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intelligence

Book cover for Genius Makers
Dutton

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?

In "Genius Makers," New York Times Silicon Valley journalist Cade Metz brings the reader 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. 

Book cover for "Think Again"
Viking

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in our rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of "Originals" and "Give and Take," he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong.

His new book is "Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know."

Flag artwork from "The Perfect Weapon" film poster
HBO MAX / HBO MAX

“The Perfect Weapon” is a new HBO Documentary based on the best-selling book of the same name by New York Times National Security Correspondent David Sanger.

The film draws on interviews with top military, intelligence and political officials for a comprehensive view of a world of new vulnerabilities, particularly as fear mounts over how cyberattacks and influence operations may affect the 2020 U.S. election.

As news breaks this week about ransomware hitting the nation’s hospitals, there are also fears over vulnerable power grids, America’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and the global networks that are the backbone of private enterprise.

The film also explores how the US government is struggling to defend itself from cyberattacks while simultaneously stockpiling and using the world's most powerful offensive cyber arsenal.

David Sanger is a national security correspondent and a senior writer at The New York Times. In a 38-year reporting career for The New York Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting.

This interview was recorded as a socially-distanced conversation at The Brick House, the Presidential Residence of Bennington College on Wednesday, October 28.

In the years following the Civil War, a new battle began. Newly freed African American men had gained their voting rights and would soon have a chance to transform Southern politics. Former Confederates and other white supremacists mobilized to stop them. Thus, the KKK was born.

After the first political assassination carried out by the Klan, Washington power brokers looked for help in breaking the growing movement. They found it in Hiram C. Whitley. He became head of the Secret Service, which had previously focused on catching counterfeiters and was at the time the government’s only intelligence organization.

Charles Lane is a Washington Post editorial board member and op-ed columnist. A finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing, he was the Post's Supreme Court correspondent prior to joining the editorial board. His new book is, "Freedom's Detective: The Secret Service, the Ku Klux Klan and the Man Who Masterminded America’s First War on Terror."

We live in a society where kids and parents are obsessed with early achievement, from getting perfect scores on SATs to getting into Ivy League colleges to landing an amazing job at Google or Facebook, or even better, creating a startup with the potential to be the next Google or Facebook or Uber.

But there is good news. A lot of us do not explode out of the gates in life. There is a scientific explanation for why so many of us bloom later in life. The executive function of our brains don’t mature until age 25, and even later for some. In fact, our brain’s capabilities peak at different ages. We actually enjoy multiple periods of blooming in our lives.

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, write about this in his book "Late Bloomers."

The nation’s former top intelligence official spoke Wednesday at Utica College. Retired Admiral Mike McConnell told students that the United States is a nation at risk. More from Nate Bridge with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College.

Malcolm Nance is a globally recognized counterterrorism expert and Intelligence Community member who has been deployed to intelligence operations in the Balkans, Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Defeating ISIS, and is a counterterrorism analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

His most recent book is The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election.

  In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee, thrust himself into the spotlight when he leaked thousands of top secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents to the journalist, Glen Greenwald. Immediately branded as a whistleblower, Snowden reignited an international debate about private citizens who reveal government secrets that should be exposed but may endanger the lives of citizens.

Like the late Karen Silkwood, whose death in a car accident while bringing incriminating evidence against her employer to a meeting with a New York Times reporter, is still a mystery, Snowden was intent upon revealing the controversial practices of his employer, a government contractor.

Rightly or wrongly, Snowden and Silkwood believed that their revelations would save lives. In his book, The Whistleblower's Dilemma: Snowden, Silkwood And Their Quest For the Truth, Richard Rashke weaves between the lives of these two controversial figures and creates a narrative context for a discussion of what constitutes a citizen’s duty to reveal or not to reveal.

  Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence.

In his new book, he offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.

Frans de Waal is the C. H. Candler Professor in Emory University’s Psychology Department and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. His new book is: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

    

  Everyone is born curious. But only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane?

Ian Leslie writes about the importance of curiosity in Curious: The Desire To Know And Why Your Future Depends On It.