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Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back
What causes one system to break down and another to rebound? Are we merely subject to the whim of forces beyond our control? Or, in the face of constant disruption, can we build better shock absorbers - for ourselves, our communities, our economies, and for the planet as a whole? Reporting firsthand from the coral reefs of Palau to the back streets of Palestine, Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy relate breakthrough scientific discoveries, pioneering social and ecological innovations, and important new approaches to constructing a more resilient world. Zolli and Healy show how this new concept of resilience is a powerful lens through which we can assess major issues afresh: from business planning to social development, from urban planning to national energy security-circumstances that affect us all. Provocative, optimistic, and eye-opening, Resilience sheds light on why some systems, people, and communities fall apart in the face of disruption and, ultimately, how they can learn to bounce back.
Hacking Planet Earth: How Geoengineering Can Help Us Reimagine the Future
Kostigen, Thomas M.
An exploration of the cutting-edge technology that will enable us to confront the realities of climate change.For decades scientists and environmentalists have sounded the alarm about the effects of global warming. We are now past the tipping point. As floods, storms, and extreme temperatures become our daily reality, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" efforts aren't enough anymore. In Hacking Planet Earth, New York Times bestselling author Thomas Kostigen takes readers to the frontlines of geoengineering projects that scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and other visionaries around the world are developing to solve the problems associated with climate change. From giant parasols hovering above the Earth to shield us from an unforgiving sun, to lasers shooting up into clouds to coax out much-needed water, Kostigen introduces readers to this inspiring work and the people who are spearheading it. These futurist, far- thinking, world-changing ideas will save us, and Hacking Planet Earth offers readers their new vision for the future.
SAM: One Robot, a Dozen Engineers, and the Race to Revolutionize the Way We Build
A true story of innovation, centered on a scrappy team of engineers—far from the Silicon Valley limelight—and their quest to achieve a surprisingly difficult technological feat: building a robot that can lay bricks.Humans have landed men on the moon, programmed cars to drive themselves, and put the knowledge of our entire civilization in your back pocket. But no one—from MIT nerds to Army Corps engineers—has ever built a robot that can lay bricks as well as a mason. Unlike the controlled conditions of a factory line, where robots are now ubiquitous, no two construction sites are alike, and a day’s work involves countless variables—bricks that range in size and quality, temperamental mortar mixes, uneven terrain, fickle weather, and moody foremen.Twenty-five years ago, on a challenging construction job in Syracuse, architect Nate Podkaminer had a vision of a future full of efficient, automated machines that freed men from the repetitive, toilsome burden of laying bricks. (Bricklayers lift the equivalent of a Ford truck every few days.) Offhandedly, he mentioned the idea to his daughter’s boyfriend, and after some inspired scheming, the architect and engineer—soon to be in-laws—cofounded a humble start-up called Construction Robotics. Working out of a small trailer, they recruited a boldly unconventional team of engineers to build the Semi-Automated Mason: SAM. In classic American tradition, a small, unlikely, and eccentric family-run start-up sought to reimagine the behemoth $1 trillion construction industry—the second biggest industry in America—in bootstrap fashion.In the tradition of Tracy Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine, SAM unfolds as an engineering drama, full of trials and setbacks, heated showdowns between meticulous scientists and brash bricklayers (and their even more opinionated union), and hard-earned milestone achievements. Jonathan Waldman, acclaimed author of Rust, brings readers inside the world of the renegade company revolutionizing the most traditional trade.
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