James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanished as soon as it was born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood “talking drums” of Africa, James Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the poet’s brilliant and doomed daughter, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself.
And then the information age comes upon us. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And they sometimes feel they are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading. It will transform readers’ view of its subject.
©2011 James Gleick (P)2011 Random House
"Accessible and engrossing." (Library Journal)
It was fantastically well-informed. The narrator was eloquent and had great pronunciation. Although it did take me a year to finish it, because I would get distracted with other books.
Amazing amount of information on how people communicate. Brings to light the story of information itself.
Not directly, you see; metaphysics has always trodden the edges of knowledge. This book instead wishes to tell you how those edges work, have been expanded, and ultimately turned us inwards for a new search of meaning. It bristles with technical and humanistic understanding - and having read it, you will be a wiser person.
It was a very amazing book,he compiles years of research into bite sized chunks for your brain and gives you everything you need to look up /expand upon the fantastic things he touches base on.
Great book. Mind blowing to say the least. Great substance, incredible narroration. Enjoyable for anyone interested in the subject of Information Theory.
It explained several big ideas that were new to me: the abstraction of information and meaning, the comparison to entropy and the idea that we are genetic and organic information replication machines.
Chaos - same author, similarly unusual and big ideas.
Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics, The Black Swan - seemingly counterintuitive ideas.
It made me think.
It is a great scientific narrative.
The discussion of the second law of thermodynamics.
Sure but it is too long for that.
The book was good when it surveyed the history of how we got here (data speaking) but faltered when the author sidetracked into mathematical theorem and equations. The mathematical details did little to support the overall narrative. Still, interesting enough to finish.
This is probably the best audio book available that covers information theory and attempts to share a conceptual understanding of the topic. While I have not yet listened to the author's earlier work on chaos theory; I suspect they link well with each other, and I plan to use my credits soon on the other.
Information is a book that counterweights the agony of the information limbos humanity has endured in the past and is enduring now. Gleick reminds the reader that meaning will not be buried by the current cacophonie, because language itself is produced by ambiguity endemic to mental acumen.
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