Introducing the 3 Book List

… where we ask the experts for reading recommendations.

Esther Dyson deals in ideas, which she explores through writing and commentary, investing, and philanthropy. She is currently spearheading the Way to Wellville, developing best practices for community health.

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease 
by Marc Lewis
Addiction is short-term desire. Purpose is long-term desire.

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much 
by Eldar Shafir and Sendhil Mullainathan
An explanation of scarcity for rich intellectuals: showing how poor people do stupid things for lack of money, while rich people do stupid things for lack of time.

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds 
by Daniel Dennett
How consciousness arises, and how much it depends on a sense of past, present and future (plus a lot of other interesting insights).


Andrew Hessel is a molecular biologist, a futurist, and an instigator. His current initiative is the Human Genome—Write project to create an operating system for humans from scratch: a synthetic human genome.

What Technology Wants 
by Kevin Kelly
Deep thinking on what powers progress.

As the Future Catches You 
by Juan Enriquez
Poetic introduction to synthetic biology.

Scale 
by Geoffrey West
The counterintuitive laws underlying the growth of almost everything, from Amazon to elephants.


Mary Lou Jepsen is an electronics visionary, with over 100 patents in just the past five years. Her latest initiative harnesses advanced imaging technology to see inside the body for purposes ranging from diagnostics to telepathy.

Frankenstein 
by Mary Shelley
No movie has ever done it justice. Read if you haven’t, reread it if you have. It’s about philosophy, science, ethics, and history. As relevant today as ever and a page turner.

The Circle 
by Dave Eggers
Don’t see the movie. This is a real beach read — and profound — about our changing notions of privacy and the seemingly small people in the companies driving that change.

I Know What You’re Thinking 
by Sarah Richmond et al
On brain imaging and mental privacy. How imaging technologies have already been used in courts. Ethical issues of privacy as we scale mind reading and telepathy.


Josiah Zayner is a biohacker who sells genetic engineering equipment and material. He is on a mission to make science generally, and genetic engineering specifically, more open and available to all. See a short film about his DIY microbiome transplant.

Neuromancer 
by William Gibson
Poison sac logic bombs in the human body, computer nervous system interfaces, non-medical implants, engineered organs, AIs that rule the world, and long-term cryogenic preservation. Biohackers and computer hackers were both born from this novel.

The Innovators 
by Walter Isaacson
This is a book about the computer revolution, I know. However, everything in this book mirrors what is going on and what I experience every day in this biological revolution we are living in. A technology developed by academics for academic reasons which created some successes in niche markets leading to companies created in garages that created consumer products even though critics resoundingly said, “What would a person do with this in their home?” What we can expect from the future of genetic technologies can be found in this book by following the patterns of history.

Any fiction by Haruki Murakami
We live life only within the world we see. This is most apparent with cutting-edge gene therapy technology, which costs only single thousands of dollars for someone to try. But people suffer and die each day instead. Murakami doesn’t write about genetic design but he writes about these worlds within worlds that if you look close and squint hard you might be able to catch a glimpse of. He has taught me to strain my eyes. And sometimes on a rainy day in San Francisco I see that world in which genetic literacy is as common as computer literacy and lives are saved by a $300 piece of DNA.

A Beginner’s Guide to Genetically Modifying Yourself
by someone, eventually
The C Programming Language
was written in 1978. I took out that book from the library in 1995 to teach myself to program. Now, in 2017, running a genetic design company, one of the most common question I get from people is, “How do I learn to genetically engineer?” I fumble my words and tell people to do some hands-on experiments, but I am disheartened by the lack of resources for people wanting to learn. I hope when someone does eventually write this book it is as influential on others as The C Programming Language was on me.


Daniel Kraft is an physician, scientist, pilot, entrepreneur, chair of medicine at Singularity University, and founder of Exponential Medicine, where he tracks the future of health … and our species.

Stealing Fire 
by Jamie Wheal and Steven Kotler
A look into the psychology and technology enabling flow state.

The Day After Tomorrow 
by Peter Hinssen
His new book on “how to survive in times of radical innovation.”

Homo Deus 
by Yuval Noah Harari
For another perspective on a new age of rapid evolution.