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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Technology

10 ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR

10 ARGUMENTS FOR DELETING YOUR

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AS SEEN IN THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
A WIRED ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK
THE CONSCIENCE OF SILICON VALLEY- GQ

"Profound . . . Lanier shows the tactical value of appealing to the conscience of the individual. In the face of his earnest argument, I felt a piercing shame about my own presence on Facebook. I heeded his plea and deleted my account."
- Franklin Foer, The New York Times Book Review

"Mixes prophetic wisdom with a simple practicality . . . Essential reading."
- The New York Times (Summer Reading Preview)

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we're better off without them. In Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, Lanier, who participates in no social media, offers powerful and personal reasons for all of us to leave these dangerous online platforms.

Lanier's reasons for freeing ourselves from social media's poisonous grip include its tendency to bring out the worst in us, to make politics terrifying, to trick us with illusions of popularity and success, to twist our relationship with the truth, to disconnect us from other people even as we are more "connected" than ever, to rob us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance and are constantly being prodded by algorithms run by some of the richest corporations in history that have no way of making money other than being paid to manipulate our behavior? How could the benefits of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Lanier remains a tech optimist, so while demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

ART OF INVISIBILITY

ART OF INVISIBILITY

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Real-world advice on how to be invisible online from "the FBI's most wanted hacker" (Wired).

Be online without leaving a trace. Your every step online is being tracked and stored, and your identity literally stolen. Big companies and big governments want to know and exploit what you do, and privacy is a luxury few can afford or understand.

In this explosive yet practical book, Kevin Mitnick uses true-life stories to show exactly what is happening without your knowledge, teaching you "the art of invisibility" -- online and real-world tactics to protect you and your family, using easy step-by-step instructions.

Reading this book, you will learn everything from password protection and smart Wi-Fi usage to advanced techniques designed to maximize your anonymity. Kevin Mitnick knows exactly how vulnerabilities can be exploited and just what to do to prevent that from happening.

The world's most famous -- and formerly the US government's most wanted -- computer hacker, he has hacked into some of the country's most powerful and seemingly impenetrable agencies and companies, and at one point was on a three-year run from the FBI. Now Mitnick is reformed and widely regarded as the expert on the subject of computer security. Invisibility isn't just for superheroes; privacy is a power you deserve and need in the age of Big Brother and Big Data.

"Who better than Mitnick -- internationally wanted hacker turned Fortune 500 security consultant -- to teach you how to keep your data safe?" --Esquire

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

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An introduction to computational thinking that traces a genealogy beginning centuries before the digital computer.

A few decades into the digital era, scientists discovered that thinking in terms of computation made possible an entirely new way of organizing scientific investigation; eventually, every field had a computational branch: computational physics, computational biology, computational sociology. More recently, "computational thinking" has become part of the K-12 curriculum. But what is computational thinking? This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers an accessible overview, tracing a genealogy that begins centuries before digital computers and portraying computational thinking as pioneers of computing have described it.

The authors explain that computational thinking (CT) is not a set of concepts for programming; it is a way of thinking that is honed through practice: the mental skills for designing computations to do jobs for us, and for explaining and interpreting the world as a complex of information processes. Mathematically trained experts (known as "computers") who performed complex calculations as teams engaged in CT long before electronic computers. The authors identify six dimensions of today's highly developed CT--methods, machines, computing education, software engineering, computational science, and design--and cover each in a chapter. Along the way, they debunk inflated claims for CT and computation while making clear the power of CT in all its complexity and multiplicity.

CULT OF THE DEAD COW: HOW THE

CULT OF THE DEAD COW: HOW THE

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The shocking untold story of the elite secret society of hackers fighting to protect our privacy, our freedom -- even democracy itself
Cult of the Dead Cow is the tale of the oldest, most respected, and most famous American hacking group of all time. Though until now it has remained mostly anonymous, its members invented the concept of hacktivism, released the top tool for testing password security, and created what was for years the best technique for controlling computers from afar, forcing giant companies to work harder to protect customers. They contributed to the development of Tor, the most important privacy tool on the net, and helped build cyberweapons that advanced US security without injuring anyone. With its origins in the earliest days of the Internet, the cDc is full of oddball characters -- activists, artists, even future politicians. Many of these hackers have become top executives and advisors walking the corridors of power in Washington and Silicon Valley. The most famous is former Texas Congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, whose time in the cDc set him up to found a tech business, launch an alternative publication in El Paso, and make long-shot bets on unconventional campaigns.
Today, the group and its followers are battling electoral misinformation, making personal data safer, and battling to keep technology a force for good instead of for surveillance and oppression. Cult of the Dead Cow shows how governments, corporations, and criminals came to hold immense power over individuals and how we can fight back against them.

