensible treatment of the topic has been available in English.Simplified TRIZ: New Problem Solving Applications for Engineers and Manufacturing Professionals not only demystifies TRIZ, but it also shows how it can be used in new ways to enhance Six Sigma, Constraints Management, Supply Chain Management, QFD, and Taguchi methods to gain innovative and technological competitive advantages. This practical how-to guide teaches you how to solve problems creatively, and more importantly, shows you how to find and foresee the evolution of problems in the future. It provides many exercises, worksheets, and tables to further illustrate the concepts of this multinational method. Implement the same problem-solving tool that many Fortune 500 companies are already using with Simplified TRIZ. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant model of problem solving
Using a perfect model, this books first introduces characteristics of GOOD solutions, then step by step, it describes triz problem solving tools (and strategy development tools as well) all integrated into each other.
As stated in the title, it's a simplified book so you can't find some advanced tools like su-field modeling in it. ... Read more

72. Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 7, Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic (Science and Civilisation in China)
by Ho Ping-YĆ¼, Lu Gwei-Djen, Wang Ling
list price: $190.00
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Asin: 0521303583
Catlog: Book (1987-01-22)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 450518
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Book Description

The Gunpowder Epic is one of three planned publications on military technology within Dr Needham's immense undertaking. The discovery of gunpowder in China by the 9th century AD was followed by its rapid applications. It is now clear that the whole development from bombs and grenades to the invention of the metal-barrel hand gun took place in the Chinese culture area before Europeans had any knowledge of the mixture itself. Uses in civil engineering and mechanical engineering were equally important, before the knowledge of gunpowder spread to Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Dr Needham's new work continues to demonstrate the major importance of Chinese science and technology to world history and maintains the tradition of one of the great scholarly works of the twentieth century. ... Read more

73. The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design
by Sandra F. Mendler, WilliamOdell
list price: $80.00
our price: $70.40
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Asin: 0471379069
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 92210
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A real-world DESIGN tool for sustainable design
In this comprehensive guide, the world's largest architectural/engineering design firm helps architects, engineers, planners, interior designers, and landscape architects integrate sustainable design strategies into their work. Featuring twenty-four case studies of a variety of international HOK projects, it shows how, far from being an all-or-nothing proposition, sustainable design thinking can improve projects within the conventional constraints of budget, schedule, and market demand. It provides practical guidelines that enhance real projects, including urban planning, site design, buildings, interiors, and renovations. This book:
* Demonstrates how real, completed, sustainable design projects are economically viable and increase client satisfaction
* Provides a clear road map for the integrated multidisciplinary design process that is critical to the successful development of sustainable design projects
* Captures the key principles of sustainable design in a list of "Ten Simple Things You Can Do"
* Provides concise checklists of issues to consider at each stage of the design process,followed by detailed how-to guidance
* Contains a detailed glossary of terms and a list of top print and Internet resources
* Covers issues and design strategies related to site planning and design, energy and water conservation, materials selection and specification, and interior environmental quality
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have.
The most comprehensive book yet on sustainable design and green architecture. If you can have only one book in your library on sustainable design, this is the book! ... Read more

