Horizon Zero Dawn: 12 Books for the Wilderness Wanderer

Guerilla Games newest release, Horizon Zero Dawn, is a RPG that places the protagonist as a hunter and archer who is living in a world has been overrun by robotic technologies. Many years after the fall of civilization, the remaining humans have regressed to primitive tribal societies. The tribe that your character belongs to, The Nora,  is a society of hunter gathers, similar in many ways to Native Americans, who worship nature and shun the “old technologies” left behind by the Old Ones.

If you’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, or just are really interested in topics like, the customs of tribal societies, earth post-civilization, artificial intelligence, and hunting, then you should check out some of these books at the Prairie State College Library to see if they are for you!


The world without us
by Alan Weisman
GF75.W4 S5 2007

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York’s subways would start eroding the city’s foundations, and how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists—who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths—Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.


The hunt for the golden mole : all creatures great and small, and why they matter
by Girling, Richard
QL737.A352 G57 2014

Taking as its narrative engine the hunt for an animal that is legendarily rare, Richard Girling writes an engaging and highly informative history of humankind’s interest in hunting and collecting – what prompts us to do this? what good might come of our need to catalog all the living things of the natural world? Girling, named Environmental Journalist of the Years 2008 and 2009, has here chronicled – through the hunt for the Somali golden mole – the development of the conservation movement, the importance of diversity in the animal kingdom, including humankind within this realm, as well as a hard look at extinction.The Somali mole of the title, first described in print in a text book published in 1964, had as sole evidence of its existence only the fragment of a jaw bone found in an owl pellet, a specimen that seemed to have vanished as Girling began his exploration. Intrigued by the elusiveness of this creature and what the hunt for the facts of its existence might tell us about extinction, he was drawn to the dusty vaults of museums of natural history where the most rare artifacts are stored and catalogued, as he found himself caught up in the need to track it down.Part quest, part travelog, the book that results not only offers an important voice to the scientific debate about extinction and biodiversity it becomes an environmental call to arms.


Voices of the winds : native American legends
by Edmonds, Margot
E98.F6 E26

This wonderfully colorful and appealing anthology gathers more than 130 Native American legends, many told to the authors by elder storytellers and tribal historians. Traditional stories from 60 native cultures of North America are prefaced by brief head notes. Sources include government documents, periodicals, histories, and field research (some conducted by Clark). Native American cultures value an end to isolation and the individual’s return to family and tribe, but there are some striking analogs to Western myths; one Pima story neatly parallels the Noah’s ark tale. Curiosities include “She-Who-Changeth” for the more common “Changing Woman,” gender-exclusive language (” . . . man first appeared . . . “), and a claim that Navajos live today in prosperity.


Our final invention : artificial intelligence and the end of the human era
by Barrat, James
Q335 .B377 2013

Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the “smart” in your smartphone and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence.
In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail–human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.

Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?


The animals came dancing : Native American sacred ecology and animal kinship
by Harrod, Howard L.
E78.G73 H353

The Native American hunter had a true appreciation of where his food came from and developed a ritual relationship to animal life–an understanding and attitude almost completely lacking in modern culture. In this major overview of the relation between Indians and animals on the northern Great Plains, Howard Harrod recovers a sense of the knowledge that hunting peoples had of the animals upon which they depended and raises important questions about Euroamerican relationships with the natural world. Harrod’s account deals with twelve Northern Plains peoples–Lakota, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Pawnee, and others–who with the arrival of the horse in the eighteenth century became the buffalo hunters who continue to inhabit the American imagination. Harrod describes their hunting practices and the presence of animals in their folklore and shows how these traditions reflect a “sacred ecology” in which humans exist in relationship with other powers, including animals. Drawing on memories of Native Americans recorded by anthropologists, fur traders, missionaries, and other observers, Harrod examines cultural practices that flourished from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. He reconstructs the complex rituals of Plains peoples, which included buffalo hunting ceremonies employing bundles or dancing, and rituals such as the Sun Dance for the renewal of animals. In a closing chapter, Harrod examines the meanings of Indian-animal relations for a contemporary society that values human dominance over the natural world–one in which domestic animals are removed from our consciousness as a source of food, wild animals are managed for humans to “experience,” and hunting has become a form of recreation. His meticulous scholarship re-imagines a vanished way of life, while his keen insights give voice to a hunger among many contemporary people for the recovery of a ritual relationship between themselves and the natural sources of their lives.