DATA SCIENCE

DATA SCIENCE

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A concise introduction to the emerging field of data science, explaining its evolution, relation to machine learning, current uses, data infrastructure issues, and ethical challenges.

The goal of data science is to improve decision making through the analysis of data. Today data science determines the ads we see online, the books and movies that are recommended to us online, which emails are filtered into our spam folders, and even how much we pay for health insurance. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers a concise introduction to the emerging field of data science, explaining its evolution, current uses, data infrastructure issues, and ethical challenges.

It has never been easier for organizations to gather, store, and process data. Use of data science is driven by the rise of big data and social media, the development of high-performance computing, and the emergence of such powerful methods for data analysis and modeling as deep learning. Data science encompasses a set of principles, problem definitions, algorithms, and processes for extracting non-obvious and useful patterns from large datasets. It is closely related to the fields of data mining and machine learning, but broader in scope. This book offers a brief history of the field, introduces fundamental data concepts, and describes the stages in a data science project. It considers data infrastructure and the challenges posed by integrating data from multiple sources, introduces the basics of machine learning, and discusses how to link machine learning expertise with real-world problems. The book also reviews ethical and legal issues, developments in data regulation, and computational approaches to preserving privacy. Finally, it considers the future impact of data science and offers principles for success in data science projects.

DEEP LEARNING

DEEP LEARNING

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An accessible introduction to the artificial intelligence technology that enables computer vision, speech recognition, machine translation, and driverless cars.

Deep learning is an artificial intelligence technology that enables computer vision, speech recognition in mobile phones, machine translation, AI games, driverless cars, and other applications. When we use consumer products from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, or Baidu, we are often interacting with a deep learning system. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, computer scientist John Kelleher offers an accessible and concise but comprehensive introduction to the fundamental technology at the heart of the artificial intelligence revolution.

Kelleher explains that deep learning enables data-driven decisions by identifying and extracting patterns from large datasets; its ability to learn from complex data makes deep learning ideally suited to take advantage of the rapid growth in big data and computational power. Kelleher also explains some of the basic concepts in deep learning, presents a history of advances in the field, and discusses the current state of the art. He describes the most important deep learning architectures, including autoencoders, recurrent neural networks, and long short-term networks, as well as such recent developments as Generative Adversarial Networks and capsule networks. He also provides a comprehensive (and comprehensible) introduction to the two fundamental algorithms in deep learning: gradient descent and backpropagation. Finally, Kelleher considers the future of deep learning--major trends, possible developments, and significant challenges.

DONT MAKE ME THINK REVISITED

DONT MAKE ME THINK REVISITED

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Since Don't Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug's guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it's one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don't Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it's still short, profusely illustrated...and best of all-fun to read.

If you've read it before, you'll rediscover what made Don't Make Me Think so essential to Web designers and developers around the world. If you've never read it, you'll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on Web sites.


"After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book."
-Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation

Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation

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"A concise, insightful and sophisticated guide to maintaining humane values in an age of new machines."--The New York Times Book Review

"While we need to rewrite the rules of the twenty-first-century economy, Kevin's book is a great look at how people can do this on a personal level to always put humanity first."--Andrew Yang

You are being automated.

After decades of hype and sci-fi fantasies, artificial intelligence is leaping out of research labs and into the center of our lives. Automation doesn't just threaten our jobs. It shapes our entire human experience, with AI and algorithms influencing the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the beliefs we hold, and the relationships we form.

And while the age-old debate over whether automation will destroy jobs rages on, an even more important question is being ignored:

How can we be happy, successful humans in a world that is increasingly built by and for machines?

In Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation, New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose lays out a hopeful, pragmatic vision for how humans can survive in the machine age. He shares the secrets of people and organizations that have thrived during periods of technological change, and explains how we can protect our own futures. He shares the secrets of people and organizations that have survived technological change, and explains how we can protect our own futures, with lessons like

- Be surprising, social, and scarce.
- Resist machine drift.
- Leave handprints.
- Demote your devices.
- Treat AI like a chimp army.

Roose rejects the conventional wisdom that in order to succeed in the age of intelligent machines, we have to become more like computers--hyper-efficient, data-driven workhorses. Instead, he says, we should focus on being more human, and doing the kinds of creative, inspiring, and meaningful things even the most advanced AI can't do.

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook, and the World

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This colorful page-turner puts artificial intelligence into a human perspective. Through the lives of Geoff Hinton and other major players, Metz explains this transformative technology and makes the quest thrilling.
--Walter Isaacson,
author of The Code Breaker

Recipient of starred reviews in both Kirkus and Library Journal

THE UNTOLD TECH STORY OF OUR TIME

What does it mean to be smart? To be human? What do we really want from life and the intelligence we have, or might create?

With deep and exclusive reporting, across hundreds of interviews, New York Times Silicon Valley journalist Cade Metz brings you into the rooms where these questions are being answered. Where an extraordinarily powerful new artificial intelligence has been built into our biggest companies, our social discourse, and our daily lives, with few of us even noticing.

Long dismissed as a technology of the distant future, artificial intelligence was a project consigned to the fringes of the scientific community. Then two researchers changed everything. One was a sixty-four-year-old computer science professor who didn't drive and didn't fly because he could no longer sit down--but still made his way across North America for the moment that would define a new age of technology. The other was a thirty-six-year-old neuroscientist and chess prodigy who laid claim to being the greatest game player of all time before vowing to build a machine that could do anything the human brain could do.

They took two very different paths to that lofty goal, and they disagreed on how quickly it would arrive. But both were soon drawn into the heart of the tech industry. Their ideas drove a new kind of arms race, spanning Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and OpenAI, a new lab founded by Silicon Valley kingpin Elon Musk. But some believed that China would beat them all to the finish line.

Genius Makers dramatically presents the fierce conflict between national interests, shareholder value, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and the very human concerns about privacy, security, bias, and prejudice. Like a great Victorian novel, this world of eccentric, brilliant, often unimaginably yet suddenly wealthy characters draws you into the most profound moral questions we can ask. And like a great mystery, it presents the story and facts that lead to a core, vital question:

How far will we let it go?

GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO

GOOGLE ARCHIPELAGO

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Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom begins with familiar cultural politics as points of entry to the book's theme regarding the reach, penetration, and soon the ubiquity of the digital world. In a book about enormous sea changes brought about by digital technology, Google Archipelago begins and ends with the political, in particular with the objectives of the Big Digi­tal conglomerates as global corporate monopoly capitalists or would-be-monopolies.

Google Archipelago argues that Big Digital technologies and their principals represent not only economic powerhouses but also new forms of governmental power. The technologies of Big Digital not only amplify, extend, and lend precision to the powers of the state, they may represent elements of a new corporate state power.

In contrast to academics who study digital media and bemoan such supposed horrors as digital exploitation, in Google Archipelago, Michael Rectenwald argues that the real danger posed by Big Digital is not digital capitalism as such, but leftist authoritarianism, a political outlook shared by academic leftists, who thus cannot recognize it in their object of study. Thus, while imagining that they are radical critics of Big Digital, academic digital media scholars (whom Rectenwald terms the digitalistas) actually serve as ideological smokescreens that obscure its real character.

Two chapters interrupt the book's genre as non-fiction prose. Part historical science fiction and part memoir, these chapters render the story of a Soviet Gu­lag survivor and defector, and the author's earlier digital self. Google Archipelago intentionally blurs the lines between argument and story, fact and artifact, the real and the imaginary. This is necessary, Rectenwald argues, because one cannot pretend to describe the Google Archipelago as if from without, as something apart from experience. In any case, soon one will no longer go on the Internet. The Internet and cyberspace will be everywhere, while humans and other agents will be digital artifacts within it.

The Google Archipelago represents the coextension of digitization and physical social space, the conversion of social space and its inhabitants into digital artifacts, and the potential to control populations to degrees unimagined by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, or Mao.