74. Solar Electricity, 2nd Edition
list price: $84.00
our price: $75.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471988537
Catlog: Book (2000-05-12)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 508209
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Solar Electricity Second Edition Edited by Tomas Markvart University of Southampton, UK ".warmly recommended as a comprehensive, introductory text on a subject which should become increasingly important." (Review of the First Edition in Contemporary Physics) The rapid evolution of photovoltaic technology has highlighted the increasing capabilities of solar electricity as a power source for distributed energy generation. Building on the success of the first edition, Solar Electricity presents a balanced introduction to all aspects of solar energy conversion, from cell types to environmental impact and applications. Now fully revised to incorporate the latest industry achievements and featuring: New sections on the role of dye sensitised solar cells, photovoltaics in buildings, diesel hybrid systems, and photovoltaic markets and funding. Solar cell design and manufacturing technology including crystalline silicon and thin film devices. Introduction to a range of photovoltaic applications including rural electrification, grid connection issues, and the supply of electrical power to satellites in space. Illustrative case studies and self-assessment questions and answers at the end of each chapter. Undergraduate and postgraduate science and engineering students, practising mechanical and power engineers and those with a general interest in renewable energy will find this comprehensive text on invaluable reference. Solar Electricity, Second Edition forms part of the Energy Engineering Learning Package. Organised by UNESCO, this distance learning package has been established to train engineers to meet the challengs of today and tomorrow in this exciting field of energy engineering. It has been developed by an international team of distinguished academics, coordinated by Dr Boris Berkovski. This modular course will appeal to advanced undergraduates and post graduate students, as well as practising power engineers in industry. World Solar Summit Process Visit Our Web Page! ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for those interested in PV
This book is one of the best I have read on the subject of photovoltaic (PV) systems. It has a good balance between all areas of PV system design. Most books with this level of technical content are too skewed toward semiconductor physics and neglect system-level issues. This one covers everything from PV devices (solar cells) to power converters to batteries to system design, and includes useful sections on justification for PV, system application examples, and environmental impacts. The organization and flow are clear and logical. The only problems are some unclear typesetting, exclusion of background on some key equations (references to the literature are included, though), and a little bit of non-standard notation (i.e. G is used for irradiation, not irradiance). Summary: I highly recommend this book for technically literate readers interested in PV systems. ... Read more

75. Biomimicry : Innovation Inspired by Nature
by Janine M. Benyus
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0060533226
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 9236
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Biomimicry is a revolutionary new science that analyzes nature's best ideas -- spider silk and prairie grass, seashells and brain cells -- and adapts them for human use. Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus takes us into the lab and out in the field with the maverick researchers who are applying nature's ingenious solutions to the problem of human survival: stirring vats of proteins to unleash their signaling power in computers; analyzing how spiders manufacture a waterproof fiber five times stronger than steel; studying how electrons in a leaf cell convert sunlight to fuel in trillionths of a second; discovering miracle drugs by observing what animals eat -- and much more.

The products of biomimicry are things we can all use -- medicines, "smart" computers, super-strong materials, profitable and earth-friendly business. Biomimicry eloquently shows that the answers are all around us. ... Read more

Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspires us to look to nature for solutions to our problems
Where can we find the best solutions to the many technical, environmental, social and economic problems that beset us?

In this wonderful book Benyus shows us that nature can teach us valuable lessons. "In the 3.8 billion years since the first bacteria, life has learned to fly, circumnavigate the globe, live in the depths of the ocean and atop the highest peaks, craft miracle materials, light up the night, lassoo the sun's energy, and build a self-reflective things have done everything we want to do, without guzzling fossil fuel, polluting the planet, or mortgaging their future. What better models could there be?"

By adopting a little humility and treating nature as a model, a measure, and a mentor, she argues, we can catch up on the lessons nature has had millions of years to learn. Benyus writes like an angel, her prose conjuring vivid images as she takes us with her on a journey to explore what Biomimics are doing in material science, medicine, computing, energy, agriculture, and business. Her journalistic style does not shrink from the intricacies of photosynthesis and relishes the wonders of mussel tethering techniques, but always keeps the wider picture in view.

