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)
If you're a lover of technology, science, engineering, or information, this is hands down the best book I've encountered. Thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking.
It is difficult to describe how important this book is. The underlying concepts it investigates in all things information theory and beyond lay out a map of how the modern world can be understood. It provides a great history of information as a concept but as a real, mathematical thing with as much substance as any other theory, and, it could be argued, makes a valid case for how it can be used to describe and understand all other theories.
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.
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