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The Information Audiobook

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"Accessible and engrossing." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1247 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jacob J. Walker Loomis, CA USA 01-16-16
    Jacob J. Walker Loomis, CA USA 01-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Very good interdisciplinary view of "information""

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barnaby Dallas, TX, United States 12-27-15
    Barnaby Dallas, TX, United States 12-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Transformative and deeply intelligent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos 10-20-15
    Carlos 10-20-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Prepare to get lots of information about informat."

    I really enjoyed this read and I suggest it to anyone interested in the pursuit of information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Mitsui 08-18-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Wordy, pedantic, potentially cumbersome"

    Like information itself, there are a few diamonds in the rough, and one can risk overload. I skipped several chapters in this book that didn't quite suit what I was looking for. The author fleshes out things with colorful wording that need little explanation, and some parts on audio are painful to hear (30+ spellings of 'mackerel'). If you want an unabridged history spanning millennia, this is for you. For anyone else, feel free to skip chapters like I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xopowo Montreal 08-12-15
    Xopowo Montreal 08-12-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Profound and outstanding knowledge"

    There are only tei books in the last 5 years that help understand whhere we are and where we may be headed: What Technology Wants, and The Information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John W. 07-22-15
    John W. 07-22-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Astonishingly relevant"

    Easily one of the five best books I've ever read. It is difficult to imagine any non-experts who would not find this work endlessly fascinating and absorbing. Gleick's powers of far ranging synthesis and clear compelling explanation are awe-inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 07-19-15
    Gary 07-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very conceptual and far-reaching"

    I was surprised at where the idea flow began and even where it ended.
    Very much worth the effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 06-26-15
    Matthew Gatineau, Quebec, Canada 06-26-15 Listener Since 2006
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    "Learned a lot"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When they discuss information content and/vs complexity of a message.


    Any additional comments?

    First heard of this from Veritasium. Left it in my wish list for months, finally gave it a chance, and loved it. It basically changed the way I think about data, and as a programmer, that says a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Matthew D Poe 06-25-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Good, not great"

    Enjoyed many sections, but not as enlightening as I was led to believe by a friend. I do feel it was worth the purchase and time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Robert Burns 04-07-15
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    "Well read accessible history of communication"

    Glick writes lucidly on a complex subject. He captures the human story of conceiving and developing the technology of communication.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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