Life after people [videorecording]
AV QH78 .L54 2008

What will the world be like when mankind is extinct? The pyramids may stand forever, but the cities will disappear. Our greatest masterpieces will fade and crumble. As global warming and the depletion of natural resources become ever more pressing issues it is critical to consider how we can reduce our impact on the planet. Journey to locations around the globe already going through the processes of a lack of human intervention. See the changes wrought in just decades in ghostly settlements like Chernobyl, which was abandoned since only 1986, and island towns off the coast of Maine. How long would it take before the last remnants of mankind completely disappeared?


The rule of the clan : what an ancient form of social organization reveals about the future of individual freedom
by Weiner, Mark Stuart
GN487.7.C55 W45 2013

A lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan.

Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state dedicated to the public interest. In the absence of a healthy state, he explains, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check–and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril. At the same time, for modern individualism to survive, liberals must also acknowledge the profound social and psychological benefits the rule of the clan provides and recognize the loss humanity sustains in its transition to modernity.

Masterfully argued and filled with rich historical detail, Weiner’s investigation speaks both to modern liberal societies and to developing nations riven by “clannism,” including Muslim societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.


The rise and fall of North American Indians : from prehistory through Geronimo
by Brandon, William
E58 .B83 2013

Who were the first settlers in North America? Where did they come from? How did they survive? In this expansive one-volume account of the native peoples of North America, eminent historian William Brandon who devoted much of his life to examining this subject presents this revelatory history of the development and culture of the native peoples of North America, from their incipience through the late nineteenth century. Among those from Central America were the art-obsessed Mayans and Olmecs; from North America came the Ojibwa, Powhatan, Cree, Illinois, Apache, Cherokee, Natchez, Sioux, and many others. In The Rise and Fall of North American Indians, Brandon brings this world to life and chronicles ten thousand years of Indian history.”


What to think about machines that think : today’s leading thinkers on the age of machine intelligence
Q335 .W445 2015

Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.”
Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?


Ancestral appetites : food in prehistory
by Gremillion, Kristen J.
GN799.F6 G74 2011

This book explores the relationship between prehistoric people and their food – what they ate, why they ate it and how researchers have pieced together the story of past food-ways from material traces. Contemporary human food traditions encompass a seemingly infinite variety, but all are essentially strategies for meeting basic nutritional needs developed over millions of years. Humans are designed by evolution to adjust our feeding behavior and food technology to meet the demands of a wide range of environments through a combination of social and experiential learning. In this book, Kristen J. Gremillion demonstrates how these evolutionary processes have shaped the diversification of human diet over several million years of prehistory. She draws on evidence extracted from the material remains that provide the only direct evidence of how people procured, prepared, presented and consumed food in prehistoric times.


Anatomy of a robot
by Bergren, Charles M.
TJ211 .B485

Offers a head to toe examination of all of the major disciplines involved in building robots and control systems – with both practical theory and philosophy in a technical, yet entertaining way. This book provides basic background theory of each subject, and then goes into more in-depth treatment, including math and references.


The human age : the world shaped by us
by Ackerman, Diane
GF13 .A35 2014

Ackerman is justly celebrated for her unique insight into the natural world and our place in it. In this landmark book, she confronts the unprecedented reality that one prodigiously intelligent and meddlesome creature, Homo sapiens, is now the dominant force shaping the future of planet Earth.Humans have “subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness.” We tinker with nature at every opportunity; we garden the planet with our preferred species of plants and animals, many of them invasive; and we have even altered the climate, threatening our own extinction. Yet we reckon with our own destructive capabilities in extraordinary acts of hope-filled creativity: we collect the DNA of vanishing species in a “frozen ark,” equip orangutans with iPads, and create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. With her distinctive gift for making scientific discovery intelligible to the layperson, Ackerman takes us on an exhilarating journey through our new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating–perhaps saving–our future and that of our fellow creatures.A beguiling, optimistic engagement with the changes affecting every part of our lives, The Human Age is a wise and beautiful book that will astound, delight, and inform intelligent life for a long time to come.

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