I found myself wanting to push the fast-forward button - to the time when prarie-style agriculture is widely adopted; materials are made at room-temperature in life-friendly conditions with no toxicity; and our economy is modelled on a rainforest, not a ragweed. Readers of this book could be those who will help get us there faster. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Realistic, innovative solutions for a sustainable world
With the eloquence of an angel, Janine Benyus captures and describes the rapidly emerging field of biomimicry. In this beautifully written "seed of hope", Janine reveals how Nature--in her complexity and intricacy--can provide the innovative solutions we as a society desperately seek as we strive for sustainability. Through clear, clever, and enjoyable writing, Janine tackles difficult scientific information and presents it in a manner digestible to even those that fear science! The book is full of wonderful examples ranging from biomimetic materials to agricultural systems to pharmaceuticals to industrial ecology. After reading this book, I can no longer look at the natural world in the same way. With over 3.8 billion years of research and at least 30 million case studies, Nature probably has the answer we are looking for. Every roadblock presented to me is now countered with the following question: "What would Nature do if she had to tackle the same problem?" As a biologist and a business person, I'm finding that the two have more in common that I previously thought. This book is on my number one list for life. I find myself carrying my page worn copy everywhere I go just so I can recommend it to everyone, including strangers! This book gives me hope for our society. If we can learn to look towards Nature as model, measure, and mentor, we might just stand a chance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning from the Genius of Nature
Before even reviewing the book, it seems as though I must explain its raison de'etre; for some negative reviews disclaim the very import of looking to nature as a model for life. For starters, nature runs on sunlight and creates no waste. To me, this alone is reason enough to mimic nature, since our profligate energy use has caused a global eco-crisis. Not only does the combustion of fossil fuels pollute the air breathe (leading to some 3 million deaths from air pollution annually according to the WHO), but it also floods the atmosphere with CO2, leading culprit in the greenhouse effect. Moreover, being that the supply of crude oil is finite, the very foundation of our economy will one day run dry. Nature, on the other hand, runs on the unlimited bounty of sunlight. Unlimited clean energy is just one example of the genius of nature which author Benyus points out in this book.

Nature does many other wonderful things we would do well to learn from. Arctic fish and frogs freeze solid and then spring to life, having protected their organs from ice damage. Black bears hibernate all winter without poisoning themselves on their urea, while their polar cousins stay active with a coat of transparent hollow hairs covering their skins like the panes of a greenhouse. Chameleons and cuttlefish hide without moving, changing the pattern of their skin to instantly blend with their surroundings. Bees, turtles, and birds navigate without maps, while whales and penguins dive without scuba gear. How do they do it? How do dragonflies outmaneuver our best helicopters? How do hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico on less than one tenth of an ounce of fuel? How do ants carry the equivalent of hundreds of pounds in a dead heat through the jungle? How do muscles attach to rock in a wet environment? The answers to these questions may seem like trivia to non-expert, but "The difference between what life needs to do and what we need to do is another one of those boundaries that doesn't exist. Beyond mattes of scale, the differences dissolve."

Like every other creature, humans cause a lot of commotion in the biosphere: creating, moving, and consuming. But our species is the only one that creates more waste than nature can safely and efficiently recycle. Ours is only one that ignores ecological limits, exceeds the carrying capacity of the land, and consumes more energy than nature can provide. The ideology that allowed us to expand beyond our limits was that the world -- never-ending in its bounty -- was put here exclusively for our use. But after the topsoil blows away, the oceans go lifeless, the oil wells go dry, and the air and water we depend on are utterly fouled, what will we do? Will we be able to survive? Unlike the impact of a car, is crisis is cumulative. The mounting effects of this ideology are rising temperatures, decreasing grain yields, rising cancer rates, falling fish harvests, dwindling forests, worsening air pollution, and rising oil and water prices. A most resilient creature, I believe we (or some of us) will survive this ecololgical "bottle-neck" squeeze, to use Harvard scientist E.O. Wilson's phrase. But the questions this book seeks to answer is, can we flourish?

As mentioned by other reviewers, some parts were overly technical. However, much of it is written with the layperson in mind. Moreover, the book is rich in philosophy, like that of Wes Jackson, Bill Mollison, Masanobu Fukuoka, and writers Thomas and Wendell Berry (unrelated). And the main point of the book is simple enough for a child to understand. Does it run on sunlight? Does it use only the energy it needs? Does it fit form to function? Does it recycle everything? Does it reward cooperation? Does it bank on diversity? Does it utilize local expertise? Does it curb excess from within? Does it tap the power of limits? And is it beautiful? In order to right our wasteful and dangerously dysfunctional relationship with nature, these ten questions should serve as guiding principles for design and human interaction.

Although some of the science is now dated (e.g., hydrogen fuel cells are now a reality), this book will remain pregnant with philosophical and practical insights for years to come. It is far, far ahead of the times. My only criticism is that, much of the scientific history and intrastructure this book depends on actually helped create the eco-predicament we currently find ourselves in. The labratories she visits (not to mention the cars she uses to visit them) are not exactly eco-friendly. In other words, the author supposes more technology and "progres" will eventually help us out of this predicament.

