Stories, Dice and Rocks That Think
Stories, Dice, and Rocks That Think: How Humans Learned to See the Future — and Shape it. What makes the human mind so unique? And how did we get this way?
This fascinating tale explores the three leaps in our history that made us who we are—and will change how you think about our future.
Look around. Clearly, we humans are radically different from the other creatures on this planet. But why? Where are the Bronze Age beavers? The Iron Age iguanas? In Stories, Dice, and Rocks That Think (Aug. 18, 2022 / Benbella Books), Byron Reese argues that we owe our special status to our ability to imagine the future and recall the past, escaping the perpetual present that all other living creatures are trapped in.
Envisioning human history as the development of a societal superorganism he names Agora, Reese shows us how this escape enabled us to share knowledge on an unprecedented scale, to predict—and eventually master—the future.
Thoughtful, witty, and compulsively readable, Reese unravels our history as an intelligent species in three acts:
- Act I: Ancient humans undergo “the awakening,” developing the cognitive ability to mentally time-travel using language
- Act II: In 17th century France, probability theory is born—a science for seeing into the future that we used to build the modern world
- Act III: Beginning with the invention of the computer chip, humanity creates machines to gaze into the future with even more precision, overcoming the limits of our brains
A fresh new look at the history and destiny of humanity, readers will come away from Stories, Dice, and Rocks that Think with a new understanding of what they are—not just another animal, but a creature with a mastery of time itself.
How We Squander Time, Money, and Natural Resources and What We Can Do About It
We live in a world full of waste in many forms, from fast fashion to wasted time and potential. Yet when most people think of waste, they only think of the tangible, like plastic straws and garbage strewn across sidewalks. In WASTED (6/1/2021), Byron Reese and Scott Hoffman provide an insightful exploration of a ubiquitous issue, and encourage readers to think more critically about waste in all of its manifestations—seen and unseen—and how to reduce it to improve our cultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing.
WASTED is a fascinating series of extensively researched—and often counterintuitive—pieces on waste in our lives. It affects the Earth we live on, the businesses we run, the products we buy, and the lives we live. Reese and Hoffman delve deep into the ways science, businesses, and human behavior create different forms of waste, and how a deeper understanding can lead us toward a world with far less waste—or no waste at all. Along the way, they raise questions from the quotidian to the abstract including.
- Do humans really inhale or consume an average of 100,000 pieces of plastic per year?
- How are the Dutch able to grow tomatoes with 19% of the water and 3% of the chemicals used in US agricultural production?
- Why is it 80 percent of donated clothes end up in landfills and the apparel industry’s emissions are roughly triple that of the entire aviation industry?
- Could global hunger be completely eliminated for the annual cost of about a hundred $100 billion dollars, a sum just under what we collectively spend on pet food? Yes it could.
Ultimately, the question of reducing waste is philosophical and complex. While Reese and Hoffman don’t promise easy answers or shame readers into thinking a perfectly waste-free lifestyle is possible, they promise to help readers understand the questions at play and give actionable steps where they can. As the authors decipher issues they simultaneously provide insights into solutions – mostly technology-driven – that could potentially drive down waste as well. A powerful and compelling thought experiment, WASTED will educate and inspire environmentalists, scientists, business leaders, technologists, and consumers alike.
“A smart, unconventional book that takes readers far beyond what they think they know about a complex subject, Wasted is filled with surprising insights, careful analysis, and fascinating factoids. There’s something on every page for those who want to know more about science, business, and human behavior, all shown through the lens of, well . . . waste. This book isn’t just for geeks—but geeks of all stripes will love it.”— Kari Byron, former cast member of MythBusters
The Fourth Age
Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity
We are now on the doorstep of a fourth change brought about by two technologies: AI and robotics. Byron Reese’ book “The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity” provides extraordinary background information on how we got to this point. Byron leads readers in an examination of how—rather than what—we should think about the topics we’ll soon all be facing: machine consciousness, automation, employment, creative computers, radical life extension, artificial life, AI ethics, the future of warfare, super-intelligence, and the implications of extreme prosperity.
By asking questions like “Are you a machine?” and “Could a computer feel anything?” Reese leads readers through a discussion along the cutting edge in robotics and AI, and, provides a framework by which we can all understand, discuss, and act on the issues of the Fourth Age, and how they’ll transform humanity.
Sample Audio Book
“The Fourth Age” is available in print and electronic formats. Order now via your preferred book-seller, or order directly from Byron for free shipping and an autographed copy.
How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War
Gloom-and-doom pessimists have it all wrong. This objective look at the trajectory of history, technology, and civilization shows that we are about to enter a great new epoch of human existence, a golden age like we have never seen; a world free of ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger, and war.
With the art of a storyteller, Byron synthesizes history, technology, and sociology into an exciting, fast-moving narrative showing how new technology has had dramatic effects on humanity in the past. He then looks forward at the technological changes we know are coming–from genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and many other fields–and explores how they will vastly increase wealth, prolong our lifespans, redefine human rights, and alter the social fabric of the world.
With a rational and researched optimism, Byron sees the future not as a world in a downward spiral, but as destined for progress beyond our imaginations.
Special 99 Cent eBook Offer Available through Major Retailers
“Infinite Progress,” is available in print and electronic formats at all major book-sellers. The eBook version is currently available for 99 cents. For an autographed printed copy, shipping included, order directly from Byron.
Deep Dive Into AI: Explainable Artificial Intelligence
Deep Dive Into AI: Limits of AI
"How We Will Age Within 20 Years" by Byron Reese
Korn Ferry Institute Report - "Artificial Intelligence: Competitor or Partner"
A World of Inspiration
"A World of Inspiration," by Byron Reese