A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age

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"Deserves a spot next to Fast Food Nation and To Kill a Mockingbird in America’s high school curriculums. To say it may save lives is self-evident.” —New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: San Francisco Chronicle, Chrisitian Science Monitor, Kirkus, Winnipeg Free Press

One of the decade's most original and masterfully reported books, A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist Matt Richtel interweaves the cutting-edge science of attention with the tensely plotted story of a mysterious car accident and its aftermath to answer some of the defining questions of our time: What is technology doing to us? Can our minds keep up with the pace of change? How can we find balance?

On the last day of summer, an ordinary Utah college student named Reggie Shaw fatally struck two rocket scientists while texting and driving along a majestic stretch of highway bordering the Rocky Mountains. A Deadly Wandering follows Reggie from the moment of the tragedy, through the police investigation, the state's groundbreaking prosecution, and ultimately, Reggie's wrenching admission of responsibility. Richtel parallels Reggie's journey with leading-edge scientific findings on the impact technology has on our brains, showing how these devices play to our deepest social instincts. A propulsive read filled with surprising scientific detail, riveting narrative tension, and rare emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering is a book that can change—and save—lives.

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About the author

Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter and bestselling nonfiction and mystery author. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, a neurologist, and their two children. In his spare time, he plays tennis and piano and writes (not very good) songs. Visit him online at www.mattrichtel.wordpress.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Sep 23, 2014
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780062284082
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Cognitive Science
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Technology & Engineering / Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A new way to understand expressive interaction, focusing on the dynamic, fast, pre-reflective processes underlying interactions with music.

The expressive moment is that point in time when we grasp a situation and respond quickly, even before we are aware of it. In this book, Marc Leman argues that expression drives this kind of interaction, and he proposes a general framework for understanding expressive interactions. He focuses on the dynamic, fast, and pre-reflective processes underlying our interactions with music—whether we are playing an instrument, dancing, listening, or using new interactive technologies. Music offers a well-established domain for studying these fast and interactive processes, and Leman argues that understanding the power of expressive interaction through music may help us understand cognitive processing in other domains, including language, human action coordination, human-animal interaction, and human-machine interaction.

Leman regards expressive interactions with music as energizing and empowering. He argues that music is based on patterns that intervene with a reinforcing loop in the human brain, strengthening learning, motivation, and reward. He argues further that the reinforcing effect is influenced by the interaction flow, by fast processes that handle expressive qualities on the fly.

Leman sets out the framework in which expressive interaction is situated, describing, among other things, a pragmatic model of communication in which the fundamental components are enactment and dynamics. He looks in more detail at the cognitive-motivational architecture, discussing sensorimotor and motivational schemes. Finally, he discusses applications for the concepts behind expressive motivation in such fields as sports, entertainment, rehabilitation, multimedia art, and music education.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A grand tour of the human immune system and the secrets of health, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist

“One of those rare nonfiction books that transcends the genre. ... Extraordinary.” —Douglas Preston

A terminal cancer patient rises from the grave. A medical marvel defies HIV. Two women with autoimmunity discover their own bodies have turned against them. Matt Richtel's An Elegant Defense uniquely entwines these intimate stories with science’s centuries-long quest to unlock the mysteries of sickness and health, and illuminates the immune system as never before.

The immune system is our body’s essential defense network, a guardian vigilantly fighting illness, healing wounds, maintaining order and balance, and keeping us alive. Its legion of microscopic foot soldiers—from T cells to “natural killers”—patrols our body, linked by a nearly instantaneous communications grid. It has been honed by evolution over millennia to face an almost infinite array of threats.

For all its astonishing complexity, however, the immune system can be easily compromised by fatigue, stress, toxins, advanced age, and poor nutrition—hallmarks of modern life—and even by excessive hygiene. Paradoxically, it is a fragile wonder weapon that can turn on our own bodies with startling results, leading today to epidemic levels of autoimmune disorders.

Richtel effortlessly guides readers on a scientific detective tale winding from the Black Plague to twentieth-century breakthroughs in vaccination and antibiotics, to the cutting-edge laboratories that are revolutionizing immunology—perhaps the most extraordinary and consequential medical story of our time. The foundation that Richtel builds makes accessible revelations about cancer immunotherapy, the microbiome, and autoimmune treatments that are changing millions of lives. An Elegant Defense also captures in vivid detail how these powerful therapies, along with our behavior and environment, interact with the immune system, often for the good but always on a razor’s edge that can throw this remarkable system out of balance.

Drawing on his groundbreaking reporting for the New York Times and based on extensive new interviews with dozens of world-renowned scientists, Matt Richtel has produced a landmark book, equally an investigation into the deepest riddles of survival and a profoundly human tale that is movingly brought to life through the eyes of his four main characters, each of whom illuminates an essential facet of our “elegant defense.”


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Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
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