This book is a landmark - and one hell of a good read. Dssential for anyone interested business, philosophy, ecology, science or engineering. And when combined with other books, like Lester Brown's ECO-ECONOMY, David Korten's WHEN CORPORATIONS RULE THE WORLD, Paul Hawkins' NATURAL CAPITALSIM, Hildur Jackson and Karen Svensson's ECOVILLAGE LIVING, and perhaps something on eco-education, it would fit well into my dream eco-philosophy course. Unfortunately, I'm not a teacher and very few universities have funding for such programs anyway.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good subject but poor content
This book deals with an interesting concept which is 'biomimicry'. In summary, it says that Mother Earth offers many models on which we can base our innovation/creation. But the book is not so easy to read and not so well planned. I skip many parts which in my sense go to deep in details and some parts are a bit repeatitive. The book is quite large but offers only few interesting ideas that are then developed and so detailed to an end which you don't remember the purpose. Some parts don't have a conclusion so you finish the chapter quite frustrated because you have read a big technical part and uoi don't see what was the point the author wanted to demonstrate. If you are interested in technical sciences then you might like it but otherwise, the ideas on biomimicry in this book could be summarize in a more compact book.

2-0 out of 5 stars nonsensical environmental manifesto
A book that purports to be about taking inspiration from nature for our inventions sounds like a scientific book about genetic engineering or nanotechnology. It's not. This book is really an environmental manifesto, taking "nature is good" as an axiom and going from there, to explain unpromising technologies that will allow us to be more like nature and live in harmony with the Earth. The pseudo-religious arguments presented for why we should do this are vacuous. It's just sort of assumed we all would rather make the required sacrifices to "be in harmony with mother earth". If that's your thing, this book is for you. Just don't make the mistake I did and buy something that you think has some scientific validity. ... Read more

76. Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation
by K. EricDrexler
list price: $59.99
our price: $37.79
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Asin: 0471575186
Catlog: Book (1992-01-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 161241
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Devices enormously smaller than before will remodel engineering, chemistry, medicine, and computer technology. How can we understand machines that are so small? Nanosystems covers it all: power and strength, friction and wear, thermal noise and quantum uncertainty. This is the book for starting the next century of engineering." — Marvin Minsky MIT Science magazine calls Eric Drexler "Mr. Nanotechnology." For years, Drexler has stirred controversy by declaring that molecular nanotechnology will bring a sweeping technological revolution — delivering tremendous advances in miniaturization, materials, computers, and manufacturing of all kinds. Now, he’s written a detailed, top-to-bottom analysis of molecular machinery — how to design it, how to analyze it, and how to build it. Nanosystems is the first scientifically detailed description of developments that will revolutionize most of the industrial processes and products currently in use. This groundbreaking work draws on physics and chemistry to establish basic concepts and analytical tools. The book then describes nanomechanical components, devices, and systems, including parallel computers able to execute 1020 instructions per second and desktop molecular manufacturing systems able to make such products. Via chemical and biochemical techniques, proximal probe instruments, and software for computer-aided molecular design, the book charts a path from present laboratory capabilities to advanced molecular manufacturing. Bringing together physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, and computer science, Nanosystems provides an indispensable introduction to the emerging field of molecular nanotechnology. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Molecular Nanotechnology
This book is highly technical and assumes the reader's familiarity with physics, chemistry and the like. It was worth studying. I highly recommend everyone reading this book as the subject matter is inspiring. This book describes the inner mechanics of our (hopefully not too distant) future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank You
Dr. Drexler, I carefully studied your book for the first time in February 2000. I studied it once again in August. I now frequently refer to the notes I have made in my copy of your book.

Your book is an excellent guide. Thank you for inviting me to the field of nanotechnology.


Kenneth L. Buckingham, Founder Tiny Technology, Inc.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare Fifth Star simply for its place in history.

Finally we may play with the "building blocks of matter" we've been hearing so much about. Here is an instruction manual, detailing the Elements, and their Interactions, while at the same time suggesting possible Design Models for construcion.

