Favorite & Recommended Books, Texts, Presentations, etc.

Powerful Short Videos

General Non-Fiction Books, Texts & Presentations; By Author

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkin’s Website

David Deutsch

Jared Diamond

Richard Feynman

Jonathan Haidt

Roger Penrose

Sir Roger Penrose is one of the greatest living physicists. He also has written a number of books which are extraordinary resources for anyone who would like to learn modern science and mathematics.

book: The Emperor’s New Mind
This is my favorite book by Penrose. In order to present his controversial idea that human consciousness is partially based on quantum phenomena he first needs to bring the reader up to speed in mathematics, physics and the theory of computation.

Steven Pinker

Leonard Susskind

* book: The Theoretical Minimum
This is the first of two planned short books to teach a scientifically literate layperson “What you need to know to start doing physics”. It is based on his lecture series of the same name.

Robert Wright


Some More Advanced Materials, By Topic

These books have significant pre-requisites or require greater commitment of the reader. In many cases they would best be approached as part of a class or study group.

Accelerating Technological Change

Science and Technology are driving change at an accelerating rate. The consequence of this is that the future we are heading towards will not resemble the past. Some of the coming changes are likely to resemble extrapolations from existing trends, the evolution of recent developments and known theoretical possibilities. Others will doubtless take us by surprise.

The Technological Singularity

Molecular Nanotechnology

Mathematics, Computing, Logic and Rationality

Geometry and Computing

One of the best ways to learn Geometry is by interacting with computerized geometry systems. One of the best ways to learn computing is by writing programs which construct and manipulate geometrical objects!

Some computer systems are designed to support learning Euclidean geometry:

Geometric Algebra

Geometric Algebra is a more powerful, expressive, concise and arguably “natural” mathematical language for much of Physics, Computer Science and other disciplines than traditional vector, matrix and tensor approaches.

book: Geometric Algebra for Computer Science
by Chris Doran, Anthony Lasenby
book: Geometric Algebra for Physicists
by Leo Dorst, Daniel Fontune, Stephen Mann

Logic and Rationality

Anyone who likes the Harry Potter series should at once read

There is excellent practical material on Logic and Rationality at

LessWrong

Advanced Computing

book: Concepts, Techniques and Models of Computer Programming
authors: Peter Van Roy and Seif Haridi
This is the first book to cover most of the major computer programming models. It uses an elegant multi-paradigm programming environment and language (Mozart/Oz) for its examples. If you’re seriously interested in computer programming, this one is a must read.


Mathematical Thinking

George Gamow

George Polya


Communication & Effectiveness

The Arbinger Institute

These books and videos present an excellent and practical model for being more effective in our work as well as being more effective in our relationships within the general community.

The videos provide a quick introduction to material which the books go into much more deeply and thoroughly yet the books are short easy reads.

Additional materials


Return to J. Greg Davidson