We depend on - we believe in - algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It´s as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations - the marriage vow, the shaman´s curse - do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In What Algorithms Want, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm - in practical terms, ´´a method for solving a problem´´ - has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson´s Snow Crash to Diderot´s Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost´s satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google´s goal of anticipating our questions, Uber´s cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of ´´algorithmic reading´´ and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Merriman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/brll/008781/bk_brll_008781_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
God, bored, decides that Earth has had its day - unless two idealistic angels can make a miracle happen. Welcome to Heaven, Inc., the grossly mismanaged corporation in the sky. For as long as anyone can remember, the founder and CEO (known in some circles as ´´God´´) has been phoning it in. Lately, he´s been spending most of his time on the golf course. And when he does show up at work, it´s not to resolve wars or end famines, but to Google himself and read what humans have been blogging about him. When God decides to retire (to pursue his lifelong dream of opening an Asian Fusion restaurant), he also decides to destroy Earth. His employees take the news in stride, except for Craig and Eliza, two underpaid angels in the lowly Department of Miracles. Unlike their boss, Craig and Eliza love their jobs - uncapping city fire hydrants on hot days, revealing lost keys in snow banks - and they refuse to accept that Earth is going under. The angels manage to strike a deal with their boss. He´ll call off his Armageddon if they can solve their toughest miracle yet: getting the two most socially awkward humans on the planet to fall in love. With doomsday fast approaching, and the humans ignoring every chance for happiness thrown their way, Craig and Eliza must move heaven and Earth to rescue them - and the rest of us, too. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Simon Rich. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hach/001004/bk_hach_001004_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Finally, a business book for makers, not managers. Are you ready to ´´make a dent in the universe´´? As a creative, you no longer have to take a backseat. In fact, stepping up and embracing entrepreneurship is the fastest route to impact. But where do you start? And what sets the businesses that succeed apart? To find out, we asked the bright minds behind companies like Google X, Warby Parker, Facebook, O’Reilly Media, and more to share their startup wisdom. Featuring hard-won wisdom from 20 leading entrepreneurs and designers, 99U’s Make Your Mark will arm you with practical insights for launching a purpose-driven business, refining your product, delighting your customers, inspiring your team - and ultimately - making something that matters. Make Your Mark features contributions from: Will Allen, Rich Armstrong, Warren Berger, Sean Blanda, Neil Blumenthal, Craig Dalton, Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, Aaron Dignan, Andy Dunn, Joel Gascoigne, Seth Godin, Chris Guillebeau, Emily Heyward, John Maeda, David Marquet, Tim O’Reilly, Shane Snow, Sebastian Thrun, Keith Yamashita, and Julie Zhuo. Plus, a foreword from Behance founder Scott Belsky. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Joyce Bean. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/brll/006571/bk_brll_006571_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.