Curious about the subject?
Start with Drexler's Engines of Creation, instead. Maybe some other collections of theoretical applications to whet your appetite. Come back to this when you begin to see a bigger picture.

Know some, want to know more?
Definately read. But be warned, it is quite techincal when it is not being necessarily vague. This is a halmark. The basis of this book was Drexler's thesis for his doctorate in Molecular Nanotechnology, the first awarded (MIT 1991, I believe).

Serious about the topic?
You already have access to a copy...or should.

You might very well be able to download significant portions from Foresight's website (it's an org.anization, not a com.mercial); but I would suggest supporting them with at least the price of the book. They seem to be committed to developing this Potential responsibly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive treatise on nanotechnology theory
An outstanding book exploring the possibilities of nanotechnology in amazing detail. Dense textbook equations and charts fill the pages, but somehow Drexler's well-written prose transitions between complex concepts and offers explanations of technical points.

5-0 out of 5 stars it's koo
it's a very great book a must get for those who wish to learn ... Read more

77. Social Problems: Globalization in the 21st Century
by R. Dean Peterson, Delores F. Wunder, Harlan L. Mueller
list price: $80.00
our price: $80.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131468952
Catlog: Book (1998-12-28)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 344605
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Book Description

This volume integrates traditional sociological concepts and insights with an ecological awareness and applies it to the globalization process.It takes a dynamic view of globalization as an evolutionary process with a potential for unprecedented transformation of social structure and consciousness. ... Read more

78. Effective Business Writing: A Guide for Those Who Write on the Job
by Maryann V. Piotrowski
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062733818
Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
Publisher: HarperResource
Sales Rank: 6923
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From persuasive memos to complaint letters, sales letters to executive summaries -- this exceedingly useful guide helps the business worker write clearly and in an appropriate format, style and tone. Numerous examples show how to overcome writer's block, organize messages for maximum impact, achieve an easy-to-read style, find an efficient writing system and much more. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great reference book - - timely, too!
This is a well-written, carefully organized book that belongs on desks across America! Topics covered include organizing before writing, overcoming writer's block, suiting letters to complex situations, and using grammar and punctuation properly. If I had to provide one criticism, it would only be that the book is too short! As a reader, I didn't tire of the useful sample letters and would have happily read more and more. A great reference for the tentative writer and a good refresher for seasoned writers, as well. ... Read more

79. Lees' Loss Prevention in the Process Industries : Hazard Identification, Assessment and Control
list price: $476.00
our price: $476.00
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Asin: 0750675551
Catlog: Book (2004-12-13)
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann
Sales Rank: 1079991
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Book Description

Over the last three decades the process industries have grown very rapidly, with corresponding increases in the quantities of hazardous materials in process, storage or transport. Plants have become larger and are often situated in or close to densely populated areas. Increased hazard of loss of life or property is continually highlighted with incidents such as Flixborough, Bhopal, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, the Phillips 66 incident, and Piper Alpha to name but a few.

The field of Loss Prevention is, and continues to, be of supreme importance to countless companies, municipalities and governments around the world, because of the trend for processing plants to become larger and often be situated in or close to densely populated areas, thus increasing the hazard of loss of life or property. This book is a detailed guidebook to defending against these, and many other, hazards. It could without exaggeration be referred to as the "bible" for the process industries. This is THE standard reference work for chemical and process engineering safety professionals.For years, it has been the most complete collection of information on the theory, practice, design elements, equipment, regulations and laws covering the field of process safety.An entire library of alternative books (and cross-referencing systems) would be needed to replace or improve upon it, but everything of importance to safety professionals, engineers and managers can be found in this all-encompassing reference instead.

