Humans and Automata A Social Study of Robotics

Politics, Sociology

In the Secret Service: The True Story of the Man Who Saved President Reagan’s Life by Jerry Parr, Carolyn Parr
The Man Who Wrote Pancho Villa: Martin Luis Guzman and the Politics of Life Writing by Nicholas Cifuentes-Goodbody
My Nuclear Nightmare :
Leading Japan Through the Fukushima Disaster to a Nuclear-Free Future
Humans and Automata: A Social Study of Robotics by Riccardo Campa
Why Are We Waiting?: The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change (Lionel Robbins Lectures) by Nicholas Stern

In the Secret Service: The True Story of the Man Who Saved President Reagan’s Life by Jerry Parr, Carolyn Parr

Meet Jerry Parr. In 1981, he was the agent standing next to Ronald Reagan when John Hinckley, Jr., stepped out of the crowd, intent on killing the president. In the Secret Service is an adrenaline-filled ride through the life of the agent who saved Ronald Reagan’s life. Jerry spent much of his life as a silent eyewitness to history, with a gun at his fingertips. What motivates a man who is ready at a moment’s notice to step into the path of a bullet? In In the Secret Service, you’ll also follow Jerry’s inner journey. That journey led him from the halls of the powerful to the streets of the poor in Washington, D.C., to the mountain passes of war-torn El Salvador to help orphans.
You won’t want to miss this insider’s perspective on the Secret Service and a look into the heart of a man who was―and is―ready to sacrifice himself for another. At times heart-pounding, at times heartrending, this richly textured memoir of a Secret Service Agent will first move you to the edge of your seat, then to the depths of your soul.

The Man Who Wrote Pancho Villa: Martin Luis Guzman and the Politics of Life Writing by Nicholas Cifuentes-Goodbody

Martin Luis Guzman was many things throughout his career in twentieth-century Mexico: a soldier in Pancho Villa’s revolutionary army, a journalist-in-exile, one of the most esteemed novelists and scholars of the revolutionary era, and an elder statesman and politician. In The Man Who Wrote Pancho Villa, we see the famous author as he really was: a careful craftsman of his own image and legacy. His five-volume biography of Villa propelled him to the heights of Mexican cultural life, and thus began his true life’s work. Nicholas Cifuentes-Goodbody shapes this study of Guzman through the lens of “life writing” and uncovers a tireless effort by Guzman to shape his public image.
The Man Who Wrote Pancho Villa places Guzman’s work in a biographical context, shedding light on the immediate motivations behind his writing in a given moment and the subsequent ways in which he rewrote or repackaged the material. Despite his efforts to establish a definitive reading of his life and literature, Guzman was unable to control that interpretation as audiences became less tolerant of the glaring omissions in his self-portrait.

My Nuclear Nightmare :
Leading Japan Through the Fukushima Disaster to a Nuclear-Free Future

On March 11, 2011, a massive undersea earthquake off Japan’s coast triggered devastating tsunami waves that in turn caused meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Ranked with Chernobyl as the worst nuclear disaster in history, Fukushima will have lasting consequences for generations. Until 3.11, Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, had supported the use of nuclear power. His position would undergo a radical change, however, as Kan watched the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Power Plant unfold and came to understand the potential for the physical, economic, and political destruction of Japan.
In My Nuclear Nightmare, Kan offers a fascinating day-by-day account of his actions in the harrowing week after the earthquake struck. He records the anguished decisions he had to make as the scale of destruction became clear and the threat of nuclear catastrophe loomed ever larger—decisions made on the basis of information that was often unreliable. For example, frustrated by the lack of clarity from the executives at Tepco, the company that owned the power plant, Kan decided to visit Fukushima himself, despite the risks, so he could talk to the plant’s manager and find out what was really happening on the ground. As he details, a combination of extremely good fortune and hard work just barely prevented a total meltdown of all of Fukushima’s reactor units, which would have necessitated the evacuation of the thirty million residents of the greater Tokyo metropolitan area.
In the book, first published in Japan in 2012, Kan also explains his opposition to nuclear power: “I came to understand that a nuclear accident carried with it a risk so large that it could lead to the collapse of a country.” When Kan was pressured by the opposition to step down as prime minister in August 2011, he agreed to do so only after legislation had been passed to encourage investments in alternative energy. As both a document of crisis management during an almost unimaginable disaster and a cogent argument about the dangers of nuclear power, My Nuclear Nightmare is essential reading.

Humans and Automata: A Social Study of Robotics by Riccardo Campa

The book takes a close look at the social dimensions of robotics. It examines some of the projects on which robotic engineers are presently working, explores the dreams and hopes connected with these undertakings and determines if there is a relation between automation and unemployment within the socio-economic system. Furthermore, it explores the possible futures generated by the development of artificial intelligence and outlines the core ideas of roboethics. Last but not least, it examines the systems of military robots, with special emphasis on the ethical issues raised by the design, construction and utilization of these systems of weaponry.

Why Are We Waiting?: The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change (Lionel Robbins Lectures) by Nicholas Stern

The risks of climate change are potentially immense. The benefits of taking action are also clear: we can see that economic development, reduced emissions, and creative adaptation go hand in hand. A committed and strong low-carbon transition could trigger a new wave of economic and technological transformation and investment, a new era of global and sustainable prosperity. Why, then, are we waiting? In this book, Nicholas Stern explains why, notwithstanding the great attractions of a new path, it has been so difficult to tackle climate change effectively. He makes a compelling case for climate action now and sets out the forms that action should take.
Stern argues that the risks and costs of climate change are worse than estimated in the landmark Stern Review in 2006 – and far worse than implied by standard economic models. He reminds us that we have a choice. We can rely on past technologies, methods, and institutions – or we can embrace change, innovation, and international collaboration. The first might bring us some short-term growth but would lead eventually to chaos, conflict, and destruction. The second could bring about better lives for all and growth that is sustainable over the long term, and help win the battle against worldwide poverty. The science warns of the dangers of neglect; the economics and technology show what we can do and the great benefits that will follow; an examination of the ethics points strongly to a moral imperative for action. Why are we waiting?