The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation 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... show more
James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation 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 vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, 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 brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, 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 arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we 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.
Publish date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pages no: 527
Edition language: English
, Computer Science
, Popular Science
, Library Science
, Information Science
The amount of information (pun acknowledged, but not intended) that James Gleick was able to contain in the book is mind-boggling (Claude Shannon could probably tell you what the physical cost of the logical work my mind did while reading it was, but I, alas, cannot). I'm sure that for those who a...
The last half of this book was a 5-star read for me. The first half, with the history of language especially, dragged so much I almost gave up on the book. I'd recommend to others to skip ahead a chapter or two if you feel bogged down -- the book isn't written in so cumulative of a style that you'...
Seeing the other profusely positive reviews, maybe I just didn't make it far enough into this monstrosity book. Maybe it's just that I went into this with the wrong expectations. I expected a cohesive, persuasive, and above all, entertaining story. I expected a focus on mathematics and its complexit...
A wide-ranging exemplar of the History of Ideas, Gleick's "The Information" tells the compelling story of our Information Age. Focusing on fascinating characters such as Charles Babbage, and more particularly, the brilliant Claude Shannon, Gleick deftly weaves together the disparate strands of tech...
I'd like to rate this higher, but if I'm totally honest, there were some sections where I was just lost. I like math more in theory than in practice and much of it was well beyond my limited capabilities. That being said, there were several parts of the book that I found fascinating and illuminati...