Frank Lees' world renowned work has been fully revised and expanded by a team of leading chemical and process engineers working under the guidance of one of the world's chief experts in this field.Sam Mannan is professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University, and heads the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M. He received his MS and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and joined the chemical engineering department at Texas A&M University as a professor in 1997.He has over 20 years of experience as an engineer, working both in industry and academia

New detail is added to chapters on fire safety, engineering, explosion hazards, analysis and suppression, and new appendices feature more recent disasters. The many thousands of references have been updated along with standards and codes of practice issued by authorities in the US, UK/Europe and internationally. In addition to all this, more regulatory relevance and case studies have been included in this edition. Written in a clear and concise style, Loss Prevention in the Process Industries covers traditional areas of personal safety as well as the more technological aspects and thus provides balanced and in-depth coverage of the whole field of safety and loss prevention.

- A must-have standard reference for chemical and process engineering safety professionals

- The most complete collection of information on the theory, practice, design elements, equipment and laws that pertain to process safety

- Only single work to provide everything; principles, practice, codes, standards, data and references needed by those practicing in the field
... Read more

by Thomas E. Ricks
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684831090
Catlog: Book (1997-11-05)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 289581
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp, Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new, Marine Corps values are forged. Acclaimed military journalist Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America. ... Read more

Reviews (129)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Example of Marine Corps Recruit Training
This book is an absolute necessity for anyone who is even in the slightest bit interested in enlisting in the corps, or learning about the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) at Parris Island, South Carolina. Ricks presents a firsthand look at the day by day life of recruits training at Parris Island. Some will make it, others won't. Those who make it will be proud to call themselves U.S. Marines. Those who don't will go back to the civilian life. Ricks presents this firsthand account in such an extraordinary way, that you will feel like you are right there going through the grueling experience with the recruits. This true story of Platoon 3086 is presented with absolutely no bias at all. The one slight problem with the book, is that it was written during the forming of the crucible, the 54 hour intense training that makes today's Marines. Before the crucible was introduced to the corps, the warrior week was the main transformation point. I would recommend the book "Into The Crucible" by James B. Woulfe.

[NOTE: "Into the Crucible" relates to the crucible training at the San Diego MCRD, instead of at Parris Island.]

Excellent book..Combined with "Into The Crucible", it is 110% enlightening

5-0 out of 5 stars Today's USMC bootcamp & civil-military relationships.
If you want a great read about today's USMC recruit training at Parris Island, SC, and a great insight into the USMC vs. American society 'culture war,' then don't miss this OUTSTANDING book!

Ricks does a superb job of capturing the challenges and triumphs of a real platoon undergoing bootcamp at the Corps' legendary Parris Island Recruit Depot. He explores the recruits' backgrounds and responses to the transforming bootcamp experience. Unlike some other works which seem to exaggerate certain perspectives, this book is an honest, realistic and well-written collection of astute, in-depth observations. You will understand how the Corps continues to thrive while keeping their numbers small, standards high, and traditions strong.

This book also analyzes the growing cultural gap between the USMC and the very society from which it comes. Ricks did extensive research into this gap and carefully weaves it in all throughout the book. He accurately describes the USMC cultural experience and compares it to what you see and don't see in today's society. If you have never given this gap much thought, you will find yourself wondering why you never noticed it before.

Being a Marine, I loved this book. Being a part of American society, I was intrigued and entertained by this book. I recommend this book to any Marine and all citizens who ever considered becoming a Marine, running for public office, or know others who have done either one. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Three month review
Look...Ricks attempted to give the Corps more respect yet what we all must understand is that he is/was a journalist and would not bite the hand that feeds him (the military allowing him to actual write a story about a sacred place) by divulging all that happens and all that these men see in MCRD training. With that in mind, it is a good outline for delayed entry recruits or the parents of Marines to gain a little understanding. I would though suggest to get a net overview of the next four years a Marine will face, learn from and be guided by when he becomes a civilian once again is the book by P. Chadz.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some strange blindspots
Thomas Ricks' "Making the Corps" is a fascinating but also frustrating book.

On the fascinating side, it's a human interest exploration of what it means to make it through book camp. Ricks follows the recruits of Platoon 3086 through their basic training ordeal, recounting the daily routine in the life of the average grunt recruit. That part of the story is pretty familiar to most everyone--to those of us who went through basic training ourselves, and also to those who've never been in the military but who have seen the million-and-one Hollywood movies with boot camp scenes in them. Familiar as the story is, however, Ricks telling of it is gripping. He's a good writer, and knows how to capture a reader's interest.

