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BOOK REVIEW – The Alchemy of Us

By Published On: March 12th, 2020

The Hardware of Our lives Transformed the Software of Generations. The Alchemy of Us reveals tech’s Transformative Impact

 As she stepped off the Main Stage in Los Angeles, Ainissa Ramirez, blowtorch in hand, must have been aware on some level just how prognostic her metallurgic display, combining science and education during her 2012 TED Talk, would be when it came to her new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. In her latest offering, Ramirez examines eight inventions -clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips- and parallels their analog creation with their social impact and aftereffects on the evolution of human behavior. The acclaimed scientist and author dives deep into tales of Edison, germanium and even an ill-tempered undertaker whose invention might have paved the way for the modern computer. Perhaps there is no better example of how technology has changed the scope of human behavior then Ramirez’s description of how the personal pocket watch transformed sleep and eventually modern industrial life. Benjamin Huntsman consumed by the intricacies of science, metal and mathematics led to a new, accessible way to keep time. What has come from not only being able to keep time on an individual level, but from being perceptive about what time means to our everyday lives has molded our behavior ever since- and it is told with emphatic precision by Ramirez.

During her TED Talk, Ramirez said “Children need to explore and to discover. This is how you innovate; you fail your way to your answer. Scientists fail all the time; we just brand it differently. We call it ‘data.” The Alchemy of Us  proves her point definitively. The book not only lifts the veil on some of the more fascinating modern inventions, it pulls us along to each inventions ultimate social result- a fully formed scientific theory proven in literary fashion. Ramirez will be doing a ‘preview’ event for her book at Scoville Library in Salisbury, CT on March 14th. The event will give prospective scientists and full-time thinkers a chance to experience the power of telling inclusive, enlightening stories about technology and how it shapes our collective lives.

For more information on Ainissa Ramirez or to purchase a copy of The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another visit https://www.ainissaramirez.com/ or visit participating sellers.