The frustrating aspect of the book is the fact that Ricks never asks, much less answers, any of the very obvious and crucial questions his account naturally suggests. Had he done so, his book would've been more than merely a journalist's story about boot camp. It would've been a real contribution to our understanding of American culture. For make no mistake about it: the very existence of the Corps is a prism through which to observe and learn things about America that go far beyond just the military.

Let me cite just two examples of where Ricks fails to reflect on what he's witnessing.

On pp. 116-119, Ricks describes a typical Sunday morning chapel call. All of us remember them; they were routine. Some of us took them seriously, most of us probably didn't. We were just relieved for the break. Now, in the Parris Island chapel, there's a stained glass window, described by Ricks, which depicts "a Marine flamethrower, his weapon's flames billowing out in a red, organce, and yellow mass." This, to say the least, is disconcerting: in chapel, a place of worship, peace, and meditation, you've got a scene of horrible carnage (a flame-thrower, for God's sake!) enshrined. This passage in Ricks' book is a symbol for the strange dilemma that any religious military person has to face: how can the demands of the job be reconciled with faith? It's a dilemma that ripples across the entire country, especially these day now that we're in a new shooting war, and it needs to be explored. But Ricks neither reflects on it himself nor invites any of the boots he's following to do so. It's as if he doesn't even catch the incongruity.

Second example. Starting on page 200, Ricks argues that the Corps, anxious to create traditions that will build loyalty (semper fi, guys) and morale, along the way creates a strong sense of anti-Americanism in its recruits. Marines, Ricks says, are being trained as "American samurai in the way they think of themselves and in the way they relate to their nation. Like the Japanese, the ... Marines, when looking at America see a society weakened by selfishness, indiscipline, and fragmentation." (201) The upshot (as Ricks himself acknowledges) is that the Corps, dedicated to the protection of American culture, is instilling in its recruits a deep contempt for American culture. How weird is that? But instead of exploring this weirdness by asking the predictable questions--What is there about American culture that the Corps finds so offensive? How protected are we if the protectors we train disdain us? How is it that military values (or at least the Corps') are so out of step with civilian ones?--Ricks moves blithely on. It's as if his loyalty to the Corps prevents him from criticizing it in any way. But why would criticism be disloyal? Has there ever been a jarhead who hasn't criticized the Corps?

So read Ricks' book, but ask the questions he doesn't. They're important, and past and current Marines are the ones best qualified to ask them. "Semper fi" doesn't mean dumbing down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Proud to be a U.S. Marine
I have read this book and was rather intrigued and disappointed in it. The author comes out strong in discussing what the Marine Corps Boot Camp is all about then the jumps from one subject to another which makes the book disorientating.

This would have been a great book if he started out with the beginning process of how the recruit is recruited and then begins his long journey into the Marine Corps. The trials and errors of each different type of recruit could be discussed.

I found it rather confusing to know what had happened with one recruit because too many references to other recruits were discussed at the same time. If he was to write about Marine Corps Boot Camp from the prespective of an outsider looking in, then he needs to write the entire process. So much of what actually happens in it was tainted by the political values of society. That should have been placed in a different book. He jumps from one subject to another and then back to the recruits lives.

What was disappointing was telling the readers that this recruit did not make it but then left it up in the air to discuss briefly in other chapters and then finally in the later chapters. There was no discussion about the training itself. For any Marine who has been through this training, we all know that it isn't just briefly touched on. So much happens when you go through it that are not even told in this book.

The Marine Corps is ever changing and he does touch briefly what happens in the Fleet and what the aftermath of the duty stations are like, but he make the Fleet look bad in certain aspects which unfortunately is true but not all experiences are the same. Only a few make it bad. What he did not touch upon is that the every Marine went through different changes in boot camp. The boot camp that those who went before me (pre-1981) were different than those who went through now.

I agree, the Corps is changing and adapting. So if anyone is interested in writing a book about Marine Corps Boot Camp, you must understand that there are two Boot Camps, one in Parris Island and one in San Diego. Each one has its own stories and its own history. ... Read more

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